The Sev Wide Web
is an Australian
cartoon site by John Cook
, who is known to fans simply as "JC". It features parodies
of science fiction television programs
, as well as more conventional cartoon concepts. His webcomics
are unconventional in that Cook draws and writes all but the punchlines
. Many comic ideas also come from fans of this site. He then hosts competitions
where readers send in their own punchlines, and then vote for winners on IRC
(or, more recently, web-based voting, when there were too few people in IRC to vote). There are new strips every week.
In the past, Cook allowed punchlines to be submitted directly from anyone on the Internet, but recently, he has changed the way the site works. Now, only people with accounts can submit punchlines. However, since account creation is free, this is not much of a hurdle to leap for most people. Creating an account also prevents someone from posing as another person by simply typing the same name in the box.
Like so many parody sites, the humor derives from fans' love for the franchise, and often punchlines reflect more the contrasting intentions and obligations of writers and network executives, rather than the series itself. Fans of the site are termed Sevilians
Sev comics are also printed in the Adelaide Sunday Mail, Fiji Times & Herald, The Cairns Post, S-press , and AZ Weekly They have been formerly printed in the Dalby Herald , Gympie Times , Weipa Bulletin , and Milton-Ulladulla Express.
Due to server loads and bandwidth issues, a subscription service was enacted on April 1, 2005. (When it was enacted, it was thought to be an April Fool's Day joke by some.) To view most of the cartoons on the site, users must register and pay a fee. The memberships cost AUD$15.00 (around 9 Euro or USD$11) per 12 months.
Memberships are also available as a bonus when merchandise is bought from the Sev Shop
Cartoons from the past month are free for viewing. There is also an "On This Day" page, where cartoons that were done in past years on the current day are shown for free.
The subscription service also provides access to thousands of user comments on cartoons, and four exclusive subscriber cartoon storylines.
On April 6, 2006, Cook added another perk to subscribing. Cook will now draw caricatures of new subscribers or of members updating their subscriptions. These caricatures can be used as avatars on the site. Cook will also send you the original drawings, if you request them.
On October 20, 2006, Cook added a Sev Wiki to the site.
There are five major groups of comics on Sev Wide Web
: Sev Space comics, The Pits, Twist, Terrible Twos, and Others.
is the science fiction parody section of the site. Some of the more notable cartoons in this section are:
Sev Wide Web
hosts four everyday comics:
- The Pits , originally a story about three male college students who share a dorm room, it has moved into a house when Herman got married to Madeline. They include:
- Herman, the computer nerd. (He is Cook's own alter ego).
- Lance, the studly lady's man.
- Wayne, the lazy slob with a "who cares?" attitude and poor hygiene.
- Madeline (a.k.a. Burger Girl), originally a small character, turned into Herman's neat-freak wife.
- Twist , a humorous cartoon with no inherent theme or setting. Similar to Gary Larson's The Far Side.
- Terrible Twos , a comic about Cook's infant daughter, Gaby.
- Wicket 2 Wicket , an occasional cartoon about cricket.
The everyday comics were discontinued as separate cartoons in 2003, but are currently being mixed together in the MiscSevlaneous Contest
As the majority of Sevilians do not come from cricket-playing countries, Wicket 2 Wicket is not widely popular. Cook says he began the Sev cartoons for his own enjoyment, and will continue to do Wicket 2 Wicket because he enjoys it.
Cook made some decisions in The Pits cartoon that were considered controversial by many Sevilians. The decisions in question were having Madeline become pregnant and killing off the major character of Lance Both have been pointed to by Sevilians as a point where the comic is jumping the shark and have caused a boycott on voting in the Pits competition. However, with the resurrection of the Lance character , opinions may or may not change.
There was also the Sevloid Chronicles
which was a Science Fiction storyline of John Cook's invention.
Old original comics Cook created are published in "The Vault,"
These are often old, uncolored comics from before the Sev Wide Web was formed.
For a short time, Cook also published a superhero contest where he added a new parody superhero each week.
The Sev Wide Web has spawned a motion picture
cartoon graphics. It is called Sev Trek: Pus in Boots
, and it is available at the Sev Shop. It is a truly international effort and unique in that it was coordinated all through the Internet. The contributors lived in many different countries and never met with each other in person to do the movie.
Cook also started another movie called Dognabit, which involved dogs breaking into a museum to steal a valuable collar. It was to be similar in production to Pus in Boots, but production on it has stalled due to lack of money, coordination, and interest.
When first opened, the Discussion Board
(DB) was hosted on the Sev site itself. It was created as a place for Sevilians to talk to JC and each other about the comics, the shows behind the comics, the site, and other things. The Ideas Board
(IB) was created as a place for ideas to be submitted to JC. When non-site-related content between Sevilians began to overrun the DB, a new forum was created, called the Sevilian Board
(SB). It was stated that posts relating to the Sev site itself were to go on the DB, ideas on the IB, and anything else on the SB.
After some time, all three forums were moved over to a new server, hosted by Johan Draaisma, long-time Sevilian. This worked out well for several years, primarily because, if the Sev site went down, Sevilians could still communicate with each other. The SB also gained several features to distinguish it from the other two boards, most notably the Colored Names. Colored Names provided a bit of color to the board and were originally given out only to special people or in infrequent contests.
However, slowly, the membership SB began to migrate away from that of the DB and IB. There was considerable overlap in who posted in all three places, but there were also many people on the SB that had never been to the Sev site itself, didn't go to it frequently, or had stopped going due to certain decisions made on certain issues. Some considerable deliberation was made into what defined a "Sevilian." Was someone who went to SB frequently, but never went to the Sev site still a Sevilian? Was the SB actually still a part of Sev as a whole? The issue was never completely resolved.
On July 28, 2005, JC decided to move the DB and IB back over to the Sev site itself. This furthered the gap between the SB and the other forums. This was also criticised by several Sevilians, because they viewed the new format of the forums as inferior to the previous version. Most Sevilians have since adjusted to the new format, though, even if they do not like it.
Cook has specifically kept the meaning and origin of the word Sev
secret from his readers, though it can be found on the site if one looks in the right place.
Almost all Sev Space cartoons include the section symbol, '§', in some way, usually in decorations or design elements of ships or structures. The § has become somewhat synonymous with Sev, and many capital S characters have been replaced with § symbols. An example would be to turn Sev into §ev.