I am made of poison
January 11, 2022 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Thanks for existing Rowland. I am very happy with all my Toatoco merch.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:42 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

That would be MeFi’s Own wigu. Congratulations on the milestone, wigu, and thanks for all the cool stuff you do!
posted by Songdog at 9:42 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

Those old Dumbrella days were truly the Best of the Web. I'm glad Jeffrey is still able to make a living off supplying webcomic merch. It sometimes seems like the Internet is just a face for big evil corporations now.
posted by rikschell at 9:58 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


A coworker pointed me to Wigu right during its first week or so. In those heady days of Dumbrella and Achewood and Scary Go Round and such, it was a great joy to check the webcomics every day and share them with friends. Rowland has always had a crisp panel-four turn of phrase. As I've slowly reduced down my many bookshelves to just a couple bookshelves, my signed copy of The Bravest Boy In the World has stayed.
posted by introp at 10:04 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]

I miss old Wigu, et. al. so much. The delightfully weird writing seemed aimed directly at me, which people may say means I need help, but whatever.
posted by General Malaise at 10:38 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

I don't know Wigu, but I sure do love Topatoco. I got my wife this Sluggo shirt for Christmas and it was her favorite gift.

(She was bummed when she got a big stain on it the first time she wore it, and so just today I re-bought my wife this Sluggo shirt for [unspecified holiday].)
posted by AgentRocket at 11:20 AM on January 11

God, that really was a golden age, wasn't it?
posted by potrzebie at 12:19 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]

It really was a golden age, I literally don't read webcomics the same way I used to. It used to be daily for me to read Achewood, Diesel Sweeties, Cat and Girl and Overcompensating.

Cat and Girl is somehow still ongoing and criminally underrated.

I recently bought some original art from Onstad of Achewood characters. Good stuff, framed in my bedroom.

I believe there is a full Achewood collection in the works.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:45 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]

Oh my god I’m a million years old!! This was the era of the internet where I came of age, basically. Met wigu a couple times irl, what a mensch.
posted by Mizu at 12:57 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]

hahaha just seeing the word "wigu" made me feel all sunny inside and now i'm having a proustian reverie (but dumber) with my face turned at a 15 degree angle from the computer screen just all :D

alcohol drugs
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 1:52 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]

As somebody who tried (and failed) at webcomics in the Keenspot / Sluggy / Dumbrella / Goats era, it's great to see some of the original greats still thriving in an increasingly corporatized Internet.

I vividly remember the Great Wigu Brown Recluse Scare, which I carried with me for an amazingly long time, and had a profound impact on my visits to my then-fiancee now-wife in Georgia.
posted by Shepherd at 2:06 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]

In my household, messing around reading stuff on the internet is known as "wigu", in honor!
posted by thandal at 3:54 PM on January 11

Oh right, I totally forget that a picture from Great Wigu Brown Recluse Scare is (I think) still on the Wiki page for "necrosis". Link to a tweet of his, not to the actual page with the photo, because, well, you can look at it if you want, but I'm not going to directly direct you to it with no warning.
posted by General Malaise at 4:58 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]

Lol every time my son tells me a new sick name for a spaceship he made up (just now: "Fanged Arrow") I think "Googel Maverick". It's by far the main way Wigu comes up in my head these days
posted by potrzebie at 6:34 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]

Oh, man, this takes me back, to when When I Grow Up was Rowland's main thing. I guess I could get nostalgic about the quote-endquote Golden Age of Webcomics, but then I remember how deeply shitty a lot of them were, and how some of the more promising ones just sort of sputtered out and died when the creators either seemed to run out of story ideas or give it up as they graduated college and had to find decently paying jobs. (One of the most baffling phenomena was the webcomic that seemed aggressively stupid, but just went on and on, year after year, building up such a logjam of pointless plot twists that it soon became impossible for someone to catch up unless they dedicated a serious amount of time to the project, upon which they discover that the comic never really Gits Gud. Not naming names, since there might be some fans on here, and you can probably come up with your own list.)

Anyway, When I Grow Up somehow became Wigu, and then Rowland started Overcompensating, and in the meantime became a webcomic T-shirt tycoon. (Also more than T-shirts, and more than webcomics--podcasts, artists and musicians, and whatever these clowns are up to.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:31 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]

> One of the most baffling phenomena was the webcomic that seemed aggressively stupid, but just went on and on, year after year, building up such a logjam of pointless plot twists

If you are talking about what I think you’re talking about I waded through the entire back catalogue in 2004, then kept current until 2010 - there were some golden moments but eventually I just kinda… gave up. I still look once a year or so and yeah, still the same.
OTOH I’m still pissed John Rosenberg stopped doing Goats because it wasn’t “financially viable” and now he “had kids” (because this is the internet I must clarify scare quotes are themselves sarcastic - he has every right to do that and I wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours), then promised more over and over but delivered exactly 2 updates - I still check SFAM occasionally to see (because I like his work, damnit) but yeah nah.
posted by memetoclast at 1:39 AM on January 13

(a bit like Robert Jordans’ work - I finally quit some time around book seven, and literally said to a friend “it won’t end until he dies, and then the ending will suck” - I guess soap operas exist in multiple formats).
posted by memetoclast at 1:42 AM on January 13

OMG I had no idea Sluggy Freelance was still going (if no one else says it, I will). Just goes to show that even in webcomics an awful mindless strip (like BC or Beetle Bailey) can just go on squeezing out turd after turd decade after decade while the really good ones close up shop and leave you wanting more.
posted by rikschell at 3:08 PM on January 13

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