Spread The F Word

F Minus is the daily comic strip by Tony Carrillo
Visit www.FMIN.us for more information.
www.GoComics.com for today's comic.

Apr 17, 2016

10 Things You Probably Already Know About F Minus

F Minus has now been appearing in newspapers daily for 10 years! I thought it would be appropriate to present a 10-point listicle of facts that you, the die-hard F Minus fans, are no doubt already well aware of, but will probably scroll through anyway just to make sure.

1. F Minus #1: Business Raccoon

Ten years ago, the top song was Bad Day by Daniel Powter. The Academy Award for Best Picture went to Crash. Iran announced it had enriched uranium. It was a big year for negativity. But despite the name F Minus, I like to think my comic reflects an overall positive outlook on life. The comic above was the first F Minus published in syndication way back on April 17, 2006. It shows a young raccoon, ill-prepared for life in the wild by some well-meaning animal lovers. Nevertheless, he's got a cup of joe and a spring in his step, and I'll bet he did all right for himself. 

2. F Minus Has Hidden Art History References

Once in a while, I will incorporate a subtle salute to my favorite artists in F Minus, just to amuse myself and see if anyone will notice. A sharp-eyed reader observed that the little girl eating a pizza man in the comic above bears a striking resemblance to Saturn Devouring His Son by Francisco Goya. Maybe I'll start giving out prizes to readers who spot a reference. Not that anything I could give out could be better than the self-satisfaction you'll feel by being right. 

3. F Minus Enshrined In Tattoo Form

Beloved F Minus character Tea-Time Clown has been permanently stabbed into the flesh of at least two sensible fans. There are rumors of two other F Minus based "tats" (as they would prefer you not call them) but I'm still waiting on photo verification. Please contact me if you'd like some reference art for your F Minus tattoo. (Tattoo above by Cohen Floch.)

4. F Minus Locations Are Real Places

Most of F Minus seems to be based in my hometown of Tempe, Arizona. Nello's Pizza, Arizona State University, Fiesta Mall, and Ted's Hot Dogs have all made appearances. Most F Minus comics were created at Gold Bar Espresso, which became my office away from home. A few years ago I moved to California, and while there are now more beach comics than before, in my mind, Arizona is still the center of the F Minus universe. 

5. F Minus Is All Digital

For years now, F Minus has been 100 percent digitally produced, with the help of a Wacom tablet. The first few years of F Minus were pen and paper, which I would then scan and edit with Photoshop. Eventually I felt comfortable enough using the tablet to make the switch. When I'm asked if I regret not having original drawings on paper anymore, I respond with an exaggerated shrug. Try it sometime! I find it's a great way to end a conversation you're not enjoying. 

6. St. Louis Feud 

I once drew a comic that featured a "Visit St. Louis" mug. A resident of St. Louis felt I was making fun of his great city, and wrote me a long email explaining how wrong I was. Naturally, any time I need a city to make fun of, I now choose St. Louis. I've never been there, and I'm sure it's a great place. Please don't take it personally, St. Louisans. This is really just about that one guy. You probably know who he is. 

7. Veejay For A Day

When F Minus won the mtvU Strips contest over a decade ago, I was invited to MTV's college network studios to be interviewed on air and and to introduce a new Gorillaz music video. They gave me a VHS copy (Google it, kids) of my performance which is now buried somewhere in my storage. I no longer own a VCR, but no one needs to see that tape anyway. Let's just say, I'm no Pauly Shore. 

8. F Minus Was Hacked!

Earlier this year, the F Minus website was hacked and redirected to a pornographic website. In a way, I'm flattered they thought this would increase their traffic enough to be worth the effort. I'm using it as a reason to give the site a much needed update. In the meantime, fmin.us will now take you to the F Minus Facebook fan page. Like it or lump it. 

9. An End to Hate

Longtime fans may recall I used to publish hate mail I received along with my responses. It was all in good fun, but eventually, antagonizing random unpleasant people on the internet started to wear on me. I decided to quit, for my own well-being. Not that I don't still get jerky emails now and then, but now I ignore them or just send my trusty auto-reply, seen above.  

10. F Minus Surpasses Seinfeld

Hitting the 10-year mark, F Minus has now been published a full year longer than the run of the hit TV series Seinfeld, which capped out at nine seasons. Even more impressive, F Minus achieved this with only a tiny fraction of the popularity and notoriety of the celebrated show. Look out, Two and a Half Men, we're coming for you next!

And that makes 10 things. Whew! Writing lists is hard. Glad I don't have to do that again for 10 more years. I probably should have made that tenth item a link to the F Minus Instagram account at fminuscomics or the F Minus twitter page @fminus. *shrug

Most of all, I want to thank all you amazing people for reading F Minus all these years and for putting your favorites on the refrigerator or your Facebook wall. I hope you continue to enjoy F Minus and use it as a compatibility test with new potential friends. 

Ten more years! Ten more years! Or maybe less! We'll just see! 

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Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Tony!

Brian in Oxford said...

Do I owe you money? This all started with a subscription to the Boston Sunday Globe!