Diki Andeas: It's comical. It's chicken. It's Chickenstrip
Sunday, January 25, 2009
At an important press conference, the President was in the middle of his speech when suddenly a shoe went flying toward his face.
Having managed to duck away from the “missile”, the president said to the attacker – a man in chicken costume – “Haha! Missed! Why don’t you use a real weapon, you chicken!”
Then the president threw his shoe back: “Dodge this!” Thank goodness this appalling episode – however familiar it may sound – only took place in one of the stories of Chickenstrip, an online comic strip available at www.comicstrip.org
[CORRECTION: I’m so sorry it should’ve been http://www.chickenstrip.org].
With around 400 visitors per day, the comic-blog is now getting more and more popular.
“I was quite surprised to learn about the number of visitors,” said 30-year-old Diki Andeas, the author of Chickenstrip. “I never thought many people would like it.”
Surprisingly, Diki views himself as a “serious person” despite his laugh-inducing comic strip. The soft-spoken Diki, a web programmer for an IT company which he co-founded with his friends and is based in the West Java town of Cimahi, said he drew comics initially as part of his blog.
Chickenstrip usually deals with IT-related issues, reflecting the author’s daily life and environment. But once in a while it also features funny episodes on topical social situations. For example, when one of Diki’s colleagues became a father, he drew a comic about the “so-called IT father” who chose the name of the child from Google and searched Wikipedia for the meaning of fatherhood.
Based on his addiction to Plurk (a micro-blogging site where one can post minute-by-minute updates), Diki produced a comic about a spy who knew everything about his suspect’s daily activities.
It turned out that instead of putting the suspect under 24-hour surveillance, the spy simply decided to follow the suspect’s activity by reading his Plurk status.
Diki also drew a comic about someone dubbed as an “Indonesian IT expert,” claiming he found the original version of the Indonesia Raya anthem. The expert thought he could still become famous as few people knew that the song could be downloaded on YouTube.
It is not without reason why Diki chose a man in a chicken costume to be the main character. His first blog was located on the now-defunct www.dipatok-ayam.com (bitten by chicken).
As he moved to www.diki.or.id in 2002, he had already been known as “Diki of Dipatok Ayam” and he stuck with the particular animal. The comic strip first appeared at this site.
Diki, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) enthusiast, said he “was playing around with InkScape and decided to draw a comic with it” for the first time. InkScape is an open source graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator.
“I didn’t have a scanner so I drew straight on the computer – and I still do it that way.”
Diki said his drawings are heavily influenced by Dilbert, a comic series about office life, and the IT-related userfriendly.org, creating a combination that turned out to be successful.
“I think one of the reasons why people like to read Chickenstrip is because I share the same sense of humor with them,” Diki said, adding that sometimes he receives feedback saying “I don’t think it’s funny” or “I don’t get the joke”.
Apart from programming websites and blogging (and visiting his girlfriend over the weekend in Jakarta), Diki is currently finishing his first book on the uses of Web 2.0. Diki references the comicstrip in the book and it is slated to publish this year.