Recently, Alan (frequent VFcast guest and the guy who can be counted on to help us earn our explicit rating on iTunes while forgetting to talk about comic books) asked me to put together a list of webcomics that I thought he would enjoy reading. I consume webcomics the way that Cabel feeds upon the innocence of the young, so it made sense.
It is a comic about dinosaurs. The same dinosaury panels every day. You wouldn’t think that would be funny. It’s totally funny. It’s amazing how fresh Ryan North keeps the dialog within such a constrained medium. Why does it work so well? Is it because T-Rex will teach you the secrets of love, linguistics and erotic fiction? Is it because Ryan North is Canadian?
Chris Onstad seems to be taking the sort of whiny hiatus that only the academically priveleged can successfully pull off, but start from the beginning of the archives and you’ve got a gold mine of thousands of strips about absurd cats. The in-character blogs provide an uncommon depth of insight into this motly crew of anthropomorphic animals. The whole thing comes together like a season of Cheers produced by Dan Aykroyd and David Lynch. Seriously, it’s mad genius.
Whack, but in a good way. This comic was born when a dude and his buddy endeavored to blow to lid off an insidious flatulence conspiracy led by Ronald McDonald. Now Dr. McNinja is published by Dark Horse and Chris Hastings is writing some issues of Deadpool. Few have risen to such great heights propelled mostly by farts. You go, Chris Hastings.
The best geek comic on the web. Randall Munroe inspires me to engage in some hot wikipedia action once or twice a week. Seriously, this guy needs only simple arrangements of penciled lines to make me want to be a better geek. Legit.
An ‘alternate present’ comic about a mild mannered journalist and his adventures in the big city. Way cooler than that makes it sound, also the art is fantastic. Spike’s great at getting a whole lot of the world she’s imagined into each panel with a rare and subtle elegance. So many of Marvel’s creative teams could do to take a page.
Say what you will, I think prohibition-era bootlegger cats are awesome. Really mind-blowing webcomic art, which is unfortunately reflected in the release schedule. I am especially in love with Tracy J. Butler’s layout chops, these panels breath like you’ve rarely seen. The fact that this is free content on the web is exciting, it’s an example of the best possible application of the web medium, and everyone should probably buy volume 1. Just when you think it’s too adorable there will be someone getting stone cold shot in the mouth.
Everybody reads this strip, it’s just one of those things where to be a part of the zeitgeist you pretty much have to be exposed. And it’s funny. I could say more but I feel like PA is so big, and is under such a gigantic lens all the time, and I would be pointlessly treading over well-worn paths. I like to think when posting content like this I can maybe do something to drive a little bit of traffic to some creators that I happen to think are really cool, but Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik swing some of the world’s biggest webdicks. That’s cool with me, they seem like nice guys, they mostly use those dicks to help kids, and they have no use for a thoughtful but firm critique from my little blog.
Cabel and I both really like this strip. I’m not always sure why, it’s basically hipster melodrama and Dan Savage redux with an occasional robot using a strap-on dildo to sodomize a roomba. I think the stories resonate with me because I see so much of my personal scene in these panels. Also, I would generally appreciate it if going to bars was more closely associated with wearing bowties. The characters have been developed pretty extensively over the run, which means it’s probably best to start at the beginning to get the nuance. Of all the webcomics I read, QC has had the most mutable art. This is mostly, I think, because Jeph Jacques has slowly learned to draw over the course of the last 8 years. Good for him!
There once was a comic called Mac Hall about some guys living in a dorm together, and it was great. Then those guys graduated from college and Mac Hall went up to the frozen north to live in a Yurt and pull a sled full of logs around for a few months. It came back lean, direct and [maybe] ready to take on Apollo Creed. 3PS is unusual in that Ian McConville liberally uses the strip as an outlet for experimenting with different visual styles, and the art is fresh by any standard. With Mac Hall Ian and Matt pushed boundaries by embracing the flexible nature of the webcomic medium. It’s cool to see that same creativity applied within artificial constraints.
There you have it, 9 of the many webcomics that I think are worthwhile. The list wasn’t really compiled based on any criteria outside of my gut feelings about what a specific dude might be willing to spend some time reading.
Does anyone have any other thoughts? Are there grave omissions or misrepresentations? Do you hate cats and hipsters? Let me know with the power of comments!