built around merchandising the User Friendly
characters for advertising. Although this part is down now, when it first came out there were pleadings from each character asking for employment and promising results from the legion of UFie
s. As it is, it still lists each new instance of licensing and brags about the readers.
I know that expecting a separation between art and business is somewhat unrealistic in this day and age, but I just find there to be something... soulless about it. The most chilling parts have been removed, but enough remains. One example:
UserFriendly.org has become the unofficial "watercooler of geek culture," providing a fun and interesting gathering place for its audience. As a result, the site represents an efficient tool for advertisers targeting this highly lucrative market segment.
This is what really got the Penny Arcade vs User Friendly antagonism going. Penny Arcade soon had a strip with Illiad as a 70s pimp whoring out the User Friendly characters. It's also what made me decide not to read the strip. See it for yourself at www.ufmedia.com and realize the worst parts have already been removed.
Apparently, UF Media is now a proper corporation - shares may be purchased on the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX - not exactly a prestigous stock exchange) and it has been bought by Vast Capital Pool Ltd. While I'm usually not someone who decries anything mainstream as bad, this is a sellout. The readers are a product to be delivered for ad revenue and stock options. Sad, just sad.