The popular choice

The Unpopular is a web comic, that made its debut on December 4th, 2009 on www.theunpopular.com. Its original co-creators, second-year William Boyko and third-year Gabriella Guo were inspired to create it from their own experiences and impressions of how subcultures are represented in modern society. That and “a dream for internet fame,” Boyko admits.
This web comic follows a group of four individuals who are unpopular according to pop culture stereotypes. Boyko says that the comic focuses on “how people identify themselves and others with respect to their subcultures [and it] calls to mind how we interact with one another, what makes sense, what doesn’t. Hopefully, by wrapping these thoughts in an entertaining story, people can learn something and become free-thinking individuals.”
The Unpopular stars four characters, Gabby, Will, Zoey and Hal. Boyko says “we wanted to create a cast that was applicable to various races and personality types, each with their own baggage, that learn to deal with and grow as people, which would hopefully make it enjoyable for a larger readership.” Gabby is a “Chinese immigrant who travels to a strange new land and must learn to adapt to a brand new culture.” The character is based on Guo, the original co-creator of the webcomic, and shares a similar artistic gift with her human counterpart. Will, like his real-life equivalent William Boyko, spends his time in the comic showing his love for games and computers. Zoey is entirely fictional, a character designed to be a spoiled girl with past experiences that made her apprehensive about forming new relationships. Hal is another fictional character; he is
Indian and an inventor. Boyko chose the name as a nod to Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Boyko says “Hal is an inventor Hal and seemed to fit
well, and I could make the joke ‘I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.’ Still have to find a good spot for it.”
Boyko attributes a 40/60 split to the real life and imaginative influences of the comic. “Two of the characters are very reflective of real life, the other two are fictional but still have some basis in reality as I’m writing them into existence, some bleed-over is inevitable. So far, The Unpopular has been mostly imaginative, but I have many stories that are grounded in reality,” says Boyko. “To create entertainment, I often use a stretched reality (meaning physics doesn’t apply) to tell a story that actually happened or to visualize a particularly interesting discussion or article I had read. I have some story ideas for things that have happened to me personally, [but] to find out you’ll have to keep reading!”
So far, The Unpopular has completed its first chapter, where Gabby embarks on her journey to meet the other characters in a fairy tale setting. Fan input is also important to the outcome of the story. “The Unpopular has many ideas and many stories ready to go, however feedback from our fans is always welcome. If someone comes up with a story we like, or even a single strip, I’m more than happy to include it in the site,” Boyko says. In the future, the co-creator plans to create epic back-stories for each of the characters and character growth. As the number of readers increases, an online store for people to buy “sweet swag” such as posters, T-shirts and stickers, will be installed on the site.
Currently, Boyko is holding a contest for a cartoonist to join him in continuing to design The Unpopular. More information can be found on the web comic’s website at www.theunpopular.com.

The Unpopular is a web comic, that made its debut on December 4th, 2009 on www.theunpopular.com. Its original co-creators, second-year William Boyko and third-year Gabriella Guo were inspired to create it from their own experiences and impressions of how subcultures are represented in modern society. That and “a dream for internet fame,” Boyko admits.This web comic follows a group of four individuals who are unpopular according to pop culture stereotypes. Boyko says that the comic focuses on “how people identify themselves and others with respect to their subcultures [and it] calls to mind how we interact with one another, what makes sense, what doesn’t. Hopefully, by wrapping these thoughts in an entertaining story, people can learn something and become free-thinking individuals.”The Unpopular stars four characters,Gabby, Will, Zoey and Hal. Boyko says “we wanted to create a cast that was applicable to various races and personality types, each with their own baggage, that learn to deal with and grow as people, which would hopefully make it enjoyable for a larger readership.” Gabby is a “Chinese immigrant who travels to a strange new land and must learn to adapt to a brand new culture.” The character is based on Guo, the original co-creator of the webcomic, and shares a similar artistic gift with her human counterpart. Will, like his real-life equivalent William Boyko, spends his time in the comic showing his love for games and computers. Zoey is entirely fictional, a character designed to be a spoiled girl with past experiences that made her apprehensive about forming new relationships. Hal is another fictional character; he is Indian and an inventor. Boyko chose the name as a nod to Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Boyko says “Hal is an inventor Hal and seemed to fit well, and I could make the joke ‘I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.’ Still have to find a good spot for it.”Boyko attributes a 40/60 split to the real life and imaginative influences of the comic. “Two of the characters are very reflective of real life, the other two are fictional but still have some basis in reality as I’m writing them into existence, some bleed-over is inevitable. So far, The Unpopular has been mostly imaginative, but I have many stories that are grounded in reality,” says Boyko. “To create entertainment, I often use a stretched reality (meaning physics doesn’t apply) to tell a story that actually happened or to visualize a particularly interesting discussion or article I had read. I have some story ideas for things that have happened to me personally, [but] to find out you’ll have to keep reading!”So far, The Unpopular has completed its first chapter, where Gabby embarks on her journey to meet the other characters in a fairy tale setting. Fan input is also important to the outcome of the story. “The Unpopular has many ideas and many stories ready to go, however feedback from our fans is always welcome. If someone comes up with a story we like, or even a single strip, I’m more than happy to include it in the site,” Boyko says. In the future, the co-creator plans to create epic back-stories for each of the characters and character growth. As the number of readers increases, an online store for people to buy “sweet swag” such as posters, T-shirts and stickers, will be installed on the site.Currently, Boyko is holding a contest for a cartoonist to join him in continuing to design The Unpopular. More information can be found on the web comic’s website at www.theunpopular.com.