really like web comics. Well, honestly, I just like comics in general. What better way to put a smile on your face that a quick glance at a few silly pictures and a punchy joke? And the best thing about web comics is that they arenít governed by the same rules as normal, printed comics. Web cartoonists arenít in it for the money; theyíre providing this service out of the goodness of their hearts, because this is something that they honestly enjoy doing. They arenít slaves to the strip-a-day schedule; if theyíre feeling tired or disillusioned or burned out, they can take a break whenever they see fit. You never have to worry that theyíll go on for years, recycling the same old punch lines that stopped being funny years ago in a pathetic effort to fill space. No, once a web cartoonist has run out of ideas, thereís no massive publishing empire to maintain, no greedy syndicate to appease. He can simply retire, right then and there, and be remembered as a man who left the game in his prime rather than as a doddering old fool who produces mawkish tripe about grandparents in heaven and babies trying to eat soup with forks.
And yet, despite all that, most of them still suck. Here are a few that donít. Iíve listed them below, together with some brief descriptions about what makes them worthwhile such as whether they feature naked chicks, because, honestly, I know thatís all you people care about. I use a 1-5 spoon-hanging rating system, meaning that every point a comic receives means it was that much cooler than that one time I got a spoon to hang on my nose. In case youíre confused, a rating of one spoon would be the worst and five spoons would be the best. But remember that even the worst here is better than the best that isnít, so enjoy!
Web Comics of the Gods!
There's been a little confusion about my rating system here, so let me clarify: these are all fine comics. There really aren't any here that aren't good. It's just that I like some better than others.
- A comic that gets a One Spoonhang Rating is a pretty good comic, definitely worth a gander. It might not be to everyone's tastes but it's not bad.
- Two Spoonhangs means that a comic is quite good. It's one of those comics that not everyone knows about but everyone should.
- Once you hit Three Spoonhangs you're getting into that zone where I start to hate you for having a comic so much better than mine.
- A Four Spoonhang comic is destined for greatness. Whenever I give a comic a rating of four, I know that, someday, a documentarian will visit me in my nursing home to quote me saying, "Him? Yeah, I knew him back in the day, before he hit the big time. Ya know, I made him what he is today- gave him four spoonhangs, ya know? But does he ever call? No! He stuck me in this crappy nursing home, pays for my colonics and thinks I'll shut up! That bastard! Nurse, get your ass over here and change my bedpan!"
- Five Spoonhang comics are sort of like that feeling you get when your snorting chocolate-covered cocaine off the back of the Swedish bikini team captain who's blowing you. Oh, and it's hard to concentrate because the phone keeps ringing and it's the President calling to tell you how swell you are. Yeah, kinda like that. Unless you're a woman or a gay guy, in which case you should imagine that it's some famous hot guy, perhaps Sean Biggerstaff, blowing you. Or something. I don't know what I'm talking about anymore.
- A Meester Bones rating indicates a comic that's so bad it's good. A comic with this rating ought normally to appear on my Melancholic comics page, but something about it caused my normally icy heart to melt, just as a hot island song might cause it to do. Perhaps the author just tries so darn hard without any success that I can't bring myself to totally put it down. Or perhaps it's just really damn funny in a way that was never intended.
Okay, are we clear now? Good. On with the reviews!
1/0 - 1/0 has earned itself a substantial cult following and I canít say that itís undeserved. Plenty of amateur cartoonists have trotted out that old ďHey, look, weíre in a comic and we know it!Ē routine, but only Damonk of Framed! and Tailsteak have really done it well. In his first comic, Tailsteak started off with void and slowly, over the course of months, built up a complete comic universe, what with internally-consistent geography and physics. Everything comes from somewhere. Also very impressive is that characters donít just randomly created on the authorís whim; theyíre all generated from pre-existing matter. Um... Itís hard to explain, so just follow the link and see for yourself. Youíll be glad you did. Be warned, though, that 1/0 includes philosophizing over some rather heavy issues for a comic strip, including abortion, rationality and religion, the rule of law, and death.
13 Seconds - 13 Seconds is an oddly named comic about a sheep, a bat and a porcupine that have all-too-human adventures. I like that the bat's nose is drawn properly here, just like a real... hog-nosed bat? Although it's kind of disconcerting that he doesn't have wings, but who am I to talk? Who am I indeed? There's also a panda.
Achewood - IS ROASTBEEF A TIGER OR A BEAR THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO MY UNDERSTANDING OF TEH COMIC!!1!
Adventures Anatomica, and Associated Mayhem - Adventures Anatomica is really four separate strips - the title strip, which, as you've probably guessed, is called Adventures Anatomica, The Plastic Factory, Local Heroes, and Nikki of the Abyss. The main comic at the moment - or at least the one that we readers see the most of - is Nikki of the Abyss. And what a sweet abyss it is! Nikki is just your average bubbly teenage girl who loves puppy dogs and sparkly glittery...stuff. The only problem with that is she's destined to embody all the evil and nastiness and badness in the universe, so her life isn't exactly panning out as planned. The characters page here is a bit confusing because I have absolutely no idea how any of these gothy names are supposed to be pronounced. Maybe I'll go down to Hot Topic and find me a goth who can explain it to me. Hey, it's about time I got me some new Aqua Team Hunger Force window decals anyway.
Alice Otter - Awww, this is just too darn cute! Alice is a precocious, spunky little girl who just happens to be an otter. She lives with her kinda stodgy uncle who says "Doook!" when he gets startled, which happens a lot. This is a nifty strip, bery reminiscent of old timey, classic Diseny "funny animal" comics. I guess it's furry, but it sure doesn't seem like it. I read through the archives and didn't see one giant shitting dick nipple. Which is good. Also funny is that I think I know some older women who act just like Ms.Huskinson. Make of that what you will.
Space Rangers - Amazon Space Rangers is an affectionate tribute to the delightfully naÔve and hopelessly sexist space operas of the yesteryear brought to you by the same demented genius behind Night Shift, Adam Prosser. Of course, this is the prankster weíre talking about, so donít go in expecting a mess of hackneyed clichťs and lazy gimmicks. Heís tweaked the formula, so that, while ASR might look like a simple tale about chicks in skimpy clothing kicking alien ass, itís got some deeper issues lurking beneath the surface. No mindless entertainment here, thereís some astute commentary on gender dynamics.
Arcana - Arcana's a more serious sort of webcomic. Again, I'm not exactly sure how to describe it: it takes place in a sort of alternate world, a kind of pseudo-medieval world that's ruled over by a sort of aristocratic class of demons. The hero is a sort of angel-like thing. I think. The comic itself makes a lot more sense than this description; the problem is that the cast page confused me so now I don't know if any of he things I thought about this comic were ever right. Still, it'll unsettle you but good! Some of my favorite parts, though, are the free range poems, which are posted every other comic or so. Good so, and the cartoonist has a knack for descriptive, poetic language.
As If - Iím a big sucker for anything that recalls the heady and carefree days of the 80s, when I was a free-wheeling stockbroker, sporting stylish jordache jeans and snorting cocaine through rolled up $1000 bills off the chests of Colombian callgirls. Oh, wait, no. I was a friendless third grader who played a lot of atari and watched ďThe Real GhostbustersĒ every day after school. In any case, however you spent the 80s, whether it was in a sex-and-glam rock-induced stupor or a greed-powered stock binge, you should get a kick out of this peek at the lives of two high school girls coming off age in the decade of decadence. Strangely, Hunter and Angela remind me a lot of my girlfriend and her ex-roommate. (Since Sabrina of Sabrina Online also reminds me of my girlfriend, you can pretty much figure out which As If character reminds me of each.) This strip has a great, very professional anime style, although it does seem an odd choice to depict this subject matter. Still, good fun!
Biblebot - There are a lot of comics on the web that take little sissy swipes at Christianity; it's a popular target but most cartoonists are too afraid of backlash to honestly critique it. Fat Jesus and Sinfest spring to mind. Good strips, but when you actually probe beneath the surface you realize that, while they might not totally endorse the religion, they aren't really criticizing it either. Biblebot is probably the first comic that I've seen on line that has the guts to come right out with its position on organized religion. It's all about a guy that builds a robot to convert the heathen masses. It's fairly new so there's not much there yet, but, with a premise like that, how can you go wrong?
Bob 'n Ed - I donít really have much to say about Bob Ďn Ed, except that itís really funny. As near as I can tell, Bob and Ed are two average, everyday sorta guys who just keep getting caught up in all sorts of wacky hi-jinks involving aliens, Canadian cats, an insane number of geeky sci-fi cameos, and whatnot. The cartoonist really likes Felicity. My favorite character in this whole brouhaha has to be Zombie Andre. Even when the world is falling apart around him, he remains true and steadfast, always focused on his goal to acquire and eat human brains.
Bob the Angry Flower - Bob, of course, is not really a web comic but a magazine comic from our favorite northern neighbor that nobody cares about, the land of snow, bacon, and wolverines - Australia. Bobís wacky schemes are sure to delight children of all ages, and it should come as no surprise that this light-hearted family strip has charmed its way into the hearts of countless readers. Together with his best pals Stumpy the stump and Freddy the flying fetus, Bob sets out each week on yet another merry and mirthful misadventure. Bob teaches kids that itís okay to just be themselves, that they donít have to be perfect, and, most importantly, that weíre all angry sometimes. Cartoonist Stephen Noley communicates this optimistic, life-affirming message through whimsical illustration that is sure to enchant even the most jaded of readers. It just makes you feel all squishy inside.
Boatface - Oh, God, I can't even begin to describe this comic. It's one of those "MS paint" comics that doesn't have any rhyme or reason to it, but is still the funniest damn thing you'll ever see. I love this sort of comic. If I had any gift at all for this sort of random humor, I'd totally be making strips like this. Unfortunately, I'm so logical that I can't do anything like this and have it come out even remotely funny. But, I hear you say, the comic you're doing no isn't funny either. To which I say, shut your fool mouth. Anyway, Boatface. It's about a guy with a boat for a face. He has a friend who's a bus with a tree growing out of him. He encouraged children to throw rocks at Jeffy from "The Family Circus." I like that about a Treebus. Also, Alf appears to eat Hatcat.
The Book - These guys probably love me to no end after I prematurely declared their web comic defunct. In reality, The Book is not defunct but is actually very much alive. A nicely drawn manga-style strip, The Book does tend to skip around. Iím still not entirely sure whatís going on here, but Iím amused by the authorsí continued insistence that they own me. Thatís just ridiculous, of course, because Dory owns me and she has papers to prove it.
Call of Whatever - Definitely original. The Call of Whatever documents the adventures of a couple of Great Old Ones lost in the modern world and the poor schlub who loves them. Itís got some good art, although Iím disappointed that we havenít seen more nasty Lovecraftian beasties yet. Perhaps itís just me, but the two squid gods are just adorable, what with their big, watery, Hamtaro-style eyes. And that backwards cap! As retarded preteens say, itís KAWAII ^_^!!!! It does help if youíre familiar with H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos, though.
Captain Greyhound - Mike saved a greyhound from being squashed by a bus and, as payment, he received...THE MYSTICAL POWERS OF THE GREYHOUND!!!! Now that is what I call a sweet reward. Captain Greyhound is a silly romp, done in a fiendishly cute pseudo-anime style. Is it chibi? Not quite...but it is cute. I love the way the noses are all upturned. It's cute! Also, I relate to Alex. Poor, cynical Alex. The guy just can't get a break. If you have a chance, why not check out the Myst section while you're there? They're a bit old but well worth a gander.
Cat Ball and Clown Girl - Hilarious, random adventures of a cat with no feet. Really, thereís nothing else to say about this strip. The Catball is full of hate. Perhaps itís because he has no feet? Or could it be for unrelated reasons? I guess weíll never know.
Jack Chick - Jack Chick is, of course, your best source for paranoid conspiracy Christian hate comics. Whether he's bashing the Pope for creating Islam as a plot to kill the Jews or explaining how Mormons use Dungeons and Dragons to turn us all gay, Chick never disappoints. I used to have Jack listed here on my melancholic comics page, but the truth is, well, I kinda like him. I pretty much disagree with every single thing he's ever said. Couple that with the fact that I was raised Catholic and Jack hates the Vatican more than he hates a rock 'n' rollin' Jehovah's Witness abortionist, and you'll see that I don't like him for his philosophy. However, I have to give credit where credit's due. The man has cojones. He's not afraid to tell the "awful truth," the old school fire-and-brimstone southern-fried preacherman version of Christianity where, at the end of the day, EVERYONE gets thrown screaming into the lake of fire. He's not looking to win any popularity contests, he's out to save souls. You have to admire his dedication even if you abhor his methods and his world view. Anyway, Chick's insane devotion and frightening sincerity forced me to upgrade him from "melancholic" (Comics that piss me off) to "sanguinic" (Even if it's only because it's so bad it's good).
The Class Menagerie - This is a very popular strip about a bunch of anthropomorphic animals in college. (Fun fact: Supposedly the college in this comic is based on Berkeley, where I am now! Dude!) Some very good character development, the cast members seem like really nice people who genuinely like each other. You donít get that kind of warmth in web comics very often. Itís not all that funny but itís still worth your time. The characters are just so darn likable that itís addicting!
Colliding Worlds - Colliding Worlds tells the story of a young man who goes to bed one night and wakes up transported into a bizarre alternate world of magic, mystery, and elves. Don't you hate it when that happens? I know I do. Just the other night I fell passed out in some bar and woke up in prison. Hey, everyone, I just flew in from the county jail this morning. And boy is my ass tired! HAHAHAHA! Tip your waitresses unless they really suck, I'll be here all week! In other news, Colliding Worlds also features Kitty, who might be a jaguar but, by the same token, might be a leopard. Or, I suppose, a cheetah. It is a mystery to be explicated!!! Finally, I should mention that the author's name is Wet Hamster, which is the coolest online handle I've ever seen, narrowly edging out both Bill the Splut and Seanbaby. And I'm not going to mention my own old timey handle of Disembodied Brain in a Fluid-filled Jar, occasionally appearing on both Mr. Cranky Rates the Movies and Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension, because I'm biased.
The Corruption of
Ted - Original. This was one of the first strips I started reading on Keenspace and, for a while, one of my favorites. The author had a nice flair for taking ordinary situations and slowly warping them over the course of several strips. (The plotline where Ted worries that a male classmate might be hitting on him is a prime example.) The basic premise is this: Ted is an average high school kid. His amazing supercomputer is trying to help him lose his virginity. The whole thing is some sort of alien experiment. Other stuff happens, too. The cartoonistís computer apparently crashed and burned sometime last year and TCOT hasnít been updated since. Keep watching this space, though.
Daisy is Dead - This is a fairly new comic, all about a particularly perky zombie chick. I think there should be more webcomics about perky zombie chicks, but who listens to me? The art is pretty cool, a nifty cross between Spumco and Chuck Jones. I think this comic has some real promise, so go and read it or I'll look like a fool for saying how cool it is. Ees goot.
Deadmans Party(sic) - What can I say here? The artís nice, the jokes are amusing, and I like the Danny Elfman reference in the title. Otherwise, it never updates and the premise, well, itís been done before. The immortal blood spray strip is worth reading just for the shock value, though. And Abbeyís a fun character.
Deazel Weasel - This isnít really a comic strip. First of all, itís not a strip, itís more a comic book. Secondly, itís not even that. Itís really an online art gallery. But itís got a bunch of pages from Brentosí comic series ďDeazel Weasel,Ē which is quite good. Good solid slice of life working man humor from a hard-drinkiní weasel who can talk to cars. You need to approach this site with an open mind or youíll be hopelessly confused. Remember, it doesnít take place in our world, so donít be so literal. Bananas might fly. Also, if youíre into Canadian culture, this is probably as Canadian as it gets.
Devices of Sin - So far thereís not too much here, but I think itís going to be big. I donít know why, I just like it. Maybe itís because itís so totally random. Maybe itís because thereís a monkey in it. Rather spartan but a good start. Maybe itís because the main girl talks about porn so much. She reads Dick Digest. Címon, itís funny!
Diabolica - No astute social commentary, no painfully forced edginess, just drop-dead funny comics. Itís the story of a super villain, his incompetent lackeys, and their continued failure to conquer the world. I think this comic is especially noteworthy because Herr Grossmann wears, wait for it, A FEZ!!!! ON HIS HEAD!!! ITíS A FEZ!!!! MONKEY WITH A FORK!!!!
Dinosaur Comics - Oh, how I love dinosaurs. After pirates, zombies, Godzilla, noodles, pie, monkeys, and AMERICA, there's probably nothing I like better. And this comic has lots of dinosaurs. Actually, it only has three. Over and over. And over again. Yes, a lot of comics reuse the same art, but only Dinosaur comics reuses the exact same picture for every single strip. Yes, I'm aware that the cartoonist added a beard to the ttrannosaurus in the evil parallel universe strips, but my point still stands. Probably the most original comic I've seen in a long, long time. It renews my faith in the webcomic medium.
Done Dirt Cheap - I'm not exactly sure what's going on here yet but it's set in...THE FUTURE!!!!! A gritty, noirish, cyberpunk type future full of custom-built dragon people. I think. It's still new so it's a bit heavy on the exposition but, hey, give it time. If you have any doubts about visiting this comic, let me clear them up right now: It starts off with an explanation of how to make puppy sauce. I hate those puppies, serves 'em right for being so damned whiny. I didn't think it would ever top that but, then, it did by explaining how to make a gravity bong. I don't know what it is or even if it's real, but I think my old college roommates had one. At least, they spent a lot of time cooped up in the bathroom together, laughing. Creepy. My old roommates, not the comic.
Dunk Tank - Scribbles 'n' zaniness from the creator of Japanimation Fist. My favorite part is the in-progress tory about the Voodoo guy, the one told in Dr. Suessy rhymes. It's the "(Something that sounds like "Hooligan")in the Hat!" That's the problem with doing these reviews when you don't have the actual comic in front of you! Anyway, it's got a nice crisp style, chock full of eye-pleasin' primary colors and bold , dramatic linework. It's kind of like that style that's been made so popular by Penny Arcade, except better because it's not just the same two pictures of guys talking in every strip. Plus the writing is a lot better.
Eagle DNA - Great, random humor. Iís about a bald eagle and a sentient strand of DNA. No, I donít get that either, but lots of stock photo goodness. Some of their best strips, ironically, are post-September 11 musings. Fun for the whole family. Also, Eagle DNA is related, in some vague, unknowable way, to Owlie, President Ass, and Fat Jesus.
Natur - If it were still around... I used to think Bob the Angry Flower was the be-all and end-all of web comics until I found Ein Stueck Natur. This comic was simply brilliant and there isnít a day that I donít mourn its passing. (Well, okay, there are some days.) I believe that the cartoonist quit in despair after heíd been producing the comic for a substantial amount of time and only getting minimal reader feedback. So let this be a lesson to you people out there. Always take the time to let your web cartoonists know how you feel about them. I didnít and look what happened to me...
Elf Life - Copious amounts of nudity kind of overshadow whatever Byzantine plot there might be hidden in this strip. Itís an on-going fantasy strip about elves and sprites and stuff. The art style is free and fluid and quite different for this subject matter. Itís the first time that Iíve seen elves depicted without using some stilted sword-and-sorcery style where everyoneís all buff and posing all the time. Lots of breasts, but, oddly, few nipples.
Empress Huttgirl - Okay, this is really the only comic here that I canít recommend. Iím sorry, I really tried to find something good about it but it didnít make it easy. Maybe if the cartoonist hadnít quit so early I would be able to make a case that it showed potential and might even have become the next big thing in web comics. But, alas, Empress Huttgirl seems to have gone kaput after only a brief few filler strips. Since she links to me, Iíll leave this link to her up, in the off chance that it might do some good, perhaps even encourage her to once again put pen to paper and finish what she began.
Farmboy - Not bad, has some pretty funny strips. Farmboy is a sprite comic, apparently based on some videogame that I never played. I wouldnít think that you could make a very good game out of just running a farm, but what do I know? Iím certainly not the head of research and development over at Nintendo Corporation. Or Sega, for that matter. Or even Atari. Man, I really suck. In any event, Farmboy. Owning a ranch was never this much fun! Lots of jokes about characters named Melon and Cantaloupe, if youíre into that sort of thing.
Fat Jesus Despite the tile, this is a pretty cute and innocuous strip. It doesnít update very often and, when it does, Fat Jesus himself appears to only be a peripheral character. That dark patch around his mouth is, Iím pretty sure, a beard snd not smeared chocolate as I believed for quite some time. It made sense at the time, him being fat and all. Some funny jibes about science and religion, though, and, of course, the Fat Jesus concept is just funny in and of itself.
Fight, Cast, or Evade - At first, I was a little afraid to start reading this strip. I donīt really know why. Maybe itīs because itīs so popular and popular comics intimidate me? In any event, once I started I was glad I did. Fight, Cast, or Evade is set in your typical D&D style high fantasy-sword-and-sorcery- type universe with one key difference - the characters are all animals. As in furries, I guess. The artīs a little strange and stylized but you get used to it pretty fast and the humor is surprisingly crisp considering that the subject matter isnīt exactly new. Thereīs some nice romantic tension between Yerzle and Portia and the supporting characters are all funny and likeable. (Even Fuubar,Yerzleīs arrogant studly rival, gets some good lines.) My favorite is Stillwell, the elephant thief. He makes me laugh. He does have an oddly shaped head, though.
Firebird - Firebird! FIREBIIIIIRD!!!! Not a muscle car!!! Not a Russian opera!!! It's Firebiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrdddd!!! Yes, it's Firebird. Soldiers are out blowing away dragons while the government hires criminals to be assassins. But, oh no! In their first test, those criminals find themselves up against the likes of Schwartz the murderous android. This is one time when you DON'T want the Schwartz to be with you. Because he's full of murder and he'll kill you DEAD!!! Chock full of quasi-anime goodness.
Flying Suit Reiko - Really, really funny manga-style comics, Flying Suit Reiko reminds me of nothing so much as the old-school MAD magazine. Back when William Gaines was in charge, before it started sucking. Every panel is chock full of asides, inside jokes, and all sorts of little goodies for the observant reader. It helps if you have a working knowledge of anime conventions and it couldnít hurt if you actually know Japanese. Still, itís got enough non-genre jokes to keep even a non-otaku satisfied. Be warned, thereís a lot of raunchy sex here and itís not all mainstream. (No, not tentacle rape, you perv.) So donít read it at work.
Foxfire - David Gonterman, sometimes called the Ed Wood of internet cartooning, might lack any noticeable skill at either drawing or writing, but what he lacks in quality he more than makes up for in quantity. He's churned out dozens of toe-curlingly awful fan comics, each one more chock full of unintentional Freudian subtext than the last, and he doesn't show any signs of stopping soon. Foxfire is by no means the worst of the lot but it's my personal favorite. It's the story of Jim Goodlow, a Gonterman self-insert who has a symbiotic relationship with a living fox carnival mascot costume. Yes, you read that right. Together, they fight crime, save the world from alien "zoots" (Don't ask), and even defeat the heads of the WWF. Besides brushing on about two hundred separate fetishes (including transgender, furversion, age regression, plushophilia, and whatever you call that one where you dress up in animal costumes), Gonterman liberally indulges his penchants for incomprehensible pop culture references and figleaf pseudo-swearing (PHRACKIN' A!!!) throughout. I originally mentioned Foxfire here on my melancholic links page, but Gonterman just tries so hard that I started to feel bad. Poor little tyke.
Freak U - Finally! Adam finally got off his duff and started this one. I mean, c'mon, he only does THREE other comics (Night Shift, Amazon Space Rangers, and The Weird Worlds of Pewfell Porfingles), you'd think he'd have plenty of time to do another comic. Freak U is romping fun adventure that recalls those ridiculous college flicks of the by-gone 80s. You know, like Revenge of the Nerds. Hey, remember when the nerds made pies with pictures of the naked cheerleader on the plate? Wasn't that awesome? I know I laughed. And that flick's got the best line in cinematic history, the one about how all jocks think about is sports but all nerds think about is sex. Anyway, back to Freak U: Cosmo, a straight-laced freshman-type, leaves home for the halls of academia, and is taken under the wing of resident party animal Woodlouse. But watch out! There's sinister goings-on, what with the crusty old dean an dall. Ha. Wing. Woodlouse. That's funny. And I made it up all by myself. I rule. Anyway, it's still young, but it's going places.
Fur Will Fly - I stumbled across this strip entirely by accident, but what a wonderful accident it was. Itís lots of fun, all about a human trapped in a world of anthropomorphic animals. The main character Brad is a hoot, and I can really relate to his Mr.T obsession. Speaking of which, isnít it great to see Mr.T getting work again? Anyway, the artworkís just a tad sketchy, as if the artist hasnít completely gotten the hang of the characters yet. But itís getting better. And the jokes are some of the best Iíve found on-line.
Fuzzball Saga - Flash animated site about a futuristic dystopia full of evil robots and stuff and where humanityís only hope is a perpetually happy blue fuzzball. Ga? Very, very odd but good, solid work. The dialogue is still written in comic-style word balloons so donít be afraid to check this site out just because your computer doesnít have speakers or something. I like the one with the pirates and the ninja.
Gametes - The best comic about talking sperm. Period. It was actually quite droll considering the subject matter, but it now looks like the cartoonist got bored with the project. A shame, really. Still, check it out.
Geekgasm - Geekgasm is what they call geek humor. I think. I wasnít entirely sure what geek humor was before I read this comic and Iím still not sure. I always thought it had to do with computers Ďní stuff. Well, Geekgasm is aboutÖstuff. And things. Itís hard to explain, lots of bizarre non sequitor type humor. The bit about clown antics producing laughter in other people was priceless. The throw-away filler is some of the best stuff on line.
Glick Glidewell - Glick Glidewell's a time-traveling, dimension-hopping, alternate-world-visiting gadfly of a kid, who seems to have all sort of adventures involving wacky time paradoxes and stuff. That name always reminds me of Mrs.Glick, the elderly neighbor on "The Simpsons." Or Sammy Glick, the smarmy Hollywood putz in that not-very-shocking old-timey Hollywood expose "What Makes Sammy Run" - you know, the one that says Hollywood is full of -gasp! - insincere hacks! Horrors! Or, it reminds me of George Carlin's Cardinal Glick in "Dogma,' really the funniest thing in that movie. Gee, it really reminds me of a lot of stuff. .
God Eat God - Ahhh, a true intellectual strip. Apart from having the absolute coolest comic name ever, God Eat God is also a delight to read, detailing the trials and tribulations of the old gods trying to survive in todayís secular society. Mokie knows her mythology and sheís not afraid to flaunt it. Some strips do require an understanding of classical mythology, but Mokie helpfully includes links to explanations and outside resources.
Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy - A new but very promising strip about a chunky crime-fighting superheroine that fights crime and eats candy. Not necessarily in that order.
The Grimbles - The Grimbles, about an extensive and very quirky family called the Grimbles, is written by Burke, the fellow who brought you Diabolica. You can still see the same mind at work, although The Grimbles is a lot more low-key. Itís understated and classy, the sort of comic strip that Edward Gorey would create. Some fun cultural references.
Guardian Angel - Defunct. Not bad, mainly noteworthy for its depiction of the devil in his Tommy Hilfiger gear. I sent some fan art to this guy years ago, telling him that his comics ruled. About 6 months later I got a rather curt response that thanked me for the art and expressed doubt that he ruled as I had claimed. Iím sure he was being modest but I felt oddly ashamed for having gushed. He never linked to me. Iím sure he was very busy, and, just to show that Iím not at all bitter, Iím leaving this link here.
Funnies - The second to latest offering by the multi-talented Caleb, Hi-Falutiní Funnies is sort of a catch-all for that mad manís creative spill-over. It started out as a surreal and rather self-reflexive story of a bald-headed girl sucked into a hostile comic world, then mutated into a gag cartoon about lazy cowboy perverts, then introduced Carl the guy who pees on things. Caleb is, incidentally, also the man responsible for the unfinished but deeply mourned Zap Jones and the equally off-the-wall Vinnie Noodle Doodle. My apologies if this link doesnít work. Since Keenspace (Or, as the wags dub it, the completely not keen at all because it refuses to update its damn list space) refuses to update its damn list Iím not entirely clear on the url for Vinnie Noodle Doodle. It might be at this URL. Iíll check later.
Horseshoes and Handgrenades - Iím never quite sure who deserves recognition for this comic. Itís run by three lovely ladies, so they all get props! Horseshoes and Handgrenades is, again, a difficult comic to explain. Itís all about three women who live together. I think. With a saber-tooth cat, an evil couch, and a strange cat thing that doesnít really exist. Weird but compelling, this is one of those comics that doesnít get nearly as much attention as it deserves just because it doesnít conveniently fit into any one genre. It bounces all over the place, but seems to follow an internal logic of sorts. Among other things, Terri has the ability to turn into a Powerpuff Girl at will and thereís an on-going gag about a really motivated guinea pig. Once you start reading, itíll really grab you. And, in case youíre wondering, the title refers to that old saying that close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades. Itís quite clever when you understand it, really. Oh, also gotta give credit where creditís due: These are the folks who were kind enough to design the nifty Fantastical Bestiary link button. I mean the good link button, not the crappy one. You know the one.
I Fought the Law - I'll come out and admit this right up front: I probably like this strip so much because it's about law students. And, hey, I'm a law student! But even more amazing it's about law students at Berkeley's Boalt Hall school of law. Which is - surprise! - where I'm a student. That said this is the comic that proves us law students aren't all unfunny twits. (Since my comic doesn't really prove that, seeing as how I'm really not that funny) The best part about this comic, though, is that it's pretty funny even if you don't know anythng about law school. That's right, unlike some other comics I could mention (*Cough*Nukees*Cough*) I Fought the Law is more than a just ego-stroking inside jokes. Check out the stripper storyline for TEH FUNNY, as the kids say.
Jackie's Fridge - Good strong writing, wonderful art, plus it's just so cute! Jackieís Fridge, I believe, originally ran in a college newspaper. ĎCourse I could be wrong. Any way, it tells the story of Jackie, just your average, everyday young woman on the go. She has a talking fridge. I think. It doesnít really talk that much; itís more of a peripheral character, really. Still, itís an amusing gimmick that gets you to start reading. Come for the fridge, stay for the original writing and well-developed characters.
Japanimation Fist - Just realized that I posted the new Sanguinic links page without a proper review of Japanimation Fist but only saying "Dude, what is this? It's like Evil Hello Kitty!" Well, let me apologize to Japanimation Fist's author for that; that was a "Think of something witty and fill in later" remark. Anyway, what is Japanimation Fist? Well, it's sorta like Evil Hello Kitty. Japanimation Fist is set in a comic book universe populated by cute widdle ninja cats with super powers. It's nifty that way. The art style is what I like best. It's the same sort of construction-paper coloration that you see in Dunk Tank, but I like it. And it fits with the pseudo-manga feel of the strip. Why do I get the impression that it's manga? I don't know. It's nothing like manga. Must be just me on a san rio kick. Sorry. BATZ MARU RULZ!!
JoBeth - The adventures of the world's dumbest blonde! JoBeth is something of an anomaly in web comics. Itís a single panel gag cartoon, much like The Far Side or a weekday Dennis the Menace. No continuing stories, no extensive supporting cast, just JoBeth being stupid in innovative new ways. You might recognize a couple of the punch lines from old blonde jokes that have been floating around, but there are some moments of definite greatness here: The strip where JoBeth forgets to remove her panties before throwing them on stage at a rock concert had me laughing for days. Strangely, the artist manages to convey a pretty good range of emotions considering that heís working with a character that doesnít have any eyes.
Kiwi Day - BWAHAHAHAHA!! No THAT'S entertainment! Kiwi Day looks sorta like your standard webcomic - you know, characters based on anime and video games, joined together in a quest to kill monsters and discover treasure. Man, you kids with your wacky D & D influenced web comics! But the truth is this comic is actually really funny. Especially the one where all the characters are too stoned to do anything and then the giant worm or something says, "Kids! Don't do drugs!" I swear, that's comedy gold. For extra laughs, go read the character descriptions. I like the one about the wolf guy whose hobbies include smelling things. That cracks me up. I know what you're thinking. "Excuse me? Did I read that right? Are you sending me to a TRIPOD site? You've got to be kidding. Next you'll be sending me to some GEOSHITIES comic." Scoff not, vile charlatan, and cease thy base chicanery. For know this: before we moved to Keenspace (The webdomain of KINGS), The Fantastical Bestiary was actually hosted by....angelfire. The shame, the shame...
of Greed - This comic is, as far as I can tell, defunct. I donít think it was ever meant to be anything more than a series of inside jokes to amuse the cartoonist and a few of his close friends. If thatís the case, I admire his moxie. What else can you say about a guy who tried to beat out the Keenspace 99 with Lucky Bob strips that no one understood? To this day I still take every chance I get to work the phrase ďHi-yo!Ē into conversations.
Land of Lost Mythology - The art in this strip is simply amazing. It just knocks me down every time I look at it. Unfortunately, it also means that it takes forever to download on my computer. Also, the pictures are so intricate and detailed that itís sometimes difficult to figure out whatís going on. That doesnít matter too much; the storyís pretty slow moving. Oh, itís got bottlebrushes. What are bottlebrushes? I donít rightly know but theyíre cute enough to make me go into preteen retard mode again: KAWAII ^_^!! Hereís the same message in teen retard mode: Yo yo, dis shite iz dope, biznatch. Werd up, dawg. Gonna git mah glock Ďní pop a cap in yo ass. Rap snacks, dey so vicious dey tight. Daynt lunchiní! Iz koo, koo. Yeah, twice. Oh, did I mention thereís great art here?
Latex Blue - For the longest time I was incorrectly calling this comic "Irresponsible Cybernetics." But that's wrong. It's really called "Latex Blue." Okay, now that that's cleared up, Latex Blue is the story of a submissive living latex inflatable furry cat girl and her dominating sadistic rabbit master. Um...yeah. It makes sense if you think about it. Latex Blue is probably the strangest comic on-line, yet it's so unapologetic in its weirdness that it's impossible not to like. Half the time it's little more than a catalog of the most obscure and esoteric fetishes imaginable but it never forgets that it is, above all else, a comic and that it ought to be funny. Dragonfly really has an eye for finding the humor in things that would make most people cringe. If you don't find at least one sex act on this site that appeals to you, you're probably either dead or Mormon.
The Legend of Chucko Liang - I still have no idea how to describe this comic. It feels very steampunk to me, but I donít know why. Old west steampunk. What do you call that genre? Thereís a name for it. Gaslight techno fantasy? New American frontier gothic? Damnit, whereís my ďEncyclopedia of Pretentious Literature Terminology?Ē I havenít seen any actual evidence that TLOCL is steampunk, but I just get that vibe from it. So if anyone can confirm or debunk this feeling of mine, please do.
The Life and Times of Mr. Bubbles - It's the adventures of a chicken! Is that chicken Mr. Bubbles? Quite probably, I'd wager! Mr. Bubbles doesn't talk much but he has lots of bizarre, chickeny adventures. Does he really get as much fanmail as recent strips would suggest? Hopefully not, because, if he did, I would be legally obligated to hate his guts. Just kidding! Ha ha! I make with the funny! Anyway, Mr. Bubbles is a cute strip told mostly in pantomime that recalls...well, I don't really know what it recalls. Reminds me a little of Krazy Kat to be totally honest. Mr. Bubbles is such a loveable fellow, I love him to death! He loves corn! 'Cause he's a chicken! But he doesn't like Corn brand shoelaces. Damn shoelaces!
M.A.C. Studios - Until recently I didnīt think Iīd ever read a M.A.C. Studios strip. Turns out I had actually read quite a few, back when it still went by the name "Floydīs Void." Whatever the name, M.A.C. Studios is pretty darn good. I usually donīt like webcomics about video games because I donīt get them. I was never a hardcore gamer and all this Warcraft brouhaha is after my time. Now, if they made a webcomic full of Monkey Island, Space Quest, and Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikodemus references, that would be funny. Still, M.A.C. Studios is fun because thereīs a lot more than just gaming jokes. And because some of the jokes are about Maniac Mansion, the greatest game of all time. So donīt be a tunahead, go check out M.A.C. Studios. Just have to mention, though, that Iīve never seen a series with so many guest comics. Thereīs tons of them, almost enough to make me suspect that M.A.C. Studios is run by some art students. You ever notice that web comics run by art students never update? The ones done by high schoolers, law students, medical students, even people with real jobs update all the time, but art students...Go figure.
The Magic Armadillo - One of the major problems with web comics these days is their relentless push to be ďhipĒ and ďedgy.Ē Which, to most people, apparently just means that you add a lot of swearing and violence and drop the humor. I like the Magic Armadillo because itís got all three; itís the edgy web comic that does it right. The artís primitive, nothing more than tiny little paintshop stick figures, but the writing is so sharp that youíll never notice. Plus, the cartoonist has had some truly inspired moments, not the least of which is his creation of Malorech the evil demon butterfly.
Makeshift Miracle - Wonderful art, dramatic story, a bit slow but absorbing. Totally by chance I linked to this strip and within six months itís become the most popular web comic out there. Coincidence? I think not. See, all the big shots in the industry come to my links page to find the next big thing. Not that they ever stop o read the actual comic. Anyway, the Makeshift Miracle is an on-going story about a teenager who gets hit by a meteor and finds a girl in the crater. Actually, thereís no way that I could ever do justice to this strange and beautiful creation, so you really need to check it out for yourself. Erie and unsettling, itís almost like something half-remembered from a fever dream. The cartoonistís style is the closest thing Iíve seen to real, professional comic book art on the web. Heís talented and, whatís more, a really nice guy, so I canít begrudge him his popularity. He deserves it.
Mint Gum - Itís one of those autobiographical comics, all about the authorís high school life. I think. At least, it started out that way before it took an odd little detour following these two angry angsty guys to a rock concert. Having long since escaped high school I can no longer connect with todayís youth, so donít expect me to understand all these rock music references. Kids today and their damn rock and/or roll. I wish sheíd have more comics with Jen in the tent. I liked those. I mean, how many people live in tents these days? Not enough. I donít like the music related ones that much because they remind me that Iím old and out of touch. Hey, remember Flock of Seagulls? Werenít they groovy? Was it ďIranĒ like the country or ďI ranĒ like ďI ran away?Ē I guess weíll never knowÖ
Muertitos - If you've ever taken a gander at S's Flying Suit Reiko (And if you haven't, go do that now!) you might remember "Muertitos" as the comic about dead children. Um, it's a lot funnier than it sounds. Trust me! Because, Lordalmighty, I frickin' love this comic. S's got an amazing way of taking "Simpsons/Futurama" style gag-a-minute writing and making it work in a daily comic format. Funny, funny stuff. Also, S's art is really improving more with each comic - it's amazing! Also, I think the girls in it, Youko and that mummy chick whose name I always misspell, are hot. I just realized that the mummy is supposed to be 14, though. Does this make me a bad person? Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia says yes, but the rest of the court says no! Fuck you, Scalia! I'll pirate CDs as much as I damn well please, you anti-environment, anti-civil liberties, pro-corporate zombie asshole! AHAHAHAHAH!
Nerdz - Very different. I wish that there werenít so many quirky, indescribable comics that march to the beat of their own drum. Why canít you people just follow a nice, predictable formula? It would make things so much easier on those of us who have to write link descriptions. Nerdz starts off with the story of creation and goes on from there. God and the devil appear, as well as other stuff. The artwork is what really makes this comic: wild, psychodelic scribbles that suggest that the cartoonist is constantly strung out on goofballs. (Er, though Iím sure he really isnít.) Screwball McGoo probably has the coolest handle on all of Keenspace. Besides that, heís also a decent human being and an agreeable fellow but, for the life of me, I still canít figure out why the stripís called ďNerdz.Ē By the way, the extra Z makes it cool.
Night Mart - One of our few non-keenspace selections, Night Mart is an odd little number but has its moments. Itís about, strangely enough, a fellow who works in a convenience store in the wee hours of the morning. Amusing. One of this siteís most obnoxious features is that it doesnít have any archive; it only displays strips from the last three days. So if you go on vacation for a week or so, youíre pretty much out of luck. Still, itís nice to see a strip that relies more on witty dialogue than pretty pictures.
Shift - Even though Iím good friends with the webmaster and cartoonist Adam Prosser (Among other things, we started thePogo Stick telephone improv together and collaborated on the 2002 April foolís day comic swap), itís such a high quality strip that I donít feel any qualms about recommending it. Night Shift is consistently funny while still maintaining involving, quickly paced plots. Whatís even more impressive is that it manages to be utterly hilarious while still staying relatively clean, something that requires both more class and more wit than is displayed by your average cuss-heavy slaphappy mayhem fest web comics out there. In addition to Night Shift, this site also features the dramatic epic ďLancelotĒ and the surreal crime story ďAfter the Goldrush.Ē
Not Sabrina On-line - My girlfriend gave me some grief over liking this strip, because itís such a mean-spirited spoof of Sabrina On-line of which Iím also a fan. The early jokes are funniest because theyíre the most vitriolic, especially those that make the author out to be a disgusting lecher. Later strips seem strangely subdued, and I can only imagine that genuine fans of the strip discovered NOSOC and began using it to praise SOLís creator rather than to mock him. Strangely, even the older jokes display an almost obsessive attention to even the most minute elements of the Sabrina On-line saga. Many will require some knowledge of the controversy surrounding SOL author Eric Schwartzís stances on copyright and pornography, which, if you donít already know about, I canít help you with. All I know about that is what Iíve gleaned from the discussion boards at Portal of Evil, which is where, incidentally, I found this link. (Editorís Note: Seems The Man has forced NOSOC out of business. The Man is a big dumb doodyhead. Iím leaving the link there, since I vaguely remember there being some other amusing stuff on this site.)
The Odd One - This comic really does live up to its name. So far this seems to be just a bunch of random pics by The Odd One, whom you might better know as the awesomest artist on that INTERWEB wasteland known as Deviant Art. But, as Levar Burton says on "Reading Rainbow," you don't have to take my word for it: here's his site right here. After you've finished looking through his pics, you might as well burn your computer because there's nothing else worth seeing out here. I mean, really, what's on the internet that's wirthwhile anyway? In the old days, back in, oh, 96 or so, it was all Swedish ASCI porn and Japanese technobabble. Nowadays it's all been replaced by furry porn and hentai. Whoop dee diddly doo. Speaking of which, check out the Odd One's "Hooray for Furry Artists" movie. It's TEH FUNY, as the kids say these days. Oh, his Blog Tweening with Meaning has some pretty cool info on the state of the animation biz these days. Go read it.
Oldskooled - This was the first sprite comic that I started reading. At the time, I thought it was the most original thing Iíd ever seen. Well, time has passed and Iím older and wiser than I was two years ago. While I no longer believe Oldskooled to be that innovative, itís still darn funny. Itís one of the few sprite comics that does more than make inside jokes about different gaming systems. I hate those comics. What the hell is the X-Box anyway? And do I care if itís better than Gamecube? Well, I might if I knew anything about them, but since I gave up on videogames around the time that the Atari 2600 went out of style, I donít. Now get out of here, Iíve got to get past that damn boulder field on ďJungle Hunt.Ē And then Iíll blast me some Hotdog Fliers on ďMoon Patrol.Ē Nooo, I jumped too soon and fell in a whole and my moon buggy exploded into a million pixels! Veneciaaaaaaa! Christ, these stream-of-consciousness comic reviews are getting stupid.
OMGJeremy: Amanda Wood's Special Comics Page - I love these comics. I didn't think Amanda here would ever top that one about pirates because, hey, it's about pirates. And pirates are awesome. But then she did that comic about Joe and Nadia where Joe achieves magical transformative powers. Nothing's funnier than the panel where Thoth appears and yells, "I appear!" I love that.
Owlie - Ha ha! Owlie funny! I think this is a spin-off of Eagle DNA. Not quite as funny because itís actually hand drawn rather than just assembled out of pre-existing clip art. I think that makes it lose some of the confusing, off-kilter atmosphere that made Eagle DNA so classic. The writing is still top-notch, so it doesnít suffer too much. Go there now! Owlie needs sleepies!
Ozy and Millie - This is probably my favorite web comic. It owes a lot to Calvin and Hobbes, but the authorís own voice comes through loud and clear, making it a respectful homage rather than a slavish imitation. Ozy is a soft-spoken, philosophy-quoting wolf cub whoís been adopted by a well-meaning but slightly unbalanced dragon. Millie is an outspoken tomboy with a psychotic streak. They have cute and delightfully wacky adventures together, interspaced with bouts of self-reflection. The best character is Avery, a fair-weather friend of Ozyís whoís only interested in following trends and being popular. I knew a lot of people like that. I think theyíre dead now. No, wait. They all went on to rewarding, highly paid career positions in the entertainment industry. Thatís right; sometimeís I forget.
Perki Goth Candy Raver - This comic updates extremely sporadically, and Iím not even entirely sure that itís still active. Still, thereís just something about it that's appealing. In an era where most comics are just manga rip-offs, thereís something to be said for a style thatís more evocative of the smurfs than anything else.
Inc. - Eh. This is one of those comics that lasted a week before falling off the face of the map. By the looks of it, it doesnít seem that the author really ever intended it to go on for very long. Itís just a series of surreal cut-and-paste photos and shoddy Paintshop graphics. But I think that sort of stuff is funny.
Pokey the Penguin- Ah, yes, the infamous Pokey the Penguin, so stupid itís brilliant or so brilliant itís stupid? The strip is little more than a couple of crappy paintshop pictures cut and pasted over and over. The dialogue is completely nonsensical, almost as if it has translated from Chinese by someone who only speaks Esperanto. You either love Pokey or you hate him. And people who hate Pokey reeeeeeally hate him. People who hate him think theyíre all cultured and crap. God, I HATE you people who hate Pokey. Leave him alone, for Chrissakes, willya? Heís a damn penguin, what do you expect? You people make me sick.
President Ass - Pretty good non-sequitor humor, almost reaches that Pokey the Penguin level of surreality on occasion. Almost but not quite. Now that President Bush is justifying detaining terrorism suspects without evidence and refusing them access to counsel by saying that theyíre ďbad guys,Ē this strip is beginning to feel ďripped from the headlines.Ē It hasnít updated in quite a while, not since shortly after the whole terrorism mess began. Maybe someone complained that mocking the president was un-American.
The Renark Den - Whoakay, this is bizarre. Raptorwolfchick writes this comic about...um...starting a comic? So far there's not too much there, other than an anthro wolf with bat wings talking about starting a comic. She's just starting out, though, so I can't say much right now. Except that she really needs to do something about that page layout. I mean, really. It's impossible. The little calendar thingy is superimposed over the comic, so I can't see a damn thing. Once she gets that fixed, she'll be well on her way to getting a whole buttload of spoonhangs.
Roger and Dominic - Just bizarre, laugh-out-loud funny. Roger is a dimwit; Dominic is his genius roommate whoís really a space alien in disguise. But the real star of this comic is LL Coolwhip, a rapping pile of, uh, Cool Whip. I love LL Coolwhip. I want to be LL Coolwhip. Ah, who am I kidding? Iíll never be as cool as LL Coolwhip. Never! Oh, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruel, cruelÖuhÖuhÖwhat was I saying? Oh, yeah, drink milk. Donít do drugs. Stay in school. Anyway, back to the comic- the oddball supporting cast are what really make this comic solid gold. Thereís the evil alien whose name I canít pronounce but who worships a disembodied liver, a living pile of liposuctioned fat, a punching bag penguin who brings economic stability where ever he goes, and the ghost of Brad Anderson. I like it when they shove it to Brad Anderson. Any comic with the guts to take on the big boys like that gets my vote. Goooo Roger and Dominic.
Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan - Neat, relatively straight fantasy strip. Does anyone know how to pronounce ďClwyd-Rhan?Ē What is that, Welsh?
Sabrina On-line - Youíve probably already heard of Sabrina On-line, described on Portal of Evil as a geeky wankfest about a female skunk with no pants. That pretty much sums it up. Only updated once a month, SOL is an on-going romantic soap opera that makes up for not being especially funny by being really cute. Itís rather addictive and the art is darn good. Sabrina reminds me of my girlfriend, mainly because theyíre both insanely geeky chicks with shy, sweet demeanors and an obsession with collecting action figures. Plus neither of them wore pants. Iím just kidding, of course. Turns out Sabrina was wearing pants the whole time; theyíre just strategically colored so as to blend in with skunk ass.
Sawdust - Are you tired of web comics about furries and sprites and college dorms? Well, my friend, have I got a strip for you: Sawdust is set entirely in a saw mill. Yes, thatís right: a saw mill. Jimís your typical gung-ho engineering nerd, got himself a fancy-pants college education. Unfortunately, that doesnít help him to omuch in dealing with the technophobic rednecks who work at Hackler mill. This is probably the most original web comic premise I've ever seen. And itís droll. Very droll.
Sinfest - Every comic site has a link to Sinfest. I think there might be an actual federal statute requiring that every web comic link to Sinfest. That or Living in Greytown. And now that living in Greytown has gone the way of the dodo, looks like Sinfest is the only game in town. So whatís it about? Hard to say. Itís got a wannabe pimp named Slick, some hot chick ho named Monique, the obligatory bickering cat and dog pair, and a hilarious on-going rivalry (duh) between God and the devil. Very funny stuff and, considering the title, surprisingly pro-religion.
Slow Wave - This guy is brilliant; he takes peopleís dreams and turns them into cartoons. The results are frequently weird and always hilarious. The best strips are those that you just know are real dreams because youíve had similar nocturnal journeys. (The strips documenting Cornelius the evil hot air balloon and the snake-like baby porcupines spring to mind.) Fun fact: Jesse Racklawís a local- heís a bay area resident, too! Nifty!
Sons of Noah - If you've ever read "The Crusaders" or "Truth for Youth" or any one of various other comics that desperately tries and fails to make Christianity look hip to the kids, you've got a pretty good feel for what Sons of Noah is about. A collaboartion between Fuzzball Saga's Angelo Maceri and Glick Glidewell's Kane Lynch, "Sons of Noah" is a pretty darn funny spoof of nutball rightwing Fundamentalism. It perfectly captures the feel of those comics, right down to the way overly dramatic demons hatch insanely complicated plans all to corrupt one junior high schooler. Scary thing is, as over the top as it is, I'll bet there are some people out there who won't be able to distinguish it from the real thing!
Space Losers - Space Losers tells the story of two average fast food restaurant employees who hitch a ride on an alien space ship and cruise the universe. Lots of wacky adventures dealing with alien cultures and stuff. This strip has some terrific, detailed art; you can tell that the cartoonistís put a lot of effort into designing his aliens. For once, the aliens actually DO look alien. Itís difficult to envision what sorts of environments might produce such unusual specimens, but thatís why Iím not a scientician. I especially like the infoslide strips that give you background on the various inhabitants of the Space Loser universe.
Square and Rhomboid - Donít be deceived by the simple page layout; this is a complex strip. The first time I read Square and Rhomboid I took a brief glance at the first couple strips and almost dismissed it. Thereís more here than meets the eye. The story is still slowly unfolding, and there are hints of deeper layers of meaning. Having a pair of sentient floating geometric shapes would be enough o get my attention but the storyís engrossing as well. Olsonís spelling isnít the best, but who am I to talk?
Supermegatopia - This is a comic book-style offering with detailed artwork, incomprehensible plots, substantial nipplage. Lots of nipples. Theyíre all over the place. Damn nipples! Theyíre huge! Have you ever seen nipples like these? Itís crazy, I tell ya, crazy. Oh, yeah, thereís stuff with superheroes and sword and sorcery fantasy, too. But mainly nipples.
Tired 'n' Cynical - Tired 'n' Cynical is an oddly named yet pretty darn
funny strip about furries. Not "furries" as in cartoon animals with pants but "furries" as
in the people that love cartoon animals with pants: fat frightening shut-ins who
have sex with their dogs. Maybe it's because I know so many people like this in real life
that I think it's funny. Um, except for the having sex with dogs part. I don't think
I know anyone who has sex with dogs. I have a cat. You shouldn't have sex with a cat because
I'm told its penis has all these pointy little barbs on it. So remember, kids: don't
have sex with your cat! Also, don't whizz on the electric fence or chance the navigator's data.
See, I told you this would be educational.
Two Points of
View - A cute manga strip, Two Points of View has decent art, some good jokes, and THE MONKEY BALL!!! Well worth a gander. Itís got a character that speaks only in leet. Iím sorry, I mean l33t. Or something. I see that l33t speak all over the place and I have no idea what it is. Something thatís big with the kids these days, I guess. Damn kids and their rap. If you want porn, why donít you just ask for porn? Itís not like calling it pron is that clever. You just reversed the r and the o. I could do that.
Untitled - Good art, confusing storylines. Mainly I just like the art, and the fact that there are kangaroo rats here. Plus itís kinda cool to see the wacky punk costumes that the artist designs. Otherwise, Iím a bit lost as to the point of the comic. Itís not really all that funny, so I tend to think of it as a more Apartment 3G-soap opera-type affair. Also, can anyone tell me how to pronounce these names? Thwap? Twap? Dwap?
Waterguy - When I was a kid, my family used to fly around a lot. In airplanes, you idiot. And so we spent a lot of time in airports. Because of that, my Dad created Waterman, a talking plastic evian water bottle who would dance and sing and entertain us kids for hours on end. "Hey, kiiids! Guess what? It's Waterman!" So what's that have to do with Waterguy? Absolutely nothing, but the similar name reminded me of that anecdote. Waterguy is a superhero with a couple of odd sidekicks- including Springs who, I think, is made of springs. Trust me on this. Waterguy fights the nefarious Dr. Gay, who looks like a smiley stick man cyborg and who also sniffs movie stars' underwear and attacks Waterguy with a giant penis sculpture. I'm just amused by the name Dr. Gay. Dr. Gay! Dr. Gay! Dr. Gay!
Weird Worlds of Pewfell Porfingles - The best humorous sword and sorcery strip on line, Pewfell recalls the whimsical tomfoolery of Terry Pratchettís earliest Discworld books. The humor sometimes veers off into adultterritory, but itís always delightfully bawdy rather than just puerile. Itís kind of like how Benny Hill could get away with producing years of material that revolved around him groping underwear models and yet never come off as a pervert. I think it has something to do with being British.
Wendy - Josh has a wonderful manga look to his strips and Iíve never seen naked anime women drawn so appealingly. Theyíre so shiny; Wendy must constantly oil her boobies. I mean, oil her copious bosom. Yes, thatís right. Oh, and itís funny, too. The humor is inspired enough to prevent the whole affair from sliding down into simple soft-core porn.
When I am King - Iím not sure how this psychedelic mess ever became so popular with the kids. Personally, I think itís a bit overrated. It starts off strong, telling the story of a king in an ancient land through pantomime and appropriately hieroglyphic-like imagery, but then begins to lose its way about half-way through. Even so, itís always way trippy and makes for an interesting read.
White House in Orbit - Hey, you remember those old timey sci-fi space operas? The ones where the future looked exactly like the present except that everyone wore spandex tights and all the food came in capsules? And the aliens were really just the Chinese? This comic is a nice little homage to those thrilling days of yesteryear. White House in Orbit takes place in a future that might have been envisioned by kids growing up in the first couple decades of the twentieth century. Women still donít get any respect, the President is a Gilded-Age plutocrat, and the biggest international menace is the Kaiser and his army of space Germans. I love comics with Germans in them. Germans rule my ass! In a totally metaphorical way.
Kid - Sorta like a non-sucking version of "The Wonder Years." Itís fun, but relies on birth defects and congenital diseases for too many of its jokes. Really, thereís only so many times that itís funny to read about people with extra digits, lazy eyes, speech impediments, leprosy, etc. And doesnít that damn kid ever take his hat off?
Zap Jones - Good art, engaging story, too bad it's defunct. Caleb apparently lost interest in this stirring saga of the old west and itís a darn shame. Despite Calebís wonderful cartoon style - it reminds me a little of the caricatures you might find in classic MAD - this is a mostly serious adventure story. His ability to tell a compelling, dramatic story is especially impressive if youíre familiar with some of Calebís more whimsical work on Hi-Falutin Funnies. Iím almost certain that this qualifies as steampunk. Iíve made it my mission to designate something on this links page as steampunk before I die.
Zombie High - More from the guy that brought you Waterguy. Zombie High isn't up and running yet, but watch this space. Expect a full report once Zombie High hits computer screens nationwide.
Zoology - It's a comic about all the crazy antics that go down at the zoo. Cus, you know, giraffes are reactionary, guinea pigs are contrary...uh...genets are...um...incenditary....armadillos?...well, they'd be....solitary? unitary? Oh, fuck it. But I do know the zookeeper is very fond of rum. AT THE ZOO! That has nothing to do with this comic, but there is a depressed octopus and I find that hilarious. Also, Ernest Ape looks kinda like John Waters. I don't know how I feel about that.
Zortic - Cute, understated, classy. This is a good strip that the whole family can enjoy, so go ahead and read it today. Plus, if youíre a fan of Tolkein or Star Wars, youíll find plenty of inside jokes for your pleasure. Part of this stripís charm is that Zortic, despite being a little green alien, is still an average, everyday fellow. Heíd still be stuck in a dead-end customer service job if he hadnít won a spaceship on a game show by pure, dumb, stumbling luck! He might not always succeed, but he always tries to do good. Itís refreshing to see a strip about someone thatís genuinely likeable. Nice pat banter between the principals also makes this comic a joy to read. Oh, and Red Bimbo is funny. Sheís a space pirate.
Melancholic Phlegmatic Choleric