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Webcomics

Save Help Desk!

November 17th, 2008 by Jeff | Dump Core

I’d like to encourage all of you read NCD—both of you (and that includes you too, Mom)—to trot over to Chris Wright’s Help Desk site and check out these two news posts. Long story short: For various reasons, Chris is rapidly running out of money and is in danger of shutting down Help Desk, Eviscerati, and his other sites, as well as having trouble supporting his family (including their newborn daughter). He’s had a recent swelling of support, but he’s already stated that this initial influx will only help him through mid-December.

I, of course, have a mild bit of self-interest here; I consider the “Ubersoft v. GPF Software” crossover to be an essential part of the GPF archives and I don’t particularly want to lose archive integrity. (If it comes down to shutting down Ubersoft.net, I may ask Chris if I can reproduce his comics inline into the GPF archive at least until the site can come back up, but I’d much rather send traffic—and thus ad revenue—his way instead.) But what I think is much, much more important is what Help Desk represents to webcomics as a whole.

Help Desk may not have numbers rivaling PVP or Penny Arcade (while at Keenspot, I was privy to most Keenspotters’ raw traffic numbers) and by his own admission Chris’ art isn’t going to rival anything like Sarah Ellerton’s. But I consider Chris to be a master humorist, especially in the realm of technology and the tech industry. What he lacked in measurable art skills he more than made up for in wit and wisdom, sticking it to Microsoft, IBM, Apple, and just about everyone else in tech that more than deserved it. In my mind, he pioneered the webcomics “genres” of both “clip art comic” (Chris routinely “assembles” his comics from pre-rendered vector art he designed himself) and “writing so good you forget about the bad art”. Before there was GPF, before there was User Friendly, there was Help Desk (it was hosted with OS/2 eZine in 1996). To lose Help Desk would be a great loss to webcomics, especially when so many of us have celebrated decade-plus anniversaries recently. Chris is on year #12; I’d much rather see him reach year #20 or 30.

Whether it’s a donation, a purchase through his store, or just words of encouragement, I ask everyone to swing by and give Chris as much of a hand as you can. If you’ve enjoyed Help Desk over the years, let Chris know just how much you appreciate his humor and art. If you’ve never checked it out, make sure to rectify that situation immediately. You’ll be gald you did.

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