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World of Webcomics: ‘General Protection Fault’

World of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.


Perhaps one of the first well-known webcomics, General Protection Fault takes a look at the way a small software company works, beginning back when the web bubble hadn’t yet fully burst, albeit in a very fictional situation. Full of characters and situations that would make a soap opera bankrupt, this webcomic parodies several aspects of popular culture in a way that makes it enjoyable for readers as well as to fit in with plot points that make sense but are still rather outlandish. Fully of comedy, drama, and the techno-nerd-geek speak that makes the world go ‘round, this webcomic is of the creative mind of Jeffery Darlington. GPF updates Monday-Wednesday-Friday at gpf-comics.com.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW


Art Style

While there is a difference in the quality of the artwork at the beginning and present-day strips, it is clear that the style is very much the same throughout, making it easy for readers to recognize characters if they compare them side-by-side. There is a general feel as though the comic could be part of a newspaper “Funnies” page, with the classic 3- or 4-panel lengthwise style, but I don’t think any newspaper comic has quite the complex plot points and interconnections that GPF has.


Writing and Dialogue


While the art is pretty consistent throughout the comic, it is the writing and storytelling that has really kept it going after all these years. Initially, the stories seemed to be related to the office politics of the small company, but eventually skyrocketed into world, and even trans-dimensional, domination plots the likes of which would have given long-running TV shows and print comics a run for their money. While some of the stories are a bit outlandish, they are done so in the premise that in a fictional scenario anything is possible, so long as there are rules and constraints to what can be done. Jeffrey stays within those constraints, and it has allowed GPF to prosper for a very long time.

There are times in which the dialogue does seem a bit over the top, but, given the nature of some of the characters and plots involved, it doesn’t seem completely out of place. For the most part, the way the characters speak to each other (and to themselves) seems to be keeping very much in terms of what people actually say, although I’m not sure just what a slim mold would say, so that’s more of a guess on both mine and Jeffrey’s part. Also, as a geek, there’s a lot of the specific dialogue I’m able to pick up on, but as I’m not a techno-nerd, I don’t understand everything that comes out of Jason Barker’s mouth (though that might be more because of how the character is written then what he’s saying).


Appeal

A wide range of people should be able to enjoy GPF, as it has elements that appeal to geeks, nerds, drama and comedy fans, and just someone who enjoys well thought-out plots and extensive story progression. It’s an investment, however, and isn’t a gag-of-the-day type of strip, so if you want something that’s going to take a while to catch up on, I highly recommend this webcomic.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:32

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