Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade

Penny ArcadeTycho & 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.

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