The Whiteboard

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The Whiteboard
Author(s) Doc Nickel
Update schedule Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Launch date July 18, 2002
Censor PG button.png

The Whiteboard is a paintball webcomic created by "Doc" Nickel, an Alaskan airsmith. It has been collected into five print books to date: "The Whiteboard: Digitally Remastered" (2005) [ISBN: 1-59971-219-9], "The Whiteboard: Untapped Potential" (2006), and "The Whiteboard: Hit It Again!" (2007), "Target Rich Environment" (2009), "You Only Ref Twice" (2010). A special full-page color The Whiteboard was also featured in Paintball Games International magazines' special "What Paintball Gear?" issue in 2003[1]. In 2004, the Russian magazine пейнтбол (Paintball) printed[2] several translated versions of early TWB strips.

It centers around Doc, an anthro polar bear who runs Doc's Shop, a paintball supply and repair shop where he often tinkers with the laws of physics. He and his friends, a group of various anthros, are often playing paintball. Humans are present, typically only as bystanders and other paintball players. Usually the humans are depicted as being either inept, new to the game (newbies), or general canon fodder.

The first strip was created on July 18, 2002, using a dry-erase board:
I'd just installed the board in the shop, and on a whim I scribbled up this comic, snapped a pic and posted it in the forum. The forum regulars liked it, so I drew a couple more and posted those as well. -Doc Nickel[3]

The difficulty in photographing the shiny whiteboard surface, and the limitations of the single-panel format led to the change to a more conventional pen-and-ink three panel layout. The strip was originally based on personal anecdotes collected while running a paintball shop, but it has evolved into a comic with many unique characters and storylines receiving 168,000[4] unique visitors a month.

TWB was never intended to be a furry strip. Besides the fact it wasn't intended to be a regular feature in the first place, polar bear was chosen simply as a clearly-Alaskan icon, and as a stereotypically bad-tempered, grumpy sort. I mean, would you want to tell a grumpy bear that you broke your marker and need it fixed by Friday? When I started thinking about a regular-feature strip, I started planning the usual fish out of water gags; customers surprised at a bear working the counter, calling Fish & Game who would come and tranquilize him and try to transplant him back to the arctic, yadda yadda. I thought those jokes were too clichéd, however, and wanted to focus on the shop/customer jokes, which is why I drew the original comic in the first place. -Doc Nickel[5]


Main article: List of characters in The Whiteboard

Making Of[edit]

The author has a humorous look at how a typical strip is created on his site


Characters from and references to The Whiteboard have been featured in the following strips by other authors:

The Whiteboard has itself done cameos of characters from over a hundred other webcomics, usually during the yearly Halloween parties.

Critical Reaction[edit]

Howard Tayler, author of Schlock Mercenary, wrote of The Whiteboard: "If you’re not already reading The Whiteboard as part of your daily trawl, I hope it’s not because you think the comic is only funny to paintballers. I’ve only paintballed once (an experience I found miserable) and the comic is one of my favorites."[6]


  1. Paintball Games International's "What Paintball Gear" Annual 2003, pg. 194
  2. "пейнтбол" Summer 2004 issue, pg. 48
  3. The Whiteboard archives - Page 1
  4. TWB eXTReMe Tracking Site.
  5. The Whiteboard Archives - Page 2
  6. Tayler, Howard (August 16, 2006). "This run of The Whiteboard needs your attention".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]