ajgWith it being the week after Comic Con and the fact I’ve been wanting to write this article (*ahem*) for awhile now. I figured it was time to list my favorite top 10 webcomics guaranteed to kill your productivity. Seriously though – they are well worth the time spent reading them!
Um.. and if you don’t know what Comic Con is? You need to go here and find out and then come back here to read my list.
Webcomics – A Brief History
No this isn’t one of those wikipedia type histories. This is my view on webcomics. Although they have been around a LOT longer than 2000 when I started reading them. They have evolved so much over the years that even the traditional newspapers, folks like DC and Marvel, and the “traditional artists” have taken notice. But it has been a long arduous journey for artists who publish their content online vs. paper. Webcomics deserve the same respect and should be treated the same as their older “traditional” artists.
Anyways – enough of my ranting – here is my list! I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!
1. Penny Arcade
I was stuck staring at the cursor for a few minutes here trying to wrap my mind around Penny Arcade. Because they (Jerry and Mike the guys who started it!) have grown so far past being ‘just an online comic’. Penny Arcade has grown in the over 10 years when it first started into the current juggernaut it is today. They have branched out to doing things like Childs Play, PAX/PAX East , and I just noticed there now doing PAX Dev?!
What started as two characters Gabe and Tycho and their shenanigans have blown into the Penny Arcade world. I have been reading (lurking) them for so long that it just now hit me how huge they are now. You will need to go to their site and spend weeks there trying to catch up to everything they are doing! Anyways – there comic is still awesome too lol!
2. PvP Online
Scott Kurtz is the mastermind for this comic. And I started reading him since well.. near the beginning. I have watched not only his comic grow – but Scott himself grow as well. If you end up reading a comic long enough and reading the blog posts – you start to get a little window into the live of the artist himself. He and his “sidekick” Kris Straub (of Starlip and Chainsaw fame) are always up to something. And most of the time it is awesome and funny.
But – he does actually write a comic too! PvP-Online is about the misadventures of a Game Magazine company writing about… well video games of course. If you start at the beginning you will meet and get to know all of the characters of Cole, Francis, Skull the Troll and all the others. But over the years it has drifted off into different story arc’s and always managed to find its way back home.
Touted as “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” You might get thrown off by the simple stick figures at first. Then you find things like this: xkcd – Height and you realize that this is not only a funny comic – but creative in ways only a geeky math engineer genius can be. If your like me and suck at math? You might not get all of the comics – but for those you do? They are pure gold.
I’ve been reading this comic since 2007. The art is great, the characters are fun to follow, and the main character Ethan is a walking disaster waiting to happen. Tim Buckley has some great humor related with today’s video gaming genre and is surely great for a laugh or three. (Warning: Some comics may be considered graphic due to gratuitous violence!)
Taking a spin on today’s MMORPG’s the story is the about the adventures of Richard the Warlock, Cale’enon the Elf, and Benny the Troll Shaman. With an awesome story and artwork done in collaboration by Ryan Sohmer and drawn by Lar DeSouza (source: Wikipedia) it has been a huge hit by both Stratics and the fans of World of Warcraft.
And all I can really add more to this comic? FWOOOSH! Now go read it!
Hmm.. how to describe Sinfest? Written by Tatsuya Ishida. He uses his main characters Slick, Monique, and Squigly the pig to depict the human condition, sexuality, gender roles, drug use, political satire, and current events. (whew!) But what it ends up being is at times hilarious with a real touch at making you think and relate tot he characters. This is a must-read comic.
Sheldon is the lovable kid who managed at age 10 to not only create a multi-billion dollar software company but he also has a talking duck Arthur. Living with his Grandpa, his pet Pug ‘Oso’, and Arthur the ducks ‘child’ Flaco the lizard you get to see the daily musings and adventures of this unusual cast. But don’t think all that money went to his head. He is still a “normal” kid! I love reading this comic although the premise seems nuts at times; Dave Kellett manages to keep the story fresh and interesting every day. (Just wish he had kept his Color Sunday format!)
8. The Noob
I’ve been reading the Noob ever since I ran across it in um… wow 2004? Created by Gianna Masetti it depicts an inept ‘noob’ into the land of Cliche Quest. Loosely based on MMORPG’s everywhere Gianna takes and makes fun of MMO’s using the mis-adventures of Ohforf (Oh FFS). If you have ever played an MMO this is the comic for you as you will most likely relate – not only about the players, the in-game characters, but the dev team and “GM”‘s as well! Beware the PK’rs! Also – she does this pretty much out of her own pocket and donations. So if you could toss her a buck or two? I’m sure she would appreciate it!
9. Real Life
Created by Greg Dean – this is the quasi story of his life. I started reading this back when I was still playing “Ultima-Online” (yeesh!). Depicting himself and his (now) wife Liz, Tony the Evil Overlord, and his super nerd/gamer best friend Dave. He mixes his daily life with things like Mech Warriors, Time Travel, Stargate travel, and other insanity keeping the story interesting. But he is like me and has a day job – so his schedule is um… erratic at best.
Originally the brain child of Fred Ghallagher and Rodney Caston. The story of Piro and Largo are two Americans who managed to get stuck in Tokyo has changed into a full-blown manga. You have Piro the Anime/Manga, lover of Date Sims, and has at least one foot in reality. And then you have Largo the uber-Gamer, Hardware Tweaker (he works on his hardware N3KK1D after all), and nowhere near reality. The story has changed since it’s inception back in 2000. I have drifted in and out of it trying to stay loyal. But at times it is difficult. Still it is a great comic.
- Devils Panties – I found this comic on KeenSpot a long time ago and I love it. Follow the life of Breenan through her life if conventions, relationships, and kilt blowing. (You’ll have to read it to find out…)
- Wapsi Square – I personally love this comic. But I miss the original story arc. The artist has matured and so has his characters. It isn’t a bad thing that the story changed. I just miss the goofiness it originally had. Oh.. and did I mention it stars Monica a busty feisty Latino who works at a Museum?
- LackaDaisy – Probably the best art I’ve seen online for a comic. Why didn’t it make the top 10? Because I’ve been reading the top 10 for over 10 years lol! But this is a must read comic!
Update: I still love these comics all of these years later. Of course like most people who have matured. Tastes have changed. And now I mainly watch Anime, read a lot of Manga, and even follow quite a few WebComics now. 🙂