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September 27, 1999

O'Reilly Announces Publication of Their First Cartoon Book User Friendly to Come Out in October

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- O'Reilly and Associates has announced the upcoming publication of User Friendly by Illiad, a collection of one of the funniest, most off-beat, and original comic strips to come along in years.

Like all good myths, User Friendly has elements that are a bit implausible. But like all good myths, we look in the mirror and see ourselves. Well...we do if we're Internet Geeks, anyway. It is a rare breed User Friendly celebrates -- the happy few who have given up distractions like worldly success, social lives, and (much of the time) sleep, in order to pursue the *really* important things. Like the latest computer game. Or the perfect hack, evolved in jewel-like splendor at 3am in the morning. Or keeping the Internet running.-Eric S. Raymond

User Friendly began in November of 1997 in -- you guessed it -- a small Canadian ISP, as a lark to entertain co-workers. The online cartoon quickly attracted a dedicated following which surpasses monthly circulation numbers of most leading computer magazines. User Friendly has become the one of the most widely read web-based cartoons on the Internet today. Dust Puppy, one of User Friendly's main characters, even made an appearance in the Top Ten on Time Magazine's Online Man of the Year Poll for 1998, according to Lev Grossman of Time Magazine.

"Someone once told me that working as a cartoonist must be a really cushy gig. 'Draw funny pictures all day! You have it easy.,'" says J.D. "Illiad" Frazer. "I took the time to explain what was involved in facing a production deadline once a day, every day, 365 days a year. He gave me a glassy-eyed stare and then started laughing. 'Man it sucks to be you.' But you know, I'm not complaining!"

"A techno-nerd or hacker's sense of humor is edgy, brainy, surreal, gently self-mocking, but fundamentally kind-hearted," says Raymond. "It's intelligence without either apology or condescension; it's satire without superiority or irony or exhaustion. It combines passion for one's craft with a healthy refusal to get stuffy or self-important about same."

"O'Reilly is proud to bring the Internet's own cartoon series to the world of print. User Friendly is a geek's strip with a mass appeal. It perfectly captures the humor of the Internet," says Simon Hayes, O'Reilly editor. User Friendly will be released in October 1999 as an 8" X 9" trade paperback and will retail for $12.95.

What User Friendly Readers and Critics say:

"The perfect book or gift for the computer professional. Good for more than a few good laughs! Buy it!" -John C. Dvorak, Computer Columnist

"Eric Raymond wrote essays about the Internet community. Illiad went one step further and captured the spirit of the ISP and the free software communities in cartoon form. If you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your ISP or how free software users sometimes think, all can now be revealed." -Alan Cox, Linux God and Kernel Hacker

"The only reason everyone in the world doesn't read User Friendly is that not everyone has fast access to the Web. Now you can get the book, so there's no excuse at all. The only problem with User Friendly as a book is you'll read it all at once, when you ought to ration yourself for a little joy every day." -Jerry Pournelle, Senior Contributing Editor, BYTE.com

"User Friendly is smart and sassy and just what I've been waiting for-a cartoon that computer geeks can relate to. A cutting-edge cartoon about cutting-edge technology, User Friendly is funny enough that even the non-geeks will get it. The recent Star Wars spoof was intelligent, timely, and funny. I'm proud to have User Friendly in Linux Journal." -Marjorie L. Richardson, Editor in Chief, Linux Journal

"Illiad's understanding of the Linux and Open Source community is uncanny. You have to live it to know it as well as he does. User Friendly is more than a cartoon, it's brilliant social commentary for the computer culture of today. You really feel connected to him, because he seems to live in your mind. It's a must-click, the cartoon kicks ass!" -Trae McCombs, Manager, Linux.com

"One of the characteristics of healthy cultures is that they can poke fun at themselves. I guess the hacker culture is in good health, because User Friendly is hilarious. Its irreverence, sophisticated in-jokes, and surrealistic edge are a rocket straight out of the Internet's collective unconscious." -Eric S. Raymond, Open Source Evangelist

"...the cartoon is so insightful and captures the essence of today's web industry so brilliantly that it's definitely going to be big." -Nina Furu, columnist, digi.no

"Just wanted to start off by saying I laughed so hard at User Friendly that I had to clean my monitor. That's a compliment. Really."-Pandora

"Unfortunately I was drinking a soda at the time I first read one of your strips. Thank God for keyboard savers..." -Frank H.

"You are killing me! I damned near snorted my laptop up my nose laughing over the cartoon where the NT server is singing 'I'm in my happy place, REBOOT HAHAHA.' I could swear that is what our servers sound like sometimes." - Ross B.

"User Friendly has my sides splitting daily. Illiad has taken a step that no one else has done by doing a strip for the Un*x/Geek community that's funny and cute." -Trae McCombs, manager, themes.org

  • More information about the book, including Table of Contents, index, author bio, and samples

  • Cover graphic in jpeg format

  • For a comic strip that may be run once without charge, along with a review or article, contact Lisa Mann (707) 829-0515 ext 230 or lisam@oreilly.com

  • For a gif or jpeg of "Dust Puppy" contact Lisa Mann (707) 829-0515 ext 230 or lisam@oreilly.com

  • "User Friendly" cartoons

User Friendly is available at your local bookstore in the computer section.

User Friendly
By Illiad
1st Edition October 1999
1-56592-673-0, 128 pages (est.), $12.95

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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