Sluggy Freelance is a popular, long-running daily webcomic written and drawn by Pete Abrams. The comic has over 100,000 daily readers and premiered on August 25, 1997. Abrams is one of the few, and first, webcomic creators successful enough to make a living as an artist.
While the strip began as a gag-based series in which the three main protagonists (Torg, Riff and Zoë) would stumble from one brief, bizarre, parody-centric adventure to the next, the characters and plotlines have gradually become longer and more serious. However, even the more dramatic and soap operatic story arcs often conform to the common gag comic strip format. While there is often sexual innuendo and cartoon violence, the comic contains little strong profanity and no explicit nudity.
The characters in Sluggy Freelance are varied and diverse. The primary protagonist Torg is a cheerful and impulsive nerd, who frequently finds himself going on wild adventures (though rarely of his own volition). Often, these adventures are enabled by Torg's genius inventor friend, Riff. Zoë, the most normal character of the bunch, serves as the futile voice of reason for the cast. They are accompanied by their sometimes-witch friend Gwynn, a psychopathic switchblade & Glock-wielding rabbit Bun-bun, the hyperactive ferret Kiki, and a shape-shifting alien named Aylee.
Sluggy Freelance has featured several yearly recurring themes, although many of them have eventually been broken or discontinued due to developments in the overall plot.
In an early 1998 plotline, one of Riff's inventions sent Torg to the "Dimension of Pain." Every Halloween afterwards for several years, a different demon was sent to Earth to try to bring him back, failing in amusing and unexpected ways.
Bun-bun has tried to kill Santa Claus every Christmas, with continuously escalating violence; the fact that Bun-bun became the Easter Bunny early on in the strip merely added spice to the relationship. There was a break in the tradition when Bun-bun was thrown out of time and was not present in 2005, and aside from an attack more inconveniencing than dangerous in 2006 he has not resumed the feud.
Also on almost every Christmas/Hanukkah, Torg and Riff have attempted to continue their own, private tradition of giving each other "a beer every year." Usually they never quite get it right, for a variety of reasons, including being trapped in a mummy's tomb, selling their shoulders for science, and other random occurrences.
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