If you (A) play videogames and (B) spend any amount of time whatsoever on the internet, you're likely a fan of Penny Arcade, the excellent, ridiculously popular web comic by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. Penny Arcade usually focuses on gaming-related humor, but for the past few days, they've been trying something a bit different. On Wednesday, Holkins wrote:

Beginning today, projecting through Friday and culminating on Monday, we will offer you one page "treatments" of three comics which differ radically from our usual output. Next week, we'll get a poll up to determine which one you'd like to see us investigate further. Then, later this summer—during the San Diego Comic Con would be my guess—we'll upload a storyline based on what the metamind has chosen.

Their first "treatment" was for Lookouts, a comic about a troop of boy scouts with a vaguely Aragorn-like leader. I'm not sure why, exactly—I can't quite pinpoint its immense appeal—but this thing just feels right, and unexpectedly resonant. I found myself enjoying it immensely—I reread it three times, wanting more.

Today's effort is Automata, a sci-fi noir that's very nearly as good as Lookouts. Monday will bring their final new effort; based on the two they've already done, it's safe to say that I'm pretty excited to see what they'll come up with.