February 25, 2015
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Mike Krahulik (/krəˈhuː.lɪk/; born September 25, 1977) is the artist for the popular webcomic Penny Arcade and co-founder with Jerry Holkins of Child's Play, a multimillion dollar charity that organizes toy drives for children's hospitals. He goes by the online moniker "Jonathan Gabriel" or "Gabe". He does not physically resemble his comic strip counterpart, as the character was not originally meant to represent him.
Krahulik credits cartoonist Stephen Silver as a major influence on his drawing style. His style has dramatically changed since he began drawing Penny Arcade in 1998.
Krahulik has done promotional comics for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and many other video games. He also provided the illustrations for the cover of Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi. In his early career he contributed artwork to the Daily Victim, a regular feature that used to run on GameSpy, totaling more than 300 illustrations.
Krahulik has been in press online, thanks to hostile phone calls from Jack Thompson regarding an email Krahulik had sent. The email was in response to an offer Thompson had made ("A Modest Video Game Proposal") to video game creators about creating an ultra-violent game based on a man whose son was murdered by a supposedly video game-influenced teen. Thompson claimed he would donate $10,000 towards a charity of former Take-Two Interactive chairman Paul Eibeler's choosing if the game was made (which it eventually was). Krahulik, in the email, said he and fellow gamers had raised about half a million dollars toward charity. According to Krahulik, "Jack actually just called and screamed at me for a couple minutes. He said if I email him again I will 'regret it'. What a violent man."
Mike Krahulik, along with the rest of the Penny Arcade staff, later opted to "step in" for Jack Thompson. Thompson refused to donate $10,000 to charity because he considered the game put forth to meet his challenge subpar. He also claimed that his proposal was satirical and not a serious offer. Penny Arcade donated the money in his stead to the Entertainment Software Association with the note, "For Jack Thompson, because Jack Thompson won't".
Mike is also featured in the Dungeons & Dragons podcast, playing the infamous "Jim Darkmagic (of the New Hampshire Darkmagics)". He and Penny Arcade writer Jerry Holkins had the opportunity to play the new release of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition in Seattle for a day with Chris Perkins from Wizards of the Coast, Scott Kurtz of PvP, and Wil Wheaton.
Along with Holkins, Krahulik was included on the 2010 Time 100 for their work on Penny Arcade.
He was also tasked with designing and drawing advertisements, promotional artwork, and pre-order bonuses of several video games, including Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and others, mostly from Ubisoft. He and Holkins have archived these projects and keep them within their web page.
In 2011, Krahulik provided a foreword for the book The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was about the production of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Krahulik has been sometimes noted by marginalised groups for his controversial opinions involving topics of transgenderism and rape, which has often resulted in polarized responses within and outside the PAX community with the majority of people not finding harm in Krahulik's satire comic strips. Often absorbed by the community in the form of social references, members of the Penny Arcade community have even turned to producing complex timelines illustrating these events to explain the social dilemmas and resultant memes. In 2013, Krahulik apologized and donated $20,000 to LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group The Trevor Project.
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