About Kris Straub, Creator of Starslip Crisis


Kris Straub, the creator of Starslip Crisis, grew up in Los Angeles, California, and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Computer Science. After graduating, he created a number of successful webcomics, including Checkerboard Nightmare, Starslip Crisis, Chainsawsuit, and F Chords. Through his career as a web-cartoonist, he founded two collectives, Blank Label Comics and Halfpixel. He has also created animated series with Scott Kurtz and hosts podcasts such as 28 Plays Later. Additionally, he manages and writes for Ichor Falls, a horror fiction site.

Straub’s Career in Webcomics

In 2000, Straub created his first webcomic, Checkerboard Nightmare. This self-aware comic strip used meta-humor extensively to satirize webcomics and the search for fame. In the comic, the main character, Chex, obsesses over becoming famous as a webcomic character and thus does nearly anything to achieve stardom. Each strip follows the same format – Chex concocts a ridiculous scheme to attain more readers – in order to satirize the strict format adherence of many comedic works, such as sitcoms. The strip eventually became well-known throughout the webcomic community and was hosted by Keenspot and Comixpedia, and it was one of Straub’s founding comics for Blank Label Comics.

Straub then began creating Starslip Crisis in 2005, and it was a part of both Blank Label Comics and Halfpixel. Straub initially named the comic Starshift Crisis but had to rename it due to a legal issue. In order to make the transition, Straub ran both comics in parallel until August 2005, where a strip definitely ended Starshift Crisis. Capitalizing on the notion of parallel universes explored in the comic, the same events ended differently in the Starslip Crisis universe, allowing the comic to continue solely under that name. In 2009, Straub refreshed the webcomic’s artwork, and the series officially finished in June 2012.

After Starslip, Straub created Chainsawsuit in 2008. Initially titled Indie Comic, the strip parodied poorly drawn gag-a-day strips. Straub also launched F Chords in 2008. The webcomic, which followed two Austin, Texas, area studio musicians playing in an unknown local band, ended after its first story arc, but Straub revived the comic in 2011 and re-set it in Los Angeles. Straub then launched Broodhollow in September 2012. The series is set in America in the 1930s, and it fixates on the paranormal, reflecting Straub’s own superstitions and fears. The series focuses on Zane, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman who travels to Broodhollow after hearing news of the death of a distant relative.

Straub’s Other Projects

In addition to his successful career in web comics, Straub also writes, produces, and hosts podcasts. Straub began writing and producing in 2006, when he was named co-writer and co-producer of PvP: The Series with Scott Kurtz. Straub continued to write and produce content with Kurtz, including series such as Blamation, Kris and Scott’s Scott and Kris Show, and Mappy: The Beat.

In addition to his work with Kurtz, Straub has also produced his own content on YouTube and on his horror fiction website, Ichor Falls. The website features his most well-known short story, Candle Cove. The story takes the form of a series of forum posts where people reminisce about a children’s program called Candle Cove. The show first appears to be a normal kid’s program, but as the reader progresses through the posts, they read more and more about the disturbing aspects of the program. Then, after a recollection of a particularly bizarre episode, readers discover that the show was merely a half hour of static that the posters thought was a TV program.

On his YouTube channel, Straub has continued to pursue horror fiction. The channel features a trio of short horror films, called “Local 58.” As the name suggests, the trio is a series of mock broadcasts from a local news channel in Cleveland. The first installment, “Contingency,” features a government film from the 1970s supposedly aired by accident. Next, “Weather Service” features a series of weather warnings that ultimately mask a more sinister purpose. The final short film, titled “You Are On The Fastest Available Route,” uses a GPS voice that leads a driver to an uncertain destination.

In addition to his comic, production, and writing projects, Straub has also hosted a number of podcasts, which generally center on webcomics, daily life, and/or comedy. When he first started Blank Label Comics, Straub co-hosted the Blank Label Comics Podcast with Dave Kellett, interviewing webcomic creators about their comics and their creative processes. Straub and Kellett then pursued the podcast Webcomics Weekly along with Brad Guigar and Scott Kurtz. They created this podcast in the run-up to their book, How to Make Webcomics. Straub and Kurtz also produced a number of podcasts together, including The Kris and Scott Power Hour and Daily Affirmation.

In 2009, Straub partnered with David Malki to create the comedic podcast Tweet Me Harder, which they recorded live while interacting with listeners’ Twitter reactions. This show continued until 2012. Then, in 2013, he co-hosted Chainsawsuit: The Podcast with Mikey Neumann, which continued until December 2014. This podcast included comedic sketches, movie reviews, satire, and general discussion. After Chainsawsuit: The Podcast, Straub and Neumann went on to host Morning Rush, but this project was short-lived. In 2015, Straub began 28 Plays Later, which still runs regularly.