What the hell is Hamstard?
Hamstard is a crappy webcomic created by Parson Gotti, the main
character of Erfworld,
the hopefully less-crappy webcomic by Rob Balder and multiple
You do not need to read Erfworld to enjoy Hamstard! But to
understand the glory of the Globular Beige One, you really have to
ask two questions: "What is Hamstard within Erfworld?"
and "What is Hamstard.com?"
*sigh* Fine, what is Hamstard within Erfworld?
When we first meet Parson in Book 1 of Erfworld, he is a disaffected
gamer in Columbus, Ohio. He has a webcomic called "Hamstard the
Bastard Hamster," starring an obese, sarcastic, foul-mouthed
hamster who just sits in his cage and snarks about everything.
Hamstard only has four poses, and a few backgrounds. These were drawn
by an unnamed "friend" of Parson's.
The comic is minimalist, and pretty low-effort all around. The jokes
are dumb and easy, and Hamstard breaks the fourth wall more often
than not. Parson actually feels depressed that nobody reads it. In
part, that's poking fun at the bad quality and artistic cheating done
by a lot of webcomics that were out in 2006, including Rob's own clip
art webcomic PartiallyClips.
The original Parson Gotti archive of 21 strips was written by Rob in
90 minutes. Hamstard and his cage were drawn by Book 1 artist Jamie
When Parson is summoned into Erfworld, he is wearing a Cafe Press
t-shirt of Hamstard. He adopts this as his personal battle crest and
takes the title "Lord Hamster," which is the handle he used
on his own forums. He continues to create new Hamstard strips for
himself in Erfworld, by projecting his imagination onto the magical
eyebooks. In these strips, Hamstard mainly snarks at what Parson
writes in his "klog" notes. He breaks the fourth wall with
Parson, but not the wall between the Erfworld characters and the
'K. And what is Hamstard.com?
Hamstard.com was originally put up as Parson's own website, a kind of
webcomic easter egg that Erfworld readers could find. It stayed that
way, frozen in time and locked to new users for many years. You can
still view that site here.
But Hamstard has had his own life in other comics outside of Erfworld
as well, commenting on Erfworld news and developments and snarking at
Rob as well. As part of the Toolshed subscription patronage program
that keeps Erfworld going, we promised to bring Hamstard to life as a
weekly comic all his own.
But we always wanted to do more than that with the strip. So in
addition to weekly Hamstard strips written by Rob, users can create
and submit their own Hamstard comics here!
Huh. How do I create a Hamstard comic?
You can use the comic creator, which was coded by Randall Nordstrom
and released to Kickstarter backers in 2012. Just click Create a
Hamstard on the main navigation bar.
The four steps involved are pretty simple. 1. Choose whether you want
a single panel or four-panel comic. 2. Select the character, text
balloon style, and background image for each panel by clicking in the
panel you want to edit, and choosing from the options on the right.
3. Add your words in the text area of each speech balloon. These are
more or less the same way they'll appear in the final comic, but you
can also hit Preview to check exactly what the comic image will look
like. 4. When your masterpiece is done, click Submit. This screen
will pop up.
Add a title for your strip (otherwise it goes up as "Hamstard
Mocks [your username]"), and click Submit Post. You will be able
to edit the title, add notes below the comic, or delete your own
post. You can't change the comic after posting, though.
What happens after I submit one?
Comics that are submitted are free for anyone to read and rate by
clicking Rate Submissions. This is the "slush pile" for
Hamstard. Really funny strips will be promoted to the main page by
the site admins, and will appear alongside the strips written by Rob
and the old ones by Lord Hamster.
If your strip makes the main page, you will earn the "Cheeky Hamstard" badge at Erfworld.com.
We depend on other users to rate these comics, so we know which ones
are good enough to promote! Keep an eye on that slush pile, won't
What if someone submits junk or spam or reeeeeeealy offensive
We are also depending on users to flag the grossly inappropriate or
totally useless strips. If you see something that really should not
be on this website, click "Get this out of my cage!" next
to the rating stars.
When five different users have checked that box, the strip will
automatically be quarantined. It will only be viewable by the post
creator and the admins. Gathering a pitchforks-and-torches brigade to
get rid of a particular strip is allowed, just be aware that an admin
may overrule you and restore the strip to the slush pile, or even
promote it to the main page.
Very low-rated strips will eventually get purged from the slush pile
Okay, but Hamstard is pretty offensive sometimes. Where's the
The line is mainly "Is it funny?" Internet culture has
changed since Hamstard was born. There was no Twitter in 2006, now
people can lose their job over a tweet. Collectively, we are quicker to take
offense and draw new lines about what other people should be allowed
to say. Parson and the creators of this site have their standards,
but Hamstard says:
Hamstard is not a nice rodent. His sense of humor is crude,
tasteless, juvenile and insensitive. He frequently uses profanity,
sexual innuendo, and sick burns. He punches down, up, sideways, and
in his own fat face. Most often, he bites the hand that overfeeds
But the purpose of a comic strip is to make people laugh. So if a
submitted Hamstard strip is not even making an attempt at humor, then
it should be flagged as trash. Abusive uses of the comic creator
should be pretty self-evident.
If the humor just sucks, then leave the box alone and rate it
one star. Go ahead and crap on it in the comments thread, too. The
community will set its own standards with the rating system, and the
admins will respect what people say and how they vote. Erfworld fans
are some of the sharpest and most thoughtful readers in all of
webcomics. Collectively, you are going to be able to vote away the
In short, we're not specifically drawing any lines. All the usual
kinds of lines are going to be applied to all the strips, by all the
people (including us). Strips that offend some people will surely be
promoted to the main page from time to time. But the more offensive
it is, the funnier it needs to be for that to happen.
Fair enough. Can I post the strips I create anywhere else?
Yes! You do not even have to submit them. You can save the image from
preview and then use it elsewhere. A Creative Commons BY-NC-ND
license applies to strips made in the Hamstard creator, meaning that
you must keep the image intact with the attribution link on the
bottom, and you may not use the strips for any commercial purposes.
posted or created here.
So you can use it as a general comic strip creator. If you feel the
need to post your recipe for vegan rhubarb fudge to Facebook in the
form of a comic strip of a grumpy-looking hamster, go right ahead and
do that. Hamstard supports your perverse and misguided lifestyle
Who are "some hamster" and "Lord Hamster" and "Balder?"
Strips by "Lord Hamster" are the original strips by Parson Gotti. He picked that as his forum handle, and it was his only ready answer when Erfworlders demanded his title. His avatar is a plate of loaded cheese fries from Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Strips by "Balder" are by Rob Balder, author of Erfworld. As part of the Milestone 3 unlock in the Toolshed, we promised to bring back Hamstard as an actively updating strip. Specifically, we said "Hamstard.com will be reborn, with new Hamstard comics by Parson Gotti posted weekly, and we will partially redesign the website (declutter, add resources for new users, and optimize for mobile)." Well, the website has been redesigned and Hamstard.com has been relaunched! But at this point in the story, Parson Gotti lacks access to his eyebook, so new strips will be posted by Balder. In the future, we may see in-universe comics by Lord Hamster which express some of his thoughts in the main Erfworld story.
Strips credited to "some hamster" were created on the old Erfworld website by Kickstarter backers who were given early access to the Hamstard strip creator. Some of these were junk and have been deleted. Some of them were pretty funny and were promoted to the main archives. The rest remain in the submission queue. Unfortunately, information about the creator of each strip was irretrievably lost when we redesigned the site in 2014.
Hey, I made one of those "some hamster" strips and I can prove it!
I said "irretrievably lost."