You’ll Appreciate This: Breakfast of the Gods

A couple of days ago, a listener wrote in to ask the Founders why she never heard them mention webcomics on the show. This question is one of the most frequently asked of iFanboy, right behind “I am new to comics and want to read the entire history of the Marvel Universe: which books should I read, and in what order, and what is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of each?” and “why don’t you be a man and just admit your blatant, hateful bias against Archie comics?” (No Archie comic has ever been Pick of the Week. Look it up. My accusation stands.)

As Conor answered the listener, there are only so many hours in a day. With so much competing for everyone’s attention, something has to go unread, and as a result some people just can’t keep up with webcomics.

While that is certainly true, I must confess in my case the avoidance of webcomics is more willful. The fact that they’re webcomics is irrelevant, actually. It’s not their webness that gets to me, but their comicness. I mean, I buy my share of comics on paper; that doesn’t mean I keep up with Marmaduke.

So many webcomics, despite the fact that they can have any size, shape, length, or content they want (having been freed from the constraints and editorial controls of conventional publishing) still cling to that lame, hacky three-panel “Statement! Question? Punchline! Zing!” format. The webcomic’s joke probably has some profanity, or a niche pop culture reference in its gooey center that’s too geeky to land it space next to The Family Circus in the Post-Dispatch, but at the genetic level the webcomic and Ziggy are the same somnambulant thing. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, the they’ll give you the Doonesbury/Family Guy third panel that takes place somewhere else and illustrates what the two guys in the previous panels were talking abouZzzzzzzz.

There are some good ones! There are plenty of good ones. I don’t mean to completely paint an entire medium with a single broad brush. You don’t have to letter-bomb me. I read a few webcomics without fail. It’s just that there are only so many hours in a day, etc. etc. diplomacy, and also a lot of people who could be breaking new ground in the 21st century are just redoing Garfield But! There is one webcomic that I have been following for years that delights me like nothing else. Because I’m the person I am, it scratches a very particular itch. I’m betting it’ll scratch that itch for you, too.

How do I describe Breakfast of the Gods? At the most basic level, it is a three-volume epic depicting the battle to save the soul of a once-proud kingdom from the forces of darkness.

“Like The Lord of the Rings?” you ask.

“Yes,” I answer. “Exactly like The Lord of the Rings, if The Lord of the Rings had not been about elves and dragons and other things that make me wish I drank coffee and/or liquid cannabis, but instead had been about Frankenberry and Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger.”

For you see, gentle reader, the kingdom being battled for in Breakfast of the Gods (or BOTG, as I call it) is the land of Cerealia, and all of the characters featured in it are the advertising mascots that adorned your favorite breakfast cereal boxes and commercials growing up. Within its pages, the noble Cap’n Crunch and his heroic compatriot Tony the Tiger face the unholy hordes of Castle Chocula and its Lucky Charms. Everyone fears the Fruit Brute. The Trix Rabbit is your man on the inside when you need a master of disguise. And Dig ‘Em is for some reason a gangsta.

To the average person with a few years behind him and a TV set, BOTG is probably pretty funny on its face. Just about anyone could enjoy it. Seeing these simple, one-note characters bestowed the level of gravitas and sincerity that they attain is worth a chuckle just for the incongruity and defiance of expectations. Take something innocent, treat it like it’s Goodfellas, and you got yourself some yuks.

(Suddenly, I feel like I’m on Star Trek trying to explain humor to Data. Forgive me.)

Breakfast of the Gods, though, offers something special for people like you and me. It’s funny to us in a way it wouldn’t be to average people, and I think that’s intentional.

You see, built into the bones of BOTG is the idea of silly licensed characters being written with the seriousness of a parent’s stroke. Characters cry, argue, get beaten, get tortured, and (in one case that hilariously pays tribute to Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine) get ripped in half. If you have read any interview Alan Moore has given in the last five years, you have seen him lament the fact that all most people took away from Watchmen and Killing Joke were the idea of the grim ‘n’ gritty superhero comic, the darkest possible take on the stories that had so enraptured him growing up. Well, although I have no idea whether this is what the author Brendan Douglas Jones intended, BOTG carries this line of thought to its conclusion. The first chapter begins with the brutal slaying of the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee. Who could find that as funny as those of us who’ve seen what happened to Speedball?

Moreover, BOTG hilariously relies on an encyclopedic knowledge of breakfast cereal continuity. I’m not going to call any writers out by name, but I will say that anyone who has failed to get a lot out of books with the word “Rebirth” in their title will love the fact that BOTG relies heavily on mastery of Silver Age breakfast characters. The climax of volume three absolutely depends on you being familiar with Quisp and Quake, two cereals which I’m pretty sure were outlasted by the Nixon administration. Which reader can remember Yummy Mummy’s story? Who alive can recall Chief Yumma Yumma? I trust you see where I’m going with this. If you can remember these things, and treat them like the Pentagon Papers, then BOTG is for you. If you read this comic and laugh at it, you’re laughing at yourself a little bit, too. And that’s okay.

Whatever your geek bias, I urge you to check this comic out. You will find yourself laughing, and then surprisingly touched, and then laughing again at yourself for being so touched. I admit that the layout of the web site itself makes the reading interface a little clunky– I’m not sure the author intended it to be experienced just like this– but it can be gotten around.

Look at these pages. Above all things, I love that the creator did this work, literally over the course of twenty years, purely for the love of it. No one has ever paid him for it, and if one of you were a lawyer for General Mills (and also a dick)* it could all disappear in a wink.

*(I would rather you not be a dick.)

I would have shared this with you much sooner– three years sooner, in fact– but I know how you are about “lateness.” You think Old Man Logan was bad? This guy released his book onnne paaage at a tiiime over the course of the last threeee yeeears, and it still isn’t done. If it were a major company release, a third of the readership would have been lost to apoplexy by now. I opted to hold off on recommending it, having been sitting on it in my RSS feed since before I was a member of this site. But it is absolutely worth it to someone like you or me.

Here is where you can enjoy it:

Book 1: The Last Good Morning

Book 2: O Cap’n My Cap’n

Book 3: Apocalypse Yum

You can thank me later.

 Jim Mroczkowski waited 25 years to taste Boo Berry only to discover that, as it turns out, blueberry-flavored grain tastes pretty gross. He is part of a balanced breakfast of Twittering.


  1. Great article, I definitely love the premise of this comic, how these silly mascots are written as sad and serious characters. Will definitely give a look.


    I also agree with your look on webcomics, as without an editorial filter, there is much more crappy comics being produced. Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation had a good take on this:

  2. haha yes! thank you Jim!

  3. Greatest idea for a comic anywhere.

    Is there a scene where the Honey Nut Cherrios Bee stabs someone? 🙂

  4. great link – breakfast of the gods is a really fun (and funny!) online comic.

  5. Nice article.

  6. Yeah, I heard about this webcomic a few months ago.  I read the first few chapters and it was really cool, but let it fall off my grid.  I’ll burn through it later tonight

  7. Uhhhh….I don’t get it.

  8. OH………..MY…………GOD!!!!

  9. I’ve been reading this since Brett recommended it on Comic Book Queers – a great read despite some major delays due to computer issues.  If it is ever collected in print I would definitely buy it.

  10. As someone who purchased both Booberry and Frankenberry cereal this weekend, I am now both thrilled to find out that this comic exists and terrified to open the boxes.  Thanks, Mr. Ski.

  11. Not being American and not ever eating cereal hampers my enjoyment of this book.

  12. This looks fun, but, oh what a chore it is to leap from page to page.  A better viewing format definitely would be appreciated, methinks.


    Thanks for the link!

  13. I’ve never heard about this webcomic before this article.  Jim, I would like to thank you for bringing it to my attention, because it looks awesome, but I also know this thing is going to be a big time-drain.  But, overall, thanks. 😉

    My favorite webcomic has to be UNSHELVED.  Perhaps I have a bit of a bias on this one.  Not sure how well it plays outside of its fanbase but believe me, it kills during the ALA Annual Conference.

    By the way, if there are any webcomic creators out there, if you specifically mention male librarians in your comic, I will buy a print of it and hang it on my wall.  I’ve already done so twice.

  14. Thanks for turning us on to this Jim. Reading BOTG was like a walk down memory lane.I spent so much of my childhood torturing small creatures,this really takes me back.Ah the nostalgia!


    And yes I’m kidding.I’d totally forgotten Dig’em,odd to think he was lodged in the sofa cracks of my memory.

  15. This webcomic reminds me alot of Adult Swim Programming.

  16. This comic is awesome. The site sucks, but the content is great.

  17. I look forward to reading this. I do not look forward to eating Booberry at any time again in my life.

  18. @coltrane68 – Booberry is phenomenal.  I would eat it out of a toilet bowl. 

  19. The BotG site is broken.  You and your horde of followers have broken it, Jim.