This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Suck dot com. For those who remember fondly, “Woo-hoo!” For those who don’t, “Ho-hum.”
To commemorate the event some of the original Suck principles are putting together a phone app, or some kind of a text-twitting thing I don’t understand at all, my being an old fart without a cel phone mobile device thing of any kind. But then, I didn’t understand the internet when I started working for Suck. Apparently neither did a lot of the people all over the internet because the whole dot-com thing turned out to be an eyeball gathering bubble which popped ingloriously.
I wasn’t in it at the beginning, I didn’t join the site until it was already something of a minor web phenomenon. In the five or so years I was in attendance I must have done a few thousand illustrations. Anywhere from sixteen to thirty a week. Over the years my style changed. Whether for the better or worse is hard to say. The earlier stuff was probably less refined, but more quirky since I wasn’t locked into a set way of drawing.
I’m reprising some of those illustrations from older to newer here in this pseudo-Suck splash page. Specifically from top to bottom, 1997 through 2001. The spots were done small with a limited color palette to keep the file size down. This was the days of the dial-up internet and load times were an issue. Heck, a lot of people still had black and white monitors back then.
And so Suck was made as clean, simple, and fast-loading as possible. That was the draw-back of the technology of the day. But there were advantages Suck exploited: there were no printing or distribution headaches to deal with. Meaning the publication schedule could be whatever you wanted it to be. Suck’s big idea was to update daily. Which is pretty standard practice now-a-days for non-commerce sites. A lot of sites update any time content becomes available. I think that’s where the term 24/7 comes from, though I wouldn’t wager good money on it.
Suck was sort-of a pioneering group blog before there were blogs of any kind. Which, looking back, makes Suck a quaint and clunky early attempt at what millions of people all over the globe are doing. And making as little money as Suck ever did. Which is probably why there is no more Suck.
You may have noticed a couple things here in this Suck pastiche. One, the text is not written in the Suck style. Hey, I was the illustrator, not a writer. I never could get the hang of the Suck style of wordsmithery. Coining the word wordsmithery is my poor attempt at it. Two, the pictures have nothing to do with the text. They’re just examples over the Suck-time continuum. I can’t go back in time and draw things for something I’m writing now, can I?
If you don’t like the pix I’ve selected, here’s your chance to be a Suck editor. Click on any pic to swap it out with an alternative. You get three choices for every spot, 125 possible combinations. It’s just like having several month’s worth of daily Suck. Not really, but it’s the best you’re gonna get these days.