Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mike Krahulik

Penny arcade was at the forefront of the web comics movement, and Mike Krahulik, otherwise known as his online monicker, "Gabe", is the artistic talent behind the duo that has arguably started the revolution that is the web comics movement. Penny arcade wasn't the first attempt at publishing comics online but it is inarguably the most successful one, spawning not only books, games, merchandise, but also several conventions and the multi-million dollar charity event "Childs Play".
So not only are they smart businessmen and funny but Krahulik is a self-taught artist that over the years has become a great artist with a refreshing style and a great draftsman and colorist, handling the artistic duties for the strip (released three times a week) and multiple side projects.

The really interesting thing for me is being able to see the evolution of Gabe´s art over the years, from his first Penny Arcade strip in 1998, flash forward 13 years to the present and the art has evolved in every conceivable way and it was all done in the public eye, every experiment and test. Artist evolution is very interesting and its always more evident when dealing with serials but due to the medium in which these are published it is all the more enduring and public, the web makes it so easy to find the first and last strip and everything in between that it makes the comparisons easier to make.
Penny arcade has built an empire around these characters and a media that some would consider childish and inconsequential, in a way harking back to the heyday of comics and cartooning where the artists behind the comics were famous and revered, albeit now in digital media.


  1. I really like this last piece. The contrasting colors really draw you in and the image itself is really interesting and narrative, those birds are really luminescent. The background is really nice I love the softly blended sky which merges with the foreground to really give off a dream like quality. The tree is really flat and dull but I love the way it wraps around the back and head of the man which really pulls them together and besides the obvious age of the man roots him further in time.

  2. God damn it, I wanted to do Krahulik and PA next week! The evolution of his style over the years is truly something to behold, and yes, it's especially impressive when time he steps away from the comic and it's established visual language and goes experimental. Digital art the way it should be.

  3. It's crazy to see how far he's come in terms of honing his craft. the stuff krahulic puts out now compared his illustrations when pa first started as so different. he's really managed to establish his own style and branch out in terms of technique.

  4. I have to agree; the level of change and growth in Mike's art since the series began has been really amazing to experience over the years. His characters seem to have a lot of energy to them, a very sort of cartoony but organic style that can lend itself incredibly well to just illustration work as well as comics.