Apokalips Web Comic Artist Embarks on Quest to Find Gary Larson

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Popular comics from Apokalips, found at www.MyApokalips.com, include talking tattooed robots, zombies chasing brains-on-sticks, and the Incredible Hulk sitting in a toilet stall.  It should come as little surprise that head artist, Mike Gioia, has looked to one cartoonist above all others as a childhood foundation for inspiration.

This September Apokalips co-founders Mike Gioia, Jason DeRoner and Alex Tuller, intend to travel over 3,000 miles across the country to shake the legendary hand of Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side.  The Apokalips team will be traveling from New York City to Seattle, where they believe Larson resides.  Unbeknowst to Larson, the team will be traveling over 15 days to reach the famed cartoonist’s doorstep in an attempt to win his coveted approval.

If the reader looks closely at some Apokalips webcomics he/she/it can see the subtle hints of influence that must have stemmed from Larson’s anthropomorphized cows, including impressions of Larson’s love for science in the odd uses of historical reference and a tendency to lean so far towards hare-brained lunacy that it becomes apparent Larson’s zany view of the world must have imprinted itself somewhere in the clownish imaginations of the Apokalips creators.

The trip will include stops at Long Beach Island, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, parts of Illinois, Kansas City, Omaha, somewhere in Iowa unfortunately, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, San Fransico, Portland, and finally, Seattle. 

You can follow the trip at www.MyApokalips.com, where the creators will host live tweeting, blogging, and provide regular updates to document their misadventures along the highway to Gary Larson’s throne.

The Apokalips team is fully aware of the possibility for defeat: they may not be able to find Larson, Larson could turn them down and refuse to speak, or perhaps the group will find themselves simply spinning wheels, stranded and directionless.  Nonetheless, they are willing to strike out on the highway for a chance—in part because of their appreciation for the metaphoric meaning behind the trip (their own highway is littered with ornaments fashioned by Larson’s influence, after all), but also in part because they feel they have to try.

Check for updates to see if the Apokalips van happens to be driving near your home; please don’t hesitate to reach out and meet up!  If the Apokalips van will not be passing through your area, we encourage all to send pictures, send ideas, send advice, and participate throughout the trip!

About Mike Gioia
The head artist for Apokalips, Mike Gioia, is from Westchester, PA.  He drew cartoons for his high school newspaper for Monsignor Bonner high in Drexel Hill, PA, as well for his college newspaper in Bethlehem, PA, the “Brown & White.”

Mike grew up in Delaware County, near Philadelphia, and moved to Westchester when he was 16 years old.  Although he currently is living in New York City working as a banking and capital markets advisory associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, his Pennsylvania upbringing shaped who he is today.

About Apokalips - http://www.myapokalips.com/
What would happen if the apocalypse—an end to all human life as we know it—happened tomorrow?  This was the frightening, humbling discussion roommates and eventual founding members of the Apokalips web comic—Mike Gioia, Jason DeRoner, Theo Soares and Alex Tuller—were having in early 2009.  The setting for the catalyzing exchange of end-of-the-world scenarios was appropriately frenzied:  they were playing guitar hero with the band name Apokalips, their homebrew was exploding and was in all likelihood toxic.

That’s when they agreed it was time to make their mark (time being something they were envisioning they might not have much of left). They decided to create a web comic that would serve as a repository for their ideas, effectively preserving their off-centered humor in the catacombs of the internet.  By housing their ideas on a web comic, a vehicle of posterity and safe keeping, they could ensure their thoughts would live on in perpetuity… should the world end.

They wanted to leave their footprints, and there was no better way to do so than to create the fictitious character Jason “Bones” Boneasaurus, a dinosaur who somehow survived a similar extinction. Behind the guise of the Boneasaurus alias the four creators were able to pour their collective imagination into Apokalips – the greatest web
comic of all time.

Apokalips viewership has risen from only 16 absolute unique visitors in February, the month the first comic was posted, to 75,000+ absolute unique visitors in the month of August. 

On two separate occasions the Web site’s server, a computer tucked under one member’s bed, has actually been shut down from being overloaded by visits as comics were cascaded around the internet.  In fact, one comic in June drove over 67,000 visitors—in one day—to the Web site.

To date the comic has seen over 525,000 visits and over 1.6 million page views since its inception in February, 2009.

Some particularly popular comics include:
*The Axe Effect: http://www.myapokalips.com/show/18#comic
*Seven Countries: http://www.myapokalips.com/show/26#comic
*Prove You’re Human: http://www.myapokalips.com/show/23#comic
*Zombies: http://www.myapokalips.com/show/44#comic



What Say You (9)

Squirrel Man wrote at 6:38am Sep 1
You guys are nuts!
ob wrote at 6:44am Sep 1
pics or it didnt happen
Jason DeRoner wrote at 6:59am Sep 1
@ob - there will be epic pics, if not for proof, then simply for teh lulz
Broofa wrote at 9:27pm Sep 7
Unbeknowst -> Unbeknownst
Jorge Lopez wrote at 9:52am Dec 5
Seattle? I read an interview where Larson said he's been a long time resident of Casper Wyoming since 2002.
Steve Tarter wrote at 8:39am Jan 5
Mike--I saw the story in the Daily Local. Wondered if you had time to chat for a story I'm writing for the Peoria Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois. It's a feature story on comics past and present.
Steve Tarter
contemplato wrote at 3:12am Feb 1
Pediredla wrote at 5:56am Aug 30
I don't know that I would single out any one coceoltiln to you. There are multiple volumes of The Complete Crumb Comics which can be acquired relatively cheaply through Amazon.com. However, some of his other works can be just as impressive, such as his coceoltilns based on country, jazz, and blues musicians.
Nikito wrote at 8:25am Sep 22
Hmmm I wasn't offended at all. But then I'm an old lady, so it might be a gereaationnl thing. Comics have evolved a bit and there are more women comic creators than ever before. As a result, I think this has helped young girls and women become more interested in comics. What brought me to the comics table were graphic novels, zines, and Lynda Barry all things that were unavailable to me growing up in the early '60s. Even though I watched the Batman TV series with Adam West, I NEVER read Batman comic books, and I doubt my mother would have let me buy them because of the way most popular comics objectified women. (The Archie comics were the WORST in that regard, IMHO, yet most parents thought that comic was silly and harmless.) While it's never fair to generalize people, the fact remains that ONE women laughed at your interest in comics and perhaps unfairly characterized you because of said interest. That is your reality. And frankly, when I was a teenager I thought boys who read comics were SO NOT COOL unless of course, they were checking out the R. Crumb comic on the cover of the Cheap Thrills album, because, well that was different. Unfortunately, we teach our children what we know and all these stereotypes get handed down to the next generation. Sorry about that Anyway, perhaps a little re-wording of this comic might have been all you needed to avoid raising someone's feminist sensibilities. Communication with people is tricky and filled with landmines. And women are full of all sorts of surprises. It's best not to underestimate ANYONE these days, young man. (she says with a grin )

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