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It's funny.  Laugh.

User Friendly book from O'Reilly 48

Geoff Romer writes "Illiad just announced a book deal for his User Friendly comic strip, and the publisher is none other than our good friends O'Reilly and Associates! Three cheers for both of them! Details are here. " Congrats to both of them. It would be awesome to do an animal cover of dust puppy ;)
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User Friendly book from O'Reilly

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    should be the dust puppy beautifilly rendered on an SGI :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    O'Reilly, Linux, User Friendly. I love it. I love Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I know a couple of authors who signed with O'Reilly, and then were forced to remove their books from the web. I hope he remembered to explicitly state in his contract that he maintains electronic distribution rights.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm... I know that I'll be buying it just to support Iliad, reprints or not. Sure, it would be nice to get new material, I've read all of the archives too. But why should I expect Iliad to work for free? I've been given something in User Friendly that has made me laugh, I should pay my debt. Fair is fair.

    He'll get my $. I want to give him incentive to keep working!

    Razor Blue
  • Posted by DonR:

    Or the Qmail book....

    ---
    Donald Roeber
  • Am I the only person in the world that finds no humor in this comic strip? I have never read a strip that even made me smile.

    I'm with you

    I remember from a few years back, a critic slagged off Ben Elton's stand-up comedy as being only funny to sycophantic lefties who'll laugh at the mere mention of Margaret Thatcher. I think they were wrong. But they'd be right if they had said that User Friendly is only funny to sycophantic Linux-heads who'll laugh at the mere mention of Microsoft.

    Come on, it's just not that funny! If it wasn't aligned to your political beliefs, none of you would glance at a second strip!

    (and the artwork is terrible, too)

    (and and, for whoever said "at last a web comic is getting the respect of a publishing deal", Red Meat [redmeat.com] has two volumes in print, and is 100x funnier to boot!

  • I do think it is great that the strip will be published by O'Reilly, but unless the comics are new, and not published on the web, I can't see why I would buy them. One of the things I really like about the online strip is that I can read them for free, and print out the ones I want to stick up in my cubicle ...
    I don't know about you, but I'd pay just to get high-resolution versions. The ones he has on the website are way too small (and yes, I'm talking about the full-sized version in the archives, not the even smaller daily static version). Not to mention the oft-remarked difficulties in dragging a PC into the bathroom...
  • agreed.

    UF suddenly became alot less funny to me when I realized Illiads only source of inspiration was worn-out "geek" stereotypes.

  • O'Reilly is an excellent publisher. Getting a book published by them means you've definitely doing something right!
  • Why? If you are prepared to pay Illiad for UF then by all means send him the money directly! What could be worse than encouraging him *not* to publish his comics online?

    If he doesn't release a book at all: Pay.
    If he releases one with old cartoons: Pay.
    If he releases one with new cartoons: Pay.
    If he does not release them on the web: Think twice.

    In any case: Don't buy a book if you don't absolutley want UF on paper.
  • UF is Ok as comics go. Kind of middle of the pack with what I get in my home town paper (Citizen Dog, Doonsbury, Pirahna Club). But if your not into Linux et al it's probably almost never funny.

    What I'd love is for Berke Breathed's old comic Bloom County to make a comeback. Bar none the funniest comic strip ever, especially in the early days. Maybe he can release rights to create new Bloom Country strips to anyone willing to do it for free? It'd be interesting to see if a group could put out a comic. Maybe impossible, but even I could produce one funny strip in say, I don't know, a years time.

  • Of course your right. I suppose Opus and friends are so tied to Berke that it would never work. But if we did a real crappy job, maybe we could force him out of retirement. If he's alive that is. I haven't heard anything about him in years.

  • No word yet.

    But that bit about an O'Reilly "Dust Puppy" cover just cracked me up. ;)

    Illiad has had alot to do lately.. his updates seem to point to the fact that he's really under pressure. I hope he can still muster that creative energy of his and put together a kick-ass comic book. I'm sure he won't let us down. It will *have* to be original, it's gonna be userfriendly.. it's gotta rock.



    --
  • > Ummm.... what about comics that are published
    > every day in newspapers and then compiled into a
    > book? How is this any different from that?

    the entire archive of UF is online, whereas with newspapers, you usually have to go searching somewhere for older strips...like a library with a big newspaper archive. and the ones like dilbert that do have webpages only keep like a month of old stuff online.

    having the UF website is sorta like having a newspaper that has every old copy of a comic as well as the new one...

    but like somebody else said, it'd be nice to have lying around for people to entertain themselves with when waiting for me (well, not too many people do that yet, but still =) ... plus, i don't yet have a puter in the bathroom... ;)

  • Am I the only person in the world that finds no humor in this comic strip? I have never read a strip that even made me smile.

    Every strip I read is an illustrated version of some computer joke, anecdote, urban legend or Dilbert cartoon that I've already read 10 times.

    -harry
  • UserFriendly has gone from being moderately funny in the beginning, to worth reading, to just not being worth the time to click anymore. Its just simply not funny - like you say, a rehash of some old and tired computer joke - I was embarrassed to see a strip referencing pebkac as if it made up the term itself. I thought about it, and I can't even remember EVER laughing at UF.

    However, there is hope - Sluggy Freelance!

    http://www.sluggy.com

    A well-drawn comic that one can actually laugh at.

    -lx
  • I'm sure they'll push the publication date back
    at least once or twice more. This is an ORA book,
    right?!?

    Or maybe I'm just bitter that the MySQL book
    isn't out yet. How can I play with Slash without
    it? =)

    -Augie
  • That's why he's going with ORA... From the Daily Static [userfriendly.org] page: Recently, O'Reilly stepped in and made an offer that was more fitting the User Friendly philosophy (placing the book in the Computer section instead of the General Humor section for example), so we closed the deal with them.
  • I probably won't be buying the book ...

    I do think it is great that the strip will be published by O'Reilly, but unless the comics are new, and not published on the web, I can't see why I would buy them. One of the things I really like about the online strip is that I can read them for free, and print out the ones I want to stick up in my cubicle ... It's not that I don't want to see Iliad getting some financial rewards for his work, it just isn't common sense for me to spend the $$.

    If they are _new_ comics, though, it is a different story!


  • If the Dust Puppy's going to be on the cover, I can't wait to see what the colophon has to say! :-)

    -Snibor Eoj
  • I agree with you that Red Meat is a great comic. (I happen to like UF myself, but I'm not going to get into that now.)

    However, Red Meat is not a web comic. It is a print based comic that happens to also be published on the web now. It's been around for quite a long time, in "alternative" newspapers. I know people who were enjoying Red Meat from before they'd ever heard of the Web.

    -Snibor Eoj
  • They'll stick in the computer section, where it'll get moved to the cartoon section, where people'll complain because it's too esoteric, so it'll go back to the computer section...
  • ...while I was still in tech support myself. I remember having trouble not to laugh out loud at some of the tech support jokes, while I was on the phone myself talking to similar pebkac cases. Also the other ISP jokes were very recognizeable to me and made me laugh often.

    Although I have to admit UF isn't as funny as it used to be for me, also because I changed jobs and I'm not in tech support any more.

  • You probably don't even like the colophons from ORA, either.

    That's right - ORA - O'Reilly - that ultra-serious no-nonsense publisher of such hard-core *NIX books as "Smileys" and "Travelers' Tales: A Dog's World True Stories of Man's Best Friend on the Road"...

    I suppose if User Friendly was some kind of a ranting political pamphlet you might have a point, but the damn thing is funny. Funny!

    Get a sense of humor about your operating system and your productivity will increase.

    paul
  • I don't think it's necessary to decide if it's funny to argue your claim that it's pandering or ridiculous.

    It's humor (or attempted humor, take your pick) comes from examining a particular sub-culture and attempting to find funny things in it. It's no different from Andy Cabb or Dilbert in that regard, and hardly qualifies as pandering. Most comics have a setting, and use "jokes" that derive from that setting, it's just how the comics work.

    I can certainly accept not thinking it's funny, but to somehow think it's bad for Open Source software because it doesn't click for you, I disagree with that concept about any comic.

    If people think the strip is funny and buy the book, maybe they'll even discover ORA and buy a "useful" book next...

    paul
  • Congratulations, you've totally missed my point. I guess I didn't use the right phrase.. I don't see O'Reilly as 'no-nonsense,' really, but its lightness is in a VERY different vein than UF's. I won't bother arguing over whether UF is friendly or not---opinions on that are moot. I will, however, argue (as I did in my previous post) that the humor is largely opinion-based, and those opinions are opinions which O'Reilly hasn't been formally attached with before.

    You don't know me---I have a sense of humor about my operating system. In fact, that's something which UF (I don't read it all that often but I've skimmed most of the archives) seems to lack. I don't see jokes about how great Linux is as being humor about my operating system. And anything anti-Linux in it is more like praise through faint criticism: 'Look, our obviously ignorant boss doesn't trust Linux!' 'We, the protagonists, are such Linux geeks that it interferes with our personal lives! but we're still cool!' This, compared with the virtual slander against Microsoft (obligatory disclaimer: I don't do Windows).. it makes Dilbert look anti-engineer by comparison.

    --neil
  • I won't bother arguing over whether UF is friendly or not

    oops.
    :s/friendly/funny/

    --neil
  • >[...]to somehow think it's bad for Open Source software because it doesn't click for you[...]

    hold the phones there. i didn't say that at all, and i don't see how you could've rationally determined that from what i said. what i did say is that i don't personally like it and i don't see why it's now becoming synonymous with open source. i can certainly see how people -could- be turned away from the whole linux shebang by seeing it, by way of this comic strip, patting itself on the back (which is most definitely how the linux community (whatever that is) seems to the external observer reading UF, mark my words)... but i didn't say that. :)

    another thing i pointed out is that it really -doesn't- try to find funny things in the linux community, other than how hilarious it is that linux and its followers are so damned much cooler than microsoft, etc. i guess what i'm saying is that i don't agree with a sense of fraternity being part of software, and UF is just a facet of this.

    --neil

  • ... to stay up-to-date with a useful, adaptable, free operating system without giving oneself over to the insipid world of the 'Linux community,' 'it's cool to be a geek,' 'Linux on every desktop,' 'Bill $ux...' and at the center of it all, the universal rallying point for this world that runs Linux because it's 'hip,' this pandering, ridiculous comic strip. O'Reilly was seemingly one of the last frontiers---no nonsense *NIX information, information without having to enter a world of Microsoft mockery, Quake in every geek's dreams, and hip references to sci-fi movies. I guess O'Reilly knows which way the tide has turned. But it's just depressing, you know.

    --neil
  • Maybe he can release rights to create new Bloom Country strips to anyone willing to do it for free?

    While I agree with your assessments of Bloom County, you've got to realize that it was Berke Breathed that made it funny. If some one else was writing them, it wouldn't be the same.

    Of course, now I can't get visions of Opus/Linux jokes out of my head. ;)

    \//
  • I am glad to see other people who also thing UF sucks. I was worried I was gonna go to read the comments and everyone would be praising it. The artwork is horrible, the jokes are lame and contrived, and I never laughed at a single strip, not even a chuckle.
  • Odd. UF still makes me smile every so often. So far, I'm waiting for the current storyline's payoff.

    And as for published web-comics, how about both Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com], and Kevin and Kell [herdthinners.com], comics I read daily. In fact, K&K has two volumes out (working on a third soon), and Sluggy is currently printing their second volume.

    It's just that I'd like to see more and better UF; a book gives me that opportunity. And since it'll be sold primarily in bookstores, rather than online, I'll have the chance to look it over before I take it to the counter.
  • I'm happy for the UF creator and fans. It's great to be recognized.

    OTOH, I'd much rather see O'Reilly publish a collection of Ask Mr. Protocol columns. I think they're funnier, and there's technical content in those articles as well. His column on VR had me rolling on the floor Check out another of his best on The Bazaar, The Agora, and Mr. P [expert.com].
  • ...but unless the comics are new, and not published on the web, I can't see why I would buy them...

    Ummm.... what about comics that are published every day in newspapers and then compiled into a book? How is this any different from that?

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
  • by dmorin ( 25609 ) <dmorin@gmai l . com> on Wednesday May 05, 1999 @08:42AM (#1903679) Homepage Journal
    I'm definitely impressed by the book deal, and my congratulations go out to him. Does anybody know if there'll be new stuff in the book, though? I mean, haven't we all read through all of the archives? What fun would that be? I know that, in the old days when I would buy the Calvin & Hobbes books, the worst thing in the world to see was "Some strips previously published." Oh boy, I bought it once now I can buy it again :).

    I realize that this is the first print book for UF and there'll be zillions of people that haven't seen any of them yet, but to those of us who have read the archive, it is like reprinting previously released stuff.
  • If noting else just to have it sitting on my desk so visitors have something worthwhile to read while waiting to talk to me!

    Also, we have a habit of photo-copying dilbert and what-not strips and taping them to the boss's door when an appropriate situation comes up (boss does something similar to PHB) and I've often had a desire to find a UF but was too lazy to search through archives to find the one I want.
  • I've often had a desire to find a UF but was too
    lazy to search through archives to find the one I want.


    *PLUG*

    I have a list of UF comics with synopses at http://members.xoom.com/theran/ufidx.html

    It isn't complete, but it should help you when searching.

  • I've often had a desire to find a UF but was too
    lazy to search through archives to find the one I want.


    *PLUG*

    I have a list of UF comics with synopses at http://members.xoom.com/theran/ufidx.html [xoom.com]

    It isn't complete, but it should help you when searching.

  • why do i get the feeling it will be something of an addition to the dust puppy history listed in the "cast" section of userfriendly....just more detailed and funny :)
  • It is about time that the internet based comic strip got the recognition of a print deal. Illiad's work has a fresh humor about it that actually engages the sense of humor of informed people and the general populace.

    May he sell a hundred thousand copies in the first week. Now, where can I put my order in for one?


    --da telkitty

  • A comparison to Calvin & Hobbes brings up an interesting point. One of Watterson's [the cartoonist of Calvin & Hobbes] big problems was restling with those limitations and trying to push the newspapers to break free. UserFriendly [userfriendly.org], Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com] (and Red Meat [redmeat.com], et other online comics) are made for the web, and yet they all stick to the traditional formats.

    The great thing is that those compendium-type books were given names like 'The Essential Calvin and Hobbes' by their writer since they were clearly anthing but.


    --
  • they need an animal book section.
  • by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <harwoodr.linux@ca> on Wednesday May 05, 1999 @08:54AM (#1903688) Homepage Journal
    You can read the full press release here [thegeek.org].
    -

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