Webcomics You Should Be Reading
Did you know that comics don’t just come on paper? Yeah, it’s true. There’s this thing called the internet that allows for people to publish their content independent of any major publishing house. It’s also full of porn and illegally transferred music and movies, but that mostly gets overshadowed by the porn.
But back to the webcomics thing. There are TONS of them out there. I can’t even begin to craft a joke regarding exactly how many webcomics there are on the net. Webcomics that tackle anime, webcomics that tackle videogaming, webcomics that tackle webcomics tackling videogames, etc., etc.
I’m pretty sure everybody who has happened upon this blog reads at least one webcomic. And everyone has at least heard of Penny Arcade, considering those guys are to webcomics what Christianity is to organized religion, except with a lot less holy wars waged in the middle east. But what about the other webcomics, the ones that don’t have their own conventions in Seattle and whatnot?
I’ve decided to make a list of some of my favorites, that hopefully I can get you to read and enjoy as much as I do. I hope those guys can handle the traffic from the one or two people reading this blog flooding their servers! OH HEAVENS! ITS AN OOOOOVERLOAD!
You know those people who obsessed over the details of the Transformers movie and bitched at Michael Bay for turning Bumblebee into a Camero instead of keeping him a VW Bug? You know those people who are in their late twenties and still go to Target and buy an entire wave of figures sticking their tongue out at the child who really wanted that last Batman? Imagine if that person was the lead character in a web comic where he worked in a toy store with several other odd charatcers including a goatee’d white ninja, Ronald Reagan, and a Machiavellian overlord of a boss.
That’s Shortpacked, my friends, and it’s hilarious. One of the things that I love about this strip is that it builds on the developments that have come before and you can really grow attached to certain characters, the way one might while watching a TV show or reading a long running comic series. It’s a strip where you care about what came before and what will happen next. It’s one of the strongest continuity-based webcomics on the net, and I cannot recommend it enough if you have any interest in comics, toys, pop culture, or strong characterization.
How would you like a nice big serving of “WTF”? Mocktopus Comics is a crazy rambling clusterbang of a comic and it’s oftentimes more hilarious than one would imagine. It’s the kind of non-sequitur insanity that just leaps off the page and begs you to scoll through the archives looking for more buried gems. (I personally love the “Hobo Stomp” rap song, and God’s reaction to it.)
This one is for those who like a cartoon to come with their movie reviews. There are recurring characters and some continuity, but mostly it’s straightforward and the strips are more about the punchline than the people delivering them. There are also some recurring gags which work better if you start at the earliest comics and work your way up, but it’s not entirely essential. The update schedule seems completely random at times, but it’s usually worth the wait.
This shit is like processed nihilism injected with sarcasm-juice. Some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen on the web and totally worth your time to go through the entire archive. Started while the creator was only 16, it has never lost its sense of utter insanity and crippling wit. The drawing is rudimentary, but that only serves to make the dialogue only more hilarious. Simplicity breeds a greater understanding of the work for its true merits and it’s easy to see why the comic is still going years after its inception.
What could be described as Penny Arcade’s distant cousin. They both started out as comics about video games but both took widely divergent paths. PVP has always been more about the characters’ arcs and less about the joke. A lot of this stems from creator Scott Kurtz’ undying love and admiration for the work of people like Jim Davis and Chuck Shulz. PVP is a great comic that has run for over 10 years, seen print runs through Image comics and drawn guest artists like Frank Cho and even Neal Adams.
I cannot possibly explain how amazing this comic is. Just go read it. It’s fantastic.
That’s it for the first installment. There are tons of other webcomics, like I previously mentioned, that I’ll hopefully cover in a followup. But these should be enough to get you started. Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions that you feel need to make it into the next posting.