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Hooked on Erf

I dig me some Erfworld.

I’m not a D&D fan, I only use 12 sided dice to teach math concepts to kids, and I don’t play World of Warcraft... (ok that last one’s just because I know I’d get addicted instantly, but I’m writing these things to make a point): the Giant in the Playground Comics, Erfworld and Order of the Stick, are squarely, nay, proudly set right in the center of the geek gaming world and I love ‘em anyway. Both flaunt some great writing- Stick by Rich Burlew, and Erfworld by Rob Balder. While the established Stick has simple artwork that adds to the humor, also by Mr. Burlew, the writing carries it (and well... as you probably know). Erfworld, on the other hand, is new and has eye-catching panels from Jamie Naguchi to go along with the quality writing.

In Erfworld, the least likely of true warlords is plucked from his Dungeonmaster’s chair in the back room of a Kinko’s after work one day. He finds himself in the incarnation of his most prized possession: his self-authored RPG world. Only this time it’s complete with heroes, villains, and inventive twists on the expected casts and settings found in the genre. His favorite snack foods (and greatest nemeses judging by his girth) are used as battle steeds. Gods speak through top hats, pliers, and squeaky toys. The perfectly placed profanities are replaced by even funnier edits. But drama still runs the show, and neither it, nor the humor compromise the quality of the story line.


It updates Tuesdays and Saturdays, and the archive is small right now so you can bite off the whole chunk, swallow it, and wait anxiously for the next feeding all in your first sitting.


I’ve been waiting for Saturday’s since Tuesday.

Tip of the magic hat

pclips's picture

Hey, thanks very much for this nice review! Jamie and I are pushing ourselves pretty hard on Erfworld, both in terms of the workload and our creative reach. We're trying to take everything we've learned in comics so far and use it to step up to the next level as illustrator and writer.

We're lucky to have the chance to do that on a big stage like Giant in the Playground. We were able to skip that long, struggling-in-obscurity phase that most story comics have to fight through, and start with a real audience from day one.

We've been pretty happy with the reader response. It was kind of rough at first, when people couldn't see where we were going with it and inevitably compared it to OOTS (a comparison lots of webcomics wouldn't pass). But now that the premise is clear, the tone is set, and the characters have had a chance to establish themselves, people know what to expect and a lot of them are declaring themselves fans. (well, "Tools" or "Erfworld Idiots" but that's another story)

Anyway, we appreciate the plug. We're trying to establish a readership from outside the existing OOTS readers, too, so this kind of thing helps us a lot. :)

Rob Balder - Erfworld and PartiallyClips


robert's picture

Absolutely my pleasure. Great comic!

When I set up my website, I

When I set up my website, I didn't put the most recent comic on my front page. That's partly because I have more than one comic sharing the same site and partly because I felt people would want to start reading a story-led comic from the beginning (or at least from the beginning of the most recent chapter).

Soon found out I was wrong though! Regular webcomic readers expect to go straight to the latest page. If they're following a dozen or so comics, it makes sense for them.

I now compromise. Although I still keep my main page for news of updates etc., I make sure there are always clear links through to the latest page of each comic and that it is possible to bookmark those. (Just in case anyone wants to!)

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Yah, it's an interesting choice...

It's definitely peculiar to *not* have an updating front page, but that was one of the first things I noticed about Erfworld. Right now my bookmark goes to their archive page, and the latest comic is always at the top.

The thing is, this cannot possibly be accidental. These are people who know from webcomics and have done webcomics before and have read lots of webcomics and who, presumably, have their own folders of bookmarks that go to the most recent update of a lot of different comics. If they're making a comic without a front page that shows the latest comic at a stable URL, it's because they are making a conscious choice.

See, if you'd asked me about doing things that way when I was setting up my own webcomic, I'd have called it a mistake. But ... this is Rich Burlew. So instead, I'm saying "what does he know that I don't know?"

That said, I'm digging me some Erfworld too. I like the way the characters are developing, and I like the way the jokes assume you're literate and know something.

I had a minor character die so that the plot could move forward in my comic at about the same time Erfworld had a minor character die so that the plot could move forward in Erfworld, and I decided to write an article about how we both handled it by making a joke.


Read Clone's Dream!

Top Secret Hint:

Top Secret Hint: Try bookmarking:
for the latest comic in each series.
And for the record (since you misattributed it in the article you linked), I'm not the creator of Erfworld, Rob Balder and Jamie Noguchi are. The only I thing I do is give them a place to post and a forum staff to moderate their message board. You could consider me Erfworld's publisher, I guess, but not its creator.
--Rich Burlew

Erfworld updates

It seems to have been updating regularly to me - I think this one was Tuesday's. There doesn't seem to be an updating "latest comic" page you can bookmark, unfortunately, though there's an RSS feed.

ah yes, that was the problem

Linda Howard Valentine's picture

ah yes, that was the problem - bookmark wasn't takin' me where I needed to go. On the plus side, that means "new" strips for me to catch up on!

It's been a little while

Linda Howard Valentine's picture

It's been a little while since it updated at all. I'm hoping that changes soon, too!

Erfworld updates on Tuesday

Erfworld updates on Tuesday and Saturday, usually late in the day. As of yet, it hasn't missed an update. (I have, naturally, just doomed Rob and Jamie with those words.)