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A Guest Strip is a Non-Canon episode of a webcomic that was not drawn or written by the current authors of said webcomic. Due to the communal nature of the Web and webcomics culture, this is much easier to organise than in other media. It is, perhaps, ascended Fan Art.

Usually, guest strips are posted as Filler Strips, and entire "Guest Strip Weeks" are often invoked by webcomic authors when they need back surgery, a week in Tahiti, or a chance to attend a Con. Other comics, usually dailies, post a guest strip on Sundays in lieu of an elaborate Sunday Strip.

Nearly all webcomics have done this at some point; it's something of a Necessary Weasel.

Examples of Guest Strip include:


  • One special event in the history of guest strips occurred on September 17th, 2007. During the previous month, webcomic author Ryan Estrada drew an entire 48 guest strips for 48 different webcomics - by itself an impressive feat. What's more, he contacted all 48 authors of the 48 webcomics and got them to post each of his guest strips on the same day. So it was that, on a bright sunny morning in September, many webcomic fans woke up to find Ryan Estrada's artwork on dozens upon dozens of their favourite webcomic sites.
    • And guess what? He did it again, on September 18th, 2008 - but with 70 guest strips this time. Seventy guest strips. One of those guest strips was for a Comic Within A Comic. One of those guest strips was for a news blog.
  • Inverted in the case of Xkcd's Parody Week, where Randall Monroe drew five parodies of some of his favourite webcomics and posted them as part of his own webcomic.
    • XKCD did a guest strip week in November 2010, when Randall was struggling with a family illness.
  • And Shine Heaven Now has never missed a day in part because every break on the author's part is filled with guest strips. This has the interesting effect of limiting the length of any hiatus to the number of filler strips the readership can be coerced to produce.
  • Avalon was once advertised in the Keenspot newsbox as featuring "the most comics drawn by other people."
  • In the twelve or so year history of Penny Arcade, the need for a guest strip has only come up once, after a PAX convention where the artist came down with swine flu (and then only because he was physically incapable of lifting a pencil to draw). The illness was incorporated into some of the strips.
    • And again half a year later when "There was a point after PAX East had come to a close and the second leg of our book tour was underway that we began to understand we had fucked up."
  • Dinosaur Comics has a guest week once a year or so.
  • For some reason Bill The Barbarian has a truckload of these.
  • Five Color Control uses them occasionally.
  • El Goonish Shive had a week of them after the Painted Black arc and another after the Birthday Party arc. Dan has done one himself for Lit Brick.
  • Inverted on The Word Weary: After weeks of asking for guest comics and presumably getting no replies, John Kossler, the author, made three guest strips for himself and posted them under different names. At the end of the week, he admitted as such.
  • Femmegasm has had several due to the creator's health problems.
  • Even in The Deepest Heart of Chaos A Glimmer of Order Can Be Found has a lot of these, since any random person can create one, as the comics are an auto-generated selection of photos found on Flickr with captions written by the enterprising author.

Non-webcomic examples

  • The Comic Strip Switcheroo of April 1, 1997, where 18 pairs of cartoonists drew comics for each others' strips as an April Fools' joke.
  • Dilbert had a week of guest strips in 2003.
  • Fish Police, while under the publication of Comico, had guest strips in the back called "Fish Shticks". These were still written by Steve Moncuse, but drawn by guest artists.
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