VG Cats
Vgcats.jpg
Logo with the two main characters, Leo (left) and Aeris (right)
Author(s)Scott Ramsoomair
Websitehttp://www.vgcats.com/
Launch dateSeptember 1, 2001[1]
Genre(s)Video game, parody

VG Cats (short for Video Game Cats[2][3]) is a webcomic written and drawn by Canadian cartoonist Scott Ramsoomair. Published on its own website, it featured the adventures of a pair of anthropomorphic cats, who often played the roles of characters in popular video games that are parodied in the strip.[4] Strips were usually presented in a large format and in full color. The author generally set Mondays as days for updating the comic; however, the update schedule had a reputation of being incredibly sporadic; he frequently mocked his tardiness in updating in various strips due to personal reasons, drawing nude drawings on Patreon[5] and frequent convention appearances. As of March 2018, the site had approximately 380 comics listed in its main archives. Based on this archive alone, VG Cats averaged 25 comics a year while it was at its peak. During 2017-2018 that average has gone down to 5 comics a year. Ramsoomair updated the comic on May 22, 2020, adding a completely different website. Later changes included comic #381, which was planned to be released in February 2020, and the removal of ads, because he felt internet advertising had become "information peddling", stating that he "[doesn't] think I'm okay with what they are anymore". The comic is now very irregularly updated, with only 4 comics being posted since 2018, the most recent update being comic #384 on February 22, 2021.

The VG Cats website also hosted Adventure Log, a Final Fantasy XI webcomic written and drawn by Ramsoomair, and Super Effective,[6] a webcomic parody of the Pokémon game series. Adventure Log has not been updated since 2008 and "Super Effective" has not been updated since 2014.

The comic series often includes video game-based humor and satire targeting the video game industry.[7][8]

History

Ramsoomair said that he began the strip due to boredom at work; he created comics during his lunch breaks.[9] The first VG Cats strip was released on September 1, 2001. (His answer on the FAQ page said it was bad timing, probably in reference to the September 11 attacks that happened that same month)[1] Prior to taking the VGCats.com domain, the comic was hosted at www.vgcats.cjb.net.[10] For a period, VG Cats was affiliated with BuzzComix.[11] During April 1 (April Fools' Day), Ramsoomair replaces the regular home page with fake pages, like a "Krug" page in 2003[12][13] or a Myspace profile for Solid Snake in 2007.[14]

In 2006, Ramsoomair made a strip depicting creatures from Maxis' videogame Spore, and Maxis created a version of the strip replacing all the drawn characters with in-game versions, and sent him custom figurines of the creatures.[15]

In February 2022, Ramsoomair announced the end of the webcomic in a post on Patreon.[16]

Development

Ramsoomair said that VGCats was "basically ... along the lines of Penny Arcade." The comic originally focused on 2 gamers;[2] Ramsoomair said by 2006 that within the preceding one to two years he began focusing upon parodies of video games instead of the two gamer format.[17]

Characters

Partial cast of characters

VG Cats was not a plot driven comic, though there were several characters that were staples of the comic. Ramsoomair said that all of his characters "relate" to him "at some point."[18]

Joystiq has defined them as "adorable characters who feel most at home with violence, language, and sexual innuendo".[19] Recurring characters in VG Cats include:

Aeris

Aeris was blue-eyed female cat with pink fur. She had a hot temper and lashed out at Leo frequently. Aeris was introduced on September 4, 2001 in Strip 2, "Pika?".[20]

Leo Leonardo, The Third

Leo Leonardo, The Third[21] was a green-eyed male cat with grey fur. Leo was named after one of Ramsoomair's real cats; Ramsoomair describes the association as "in name only."[2] Ramsoomair euthanized the real-life cat Leo on July 19, 2010.[22] Leo was introduced on September 4, 2001 in Strip 1, "Feelin' Gassy".[23]

Pantsman

The alter ego of Scott Ramsoomair, Pantsman is an incompetent superhero who concealed his identity by wearing trousers and sometimes underpants on his head. His greatest weakness is vodka cooler, which causes him to drop his trousers and transform into "Peter Pantsless".[24] He also wore a pair of jeans around his neck, to provide a two tailed cape. He was introduced in Strip 37, "I Like Bunnies", to help explain the inconsistent updating of the comic.[25]

Animated series

The logo for VG Cats: The Animated Series
The logo for VG Cats: The Animated Series

Chris Boe, a friend and associate of Ramsoomair, created an animated version of VG Cats.[26][27] Only the first half of the first episode, "Episode 1: A Tale of Two Kitties", has been produced, and was released on January 21, 2006. Boe wrote and animated the episode.[28]

Related comics

Bad Mushrooms, a sprite comic created by Ramsoomair prior to the creation of VG Cats, is hosted on VGCats.com.[10]

Adventure Log, the official Final Fantasy XI webcomic written and drawn by Ramsoomair.[29] It has not been updated since 2008.

Super Effective, also done by Ramsoomair, began in April 2008 as a comic parody of the popular game series Pokémon.[6][30] It is also hosted on the VGCats website. It has not been updated since 2014.

VG Lewds

After comic #380 in 2018, Scott created a Patreon account for furry-themed pornography based around Leo and Aeris among other video game related characters titled VG Lewds.[31] On the same day as the aforementioned comic, Scott stated in a blog post that the site's advertising revenue was no longer able to sustain him financially,[31] and asked his users to help "support me in this newest venture". Scott later disabled adverts on the VG Cats website altogether in 2020, citing ethical reasons.

As of March 2022, the VG Lewds Patreon was shut down without comment.[5]

Merchandise

In 2003, Ramsoomair designated CafePress as the provider of the VG Cats store; Ramsoomair soon ended the relationship with CafePress. On June 16, 2004 Ramsoomair announced that he established his store on Hyperion Press.[32][33] Afterwards ZeStuff hosted the VG Cats Store.[34] As of 2008 Shark Robot hosts the VGCats store.[35] As of 2008, Ramsoomair is no longer affiliated with CafePress, but it still sells VG Cats merchandise on its website.[36]

Awards

VG Cats has been nominated for several Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards, winning 2 awards in 2005 and 1 in 2006.

References

  1. ^ a b FAQ. VG Cats
  2. ^ a b c "All About the Site", VG Cats
  3. ^ "Internet provides new way to get daily dose of funnies" The Rocket page 2 Archived December 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Maragos, Nich (November 7, 2005). "Will Strip For Games: Gaming Comics Online". 1UP.com. p. 3. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
  5. ^ a b "VG Lewds is creating Lewd Comics, Pinup Art, and Rule34".
  6. ^ a b "Super Effective", VG Cats
  7. ^ "Geeks' favourite Web comics". New Straits Times.
  8. ^ "Interview: DC's Web Comics Imprint", IGN.
  9. ^ "NYCC 2008 VG Cats Interview", Tokyopop.
  10. ^ a b "#01 Bad Bushrooms", VG Cats
  11. ^ "Archive of the home page of" BuzzComix
  12. ^ "welcome to kgug!", VG Cats
  13. ^ "Main.htm", VG Cats
  14. ^ "April Fool's Alert #8: VG Cats gets a makeover ... Metal GEAR?!". Joystiq.
  15. ^ Sources:
  16. ^ "VG Cats is creating Comics & Art | Patreon". web.archive.org. March 12, 2022. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "About the Site." VGCats. October 17, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  18. ^ "Gonzo Gaming: An Interview with Scott Ramsoomair of VG Cats" Archived December 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ComixTalk.
  19. ^ "VG Cats tackle the next-generation of consoles". Joystiq.
  20. ^ "#02: Pika?", VG Cats
  21. ^ "#97: Behind the Scenes, Part 1", VG Cats
  22. ^ Ramsoomair, Scott. "[1]." Twitter. July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. "Put Leo down yesterday."
  23. ^ "#01: Feelin' Gassy", VG Cats. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  24. ^ "#87: It's Lightish Red", VG Cats
  25. ^ "#37: I Like Bunnies", VG Cats
  26. ^ "Reeeeeeally Old Entries", VG Cats, (see entry for Thursday, January 19, 2006)
  27. ^ "VGCats.htm", Chris Boe
  28. ^ "VG Cats: The Animated Series Episode 1 part 1 & 2" Archived March 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. SheezyArt. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  29. ^ Adventure log Archived April 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Vg Cats
  30. ^ Smith, Kyle (June 24, 2014). "Top 10 Comics Inspired by Video Games". Explosion.
  31. ^ a b Ramsoomair, Scott. "Lewdity". Archived from the original on March 4, 2019.VG Cats
  32. ^ "Main Page", VG Cats
  33. ^ "VG Cats Items", Hyperion Press
  34. ^ "VG Cats" ZeStuff, January 8, 2007
  35. ^ VG Cats: T-Shirts, Prints, Buttons and More! Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Shark Robot
  36. ^ "VG Cats online stores on CafePress:
    • Krug Keel: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=krugkeel
    • Pac Cat: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=paccat
    • Pantsman: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=pantsman
    • Snowy Day: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=la_snowyday .
    • Grr Baby/Kitty Thong: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=grrbaby.
  37. ^ "2003 ceremony of Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  38. ^ a b c d "The 2004 Cartoonists' Choice Awards". Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  39. ^ "The 2005 Cartoonist's Choice Awards". Cartoonist's Choice Awards. 2005. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  40. ^ "Outstanding Use of Color". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  41. ^ "Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  42. ^ "Outstanding Gaming Comic". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  43. ^ "The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards – 2008 Winners & finalists". Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2008.