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Basic Instructions

By Shamus
on Wednesday Feb 27, 2008
Filed under:


I seem to have bad luck with webcomics. They tend to run into the ground or stop updating as soon as I bookmark them. It’s gotten to the point where I avoid new webcomics, because I don’t want yet another unchanging webpage to check every morning. Still, Basic Instructions is a pretty interesting concept and manages to deliver a steady supply of funny.

Each strip is a four-panel guide on how to do something, and many touch on geekish topics which are dear to our hearts. For starters you might try “How to create house rules“, “How to recognize a bad idea“, or my favorite so far, “How to get the most entertainment for your gaming dollar“.

It’s been around since 2006, so there are plenty of archives to enjoy. Maybe this one won’t go belly-up on me in the next week.

Comments (26)

  1. pdwalker says:

    Ah, the trick is to use an RSS reader to tell you when to check the websites for updated comics, for those who use them at least.

    (heh! first post)

  2. Ryan Speck says:

    Funny that you mentioned the downside to webcomics. My friend just started a webcomic last week that I help him set up and host… Obviously, there’s not a whole lot there at the moment, but he’s going to be doing stuff in the coming weeks regarding role-playing and video games, so you may find it amusing.


  3. Henebry says:

    Very funny stuff! Thanks for the link.

    But, after reading about 8 strips, I started getting the “Service Unavailable” error.

    So, Shamus, looks like your hungry readers devoured his bandwidth in next to no time. Good work, everyone!

  4. Matt` says:

    hehe, already had it in my RSS reader.. which happens to be where I’m posting this from (it’s set to load the whole page, not just the text, so I get the comment box too)

    If they stop posting soon, I blame you.

  5. Takkelmaggot says:

    Ah, yes, Basic Instructions. (“You will learn.”) Geeky enough to be worthwhile, but not so geeky that I can’t share it with my more mundane coworkers.

  6. Deoxy says:

    Maybe this one won't go belly-up on me in the next week.

    You’ve publicly posted that you read it… sorry, death sentence. :-(

    heh. :-)

  7. Avaz says:

    Hehe, that’s funny stuff. :)

  8. Snook says:

    I find it fitting that the first comic I linked to gave me a “Service Unavailable” error.

  9. Shawn says:

    You stay away from my Questionable Content!

  10. lplimac says:

    This is the guy that Scott Adams of Dilbert fame was at one point helping become a syndicated cartoonist. So, if it disappears from the web blame him :D

  11. Marc says:

    The Scott Adams blog was a pretty good series of articles, even if they didn’t amount to much in the end.
    I rss-ed them a while back. They’re consistently funny..

  12. Joe says:

    I’ve been reading this for about a year now, it’s always good.

  13. Freaky Dug says:

    I recommended an RSS reader for comics that have them and http://piperka.net for those that don’t.

  14. I think you killed it. I tried following your links, and got told “Service unavailable”.

  15. Laurel Raven says:

    I know what you mean about webcomics that magically stop updating within days of getting interested in them…I’ve gone through archives of a couple of years of on-spot, every day posts to get to the current day, and had the webcomic artist go on hiatus the week after I get caught up.

    Always frustrating.

  16. Rubes says:

    Sweet, I needed something else to add to my RSS reader so I could blow off work just a little bit longer.

  17. M says:

    Er…I do believe that you killed it.

  18. Sauron says:

    I’ve been following this one for a while, so if it dies, I’m coming after you personally!

  19. Jeff says:

    This one is sponsored by That Dilbert Guy, so it’s unlikely to go belly-up soon. :P

  20. Vegedus says:

    “I seem to have bad luck with webcomics. They tend to run into the ground or stop updating as soon as I bookmark them.”

    Hah, I know the feeling. It probably has a rational explanation like most others of those strange coincidences. Say, you probably notice it more when a comic stops, than when it’s going steady, so it seems they keep stopping all the time.

  21. Lanthanide says:

    Already dead, but still good:


  22. Lunafysh says:

    I have several that I visit one comes to mind that is both robust and long lasting.

    Girl Genius found here because it’s amazing art, hilarious situations, and steampunk o’rific!
    It updates MWF, but if that isn’t enough there is a new/old comic called “Buck Godot” that updates T-T-S. (go to the “airship entertainment” link at the top of the page.)

  23. LoopyWolf says:

    I have a couple of webcomics, so here’s from the other side of the fence =) :
    When I first thought of doing a webcomic I did some research and I found that webcomics fell into 2 basic categories: GOOD, and REGULAR.

    The really GOOD ones took so much work that they died.. Sooner or later the artist just can’t or won’t spend the 30-40 hours per week that it takes, for free, to write and draw it..

    Then you have the ones that post, every deadline, whether it’s good or funny, or NOT.

    That’s why I decided to screw the regularity, and just aim for GOOD. Mine come out when they come out, because coming from a background in software engineering, one learns that once the product is in the customer’s hands, they don’t care how FAST they got it anymore, only how GOOD it is.

  24. ryanl says:

    I’ve been reading Basic Instructions since Scott Adams discussed it on his blog, it’s definitely one of my favorite comics.

  25. Laurel Raven says:

    Well, you’ve got me reading it now…Thanks!

    I really needed one more comic to keep up with…not like I don’t have something like 30 comics that I want to read, but just need to get caught up to current.

    Meh…Basic Instructions are good, and it didn’t take long to catch up, so it will be good. Thanks!

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