F Minus makes the grade.

Creator Tony Carrillo brings us a profoundly funny strip that asks the following questions: Why are we here? What is life all about? Can I take only one shower per week if it's seven times the normal length?

This very funny, quirky comic strip was chosen by more than 200,000 college students as the winner of the mtvU Strips Contest.

F Minus is a strip short on life lessons, precious moments, and pearls of wisdom. It tackles life's serious issues, pins them to the ground, and steals their lunch money. Then it feels a little bit guilty and gives some of it back.

"I draw my material from my experiences at a wide array of failed careers," says Carrillo. "Over time, I have worked as a pizza cook, Web site designer, dancing costumed character, portrait artist, insurance drone, waiter, custom framer, camel ride attendant at the zoo, and the guy at the airport that waves orange wands at the airplanes. As varied as these jobs were, eventually I had the profound realization that they all had two important things in common: each offered a wealth of comedic inspiration and there was always a creepy guy named Larry."

Life isn't fair. But it sure is funny in F Minus.

* Carrillo began his drawing career while attending Arizona State University. F Minus appeared in the college newspaper, The State Press, for two years.

* In December 2004, the strip was named the winner of the 2004 mtvU Strips Contest, as chosen by judges Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, and David Rees, creator of Get Your War On, as well as more than 200,000 online voters.

This Can't Be Legal


"I hope you enjoy Cul de Sac as much as I do. I think you're in for a real treat." --Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, 2008

"One of the five best features in any newspaper, period." --The Comics Reporter

"One of the few strips around where nearly every individual panel is stand-alone delight." --The Onion 

"...it really seems like the inheritor of 'Calvin and Hobbes.'" --Art Spiegelman

"I can't say enough in his favor, so much is my admiration for his work." --Pat Oliphant

More than half of our nation's population resides in the 'burbs. Knowingly, Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac follows the antics of four-year-old Alice Otterloop as she navigates her way through life at Blisshaven Preschool, "the scene of [her] daily toil." Suburbanites across the nation will easily recognize the quirks and conundrums associated with house-lined streets, sidewalk canvases, and magnetified refrigerator art.

Instructed by the proper Miss Bliss, Alice regularly has issues with taking a nap, speaking out of turn, and remembering what a triangle looks like. Helping her through life's ups and downs are her eight-year-old brother Petey, Dad (a.k.a. Peter), and Mom (a.k.a. Madeline), as well as Mr. Danders, the preschool's pompously pedantic guinea pig.

This is the strip's first book collection incorporating more than a year's worth of strips dating back to the cartoon's 2007 debut. Thompson has received critical praise for doing a masterful job of commenting on social issues while entertaining in a freshly amusing and unexpected way.

Cul De Sac