Crabcake Confidential: I Can Has Cheezburger?

I know I’ve been very hard on a certain webcomic. I’ve been trashing it every chance I’ve gotten. I’ve called it a glorified caption contest. I’ve lampooned its readers as lonely middle-aged women whose houses reek with the mixture of potpourri, yarn, kitty litter, and fancy feasts. But there’s no denying that, according to some people, it’s the world’s most popular webcomic.

What kind of site would this be if it didn’t cover the big guns? That would be like Sporting News refusing to cover the New England Patriots, or the CNN/MSNBC/Fox News trifecta exclusively covering that darling young upstart, Ron Paul. It’s the type of lax coverage that would cause people to snicker and snort and say things like, “That El Santo fellow is fine reviewer, but he’s no serious reviewer at all. What a lark! I shall take my business elsewhere, what say to that jovial Websnark fellow. Tally-ho!”

Needless to say, that is a scenario will haunt me to my dying day until I put my foot down and rectify the situation immediately. That’s right, it’s time I take a serious look at the online sensation that sweeping the nation — nay, the world — I Can Has Cheezburger?

The site was founded by Eric “Cheezburger” Nakagawa and his partner in crime, “Tofuburger.” The phenomenon, which seems to have been around FOREVER, started on January 11, 2007. “Cheezburger,” or who I shall, from now on, call CB, posted a picture of his demonic looking cat asking for a “cheezburger,” which is a regular old “cheeseburger” but with a fanciful spelling! Anyway, CB posted a few strips of his own strips. Later on, he invited everyone on the internet into the party. Since every cat owner has a burning desire to share cat pictures to everyone they know, whether we want to see them or not, the project took off like, ahem, a cat in heat.

(What? I had to stick a cat pun in somewhere. The voices, they command me.)

I understand that CB is from Hawaii. For the life of me, I don’t know why the comic didn’t end up being called I Can Has Spamburger? Those salty pork treats are big in the islands, or so Fifty First Dates has lead me to believe. And look at that cat again. Can’t you tell that what he really wants is the delicious potted meat taste that only Hormel can deliver? It’s so obvious! But “cheezburger” it is, and the rest is history. Internet history.

In a way, ICHC? is no different from other collaborative strips like Pluggers and the recently discontinued They’ll Do It Everytime. (RIP Al Scaduto, you fashionable man, you. I’ve got a black sweater vest tucked away somewhere in your honor.) ICHC? has an incredible advantage, though, because, let’s face it, no one in the world has ever, ever heard about those other two strips … eventhough they’ve been around for, like, forever.

Also, in the vernacular of today’s youth, cats are, naturally, “teh biz-zomb, yo.” They’re just like humans, only furrier and walking on four feet and way more feline! Can anyone ever really stay mad at them? Imagine this scenario: you’re in the bathroom, and you’re about to do something intimately private and embarrassing, like, say, pulling down your bloomers. Your cat has SOMEHOW gained the satanic power to turn doorknobs (how is this even possible?!?!) and does just that. There you are, pants down, and your cat is in the hallway, staring at you with their accusing eyes. Decision time: do you shoo them away, or do you cuddle them up in your arms and coo, “Awww, who’s my smart little baby? You are, aren’t you, my little Clover (or Frisky or Turdlet or whatever you named your cat)?”

Naturally, I go with option one, and you would too! But that won’t prevent you from rubbing their tummies with your toes the next chance you get. Because when they’re sprawled out on the floor like that, you’re reminded of the human condition, and that deep down inside you know the world would be a better place if only everyone got belly rubs.

(“We shall brand them with the yellow star, and we shall herd them into a chamber on pretense that it’s a big shower and …. ahahah, stop that, Goebbels! No, don’t stop, that’s rather good …. Ahhhhh…. You know, on second thought, that was a terrible idea. Break out the lederhosen. We shall spread Oktoberfest instead!”)

The fact is, despite their faults. cats are just gosh darned cute. And all they needed to get was a caption, preferably in Impact font, to get the whole world to cluck their tongues with unbridled joy.

And the possibilities are limitless! So what if you have a boring cat that just likes to lie around the house all day. Why are you letting that stop you from international glory? Get yourself to your local community college and enroll in a non-credited, afterhours class about this thing called “Photoshop.”

For example, this glorious piece of work, to be preserved for all time as long as there is an internet:

Topical, literary, and witty. A winning combination!

They don’t even have to be cats. The great collaborative minds of ICHC? have found humor in other forms of life on God’s green Earth, such as meerkats, sea lions, and squirrels. Heck, even inanimate objects can project more emotion that most human beings.

And be critical of the creative spelling if you want, Prancy-pants. You and your proper use of English.

I’ll give you three words to prove you wrong: Don Effin’ Marquis. That’s right, you plebes. Dust up your high school English, boys and girls, because The Marquis of Poetry friggin’ pioneered LOLCats with saucy catchphrases like “curse on these here swatters.” Heck, Don’s probably up in poet heaven — where there are no amateur poetry slams … those would be conducted several miles below the surface of the earth — slapping his magnificent head and lamenting, “Cat pictures! Of course! Why didn’t I do that instead of wasting my time on a cockroach with a typewriter? LOLCockroach … what was I THINKING?!?!”

But here’s the true test: after viewing these strips, aren’t you laughing out loud? And perhaps rolling on the floor? I bet you are. And if you aren’t, then I pity you, you humorless bastard. Maybe you should get out of the convent once in a while and perhaps direct a choir of singing nuns so you can get your groove back, huh?

The rest of us will be kicking back and enjoying the escapades of ICHC?, a genuine webcomic par excellence through and through.


Happy chair


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on April 1, 2008, in comedy webcomic, Crabcake Confidential, single panel webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sooo…..this was an April Fool’s day prank? But ya seemed pretty darn sincere………man, I feel pretty silly for taking this seriously; and yet, even after discovering this was a complete(?) ruse, I still agree with its facetious comments to a good degree. But don’t get me wrong–I’m not bashing you, calling you a jerk for doing this, or avoiding the fact that I should’ve checked the last link and the article’s date.

    • It was sorta a response to an article that T. Campbell once wrote at (long gone, now that the domain name is under Halfpixel). He argued that “I Can Haz Cheezburger” was, in fact, an actual webcomic, and opinion that pretty much no one has agreed with. I thgink he made some good points, but ultimately I disagreed with him because that would mean every single internet meme — and caption/photoshop contests on Cracked and Something Awful — would probably qualify as a webcomic (which, in my opinion, they don’t). I sorta wrote the article as a sort of joke on that claim.

      And yes, it was my April Fools Prank 2008. 🙂

      • Sorry for the lateness of this reply, but you make a very good point. While memes like Goofy Time, The Sandwich Chef, and I Can Has Cheezburger are, in varying degrees (in my opinion, mind you), very funny, calling something anybody can submit, with very little sense of organized structure or common communion amongst the participants, not to mention the stagnant lack of contribution of originally made visual art, a webcomic, is quite silly, to say the least.

        By the way–and sorry if this seems like I’m being a pest–did you ever end up reading the comment I left on your VG Cats article?

        • Thanks for the reply, DM!

          I’m pretty sure I’d read that comment on VG Cat at some point, though I admittedly did not remember it. So I went there to look at it again. Thank you for the kind words! I get a lot of flak for putting up a positive review of Megatokyo, and I’m sure I’d get the same about Sore Thumbs if it was a better known comic. (The only other reviews I’ve ever found of the latter were overwhelmingly anti-.)

          I’ll be sure to check out Mayu Zane at some point, if only for the premise. 🙂

  2. You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

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