After Y2K


The Skinny*:

After Y2K (AY2K) is an extremely well thought out and developed, somewhat sarcastic, web-comic about life after the millennium bug. AY2K is now published weekly at http://www.geekculture.com. Previously, it was a daily comic, but the production schedule has been cut back and The Joy of Tech has become the new daily at GeekCulture.com. Each episode in the After Y2K comic storyline comes complete with a QuickPoll at the end (think Slashdot style) that allows the adoring fans to interact a little bit with their favorite geek comic strip, and get a few laughs on the side. Bill Gates stuck in a bathroom, Jar-Jar getting killed in a plethora of ways, and a geek rehab facility are just three small reasons to check out the ever-so-clever After Y2K.

It's December of 1999. The hype is huge. We stock up on freeze-dried food, batteries, and water by the gallon.....and nothing happens. So we return to life like normal. But what if something had happened. What if the whole technological development that has thrust the geek masses into the limelight (Bill Gates as an example) came crashing down around us? There'd definitely be no need for bastions of geekdom like Slashdot, Microsoft, and Open Source Software. That's exactly where AY2K starts off.

Nitrozac, the creator of AY2K, has invented a ridiculous world where the transistor is dead, vacuum tubes are in, geeks live in the wilderness, and a whole slew of crazy characters duke it out in a post-apocalyptic-geek-nightmare. The comic follows a slightly paranoid geek and a motley crew of friends as the attempt to deal with the downfall of civilization, all due to a little careless coding in the previous millennium. After Y2K actually has a great deal of character development and builds heavily upon past episodes. The reason behind the popularity of AY2K may be similar to those behind the rise of the great Slashdot empire. The comic appeals to the geek culture and is almost an inside-joke to those following the latest in the computer-industry news. It has a strong anti-Bill Gates theme at times, and weaves popular characters from the Linux, Mac OS, and Free Software realms. This close proximity to the themes found on Slashdot has created a large sharing of readership between the two; for better or worse.

The comic has an almost cult-like attraction, and has become a big hit especially in the Apple Macintosh users community. The creator, Nitrozac, has made it very clear she is a huge Macintosh fan. This has drawn a little more love from the cute-computer culture. Many of the repeating characters are extremely familiar, and the comic includes cameos by a great number of famous and semi-famous people. The Slashdot crew (Hemos, CmdrTaco, Roblimo), Steve Wozniak, Tim Berners-Lee, John Carmack, Mel Gibson, and a whole lot more have graced the Shockwave prints of AY2K.

The web page for After Y2K has a great deal of information including a complete archive of past episodes, a brief history, merchandise, and an overly geeky forum.


Cast Of Characters:

The characters in AY2K are generally well developed (for the most part). They have a history, bio, and further relevant info that can be found on the AY2K website. Here's a little overview of the major players.
  • The Geek: the very first AY2K character, and the "protagonist" if you will. A rather devious coder, he shunned the trappings of urban life during the Y2K hysteria of 1999 and moved to the country. Stereotypical geek with an attitude.

  • The Techno-Talking Babes™: Four well-drawn ladies who got their doctorates at MIT and met each other there at a Linux User Group meeting. They've been out of jobs since the Y2K bug wreaked havoc on the tech industry, and they're most often found in a pool wearing bikinis.

  • The Aliens: They run the show. They're aliens. Nuff' said.

  • Kurt: Visionary who anticipated the apocalypse that ensued January 1, 2000 and he started his own oasis in the wilderness to find solace. He finds comfort in reading the poetry of old user manuals. Swell guy.

  • Relic: Redneck from Hicksville who grew up without the modern conveniences, and enjoys Hunt'n and Trap'n.

  • Dude: Coping with slight drug-induced brain damage, the Dude is hanging out at Kurt's trying to figure out what happened to the last 10 years of his life. He now trafficks coffee, which happens to be the most valuable commodity in AY2K.

  • Nitrozac: The cartoonist/creator/overlord makes occasional cameos. The first time she appeared was during a particularly funny Matrix knock-off episode.

  • The Sys Admin: Used to work at the Microsoft "Soul Sucking" booth. Now, she's dead. She was also "well-drawn."

  • The Ghost of Charles Babbage: Another one of the heroes of Geek history. Shows up to lend a hand to The Geek a few times. He invented the analytical engine, which was the first mechanical computer.

  • The Ghost of Ada Byron: Historical figure, and considered to be the first "computer programmer." She shows up in the comic, and her first appearance is excellent: giving advice to Martha Stewart.

  • Simon the Teddy Bear: The Geeks confidante since childhood. Commonly fights blow-up dolls over the skyline of Las Vegas.

  • Bill Gates: The best part of this comic is that Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. The Y2K bug did him in. He was stuck in his own bathroom for quite some time following the disaster.

  • Tubes: He's a big vacuum tubes advocate, and hates the lousy transistor. His gleeful hording of vacuum tube technology makes him rich when the Y2K bug destroys all the transistors in the world...

  • Martha Stewart: The Queen of home decor has become a successful post-apocalyptic tribe leader. Amazing...

  • Prairie Dogs: Genetically enhanced, they're the nemesis of the geeks.
Sources:
  • http://www.geekculture.com
  • http://www.macaddict.com

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