The Perry Bible Fellowship

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The Perry Bible Fellowship (PBF) is a webcomic and newspaper comic strip by Nicholas Gurewitch. It originated in the Syracuse University newspaper The Daily Orange in 2001.

The Perry Bible Fellowship
The Perry Bible Fellowship - cover of 2009 Almanack.jpg
Cover of the 2009 book collection
Author(s)Nicholas Gurewitch
Websitepbfcomics.com
Current status/scheduleOccasional comics only
Launch date2001
(20 years ago)
 (2001)
Genre(s)Surreal humor, dark humor

The comics are usually three or four panels long, and are generally characterized by the juxtaposition of whimsical childlike imagery or fantasy with morbid, sudden or unexpected surreal humor. Common subjects include irony, religion, sex, war, science fiction, suicide, violence, and death.[citation needed]

The comic has won an Eisner Award, two Ignatz Awards, and three Harvey Awards.

PublishingEdit

The Perry Bible Fellowship first appeared in 2001[1][2] in the Syracuse student newspaper The Daily Orange.[3] In an interview, Gurewitch said that the title was "borrowed from an actual church, from a place called Perry, in Maine".[4] Gurewitch also worked as the art director for The Daily Orange for a semester in 2002 while at Syracuse University.[5]

By 2006 the comic was being printed in The Guardian, UK's Maxim, New York Press, Boston's Weekly Dig, Portland Mercury, and The Baltimore City Paper, and by 2007 was being printed in The Chicago Reader.[6][5] In a 2007 interview, Gurewitch stated that he was making a living from PBF.[7]

On February 18, 2008, Gurewitch announced he was cutting back on the production of the comic strip, saying "I feel I owe it to myself and the Perry Bible Fellowship not to turn a joyful diversion into a long career."[8] Previously a weekly strip, it is now infrequently updated;[9] as of January 2021, it is still receiving updates.[2]

ArtEdit

The art in The Perry Bible Fellowship varies from strip to strip. While some comics feature simplistic human figures with little more than a mouth and eyes for a face, other strips are extensively colored and meticulously detailed. Sometimes, the artistic style changes within the strip itself. A recurring feature of the strip is simplistically-drawn human figures exhibiting little detail or realism, and heads reminiscent of smiley faces. Some strips emulate the styles of famous illustrators such as Shel Silverstein, Edward Gorey, and Robert Crumb, made evident by marginal notes such as "(Apologies, R. Crumb)".[10][11] Gurewitch is also known for including Easter eggs in various strips.[12]

BooksEdit

In 2007, a book collection, The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories, was published. Even before its release, preorders alone made the book one of the fastest-selling graphic novels on Amazon.com, causing publisher Dark Horse Comics to increase its first print run to 36,000, and print the book domestically to hasten distribution; it has since gone into three printings.[13] Dark Horse Comics also noted the comic's popularity in the UK, as Diamond UK put in the largest order Dark Horse has ever seen from them.[14]

The second book, The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack, a 256-page hardcover compilation, features more comics (including the ones from the previous book) and previously unreleased material including unused strips, an interview with David Malki and a foreword by Diablo Cody.[15] The book was released on February 18, 2009,[16] again from Dark Horse Comics.[citation needed] A tenth anniversary edition of the Almanack was published on February 11, 2020.[17]

ReceptionEdit

Ted Rall included Gurewitch and The Perry Bible Fellowship in their 2006 book, Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists. Rall described the comic as "a webcomics phenom", saying it had "leapt from widespread popularity among the technocrati to... mainstream print media". Rall called it a "twisted blending of the cute and profane", saying that "a lot of [its] humor involves violence, but the horror is tempered with a gentle, sweet tone."[6] Boing Boing, reviewing the 2009 printed Almanack, called PBF "a concentrated dose of the kind of dark, twisted humor that makes you bark with laughter and look away at the same time...complemented by Gurewitch's visual style, which veers from the simplistic and cartoonish to incredibly detailed line art that's like something out of Tony Millionaire."[18]

Webcomics reviewer Eric Burns said in 2008 that "Perry Bible Fellowship is a comic that works in subversion humor... and Gurewitch is a master at it... The problem is, this is a well that's way too easy to drain dry. Twenty or thirty times, you'll get a horrified laugh. Then, people will expect it. Finally, it will have no impact. It's just what Perry Bible Fellowship does." Burns did praise the artistic style, and said that "when he's on his A game, it's hard to think of anyone who's better in webcomics -- particularly in four panel gag-a-day."[19]

The Verge described PBF in a 2020 article as "one of the internet’s most beloved webcomics", saying that it "seamlessly match[es] hand-drawn artistry with subtle but devastating punchlines that reveal a heartbreaking truth about the world."[20] Also in 2020, a writer for Forbes said, "His is the only webcomic I keep up with regularly and when a new comic is released, I feel a giddy rush of excitement over what masterpiece he’s given us this time."[3]

AwardsEdit

Year Award Category Result Notes
2008 Eisner Award Best Humor Publication Won Awarded specifically for the printed compilation, Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories.[21]
2008 Harvey Award Best Online Comic

Special Award for Humor

Won [22]
2008 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Short Form Comic Won [23]
2008 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Comic

Outstanding Comedic Comic

Outstanding Artist

Nominated [23]
2007 Harvey Award Best Online Comic Won [24]
2007 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Comic

Outstanding Comedic Comic

Outstanding Short Form Comic

Won [25][26][27]
2007 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Artist Nominated [28][29]
2006 Ignatz Award Outstanding Online Comic Won [30]
2006 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Comic

Outstanding Comedic Comic

Outstanding Short Form Comic

Won [31][32][33]
2006 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Artist Nominated [34]
2005 Ignatz Award Outstanding Online Comic Won [35]
2005 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Outstanding Comedic Comic

Outstanding Short Form Comic

Won [36]

AuthorEdit

Nicholas Gurewitch was born March 9, 1982, in Canandaigua, New York,[37] and is currently based in Rochester, New York.[citation needed] He attended Syracuse University, where he studied film and where his comic strip was first published in The Daily Orange. Besides The Perry Bible Fellowship, Gurewitch released the book Notes on a Case of Melancholia, or: A Little Death. NPR described Melancholia in 2020 as a "surprisingly uplifting" comedy about the personification of death.[1] Gurewitch also worked on developing a program called Daisy Garden Story Time with Comedy Central, though the program was not produced.[38]

Nicholas is the cousin of comedian and Last Week Tonight writer Dan Gurewitch.[39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Grim Reaper Comedy 'Melancholia' Is Surprisingly Uplifting". NPR.org. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Tyrrell, Gary (January 26, 2021). "Three Balms In These Fraught Days". Fleen. Retrieved January 27, 2021. But here we are, 20 years on, and Gurewitch is still cranking out new comics. What’s that? You didn’t realize that there were new PBF comics, tied to the 20th anniversary and not linked to/from the archives?
  3. ^ a b Weiss, Josh. "Artist Nicholas Gurewitch Discusses Scrapped Comic Ideas For 'The Perry Bible Fellowship' In Honor Of 10-Year Anniversary Almanack". Forbes. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Heater, Brian (February 27, 2007). "Interview: Nicholas Gurewitch Pt. 1 (of 2)". The Daily Cross Hatch. Archived from the original on October 22, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Reiser, Evan (March 7, 2010). "Q&A with Nicholas Gurewitch". The Daily Orange. Syracuse, New York. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2017. Gurewitch first printed "The Perry Bible Fellowship," or "PBF," in The Daily Orange, where he was art director for a semester in 2002.
  6. ^ a b Attitude 3 : the new subversive online cartoonists. Rall, Ted. New York: Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine. 2006. ISBN 1-56163-465-4. OCLC 64596017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Nguyen, Kevin (October 2, 2007). "'Bible' Talk: An Interview with Nick Gurewitch". web.archive.org. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  8. ^ Cassel, David (February 19, 2008). "Gurewitch announces semi-retirement". Blorgable. Wollstonecraft, New South Wales: Total Image Publishing. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  9. ^ "About". The Perry Bible Fellowship. Nicholas Gurewitch. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Whitney (February 2, 2016). "10 Wicked Awesome Webcomics". PC Magazine. p. 8.
  11. ^ "Keep on Truckin'". Perry Bible Fellowship. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  12. ^ Cabron, Lou (September 4, 2007). "Secrets of the Perry Bible Fellowship". 10 Zen Monkeys. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  13. ^ Cabron, Lou (January 5, 2008). "Records broken by the Perry Bible Fellowship?". 10 Zen Monkeys. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  14. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (October 9, 2007). "Perry Bible Fellowship Collection a Pre-order Hit". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  15. ^ The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack on the PBF Website Archived January 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack on". Betterworld.com. November 8, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  17. ^ Lee, Dami (February 14, 2020). "Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurewitch on making comics for the internet's golden age". The Verge. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  18. ^ Doctorow, Cory (April 23, 2009). "Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack: twisted comedy that makes you laugh and look away". Boing Boing. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  19. ^ Burns, Eric (February 19, 2008). "Eric: State of the Web(cartoonist): Nicholas Gurewitch". Websnark. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008.
  20. ^ Lee, Dami (February 14, 2020). "Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurewitch on making comics for the internet's golden age". The Verge. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  21. ^ Spurgeon, Tom (July 26, 2008). "Your 2008 Eisner Award Winners". www.comicsreporter.com. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Calland, Johnathan (September 28, 2008). "2008 Harvey Award Winners". CBR. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Here are Your 2008 WCCA Winners!". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  24. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (September 9, 2007). "Syndicated Comics". The Beat. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  25. ^ "Outstanding Comic presented by Steve Napierski of Dueling Analogs and The Outer Circle". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  26. ^ "Outstanding Comedic Comic by Katie Cook of Katie Can Draw". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  27. ^ "Outstanding Short Form Comic by Alvaro Lopez-Moreno of Bad Hair Day". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "2007 Results". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  29. ^ "Outstanding Artist by Derrick Fish of Dandy and Company". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  30. ^ "2006 Ignatz Award Recipients". Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  31. ^ "WCAA 2006 - Outstanding Comic". Check |archive-url= value (help)
  32. ^ "Outstanding Comedic Comic by Jon Scrivens of Little Terrors and Eddie 'Eddache' Bowley of Ed Egg". Archived from the original on July 31, 2016.
  33. ^ "Outstanding Short Form Comic Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal". Archived from the original on July 31, 2016.
  34. ^ "Outstanding Artist by Gordon McAlpin of Multiplex". ccawards.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  35. ^ "2005 Ignatz Award Recipients". Small Press Expo. October 1, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  36. ^ "The 2005 Cartoonist's Choice Awards". ccawards.com. March 3, 2016. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  37. ^ http://pbfcomics.com/ Nick will be at The Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua, NY (town of birth!) on Sunday, October 18, 2009, 11am-5pm. For Canandiagua-Con.
  38. ^ Heater, Brian; “Interview: Nicholas Gurewitch Pt. 1 (of 2)”, Archived October 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Daily Crosshatch, February 27, 2007.
  39. ^ "SU alum wins 2nd Emmy for John Oliver show". syracuse. September 18, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2021.

External linksEdit