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Webcomic Compendium

Yes, Finally! The Webcomic Compendium, my complete list of the webcomics that I've read and recommend. One thing I've noticed about webcomics is that different people will like different ones - one person may only like one or two comics of a handful that someone else positively adores. What I've done here is sorted all the comics I read or have read (and liked!) in alphabetical order, and tried to break them down into genre for you. I've also given the reasons I like the comic, and a small breakdown of the strip and its plot and characters (if it has them). There's also a handy dandy little Table of Contents right under, because this page wound up being LOOONG.
Now, before you start thinking that I spend all my time reading comics, or are turned off by the length of the list, keep in mind that many of these comics are either finished, on hiatus, or update less than a couple of times a week.

The table of contents has many entries that have no links. These are pages that I haven't written an entry for yet because I'm a lazy sob. They'll be added eventually.


Quick Reference


8-Bit Theatre - (www.nuklearpower.com)
Updates Twice Weekly

8-Bit theatre is a well-executed, hilarious parody of video games. The strip is driven as much by its vaguely FFI plot as it is by Black Mages various stunts, ranging from avoiding authorities after a mass murder, to jettisoning himself into the air from a nuclear explosion in a vain attempt to rid himself of his companions.

  • Genre: Story Driven, Humor, Gaming

8-bit Theatre takes the barebones storyline found in the original Final Fantasy game, and extends it tremendously by making one of the best "paintcan" scenarios imaginable. The four main characters, Black Mage, Red Mage, Fighter, and Theif, are each extremely skilled individuals, but when their resourced are pooled, their in-fighting actually leads to widespread ineptitude. They are often joined by the traveling White Mage and Blackbelt, who are charged with making sure the "Light Heroes" actually save the world.
8-bit is a "sprite" comic - Brian Clevenger takes graphics from the FFI game and modifies them slightly for use in the comic. But its hardly a repetitive strip. He often creates his own unique backgrounds for the characteres to tromp through, and his imaginative and hilarious story and dialogue never require more than the mock face of disbelief that Black Mage so often musters up.

 

A Girl and Her Fed - (www.agirlandherfed.com)
Updates Monday Through Friday

A Self labeled "political strip." A Girl and Her Fed focuses around an unnamed girl and an unnanmed federal agent who, after meeting in some unnusual circumstances, seek to find answers on the negative affects of a new hardware program that nearly 300 agents were exposed to, nearly 100 of whom have died in effect. Aiding them is the ghost of Benjamin Franklin and a talking Koala.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Political

Even though its technically a "political" strip, I hardly consider it so. The most political pulpit blasting that occurs is just an underhanded shot at bush or so. Who doesn't do that? Anyway, the art style is nothing to note, but I do like the characterizations and story. And there's nothing like a frequent update schedule to liken me to a comic.

 

A Lesson is Learned, but the Damage is Irreversible - (www.alessonislearned.com)
On Indefinite Hiatus

  • Genre: Abstract

You'll notice a decided lack of dialogue for Alil. That is because I don't fully understand it myself. I have yet to go through the forums to try to divorce the abstract dialogue and images from the actual meaning. But the comic is still extremely fun to read, and the art is excellent.

 

A Softer World - (www.asofterworld.com)
Updates Sporadically

  • Genre: Abstract, Photo

A favorite of mine, A Softer World is a beautifully tragic, humorous, or romantic comic, depending on the day of the week. Its usually limited to three panels, each being a different photograph, different crop of the same photograph, or a zoom of the same photo, each accompanied by a small caption (usually 4 in all, when you count the alt text).

 

Able and Baker - (www.jimburgessdesign.com)
Updates Monday through Friday

Able and Baker is a gag strip, pure and simple. They have a nifty random button that you can hit to skip through the archives and find new jokes. The archives are quiet long. I didn't even go all the way through them myself, which will make this the only strip on this list that I have not read entirely through.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

Able and Baker is about a monkey named Able and a sheep named Baker who are research animals in an organization similar to NASA. They are both often injected with new bizarre chemicals, and sent into space to see what the effects are. Since they do the work volunarily, and are paid to do it, its not so much a matter of animal cruelty. The cast is rounded out by their supervisor, Doc, and his daughter, along with a menagerie of other research animals including a bipolar rodent psychologist and marketing rabbit.

 

Aces High - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Ended

Aces High follows follows Dana Kelley, who's life is turned upside down after meeting Granite City's superhero, Ace, and his arch nemesis, Machiavelli.

  • Genre: Story Driven, Superhero

One of the things I like about this strip is the artistic experimentation. After each arc of story, the style changes, from oil paint, to comic book, to 3D rendered. The story itself isn't particularly awesome, especially since it ended before the sparks started to fly, but it definately has some interesting takes on superheroes. Although, personally, I think that having superpowers defined by "cool" is kind of retarded.

 

Alien Loves Predator - (www.alienlovespredator.com)
Updates Spontaeneously

Imagine if an Alien and a Predator were americans living in New York. That's pretty much it.

  • Genre: Humor

Its not going to be making my top lists anytime soon, but the humor never got so bad that I didn't finish reading through the archives.

 

Alpha Shade - (www.alpha-shade.com)
Updates... Every now and Then

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Dramatic, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Alpha Shade seems to revolve around the enigmatic Laura, who is leader of a military contingent that is charged with taking a small town, utilizing somewhat modern military weaponry such as artillery cannons and aircraft. The opposition include "Flyers," which are elite infantrymen that fly large blue birds into combat. After an attack on Laura's installation by said creatures, the story veers to a flashback of Laura's more urban past.

 

Bad Ass Muthas - (www.badassmuthas.com)
Updates Thursdays

The world of Bad Ass Muthas is populated by characters use abilities that are far and beyond the concepts of the regular populace. Accompanying fantastic feats of mayhem and destruction, the characters are also involved and multi-dimensional.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Action, Fantasy

The biggest downside to Bad Ass Muthas is that its such a high-quality comic. Yep. You heard me. That high quality means that one action scene can take months to finish, and, as is happening in the latest arc, the author is erring on the side of putting unfinished content up on a regular basis than to leave his readers hanging for months on end.

The earlier finished comics are home to some of the most fanciful and beautiful are I have seen in all the comics I read. The dialogue is rich in humor, character, and pop culture references. The only crime the author commits is not being 100 people to make the strip update everyday.

 

Ballad - (www.moderntales.com)
Updates Tuesdays, mostly

Ballad is a "doll" created by the daughter of the Lord of the land. His reappearance at her home sparks some curiosity, but she dismisses it since she finds nothing wrong. Skilled in magic, much like her father, she begins a process to grow Balland into something else.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

The art in Ballad is excellent - you can almost hear the music playing as some of the more visually oriented scenes play by. The world that Balland lives in is quite strange, and I look forward to finding out more about it.

 

Bang Barstal - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Ended

Bang is a man who apparantly had something to do with the end of the world. With his bat and his car, he aims to do what little he can to fix it.

  • Genre: Story Driven, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Bang Barstal is a perfect mix between Gritty and Fantastic. Perhaps one of the best takes on solo fantasy adventurer I have ever seen.

 

Between Two Worlds - (www.between-two-worlds.net)
Updates Sporadically. Nearly finished.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

BTW is about a group of friends who come down to Juanti's island getaway for the summer. Upon discovering a mystical gateway to an island where Juanti's ancestors found the secret to their family wealth, they happen upon a much more dangerous world, where Juanti and Markus are accidentally transported. As of now, the story is done, pending the epilogue.

I love JJ Naas' art style - his contrasting shadows and monochromatic tones are very visually stimulating, and his take on the simplification of the human face has influenced my art style significantly.

 

Bird and Moon - (www.birdandmoon.com)
Updates Sporadically.

More a collection of short comics that share themes.

  • Genre: Short-Form, Abstract

The art is unique and fanciful. Well worth the time to see them. The site also has a few other gems, such as 55 Words.

 

Bitter's Past - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Updates Sporadically.

Bitter's Past is about a group of socially exiled people who have been extracised because of a medical condition. Red's group makes ends meet by stealing the medicine they need to use on a regular basis and selling it on the black market.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Sci-Fi

Its early in the story, so I can't say much, but I like the art, and I like the premise.

 

Black Heart Irregulars - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Technically a Print Comic

  • Genre: Story-Driven, War

Black Heart is a print comic that becomes free over the internet after a certain amount of time. As it is now, of the some six or more books, only one is free to view. From what I saw, its an interesting comic - the proprietor of a coffee shop in the middle of Baghdad is apparantly still fighting the war. The art is pretty good, but the style doesn't particularly suit me.

 

Broken Mirror - (www.the-broken-mirror.net)
Updates Spontaniously

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Dramatic

Broken Mirror is another just starting comic. After a monologue by an anonymous character, the story skips to a short centering around a young boy named Galen, and troubles with his life. It then moves onto who I can only assume are the main characters of the strip, Xara, and her sister Nora.
The strip shows a great deal of potential, and the art is very nice, but I will probably wait for the story to advance a bit more before I start reading it again.

Broken Mirror is written by El and drawn by JJ Naas, the two masterminds between other webcomics such as Between Two Worlds and Desert Rocks.

 

Bunny - (www.frozenreality.co.uk)
Updates Daily

Bunny is a single panel comic, and it lacks virtually any kind of continuity, besides the perpetual presence of one or more of the author's oddly pymented bunnies. Panels run the gamut from obscure parody to abstract art.

  • Genre: Abstract, Humor

The main character in Bunny is Bunny, a small pink rabbit. One can consider it the "default" bunny, as it has the most normal personality. Orange bunny is sadistic and psychotic, with a penchant for automatic weaponry and explosives. Blue bunny is... weird. Like any strip, it has its inside jokes, such as the Stealth Ninja Pirate, and the single audio iteration that a bunny can make: "EEEEEEEEE."

 

Buttercup Festival - (www.buttercupfestival.com)
Updates Sporadically

An absurd and whimsical comic with little continuity besides a small, confused figure that resembles a grim reaper.

  • Genre: Abstract, Humor

There are no words that can singly describe the comic, and it would take a few essays to do so with many. Its a beautiful strip, both in appearance and idea.

 

Cat and Girl - (www.catandgirl.com)
Updates Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Cat and Girl's rolling dialogue and penchant for discussing politics and cultural swings has been a major influence in my creation of Gray Matters. It has many recurring characters, but the most notable are Cat and Girl.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Political

Girl seems to always be on the very edge of depression and insanity, and she often irritates Cat with her long tirades on sub-cultures and consumerism. Cat tends to be a bit more abstract, spending his time wooing ladies with his non-existant trinkets and having fun by eating paint.

Much of the humor in cat and girl is in the form of the sheer absurdity the two communicate in, as they tend to build off of each other's thought processes, and never explain the jumps in logic.

 

Ctr-Alt-Del - (www.cad-comic.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

Ctr-Alt-Del is a gaming comic mixed up with a fair bit of story. That's... pretty much it.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Gaming, Relationship

Ctr-Alt-Del centers around primarily 4 characters - Ethan, his roomate Luca, his girlfriend Lilah, and Zeke, the human-sized robot he constructed from his XBox. While CAD is significantly more gaming oriented than PVP is, the major draw is Tim Buckly's characters, who are very well fleshed out. I personally can't care about his art too much, but his characters and gaming commentary are what keeps me checking back four times a week.

 

Claviger - (www.girlmatic.com)
Updates Fridays

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Dramatic, Fantasy

Claviger stars Chloe, a twenty-three year old woman who hates her life. She is apparantly caught up in something much bigger than her, as she is being chased by an imposing, sword weilding man and being defended by magic-weilding elves.
The strip is black and white, and has amazing levels and detail and dynamic angles and perspective. The story is still in its infancy stages, so its difficult to judge, but it looks like it has potential.

 

Coffee Acheivers - (www.coffeeachievers.net)
Finished

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Relationship, Fantasy

Coffee Achievers is a short comic about a handful of friends who hand out at (and eventually open their own) coffee shop. The story starts to pick up when Fletcher finds a mix tape that turns him into a super powered monster. The strip is composed of many such mini stories, each circling around different aspects of the occult, or relationship tension.
The story is written by Mitch Clem, of Nothing Nice to Say, a strip that I didn't find particurly stimulating. But it is illustrated by Joe Dunn, one of my favorite webcomic artists (which you'll discover as you move down this list). While I really like Coffee Acheivers, I'll never forgive Clem for ending it abruptly the way he did. It had so much potential that was so rudely squashed...

4-18-11 update: The archive of the comic has been taken down since the posting of this entry, and even after getting in contact with Mitch Clem there are no set plans to have it go back online. Sad times.

 

College Roomates from Hell - (www.crfh.net)
Updates Mondays, Wedesdays and Fridays

College Roomates from Hell follows six college roomates as they attempt to beat Satan at a game where victory means life, and defeat means going to hell. This terrible, terrible ad brought to you by "brainwashed by bad commercials."

  • Genre: Story Driven, Humor, Drama

Actually, the plot is significantly more complex that just that. Mike, Dave, Roger, Margaret, Marsha, and Michelle all have to deal with growingly complex love interests, manipulive tyrants and keeping their grades up in class, all the while trying to avoid Satan's relentless string pulling.

While the story is worth the read, I only put "Humor" into the genre because it attempts to be funny. But it doesn't actually achieve it. The early strips are damn near intolerable as the strip tries to entertain you on humor alone, a humor that simply isn't present.

If you want to read CRfH, I would suggest starting from the middle and going to the beginning later.

 

Copper - (www.boltcity.com)
On Hiatus

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Copper is about a boy and his dog, and their adventures (real or imagined) together. Their trips range in incredulty from flying a plane to an island to get melon bread from the boy's aunt, to maintenence repairs in outer space.
Copper's art is beautiful, and the dialogue is designed to get you to think.

 

Cosmobear - (www.cosmobear.com)
Updates Mondays and Fridays

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Sci-Fi

With only a few strips under its belt, all I can really say about cosmobear is that the art is fantastic. The inking is extremely clean, and the environments are uber-detailed. His human characters are definatly manga-ish, but the protagonist, Cosmobear, seems to be more influenced by Warner Bros cartoons. Its a very interesting dynamic.

 

DAR: A Super Girl Top Secret Comic Diary - (www.webcomicsnation.com)
Finished

  • Genre: Humor, Journal

Dar is a journal comic by Erika Moen. Its a personal piece on her own feelings of

 

Desert Rocks - (dr.ungroup.net)
Updates Sporadically

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

Desert Rocks follows Nizna and Mayna as they journey across the world to Temples to learn magical skill. Along the way, they meet Coen, a refugee from one of the nations conquered by the Warlord, a malevolent dictator who has taken over half of the continent. Coen gets into trouble and seeks help from Nizna and Mayna, the latter of whom recognizes the man that helped save Coen's life.

 

Demonology 101 - (www.faith.rydia.net)
Ended

Demonology gets off to a rocky start with some awkward humor and a bit slow pace, but staying with the comic is very rewarding. While it treads on worn ground, Faith manages to take new angles with the characters and the story that are not usually taken with a comic about a girl who happens to be a half-demon. There are no over-the-top action sequences... there are no deux-ex-machina "super-powers" that reveal themselves at key times. There is a great amount of intrigue, and a great amount of emotional pain that comes with being separated from those you love.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

Raven is a half demon girl who was adopted by Gabriel, a caring foster father who has ties into a great web of intrigue. Not only does Garbriel have to, as a single parent, raise Raven while she enters a stage in her life where the ostracization of her from her peers is becoming more pressuring, but he must also juggle his parenting with the organization that he is a part of whose sole purpose is to combat the demon-trafficking tendencies of the family of which he is a part of.

 

Diesel Sweeties - ( www.dieselsweeties.com )
Updates Monday through Friday

  • Genre: Humor, Character Driven

Its hard to really describe Diesel Sweeties. I certainly can't procclaim its greatness quite as much as some of its other more liberal supporters. Its certanly a funny comic, definately in the more recent ones than the earlier ones (which tended to rely a bit more on one of the characters regularly having sex with a robot than I would have liked), hence why it is on this list. I think it is just one of those that tickles other people's fancy a bit more than mine.

Oh, and the art is nothing to note. There are a few sight gags, but mostly its a custom pixelated sprite comic.

 

Digger - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Updates Tuesdays and Thurdays (Subscription required for advanced archives)

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

Digger is a wombat that, in the midst of a dig, hits a bad patch of gas which sends her into a flurry of digging that ends with her surfacing in a strange land. The first thing she finds is a statue of Ganesh, a hindu god of copassion. The statue, which is only an avatar of the god, attempts to help her get home - a task made difficult since the people of the area have no knowledge of wombat habitats nearby, and Digger's tunnel was apparantly enchanted by some malevolent force as she made her way through it.
Digger is some of the best fantasy I've ever read. The story is involved and multiple layered; the characters are extremely believable but still ironic and quirky enough to make their dialogue hilarious. The art is excellent: some of the best use of black and white art I've seen in comics. From the first couple hundred comics that are free to watch, I've already been addicted. The only thing stopping me from sprinting for the Graphic Smash subscription to see the rest is pure procrastination.

 

Dinosaur Comics - (www.quantz.com)
Updates Most Weekdays

I was put off of Dinosaur Comics for a long time, when, after I began to read it from the beginning, there were a bit too many homophobe jokes. But due to the sheer inundation of recommendations from other webcomics I highly adore, I kept coming back, and eventually stuck with it. These many attempts, of course, were before I had developed my method of jumping to the middle of a comic I am not fond of at the beginning. Had I done so, I no doubt would have stuck with the comic from the very first read.

  • Genre: Humor, Story-Driven

Dinosaur Comics is not an art comic. I even hesistate to even call it a comic. It really does challenge the definition. Comic usually assumes some visual stimulation, but it will cease to be visually stimulating after the first comic. Dinosaur Comics doesn't do graphics - it does writing. And doing writing it does.

<_< >_>

Pretend that was a bit more literate. Anyway, Dinosaur Comics has since become one of my favorite comics, from its philisophical debate, to its scientific and tribial announcements, to its sheer bizarrity.

 

Dreamland Chronicles - (www.thedreamlandchronicles.com)
Updates Sporadically, but Often

Dreamland is about a boy named Alex, who, once grown up, no longer experienced the lucid "Dreamland" dreams of his childhood. Upon wearing a sword necklace he had found when he was younger, however, the dreams started again, and it seems that his old imaginary friends have grown the same way he has.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

Dreamland is another one of those webcomic success stories, as they have over a million readers - althought that may be due more to the fact that the studio that creates it was already a massively successful animation studio before it even started the comic. But that's immaterial - the comic is excellent. In everything. Period.

What are you doing still reading this? Go read it!

 

Dresden Codak - (www.dresdencodak.com)
Updates anywhere between every two weeks and every two months

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Abstract

Dresden Codak is an abstract comic similar to A Lesson is Learned (and is, in fact, its greatest influence) with the foremost recurring character being a young girl named Kimiko. The comic is extremely intellectual, and something that I eventually wish to look back upon with more knowledge and actually understand the concepts inherent to it. Of course, I"ll have to start reading more philosophy...
Just like Alil, the art is spectacular, and for most (including me), each comic will end with a "huh?" exclamation from the reader.

 

Dr. McNinja - (www.drmcninja.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Dr. McNinja is... to put it simply... awesome. It just... is.

  • Genre: Story Driven, Humor, Action/Adventure

Dr. McNinja is about a Ninja who trained to be a doctor. The unusual combination of silent harbinger of death and benevolent man of science gives him access to powers unbefore known to man or clown.
The flaws: Dr. McNinja's plot lines (there are about 5 major ones) are extremely contrived, off the wall adventures. While normally this would be an almost unanimously good thing, its bogged down by his "meet the parents" storyline. While it does a good job of building up character and history for out protagonist, it also does a good job of spoiling the pacing of the comic, and humor just doesn't balance out its contrivity.
On the bright side, Dr. McNinja has excellent art. High detail, comic-book-esque inking and detail really set the mood for Chris Hastings' amazing humor. I can't describe exactly what makes Dr. McNinja cool. You just have to see it.

 

Edible Dirt - ( www.eddirt.frozenreality.co.uk/ )
Updates Monday and Thursday

  • Genre: Humor

Edible Dirt is in the vein of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and Perry Bible Fellowship. Meaning it is very random, and very, very dirty. It can also be offensive on many levels, and has very questionable tastes. It is fantastic.

 

Edwitch - (www.edwitch.com)
Updates Weekly (usually)

Alot of comics with a very sketchy art style tend to start out with poor jokes and don't get into the story early. Edwitch is not one of those. While the art quickly gets better (but remains sketchy, much like Megatokyo), the character developement starts from the very beginning.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Character-Driven, Drama

Ed is an witch who lives in an isolated cottage on the edge of town, honing her magic skills. She supports herself by selling potions to a local goth shop and is frequented by her friend Lucas. Lucas, however, is the only real escape she has from her own feelings of inadaquacy and personal loss.

 

Erfworld - (www.giantitp.com)
Updates Tuesdays and Saturdays

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Humor, Gaming

Erfworld is about a man named Paulson who, after years of dedication to making the most realistic war game scenarios to his players, is transported through space and time via a magic spell to save Stanley the Plaid's kingdom from sure destruction.
Anyone familiar with Order of the Stick is most likely familiar with Erfworld, the other Giantitp comic. Erfworld is also a gaming parody, although the brunt of its humor seems to be targetted to the society behind games rather than the actual games themselves. The artwork is destinctive and stlyized, and no doubt a major draw of the comic. The stories and characters, while promising, are still too young too judge fully.

 

Elsie Hooper - ( www.elsiehooper.com )
Ended

Ridley Hooper awakes to find his town empty, filled with aliens, and his sister missing, kidnapped by the aliens to be used as a vessel to lengthen their immortality. The entire strip occurs within the one night, Ridley giving his every human essence to his search to find her and get her back.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Horror, Drama, Action

There is little about Elsie Hooper that is not perfect. The characters are deep, and rich, the story minimalistic, but appropriate, the action believable and suspenseful. Elsie Hooper tugs at your heart strings, and it is difficult to not read the serial in one sitting.

 

F8D - (www.f8d.org)
Updates a little more often than once a week

  • Genre: Humor, Philosophy

A comic in the vein of XKCD, F8D is a very, very minimalist metahumor strip that likes to make jokes about the human condition.

 

Fallen - (www.fallencomic.com)
On Hiatus

Fallen takes place in a world similar to our, but with many, many variant human races. The story starts with a young woman dubbed "Singe" happening across what appears to be an injured man. A small dragon-like creature introduces herself as Void, and explains that Singe was chose as a watcher for this man, an "abadon," for one year. Singe agrees, finding out much later that the conversion of Void's years to hers meant that she would be watching this man for the rest of her life.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Dramatic, Fantasy

Fallen has some excellent artwork. It is a very manga-influenced style, but its colors and textures aren't the clean fill's that are seen in most anime. Aida makes a very successful transition of her scenes from humorous to dramatic, better even than some more popular artists (cought**hellsing**cough).

First thing - I do love Aido's art. The smudged, grainy feel of the art really adds to the general feeling of the comic. As far as the story goes, its another one of those "potential lost" stories. On the bright side, it could just be an extended hiatus - Aido hasn't updated since November, and she hasn't put up any official news that it is over. But still, it has stopped updating long before the core story could get started. Bummer.

 

Fainting Spells - (www.biev.net)
Says that it updates Tuesdays, Thursdasy and Saturdays, but I suspect it is actually much slower than that.

Fainting Spells follows the bizarre dreams of Aude as she falls into a coma on her wedding night.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Abstract, Dramatic

I have a weakness for comics with abstract art, and Fainting Spell's visual style is quite stunning. Its a good read.

 

Free Lunch - (www.digitalpimponline.com)
On Hiatus

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

Free Lunch focuses on Frank the Food Critic (wow, had some good alliteration right there), and his friend Irvin. Since the subject of food is so ambiguous, as the strips own characters point out, Free Lunch is constantly switching to bizarre locations and storylines.
Free Lunch is done by Joe Dun, who is awesome. While the strip lacks the characterizations of Matriculated, and its storylines seem to drag on much longer than they should, the humor from just a handful of Free Lunch strips has made me laugh more than entire archives of other webcomics.

 

Freefall - ( www.freefall.purrsia.com )
Updates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Florence Ambrose is a Bowman's Wolf - a genetically constructed AI made by humankind as the first step towards creating a new species from scratch to start populating worlds unlivable by normal human beings. She is one of 14 Bowman's Wolves that exist in the universe, and she is kidnapped (sort of) by Sam Starfall for her engineering skills, to be utilized in fixing his ship. While this may sound like a stroke of malevolence on Sam's part, it is more like a lack of morality and an ignorance of forethought and consequences.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Sci-Fi

Freefall shines in its writing, its characters, and its world. In addition to managing to be witty and engaging, it explores conventions of what happens when you give sentience to non-human creatures, from wolves, to robots.

 

Girl Genius - (www.girlgeniusonline.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Girl Genius is the story of Agatha Clay, who believes she is a blacksmith's daughter who is apprenticing to the famous spark Professor Beetle. But she's actually the daughter of Lucrecia Mongfish and Bill Heterodyne, and, with the rest of the Heterodyne family lost or dead, that makes her the last living member of the most famous and loved royal family in the world. And this threatens Baron Wulfenbach's empire. Now, whilst avoiding the Baron, Agatha must deal with resurfacing of The Other, the creature that the Heterodyne family became famous for defeating.
Girl Genius is an outstanding comic, plain and simple. Where the comic is black and white, the intricate inking shines through. When the comic becomes full color, the huge range of texture and detail translates through. In addition, each character is three dimensional and the story has so many layers that every new secret answered by Agatha only digs up more questions. The Foglio's are amazing with their ability to give so much debth to the world without making the reader feel like they are reading a textbook.

 

Girls with Slingshots - (www.gwscomic.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

  • Genre: Humor, Relationship

Not quite in the league of Something Positive or Questionable Content, Girls with Slingshots is still a fun comic to read. Hazel is the star, a budding writer and journalist, whose blunt personality and anti-socialisms make getting a boyfriend difficult. Her best friend Jamie is her polar opposite - outgoing and fancy free, and always with a new guy she's handing out with. Meanwhile, Hazel is constantly befriending new guys that she doesn't even think to look at because she's pining for another guy.
GWS doesn't excel at anything in particular, although it doesn't flounder in anthing either. Its a very good comic if you like vibrator jokes.

 

Girly - (www.go-girly.com)
Updates Weekly

Girly is story-driven random comedy. Its art style and sense of humor mesh perfectly together to create a romantic strip that will still make you laugh every few pages. Think, "Roger Rabbit" with ALOT more sex.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Story-Driven, Humor, Relationship, Action/Adventure

Girly is about two young women, Winter and Otra, who find each other and fall in love. Wacky hijinks ensue.
I'm a fan of Girly art style. The author has a manga-ish character design, pressed on a digital canvas made to imitate comic books ink dots. The japanese style of design allows alot of emotion to show through the character's eyes, and the canvas makes it so you half expect Winter to pull a bazooka out of nowhere to blast a mob of gawkers, or to see Cutetown's infestation of large pink elephants as a regular occurance.
When it comes to characters, lets not kid. The strip is choc (CHOC) full of gratuitus partial nudity, but it is extremely tasteful, and (more importantly) humorous in its execution. The story is not mind blowingly awesome - it is merely a tool to drive the characters into action. But in humor, Girly does not disappoint.

 

Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes - (www.goblinscomic.com)
Updates Saturdays

Goblins is a hilarious parody on the table-top game Dungeons and Dragons, but while you won't fall out of your chair quite as much if your unfamiliar with the system, it comes packed with plenty of other jokes, and an engaging storyline and characters.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Humor, Gaming

Goblins starts as a party of PC's approaches a goblin encampement. Nearly routed, only a handful of goblins escape the wrath of Forgoth and Minmax, but only because Complains of Names forsakes his tribe's traditionas and takes the magic sword and shield that the tribe protects. Swearing to never let PC's kill innocent goblins again, the goblins each take Player Classes and begin adventuring. While Minmax and Forgoth regroup, they discover the legend of the White Terror: a force bent on ending the reign of the humanoid races.
Goblins has a very distinctive style - although it lacks shading, Thunt draws his environments and characters with a high level of detail. While his fight scenes are interesting, they are definately not the highpoint of his strips.

 

Gunnerkrigg Court - (www.gunnerkrigg.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Dramatic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Antimony Carver recently transfered to Gunnerkrigg Court, soon after her mother died. With her father missing, the only company she gained was that of another girl in the school named Kat. The quite intelligent and resourced Annie (as she preferred her name shortened to) immediately found that Gunnerkrigg Court is no mere school, and is up to the task of discovering what it is, and what connection it apparantly has with her parents.
Gunnerkrigg Court is another comic most definately worthy of perusing. What appears at first to be a strange comic about random happenings and nonesense very quickly shows that the unusual happenings of Gunnerkrigg court are by no means random and anything but nonesense. The mood of the comic is successfully transferred through its outstanding lighting and environment design, and the story will keep you looking back.
Gunnerkrigg only updates one storyline at a time - so while the schedule is Mon, Wed, Fri, this is only when a story is complete. Expect small hiatus's in between each chapter.

 

Hate Song - ( www.hatesong.com )
On Indefinite Hiatus

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

Hate song is nasty. Seriously, it is some nasty, nasty shit. I havent' even read the whole comic. It is one of maybe three comics on this list that I have not fully read. It is just so goddamned nasty. I swear to God, the only way you are going to read this comic and not be seriously disturbed is if you have already been seriously damaged by fetish porn. But that is also why it is on this list. Anyone that can cause that much disgust in just reading one single story arc deserves to be on this list.

I'm going back to read the archive. More info when I do.

 

Hell's Corners - (www.squidbunnies.com)
On Hiatus

Jeff just died. He went to hell. Apparantly, people in hell work and get tokens so they can go buy shit. They they fill up their little shanties with said shit and then use said shit until they go to work the next day. Man. How do they do it? But after accidentally dropping in on a couple of his neighbors, Jeff is shanghied into joining their crusade to attain demon powers.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

I like the art. I like the story. The fight scenes (well, scene) are awesome. This last one is important because it is extremely difficult to make a fight scene flow well in a comic. Once again, it hasn't gone far enough for the comic to be considered awesome. It does get a "wicked cool" though. Damn... my slang is hopelessly outdated...

 

Joe Loves Crappy Movies - (www.digitalpimponline.com)
Updates whenever Joe Dunn watches a movie

I love Joe Dunn. If he wasn't already married to a hot Korean chick, I would marry him. I mean - if he was a chick. Yeah. (Fuck, as it I wasn't already getting the gay joke thrown at me as it is...)

  • Genre: Humor, Movies

Joe Dunn likes, okay he loves crappy movies, and when he sees one, he puts up along, detailed reivew of it, as well as ruthlessly mocking some aspect of it. It has a few running jokes, like appearances by Senator Palpatine in order to ridicule blatantly obvious observations, and the secret behind the Da Vinci code: that Jesus was actually a Transformer.

 

Kitty-Bot - (www.kitty-bot.com)
On hiatus

Kitty Bot follows Ren, who is a child in a human colony far from earth. The colony ship that they had originally been sent on was forced off course, and so the new civilization has no contact with Earth.As she goes to school, Ren quickly runs away as a series of circumstances (some of which by her own design, some of which just plain zany) make staying in class unbearable. Then she finds the robot...

  • Genre: Story-Based, Sci-Fi

Kitty-Bot has some of the best digital art I've ever seen. She recently decided to tone down the massively impressive art in order to start updating more, but its pretty obvious that she logs hours into each update. Or else she just knows how to use Photoshop a hell of alot better than me (as opposed to moderately better than me).

4-18-11 update: This comic was removed quite a long time ago, and it hasn't come back since. A great shame.

 

Lackadaisy Cats - (www.lackadaisycats.com)
Updates Sporadically

The Lackadaisy is a speakeasy in St. Louis, circa 1920's. Things are much here as they were in the actual 1920's. 'Cept everyone is a cat. Times are hard for the Lackadaisey. Customer's are scarce, and business is hard. Rocky is the new Rum Runner for the Lackadaisey, and he runs into... trouble.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Anthropomorphic

If you haven't heard me say it enough, Tracy Butler does character rendering for comics like no other. If there was no text at all in this comic, it would be worth the time just to look at it. I guess it makes it even better that the dialogue is also some of the best I've read in webcomics. Period.

 

Makeshift Miracle - (www.makeshiftmiracle.com)
Finished

Colby's life is changed when some type of projectiles strikes the ground near him while he's at the park. The projectile turns out to be a girl. Then a tree with a gateway into another world starts growing in his living room. The only way to go is forward, right?

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy, Dramatic

Makeshift is no small fry in the realm of graphic detail. My biggest beef with Makeshift isn't in its world, or characters, or art, but more along the lines of I didn't like how it ended. It just seemed... anticlimactic. Too cut and dry. Too... ordinary. Its moderately short though, so judge for yourself.

 

Matriculated - (digitalpimponline.com)
Updates Wednesdays

A handful of friends at a college. Hijinks ensue. Well, not really. Matriculated focuses on relationships and life crises. That doesn't stop it from being funny though.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Relationship

Its written and illustrated by Joe Dunn. Must I say more?

 

Megatokyo - (www.megatokyo.com)
Updates something like twice a week.

Pyro and Largos, on a spur-of-the-moment (alcohol influenced) decision, go to Japan. Now they don't have the money to make it back. Pyro is your run-of-the-mill Otaku who speaks fairly fluent japanese and knows more about anime and manga than most industry officials do. But his best relationships are with fictional characters. Largo, on the other hand, doesn't have a firm grasp on what the dividing line between real life and video games are, and the fact that Tokyo is ravaged on a regular basis by large lizards, zombie hordes, and mech battles, the line is only diminshed further.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Relationship

I like Pyro's take on manga. I most definatly like how his women are more realistic. In the words of JJ Naas, "real-looking women look better." The comic starts off rocky - mostly in the early strips where he tries to drive the comic forward with bad gags. But it really picks up when he starts focusing on story and character development.

 

Minus - (www.kiwisbybeat.com)
Finished

Every wished you could alter reality at a whim to suit you? Minus doesn't have to. Having near omnipotent powers means that you need some degree of responsibilty. Too bad Minus doesn't have that.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Abstract, Fantasy

Even though each Minus strip does work on its own, its fun to watch her character develop if you read the comic in chronological order. She even alters her hair to reflect some of her adventures. Minus is damn imaginative in its dealings.

 

No 4th Wall to Break - (www.no4thwall.com)
Spontaneous Updates

Join the cast of Spectre, Matchstick, Odin, and the author himself as they do very little that can be explained by rational thought.

  • Genre: Character Driven, Humor

Now, usually, I don't like comics that are self aware. Its one of the reason I didint' like Checkerboard Nightmare, and why I hate it when comics start off with a "what's this comic about?" story arc (I'm looking at you, CAD). But when I saw a link to No 4th Wall, i was intrigued, because it pretty much, by its very title, told me what to expect - no believability whatsoever. Its amazing how much you can enjoy a comic with almost no substance when they tell you right upfront that there is no substance.

Now, I'm saying it, right now, No 4th Wall is probably not for everyone, and it does start to go downhill when he starts adding characters in based on audience polls. But it was worth a few laughs.

 

Order of the Stick - (www.giantitp.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Order of the Stick is, plain and simple, a Dungeons and Dragons comic. Order of the Stick is not for everyone, particularly those who can't keep an open mind about artwork that isn't realistic in the slightest. Those without knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons, or other pen and paper RPG's, may also find the strip unnatractive, as many of the jokes are parodies of the game.
But those who can keep an open mind will find an extremely well written epic surrounding a small band of adventurers seeking your average fantasy motivations: revenge, notoriety, wealth, duty, power and pleasure.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Humor, Gaming, Fantasy

While I personally like the art, the art is not what I read Oots for, and if the cost of 3 updates a week is stick figures, so be it. It lacks the 'oomph' to get a full 5 in any other category. A good all-around comic, it neither excels, nor fails, in any one category.
Order of the Stick starts with six characters, Roy, Durkon, Haley, Vaarsuvius, Elan, and Belkar, who are invading the temple of the undead spellcasting Lich, Xykon, in order for Roy to avenge the murder of his father at the Lich's hands.

 

Out There - (www.outtherecomic.com)
Updates Monday through Saturday

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Relationship

On a trip across the country, Miriam decides on impulse to pick up John, a wandering man whose only real goal in life seems to be to help people who need it. Sensing that she needed it fairly badly, John decides to look past all of Miriam's glaring personality faults and bad habits while she tries to make a life for herself working at her friend Shelly's bar and getting to know her internet sweetheart, Chuck.

 

Penny Arcade - (www.penny-arcade.com)
Updates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

The comic that hardly needs an introduction: Penny Arcade is the undisputedly most popular webcomic on the internet. A link from their site is a guaranteed server crash for your puny webcomic. They run their own annual gaming convention, and their currently working on their own video game. Anyone who's spent any time on the internet has most likely heard of them. Now, this is not to say that you will necessarily enjoy the comic...

  • Genre: Humor, Gaming

Penny Arcade is a gag gaming strip, plain and simple. While there are recurring characters, the story, besides perhaps a handful of 2-5 strip storylines, is non-existent. You also most likely won't get most of the jokes unless your at least passively aware of the news and happenings in the gaming community. But if you are, and you like dick jokes, Penny-Arcade is the strip for you.
Tycho Brah's blog, that accompanies every comic that is created, is actually one of my favorite parts of Penny Arcade to read. His prose will make you laugh as much, if not more than the actual comic will.

 

Pet Professional - (www.petprofessional.net)
Updates Sporadically

The Pet Professional is an assassin who is paid money to kill domestic animals. The comic is much deeper than this however, as it delves into the sophisticated and complicated emotions and history that led to the man taking the morbid career. Wait... wait, no - he just really, really hates animals. See, the dolphins have a hit out on him.

  • Genre: Humor, Mindless Violence

Its a fun read, I suppose, but Pet Professional wouldn't be hitting anywhere near the top of any of my favorite lists. We see a bit of character development during the "dolphins taking over the world" arc, but he hasn't even posted new content since the end of that arc, in lieu of a host of guest artists and non-cannon strips.

 

Player Vs. Player - (www.pvponline.com)
Updates Daily

Pvp Magazine was co founded by Cole, Brent, Jase and Robby several years ago, and the former two have made it a success. The latter two kind of stayed on the couch playing video games and mooching money. Eventually, they hired Francis and Jade to the company, Jade as a writer and Francis as their resident IT kid. Then there's skull, the mythical troll "mascot" of the company.

  • Genre: Humor, Gaming

I really, really hesistate to stick that "gaming" tag on PvP. Its not really about gaming. At all. I mean the most you get is a world of warcraft reference every now and then. When it first started, it had a pretty good amount of references to Ultima Online, but that was as good as it got.

I can't say what it is I like about PVP. The art is clean, but it definately isn't a reason I read it. I suppose after reading through its massive archive (it is good enough to read semi-casually), coupled with Kurtz' frequent updates, I've just gotten acclimated to it. Now, I don't want to portray that its a poor comic - far from it infact. I even put down money to watch PVP The Series. It just can't measure up to some other comics I've read.

One thing I say is this: the only reason that you see PVP on all those webcomic award lists is because its one of the best known. Of maybe 3 or 4 webcomics that have made it to "Mainstream," this is one of them, and that's only because it started as a gaming comic and expanded its target audience. I can name more comics than I have fingers that would have been better suited to the Eisner Award that PVP got. Like Digger. Digger was actually nominated for an Eisner at one point and didn't get it. Damn shame.

 

Punch An' Pie - (www.punchanpie.net)
Updates something like twice a week

  • Genre: Humor, Relationship

Punch an' Pie is a spin off of Aeire's other webcomic, Queen of Wands, the key difference being that she doesn't illustrate P+P like she did for QoW. The strip has finally had enough strips that I'm dedicated to reading it, although it still doesn't have the same kind of feel that I liked in QoW, and it probably never will.

With how little it takes to be described as a "gaming" comic now, PanP may very well qualify, as over half the strips now account for Angela's playing of World of Warcraft. I mean, with only 20 strips, she may now have more "gaming" comics than the 1000+ comics of PvP.

 

Queen of Wands - (www.queenofwands.net)
Finished

  • Genre: Humor, Relationship

Kestral is a techhead who is rooming with her best friend and her ex-boyfriend who are engaged. When her computer was stolen, she was forced to take on an extra job at the toy store that is the main setting of Punch An' Pie. Angela and Kestral become friends, and Angela becomes attracted to Angela, a dynamic that begins to build some tension between them since Kestral could not return the feeling. The cast is rounded out by Davan, from Something Positive. The two strips had many crossovers, and when it finsihed, Kestral become a regular cast member of Randy Miholland's comic.

 

Questionable Content - (www.questionablecontent.net)
Updates Monday through Friday

Questionable Content is on my list for several reasons - it has some of the best art of any of the webcomics I read, it has oustanding characterizations and dialogue, and it updates five times a week. I have to say that Jeff Jacques is one of my idols to be able to do that.

  • Genre: Character Driven, Humor, Relationship

Reading through the archive of Questionable Content is one of the best examples of watching an artist's style evolve. The early strips of QC are hardly notable for their artwork, and yet the recent ones are amazing. While I have laughed at his jokes on several occasions, the jokes are really more keyed towards those of indie-music culture, so alot of them go right over my head. Luckily, I read the strip for its characters and wacky hijinks as much as for its humor. I don't know why I don't give QC a 5 for character. Maybe it just doesn't wow me enough for the score.
QC is about Martin and Faye, the latter of which moves into the former's apartment when she burns down her apartment in a freak toaster oven accident. However, Faye's psychological issues with roots in her past prevent her from getting close to Marten, despite her constant flirting. Martin's sexual frustration is stretched farther once he starts hanging out with Faye's boss, Dora. Dora hangs out in the "goth" scene, and while she likes Martin, does not want to trample over Faye's feelings to go for it. Everything is complicated by Martin's anthropc, Pintsize, which has a penchant for mischief. And cake mix.

 

Rice Boy - (www.rice-boy.com)
Finished

Rice Boy has been chosen to be the new Fullfiller: the chosen one who will fullfill the prophecy. So says The One Electronic, who has spent the majority of his immortal life trying to find the Fullfiller, and always failing. But, Rice Boy doesn't want the job.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Abstract, Fantasy

Another member of Koalla Wallup, Rice Boy definatly fits the bill for the abstract and experimental art that is a prerequisite for the group. Its early in the story, but it seems to be unfolding fairly quickly. Definately one to watch.

 

Rip and Teri - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Finished

Rip is a retired federal spy who falls in love with one of the teachers he works with at his new job. But circumstances lead to his having to blow his cover. The problem is, Teri won't let him disappear, and Rip finds that he can't make himself forget her either.

  • Genre: Action, Relationship

I first heard of this comic from Shortpacked. David Willis actually did alot of the later coloring for the strip. It wasn't until I started perusing Graphic Smash that I actually gave the strip a chance. Back then, I wasn't really in the mood to check out any serious online comics - if I wanted a serious comic, I would buy one. Now that my webcomic list is so extensive, however; I saw the strip and decided to give it a chance. It was short, and it was executed fairly well. Well worth the read, I think.

 

Rob and Elliot - (www.robandelliot.cycomics.com)
Updates Fridays

  • Genre: Character-Driven, humor

Rob likes to party and has a new girlfriend for every day of the week. Elliot teaches at a university and is stuck on a girl that has expressed that she can't date him. They're roomates. Dr. Doom lives next door.

 

Roomies/It's Walky/Joyce and Walky - (www.itswalky.com)
Updates Saturday. Extra updates available with Subscription

Its Walky is another one of my top 10 favorite webcomics, again, perhaps contributable to the fact that it was one of the first I've read, and perhaps additionally do to the fact that the main storyarc is over. While "Joyce and Walky" is still going, it is definately more character and gag oriented than its story-driven "It's Walky" counterpart.

  • Genre: Character Driven (Roomies/Joyce and Walky), Story Driven (It's Walky), Humor, Relationship, Sci-Fi

Roomies, the start of the fairly long comic strip, isn't quite as good as its successors, but it does set up quite a bit of the story of several of the major characters, so reading It's Walky isn't nearly as fulfilling if you skip its lower quality predecessor.
It's Walky centers around Joyce Brown, David Walkerton, and Sal Waters, agents of SEMME, an secret organization meant to hide and prevent alien encounters with humanity. It's Walky starts as the Head Alien, who had been captured during Roomies, escapes, and starts execution of his master plan, Year 0.
It's Walky is another comic that, while I like the art, its not one of the reasons I read it. I'll probably extrapolate a bit more on this in the Shortpacked entry.

Starslip Crisis is part of Blank Label Comics, which includes other nifty comics like Starslip Crisis , and Wapsi Square.

 

Sam and Fuzzy - (www.samandfuzzy.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Not much to say on Sam and Fuzzy. Its a nice, all around good comic. One of my favorites, if not in my top ten.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Story-Driven, Humor

Sam and Fuzzy is about (surprise) two characters - a man named Sam, and a weird little talking bear named Fuzzy. Sam has low self-esteem and is inept at nearly everything he tries, traits that may be attributable to the consant abuse that Fuzzy has put him through over the years that they've been living together. Fuzzy is quite the character - a sadistic murdering psycho one minute, and an altruistic guardian to Sam in another (although, to be fair, Fuzzy may only protect Sam so that the latter stays in a nice healthy mindset. Healthy people are more fun to screw with).
Logan's art is interesting - he has a very clean, but very busy style with his art. The thick black outlines and character designs create a dynamic and unique style that is instantly recognizable, espcecially in the many guest strips he writes for other webcomics. While the story starts off slow, mostly focusing on random hijinks of Fuzzy and their negative impact on Sam, the strip soon starts an elaborate, multi-layered storyline that significantly expands on virtually every single character in the strip.

 

Scary Go Round - (www.scarygoround.com)
Finished

Scary go round has a huge cast, but a few jump to the forefront. Shelley and Amy are the main characters - Shelly works for the Mayor Mayor until he is voted out for gross incompetence, then begins work as a reporter. Amy is a spoiled rich girl who fancies herself an artist. The sprawling supporting cast starts with Ryan, their often drunk and surprisingly wise friend, Tim the inventor, Fallon the Spy, Shelly's sister Erin and her goth friend Esther, Moon the Evil Intern Marine biologist, just to name a few. Tackleford seems to be a magnet for strange circumstances and one character or another always gets tied into it.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

I came across Scary Go Round a bit ago, and I, as apt to do, skipped to the beginning to start reading it. I stopped after the first arc. I saw so many other links to it that I decided to go back and try again. This time, I started reading from fairly advanced in the comics history. I liked. So I went back and reread the now much-more-bearable archive, and now I read it regularly. Wheeee!

I think that one of the reasons I didn't like the first arc is probably the same reason that John Allison decided to swap protagonists. Shelley and Amy are just much better characters than Rachel and Tessa are.

Now, even though I characterize Scary Go Round as humorous, its an ambiguous categorization. Its a British comic, so much of the humor doesn't translate. Although I do get a chuckle now and then, there's just so much more amusement to be had from the cast's bizarre hijinks and damn right silly dialogue.

 

Shortpacked! - (www.shortpacked.com)
Updates Three to Five times a week, on Weekdays

The other, and current comic by David Willis, and probably the third webcomic I've ever read, Shortpacked is a significant departure from its cousin, It's Walky. While it takes a handful of the characters from It's Walky, Shortpacked has none of the intense drama or tension of It's Walky - it is a parody comic first and foremost.

  • Genre: Character Driven, Humor, Toys, Relationship

Shortpacked centers around Ethan, who works at a toy store with Amber, Rick, Mike and Robin (both from It's Walky), and Ronald Reagan (don't look at me for an explanation on that one). While a good portion of the strip is dedicated to various parodies, mostly of toylines (in particular Transformers and Batman), the majority focuses on the exploits of the cast, whose various endeavors run the gambit from Ethan having trouble sleeping because of his J.I.Joe poster to Robin falling in love with a programmer from ILM because of his name.
Shortpacked starts off in B+W, but it changes to color fairly soon into its life. The art, while still trademark Willis, is a bit higher quality than that of It's Walky, with the exception of a few of the IW splash pages. While its fun to read Shortpacked to find out what the latest sugar-fueled exploit of Robin's has surfaced, Willis' biting social humor is what I read for.

Shortpacked is part of Blank Label Comics, which includes other nifty comics like Starslip Crisis, Joyce and Walky, and Wapsi Square.

 

Skirting Danger - (www.skirtingdanger.com)
Indefinate Hiatus

Courtney is well off. She is a budding superhero and skilled fashion design student. Well, budding hero and attempting fashion design student. She doens't have any powers, and she can't seem to get accepted to the fashion school she's been pining for forever. Then there's all her relationship issues. You know, Courtney's life isn't what its cracked up to be, is it?

  • Genre: Action, Humor, Relationship

I was really getting into Skirting Danger when the archives just ended. You might have heard me say this before, but what wasted potential. It's still worth a few good laughs and an interesting take on a self-made superhero.

 

Sluggy Freelance - (www.sluggy.com)
Updates Sunday through Friday

As stated by its pedestal atop the list on the homepage, I have great fondness for the strip. Now, I'll level with you here - this is an extreme bias. Sluggy Freelance was only the second webcomic I ever read, after Order of the Stick, and it took up a large chunk of my free time in the four months or so that I spent catching up with its archives. Sluggy Freelance made me a webcomic connoisseur and eventually an artist.
But while I may fanboy it off for a little more than it actually is, rest assured that what you see before you is quality.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Humor, Relationship

Sluggy Freelance starts out centering around two characters - Torg and Rif. What starts off as several chaotic and nonsensical adventures, mostly centering around Torg's acquisition of a talking mini-lop that poses constant problems, and Rif's inventions and experiments. As the story progresses, however, the strip grows, in many ways. First, the cast. The group is soon joined by Zoe, a young woman going to college nearby, Gwynn, Zoe's co-worker, Aylee, an alien from an alternate dimension, Kiki, a talking ferret, and Stan, a former neighbor turned Vampire.
Now, before you write off the strip as just a collection of media stereotypes, I have to tell you that Pete Abrams manages to parody each of these cliches extremely well, and still come up with three dimension, complex characters that you will fall in love with. BTW, the 5 I gave to sluggy in character can probably be attributed to bias. I just love those characters so much.

 

Something Positive - (www.somethingpositive.net)
Updates everyday just about.

If ever there was a comic that had characters that refused to be defined in a few succinct sentences, Something Positive is it. With a huge supporting cast, and a hefty archive to build all of their characters up, Something Positive is an exceptional webcomic. Davan is an... aspiring actor and writer. But few of his projects get off the ground, usually sabataged by his own self-loathing and crushing apathy. Instead he wallows in a depressing job where he sends ambulance bills to people who can't afford rent. Aubrie is as sadistic as she is brilliant and is constantly coming up with new get-rich schemes that vary in level of success. Davan's best friend Peejee is... just so damn complicated that I can't really write anything definitive about her. Violent... yes. She is violent.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Relationship

Something Positive doesn't start of crappy and then get better. It starts off awesome and then just builds up to god-like. Near the middle of the archves, you might start to feel that the whole "I hate th world" from Davan is starting to get old, but Randy Miholland has such a large cast that the feeling doesn't last too long.

One of the interesting things about S*P is that many of the story arcs in the comic seem to have the sole purpose of mobilizing a small contingent of his readership to arms. Easily the most controversial webcomic on the internet, Miholland will often accompany a new Story arc strip with the tagline "this is me saying I want more Hate Mail."

 

Starslip Crisis - (www.starslipcrisis.com)
Updates Monday through Friday

Memnon Venderbeam is the proprietor of the Fuseli, a decommissioned battleship that has been outfitted as a mobile museum. It is his tool in his mission to bring education and harmony to the universe through art. His ace pilot, Cutter Edgewise, usually finds the man overbearing and pompous, although he's probably just use the word jackass. The main cast is rounded out by Jinx, the cribazoid that Vanderbeam neglects to pay to run the routine functions of the ship.

Things get interesting, and Vanderbeams world is turned at a slight angle when they discover that the Starslip drive, the mainstay engine technology of the age, is hopelessly flawed, resulting in the love of Vanderbeam's love not existing anymore.

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Sci-Fi

I was extremely glad that I liked Starslip Crisis. You see, I had long known that Kristopher Straub was a known compatriot of Scott Kurts, the writer of PvP, but the only comic I knew him for was Checkerboard Nightmare, which I had to stop reading because it disgusted me. Even as much as I like Starsip, I still can't go back to read Checkerboard Nightmare because even the premise of the strip punches me in the face. No thanks.

As an afterthought, Starslip Crisis is part of Blank Label Comics, which includes other nifty comics like Shortpacked, Joyce and Walky, and Wapsi Square.

 

Stuff Sucks - (www.stuffsucks.com)
Updates Weekly

Stuff Sucks is a (relatively) new comic, or at least it has few pages compared to the massive archives of say, Sluggy Freelance, or It's Walky, no doubt attributable to its high quality art.

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Humor

Stuff Sucks starts out as the story of Daniel, as he prepares to propose to his sweetheart, Nicole - a simple task complicated by the interference of a mysterious girl deadset on getting her hands on Daniel's engagement ring.
Despite Stuff Sucks being story driven, you may notice that I did not put a "Story" rank. This is because just the sparse total of strips makes it difficult to fully judge the story. Perhpas when it is more advanced, I'll be able to rank it. For now, all I see is a very promising webcomic with some interesting characters and a very rich, alternative art style. Definately something to check out.

 

Tales of Pylea - (www.talesofpylea.comicgenesis.com)
Updates Sundays

F'Nor is merely a traveling warrior who happens upon a small artifact, thrust into his hands by a woman who knows that death is near. When confronted by the large powerful man that wants the artifact enough to kill for it, F'Nor realizes that it must be protected.

  • Genre: Action, Fantasy

A nice generic fantasy comic. Visual style is very dynamic - the sense of movement is superb. The story isn't too far along, but its a fun rea.

 

Tales of the Traveling Gnome - (www.ttg.comicgenesis.com)
On Hiatus until June

Dottiar, a gnome who left the church to study arcane magic, recalls his journey as an adventurer with some old friends of his, and other friends who betrayed him.

  • Genre: Action, Fantasy

Excellent, high detail art finds you in TTG, along with some very well-executed dialogue and backstory. The characters seem to fall into the Dungeons and Dragons archetypes, with many of the races and classes clearly defined, although the fluff associated with each is quite advanced.

 

Templar, Arizona - (www.webcomicsnation.com)
Updates Bi-Weekly

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

Templar is about a boy named Ben who uprooted his life and took moved, upsetting his parents and his therapist. He since took up a writing job, but kept to himself, until he was jostled into socializing by his neighbor Reagan. Events recent in his life have finally inspired some confidence in himself.

 

The Curious Adventures of Aldus Maycombe - (www.aldus.comicgen.com)
Updates Sporadically

  • Genre: Story-Driven, Fantasy

You know what? Go read the comic and see if you can tell me what its about.

 

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella - (www.graphicsmash.com)
Updates Saturdays

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor

Wonderella was blessed with superpowers in order to protect the world. She does that every now and then. As long as it doesn't interrupt her soaps.

 

Turtle vs. Bunny - (www.digitalpimponline.com)
Finished
Second comic on Hiatus

Turtle and Bunny have decided that they need to prove to one another, once and for all, who can win a race between the two. So its just them, their feet, and the road. And rocket launchers. And uzis. And knives. Cannons... mystical connections to nature...

  • Genre: Humor, idk... race driven?

Do I like this comic? Answer 1: Fricken Joe Dunn. You want more? Answer 2.

 

User Friendly - (www.userfriendly.org)
Updates Daily

User Friendly is a social commentary on big businesses, technology, and human stupidity. Probably not for you unless your into technology and and operating systems.

  • Genre: Humor, Technology, Operating Systems

UF takes place in a canadian Internet Provider company by the name of Columbia Internet. The story and characters of UF circulate around a litte creature that is created from the contents of a server case. The creature, dubbed Dust Puppy, turns out to be an astonishinly adept programmer and video game player, becoming unstoppable in Quake, despite its complete lack of hands. Dust Puppy eventually programs a sentient AI named Erwin. The cast engages in odd activites that include fighting robots programmed in Windows 95, moving the company into an old Nuclear Power Plant, and avoiding the evil counterpart of the Dust Puppy, the Crud Puppy - born of hair and bitter coffee.
While the stories and characters of UF are sometimes amusing, they are not shining features of the comic. The human characters don't even really differentiate themselves until fairly advanced into the strip's archive - although quite differentiated they become. In fact, with the substandard art and mediocre characterization and stories, you probably won't find the strip worth your time unless you know the subject matter (mainly Linux vs. Microsoft, and other technology news). Erwin is undoubtedly my favorite character, and my favorite strips are the poems that he recites as he contemplates his newest power trip. The author, Illiad Frasier, is actually quite the philanthropist, and often takes time on the strip (and his website) to grieve the anniversaries of major tragedies, or to encourage readers to appreciate those they care for.

 

VG Cats - (vgcats.com)
Updates (If you're lucky) once a month or so.

Consider VG Cats an anthropomorphic Penny Arcade. While the strip has its own characters, atmosphere and running gags, the two are peas in a pod as far as genre goes. Most likely, if you like Penny Arcade, you'll like VG Cats.

  • Genre: Humor, Gaming

VG Cats is one of the few comics that I actually go to in part for the art. I love his sense of humor and his art - the biggest problem is that of quantity. The author updates less than once a week, and he doesn't really have a blog to speak of. Sure he usually releases a comment here or there, but its not nearly the scale to which I read Penny Arcade's commentary.

 

Wapsi Square - (www.wapsisquare.com)
Updates Monday through Friday

Monica is the curator at her local museum. During one of her rounds, she stumbled upon an old aztec artifact that turned out to be the God of Alcohol. Delving into the depths of the supernatural awakens the incarnations of Monica's own inner demons, and she finds out that Tepoztecal is much, much older than the Aztec civilization, and there's alot more that he's not telling her.

  • Genre: Humor, Fantasy

Wapsi is another Blank Label comic, like Starslip Crisis and pretty much anything by David Willis. While I do like the characterization, Paul Taylor is often a bit gratuitus with Monica, who is based on his real life fiance. Her... proportions, I think, are also a bit exaggerated, almost to a distracting away from the story sense. That's for the most part my only qualm with the comic.

 

What Birds Know - (www.whatbirdsknow.atspace.com)
Updates Sporadically

  • Genre: Fantasy, Dramatic

Vandi, Elia and Dores have decided to take a trip to the mountains to collect some mushrooms. The initial search bares little, and so they venture up a tower embedded in the mountain, with the hope that there might be more mushrooms on the other side of the mountain, and as an interesting diversion. On the other side, however, Elia starts acting strange, and Vandi is noticing that something about this side of the mountain just isn't right...

 

Wondermark - (www.wondermark.com)
Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • Genre: Humor

Wondermark is interesting in that it has no recurring characters whatsoever. The comic is mostly composed of digitally reconstructed images of historical photographs, with Maliki's own brand of sadistic comedy attached. No theme is untouched, from current events to philosophy to stabbing your husband in the back for being stupid.

If you apply to the Wondermark newsletter, along with the strip being delivered to your inbox, you get Dispatchs of Wondermark Manner, a story about a psychotic serial murderer and Lord of a large mansion. No comic goes by without mention of some horrendously derrogatory act or grizly murder, most of which perpetrated by the Lord himself.

 

XKCD - (www.xkcd.com)
Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

  • Genre: Humor, Relationship, Math, Abstract

XKCD is proof that there is a webcomic for everyone. While there are a few recurring characters, its hard to figure them out because all the characters are stick figures. Full on stick figures, not those boxy clothing detailed figures of Rich Burlew. Literally 3 lines and a circle. He still has some very visually stimulating strips, however, but the writiing is the main draw. Do you need to know how to Velociraptor proof your house? Read XKCD.

 

You'll Have That - (www.vipercomics.com)
Updates Monday through Friday

  • Genre: Character-Driven, Humor, Relationship

You'll Have That focuses on Andy and his wife Katie. The strip is obviously autobiographical, as the main character is a struggling cartoonist who eventually has his comic published by Viper Comics (notice the URL next to the link?), and even has a story arc where he decides that the comic he draws will be based on their own life as newlyweds. The cast is rounded out by Andy's friend Steve and his fiance.