Tycho & Gabe (or as their parents call them Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik) are founders the uber-popular web comic, Penny Arcade. To say they are the product of “humble beginnings” is cliché but true. They were local rejects rejects who drew countless comic strips that papers and online zines didn’t want. One day, they decided to throw those rejected comic strips onto a website, and thus, in 1998, Penny Arcade was born.
At first the website was sustained through donations but eventually large masses of humans from around the world grew to lurve Jerry & Mike’s two dimensional alter-egos and with a little financial savvy from business manager Robert Khoo, they now make real American dollars.*
The beauty of Tycho & Gabe is that they sit around commenting on video games that’s all they do. The simplicity is the real genius. There is so much worldwide adoration for the web comic that they get roughly 2 million hits a day. They have parlayed this into an annual convention in Seattle that hosts up to 15,000 gaming enthusiasts. And who should play music at such a convention? None other than Penny Arcade’s official “Rapper Laureate” MC Frontalot. One would even say that Penny Arcade played a huge cartoon-like hand in Frontalot’s emerging nerdcore success. And we thank them for it.
*Point of accuracy: Originally the characters were not designed to be Holkins’ and Krahulik’s alter-egos. But, after the series began, they figured, eh why not have them represent us? And, of course, the cartoon Tycho & Gabe look nothing like the real-life Tycho & Gabe. The real-life Tycho & Gabe are cuter.