Tuesday’s 10: Web Comics

I remember when the comic pages in newspapers were funny. Now, if I pick it up at all, on Sundays, I maybe read Dilbert (which I find funny, but secretly suspect after about 20 years it’s only  because ,unfortunately, I suspect we might work for the same company sometimes.) Sometimes I wonder if my dissatisfaction is from the years when the Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes ran every Sunday? Or is it from discovering the alt. weekly papers that ran brilliance like Life in Hell? Or, in that same vein, is it because the internet brought forth a whole generation of comics that no longer felt the need to be completely broad and generic and inoffensive to all? And once that gate was open, the thought of stomaching another Sunday with Marmaduke or wondering why Blondie never divorced Dagwood even though about all he’s ever done for 60 years is eat a sandwich larger than his head and sleep all day on the couch?

Whatever it is, of all the things I love the internet for, the introduction to the wicked senses of humour of so many people who don’t mind being esoteric or smart or completely out of left field or blue, is a big one. This list, being only 10, is of course incomplete. And, I feel sort of sad leaving Get Your War On off of it, but that’s not updated on the web anymore (which is sad because I can totally imagine the clipart office workers riffing on the BP oil disaster with as much caustic briliance as they did the Bush administration, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. ) So, without further adue, this weeks Tuesday’s 10 Webcomics.  (note: clicking the Name Link will take you to the front page of the comic’s site. Clicking on the cartoon image will take you to the page for that particular strip. I tried to use example comics that I liked and weren’t part of an arc that required understanding what was going  on to appreciate fully.)

1. Dinosaur Comics:  Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics is hands down my favourite web comic ever. It’s smart, esoteric, and out of left field (sometimes all at the same time.) It’s also the exact same 6 panels, with occaisional props added, and still manages to be new everytime I see it. 

Dinosaur Comics Comic strip

2. XKCD: I’ll admit, that being someone who avoided math when at all possible, I don’t always get every one of Randall Munroe’s ultra-smart comics, but when the punchline isn’t a quantum physics theorum, it’s funny and sarcastic and perfect.

xkcd comic

3. Questionable Content: So it’s hard to pick an example comic to show for Jeph Jacques serial, because it’s a whole storyline. I’ve been reading it for I think 6 years now since a friend sent me the link and told me that one of the lead characters, Faye, reminded him of me. I remember reading the whole year and some change of back comics in abouta  2 day period and I’ve been hooked ever since. The storyline is about Martin, Faye and Dora, a group of 20-somethings and their friends, and Martin’s  perverted personal robot. I thought about starting with the first comic as an example, but holy wow has Jeph’s art improved over the years. It doesn’t even look like the same artist.  So I picked a random on somewhere in the middle that wasn’t plot-arc related.

questionable content comic strip

4. Wondermark: I’ve never figured out for sure whether David Malki enitrely draws the intricate turn of the century catalog-esque art for Wondermark or if some one it is clipped ephemera. I suspect more and more that it’s entirely drawn, which is impressive. Either way, the comic is visually striking as well as being somewhat sarcastic and off the wall.

wondermark comic strip

5. Cat and Girl: Cat and Girl is another web comic I’ve been reading for what I think is a decade now. You should also checkout the Donation Derby section, where Dorothy draws a picture of where your donation went if you donate $5.

cat and girl comic

6. Achewood: Achewood is another comic with long story arcs, which a friend recommended, and I felt compelled to read the whole back catalog. Only it wasn’t just a year of comics, it was like 5 and it took awhile, but it was totally worth it. The comic folows the adventures of cats and stuffed animals who live in the author’s home. It’s at times crude or violent, sometimes off-the-wall and hilarious, but not always funny haha, sometimes a little sad and dark. but it’s a true gem.

achewood cartoon

7. Garfield Minus Garfield: Like Family Circus, Garfield is an institution of the Sunday funnies. A painfully unfunny, 2 joke institution. If only all these years I’d known that the only thing standing between the monstrosity in the Sunday paper and Camus was the orange cat…

g-g cartoon

8. Diesel Sweeties: This is probably the first webcomic I ever read, let alone read regularly. (And I also secretly love that the artwork looks like crosstitch, even if it’s probably meant to recall Atari game art)

Diesel Sweeties comic

9.Perry Bible Fellowship: Often surreal and sometimes twisted, Perry Bible Fellowship is a true work of genius. Often the strips don’t even need words to get across the punchline. In general, they remind me of MAD magazine during it’s truly great period in the 70s. 

Perry Bible Fellowship comic

10. Alien Loves Predator:  Another in the line of, if you don’t draw or don’t think you can, but you want to make a comic, you can  find a clever solution inspirations. AlP’s artwork is created using action figures. It stopped publishing for awhile (much to my dismay) and now that it’s back, it doesn’t publish as often as it used to, but it’s a true classic. Offbeat and hilarious, this is the cartoon sitcom of 2 New York Roommates who just happen to be the Alien and the Predator (and yes at one point Jesus moves in with them after he gets signed by the Yankees.)

alien loves predator comic

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