is a webcomic
Webcomics, online comics, or Internet comics are comics published on a website. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers or often in self-published books....
written by Chris Dlugosz, first published on June 14, 2002. It is set in the aptly named "pixel universe", inhabited by pixel
In digital imaging, a pixel, or pel, is a single point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable screen element in a display device; it is the smallest unit of picture that can be represented or controlled....
A voxel is a volume element, representing a value on a regular grid in three dimensional space. This is analogous to a pixel, which represents 2D image data in a bitmap...
Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon, which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics...
, plasmas (a satire on the plasma screens used by Apple computers), and polygon
In geometry a polygon is a flat shape consisting of straight lines that are joined to form a closed chain orcircuit.A polygon is traditionally a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments...
s. The comic is known for its very literal sense of humor, and its constant breaks of the fourth wall
The fourth wall is the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theatre, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play...
. The text of the comic is written entirely in upper case with very little punctuation other than the occasional hyphen or exclamation point. Each comic comes with a short note, usually split into three lines at seemingly arbitrary points. These are also written in capitals with no punctuation, and usually explain or expand upon the strip.
Material from Pixel
is included in Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists
The Attitude series of books is a series of anthologies of alternative comics, photos and artists' interviews edited by Universal Press Syndicate editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. The books were designed by J. P. Trostle, news editor of EditorialCartoonists.com. Two sequels and three spin-off titles...
Pixels are the main focus of the strip. They're square, genderless and monochromatic. Every pixel is of a different 24-bit
Notable 24-bit machines include the ICT 1900 series and the Harris H series.The IBM System/360, announced in 1964, was a popular computer system with 24-bit addressing and 32-bit general registers and arithmetic...
colour, and there is a pixel of every colour, so there are exactly 16,777,216 of them at any given time. A pixel's first name is his colour value in hexadecimal (e.g. 0000FF), and his second name is this same value in binary (e.g.. 000000000000000011111111). Although pixels can die, they are instantly reborn as infants, usually to a parent of a similar colour. There is no pregnancy, and any pixel can give birth at any moment. Birth is painless, and merely involves an infant appearing near his parent. Infants are smaller than adult pixels, with rounded corners which quickly sharpen.
Pixels do not have limbs or faces, but they can manipulate objects by mild telekinesis. Some of them wear clothes, but usually this is limited to a tie, collar and shirt pocket (without a shirt).
Although there are only 224
of them, pixels can create composite images by screencapping themselves (that is, creating non-living temporary duplicates).
In one minor story arc
A story arc is an extended or continuing storyline in episodic storytelling media such as television, comic books, comic strips, boardgames, video games, and in some cases, films. On a television program, for example, the story would unfold over many episodes. In television, the use of the story...
, some pixels managed to achieve transparency (became 32-bit
The range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bits is 0 through 4,294,967,295. Hence, a processor with 32-bit memory addresses can directly access 4 GB of byte-addressable memory....
). As of strip #265, this ability still exists.
A voxel is the three-dimensional equivalent of a pixel, being cubic and able to move in the Z-axis. Their births differ from those of the pixels in that the child grows inside the parent until they are of equal size, at which point the parent dies and another voxel becomes pregnant with the recently deceased.
Polygons are uniformly triangular, and although they are two-dimensional, they have the ability to rotate
A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center of rotation. A three-dimensional object rotates always around an imaginary line called a rotation axis. If the axis is within the body, and passes through its center of mass the body is said to rotate upon itself, or spin. A rotation...
in three dimensions. They are constantly taking part in jousting matches, in which two polygons attempt to bisect each other. This is also their means of procreation, as the two parts of the loser each become an infant polygon. Unlike the other races, they are silent. Their means of communication is via "saying" images to one another. Unlike the images "said" by voxels, their word-images are well-drawn and well-defined.
Vectors in the pixel universe aren't vectors per se; they are quadrilateral
In Euclidean plane geometry, a quadrilateral is a polygon with four sides and four vertices or corners. Sometimes, the term quadrangle is used, by analogy with triangle, and sometimes tetragon for consistency with pentagon , hexagon and so on...
s described by vectors. Like pixels, they are limited to two dimensions. In the comic, vectors are displayed with control boxes and a central anchor point similar to those used in graphics editors such as Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated.Adobe's 2003 "Creative Suite" rebranding led to Adobe Photoshop 8's renaming to Adobe Photoshop CS. Thus, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of Adobe Photoshop...
. Each one is capable of changing these vectors at whim, allowing them to shape-shift and fly. They are belligerent and not very bright. Vectors do not have a known means of procreation, aside from Vectorball, which appears similar to basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...
. They have also been noted to have the ability to shrink to microscopic size. It is not known what consequences this development will bring.
Plasmas are similar to pixels in size, shape, and reproductivity, although their corners are rounded like those of an infant. Actual infants are spherical. They use blank DVDs for many things, including coffee mugs. They represent the Mac user from the perspective of the PC user.
Hiatus and Hacked
The strip went on hiatus on May 13, 2007. On November 9, 2007, Dlugosz posted comic #282 and effectively ended the hiatus. He also altered the design and layout of the website itself. A second hiatus has since begun, as there have been no new comics after #287, which was posted on 22 February 2008.
The homepage (http://pixelcomic.net/
) has since been hacked by an individual calling themselves "Identical Clone", disabling all the links. Despite this, the entire site and archive are still online and accessible.