Happy Hour is a comic created in 2004 by Jim Kohl. The comic first appeared in the Rutgers University Newspaper The Daily Targum November 30, 2004, Volume 136, No. 60. Since then Happy Hour has gone on to amass over 500 strips with the 500th appearing February 29, 2008.
Happy Hour is unique in its one panel format with an ongoing storyline. Each strip can be read alone, but read in conjunction with the strips prior or following enriches the overall experience.
Happy Hour is focused around two main characters. The characters Jim and Phil are the catalysts for all of the strips, however there is a rich secondary cast that often appears along side the main cast.
Kohl and Kriser expanded the Happy Hour universe in 2008 by adding 3 spin-off comics that exist simultaneously within Happy Hour.
The first spin-off was The Brewery. The Brewery was immediately picked up by Beer Magazine and has been printed in the magazine since June 2008. The Brewery centers around Julian, Phil, Dave and Hollie. The Brewery breaks the Happy Hour format of single panel, black and white, and is instead printed in full color with three panels.
The second spin-off was Shiver Me Burgers. SMB follows the day in and day out of a burger joint located in Covenant Cove. The characters in SMB are Bryan and Myles. Bryan and Myles will often appear in Happy Hour, notably around holidays. SMB retains the single panle , black and white format. Shiver Me Burgers was printed in Steppin Out Magazine and continues to be written and submitted when Steppin Out has space.
The third spin-off was The Barb Exam. TBE follows the adventures of Barb (the Bartender) as she pursues her scholastic career at Harvard. TBE is printed weekly in The Harvard Voice. The Barb Exam also breaks the Happy Hour format and instead has 3 panels and is printed in straight black and white (no gray tones).