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The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

Slackerz is by Scott Hepting (artist) and Scott Smith (writer).

I tapped the clipboard with a pencil as I looked at the latest subject to fall under my careful eye. His hands and eyes were twitching rapidly and every so often he would giggle for no reason at all. An interesting emulation of the cartoony art style that often used wildly-drawn stick figures. The problem did not seem to be an external, art-based one. I quickly scribbled down a few words on the end of the paper stuck to the clipboard, and after finishing my grocery list did I decide to venture in and diagnose the problem with the comic.

Before I even said anything, he gestured wildly in my direction and shouted, "Hey! Did you know there are 13-year-olds who act immature on Xbox Live?" The subject then proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. I had seen this phenomenon before, humorous comics that try to play off of popular culture only to degenerate into treading where several other comics have treaded before.

Nonetheless, it was my duty to review the comic called Slackerz (with a "z"), so I approached the subject and asked in a calm manner, "Good afternoon, I noticed you are pretending to be playing with an XBOX 360 controller. Perhaps you'd like to tell me the problem?"

"It's these gaming comics, man!" He shouted, "I'm trying to be funny! That's not a crime, is it?"

"Yes, so I've seen your humor in your earlier work." I responded, scribbling down notes on the latest Jack Chick tract some guy handed me outside a nearby Subway. I made a note to order some actual plain paper later on, "So you admit you're addicted to video game inside jokes?"

"Hey man, did you know that the Nintendo DS stylus looks like a giant phallus?"

"No, I did not."

"I bet it does to that guy inside the game. Haha! Link is so funny!"

I jotted down notes about the subject's uncontrollable desire to repeat every damn video game reference that passed his mind over the panel where the Chick version of God explained to a dead non-Christian why he was going to Hell, "Do you remember MC Hamster?"

The subject suddenly stopped laughing, his facial expression changing from joy into something more deathly serious, "MC Hamster? You mean the rapping hamster who destroys the lives of stupid kids with his phat beats?" A flicker of recognition crossed his face before he shivered and continued, "He's just a statement of how ignorant children believe what they see on TV. Why would I keep using that character?"

"He seemed like an original creation of yours, a manifestation of your displeasure with bad advertising and the ignorant masses who simply follow it anyways."

"But... but he's not from a video game!" He shouted, "He's not like Johnny Turbo, or that creepy face from Brain Age!" He then began laughing uncontrollably again. "A--and did you know that the gaming market is supersaturated with World War II games? That's so hilarious!"

After jotting down a few more notes on that Chick tract, I finally said, "Alright, I'm not getting paid by the hour here, so let's wrap this up. Can you promise me to try more original humor without getting into gaming strips again?"

"Original humor?" The subject stopped laughing as his face betrayed his fear, "But that stuff takes so long to write! Gaming jokes are cheap, quick and easy! Original humor is hard..."

"Yes, I know it's hard to get off that easy stuff, but I've seen you do some decent work in the first handful of strips that didn't rely on video game references. There was actually a flicker of smart humor in-between some of those stupid-funny jokes. You should stop trying to emulate the same popular culture you occasionally rage against in these comics."

"I can change! I promise!" The subject shouted. "I even wrote a kind of meta strip about my addiction, and my last blog post mentioned it too!"

"Okay then, you've admitted you have a gaming problem. The next phase of the 12-Step program is believing in a greater power to restore your funny. Now pray to God that you won't do any more strips with gaming references. And don't forget to pick up some lessons in 'non-verbal humor' on the way out. I swear you don't have a single unspoken thought in nearly all of your strips."

"Can I at least talk about Portal or Super Mario Galaxy?"


"But I can quit after--"

"I said NO! Don't test God's faith in your writing so quickly!"

When the subject finally left the office, I finally had the answer to my question, "What would Jack Chick do?"

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

I love Slackerz, it's gotta be my favorite comic on the web.

I remember reading the "Forsooooooth" comic and laughing uncontrolably in a quiet libray. (I'm an Engineering major, therefore I took great joy in this particular one.) I particularly like the fact that these guys are fresh, albeit the humor is derived from a VERY common source in most cases. It's the humor type itself is what makes it funny, not necessarily the source.

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

So a guy who gets into a hobby of making a comic that isn't overrated as Penny Arcade is lower on the internets social class than a guy who makes shitty, uninformative reviews? Considering that the critic admits to reading so many internet comics, but then announces how bad they are. Touche', Adam, for your years are well spent.

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

^Great comment.


I completley argree with you. Slackerz humour makes me laugh in a way no other web comic does and thats all htat matters to me.

it's outrageous, exagerated, but by god it's fucking hillarious.

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

Oh please.
His strips are funny. His comic keeps the laughs coming, and that's all that matters.
I've seen the same material in other webcomics, done poorly, and I actually think the guy deserves praise for taking such an apparently cheap and overused writing ploy and still managing to make it something to laugh about.
He's done nothing wrong, he doesn't have to change what he writes about at all.
So we see this thing all the time. So what. Personally, I'm sick of letters. They're everywhere, EVERYONE uses them, how 'bout some originality, huh guys? I wanna see some heiroglyphics! I wanna see something new!

The guy has nothing to apologise for. Stop getting at genuinely funny people for using "generic" material.
I'm done. I'm just gonna bulletproof this and shove IN MY OPINION in here. There we are.

Keep doin what yer doin Scott. Both of you.

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

Ninja-bot's picture

Forgiven Scott.

I do enjoy the art for this comic. Clean smoth lines. I don't really care that it's a bunch of stick figures, 'cause they're actually well realized, unlike the old Stick-death crap (I miss grade 11....).

But I check out the comic today, and see the 13 year old kid running halo joke, and I decide to go out back and shoot a panda between the eyes. Just to make myself feel better.

To each their own. Lord knows our comic doesn't hae much of a fanbase!


Shuriken Diaries - Updated Mondays and Thursday
"I'm a Ninja-bot. In that order." -Ronin

Shuriken Diaries - Updated Mondays and Thursdays
"I'm a Ninja-bot. In that order." -Ronin

Re: The Gaming Addiction of Slackerz

I'm not going to argue this, because it is true. I've been lazy and held on to the crutch of gaming/pop culture humor. A lot of the shit I do is obvious, I know. But I'm not claiming to be a messiah of humor, or a professional by any means. I'm just some guy with some other guy passing the time with webcomicry hobby. I sell nothing ('cept a shirt once), ask for no donations and try to be as humble in a personable sense as I can.

I myself have recognized this crutch and I am, in fact, pursuing original material. I will say one thing in my defense: if I take fun from writing a webcomic off a video game I like, then hey, I think I'm entitled to do it on my own hobby website every now and then. But I understand the need to moderate and not oversaturate on one particular theme.

Thank you for the much deserved jab.