Which Webcomics do you Read?

I’m doing yet another link dump like post. Sorry about that. I will get these out of my system soon. In the meantime they allow me to knock out a few quick posts in a rather short amount of time with quite narrow topic constraints which prevent me from rambling – like I’m doing now for example. I catch up with the backlog, you get something to click on and everyone wins. I’ll have something more characteristically verbose tomorrow.

Today I wanted to talk about webcomics. There are millions of them out there, and they all pretty much suck. Among all the garbage however there are few gems that consistently deliver high quality humor. I picked out couple of my favorites to share with you here

XKCD

XKCD proves that you do not really have to draw well to produce a very popular comic. It uses stick figure drawings, but what it lacks in artistic polish, it more than makes up in content. XKCD is consistently brilliant, hilarious and thought provoking. It delivers a very high brow humor and it’s common themes are science jokes, unix gags and geek culture. The name itself is a meaningless acronym which Randall Munroe then assigned to a very large number you get after calling the Ackerman Function with Graham’s Number as both arguments. This should probably give you an idea which kind of humor you can find here. My favorite is probably this joke – I actually own a t-shirt with it.

Abstruse Goose

My second favorite after XKCD. It serves a very similar brand of geeky, high brow humor but can be edgier. It sometimes ventures into philosophy, theology or sheer absurdity. It consistently delivers a concentrated dose of smart, academic comedy.

Dresden Codak

Probably the only comic I follow which actually had an ongoing story arc. As opposed to the two titles listed above, Dresden Codak has a stunning graphical style. It also tends to be wordy at times, but it will captivate you. It is funny, smart and thought provoking. Here are some of my favorite stand-alone panels that do not belong to the story arc – they should give you an idea about the sheer brilliance of this title: Dungeons and Discourse, Traversing the Luminous Aether, Summer Dream Job and of course Being a Zebra. Also, the “Hob” story arc deals with time travel, and singularity which is win. Aaron Diaz – the creator of this comic also invented the Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.

The Perry Bible Fellowship

I don’t know how Nicholas Gurewitch does it, but he has consistently been able to condense weapons grade humor into small 3-4 panel strips with striking, intelligent and often disturbing punchlines. One of my favorites is Bee. Unfortunately the updates seem to be slow lately.

Piled Higher and Deeper

This is pretty much a mandatory reading for anyone who is or ever was in grad school. At one point I was convinced that Jorge Cham has a hidden cam somewhere in the lab where I toiled on my thesis. This guy knows academia idiosyncrasies inside out and he is not afraid to lambaste them with full force. The comic does have a cast of recurring characters and a slowly moving meta-story which is fortunately secondary to the jokes.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Yet another great 3-4 panel comic with random gags which range from high brow, to toilet humor and shock punchlines. Most panels are well thought out, and jokes tend to be on the smart side. Consistently funny.

Darths and Droids

A comic inspired by the excellent DM of the Rings and it revolves around the same concept. It takes screen shots from the Star Wars movies and adds funny dialogue. The premise is that the whole thing is a RPG game – what we see in the shots is what the imagined world the Game Master describes to the players. The characters themselves are played by regular people, who often speak out of character, quote Monty Python and make fun of the huge plot holes in the story. They started with Panthom Menace footage, now they are doing Attack of the Clones. The plan is to do all 6 films so they have lot’s of material to work with.

Honestly, this comic is actually the first good thing that came out of the Star Wars prequels.

Stolen Pixels

This comic deserves a honorable mention because it was made by Shamus Young who also made DM of the Rings. This time he uses screen captures from video games. You have to love it, because Shamus is one of the few people who has the guts, the wits and the audience to ruthlessly critique video game industry time and time again for their idiotic DRM policies. You should also check out his blog if you are not reading it yet.

That’s all I have for today. Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite webcomic? Please post links to the stuff you like in the comments. Just keep in mind that my spam filter gets angry and will yell at you if you post multiple URL’s in the comment field. A single link should be fine though. I’m just letting you know – if you are running into trouble, just mention the comic using the title or a set of keywords we could google to find it.

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17 Responses to Which Webcomics do you Read?

  1. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    My RSS reader has been slowly accumulating webcomics for some time now… I have quite a few, but many of them only update very rarely, if they’re even still updating. I should probably go through and check to weed out the dead links, but it’s easier to just read what it shows me and not bother about the ones that never have new things.

    Anyway, the list: Ctrl+Alt+Del (gamer comic), SMBC (mentioned in the post), Cyanide and Happiness (crude rude and funny), Little Gamers, Fanboys, Slackers, Experience Points and Penny Arcade (more gamer comics), Real Life, Super Effective (mocks the Pokemon Red/Blue storyline), Brawl in the Family (Nintendo-game jokes), Darths & Droids, Order of the Stick (RPG jokes), PHD, Ozy and Millie (cute and thinky) Not from Concentrate, Amazing SuperPowers, XKCD, Abstruse Goose, User Friendly, WTTF (What The The Fuck, previously Welcome To The Future), Hoom!, Simulated Comic Product, Mr. Goh, Misfile, Kartoen.be, Frisby, Left-handed Toons, The Warehouse, Calvin and Hobbes (a re-run feed showing old C&H comics from years past), Sheldon, The Flowfield Unity, Cronny, Daisy Owl, Truck Bearing Kibble, Partially Clips, Hockey Zombie, Pictures for Sad Children, Thingpart, Hyper Death Babies, The Noob, Miscellanea, The Perry Bible Fellowship, Sunday at Ten, Decorum, Sean and Mimi’s Awkward Adventures, Dueling Analogs, 2P Start, Pixellated Pupils, AppleGeeks, We The Robots, Beaver and Steve, Jesus and Mo, Russell’s Teapot, Cectic, Questionable Content, Eegra!, Supafine, GWTB, ‘Rob and Elliott’ and Basic Instructions

    Then there are a handful that aren’t on RSS feeds – Sinfest, Dilbert, Dr McNinja, Shortpacked, Awkward Zombie, Full Frontal Nerdity, HISHE (How it Should Have Ended, A Simple Apology, My Stupid Life, Free Refills, VG Cats, Malfunction Junction, Sticks and Stones and Legorobot.

    So yeah… it’s a good thing really that most of them update so rarely, if they were all dailys I’d never have time to read them all. I promise they were all good enough when I encountered them to warrant being put in my reader, so if you want a comic to read… just throw a virtual dart at the list then have a look at their archive and see if you like it :mrgreen:

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  2. Gunni FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    My absolute favorite is A Softer World which combines pictures with very grim takes on sweet thoughts. Then there’s always Terror Island, with its twisted logic and chesspieces which don’t want to go the grocery store. It’s finished though, but a very good read.

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  3. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    XKCD for sure, but also Questionable Content. Been going on for years, and the art has changed (and improved) but a great read! Very funny.

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  4. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    Simple…. XKCD – Thought provoking, funny, intelligent, just whats needed during a shitty week.
    Penny Arcade – TBH I’m not a huge games player, and the underlying theme is about games (console usually), but the humor is great. Always worth a read.
    Other than those… that all I got!

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  5. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    My comic list on GReader is made up of Bizarro (blog), Ctrl+Alt+Del, Darth & Droids, Dilbert (not really a webcomic, but easier to read daily in rss reader), Cyanide & Happiness, Penny Arcade, Questionable Content, Stolen Pixels & XKCD.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Matt`: Wow, quite a list.

    Btw, Sinfest does have an RSS feed – here.

    VG Cats have one too!

    @Mart: I do read Cyanide and Happiness – rude, crude and offensive. Also if you are into that kind of humor there is LegoRobot which is even more derranged.

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  7. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Luke Maciak: It seems much more cruder than Cyanide & Happiness. One more to add to the list! It is on Matt’s list as well, which I have to go through once I have the time..

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  8. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    I only read three on a regular basis: XKCD, Penny Arcade, and Stolen Pixels. I also read Order of the Stick from time to time, but am currently trying to catch up on old strips since I got a late start reading.

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  9. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    You may notice Legorobot was on my list (towards the end of the “no RSS feed” section) :P

    Also I think I love you for the Sinfest/VG Cats feeds. More so with VG Cats – Sinfest updates daily so I know there’ll be something to read when I go there, but VG Cats seem to update about once per glacial cycle…

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  10. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Some of my favourites are Bigger Than Cheese, Dustin Land, of course Dilbert, XKCD, Perry Bible Fellowship and all the rest.

    Wulffmorgenthaler is also pretty good, but the older comics were hilarious!

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  11. I was surprised to not see User Friendly on your list. XKCD is the only other I really read. Sometimes, Penny Arcade pops up, but fails to grab my attention for long durations.

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  12. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Wikke: Bigger than Cheese FTW!

    @CraigI A. Betts: Ah, yes – user friendly. Forgot about it. I read that one to. :)

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  13. Chris K UNITED STATES Opera Mac OS says:

    Can’t forget Irregular Webcomic – almost as smart as xkcd, sometimes smarter. http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/

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  14. Ian Clifton UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I kept meaning to come back and post a comment with all my additions, but Matt` beat me to it and preemptively outdid my list x5. I’ll go cry in a corner now… and then read some new ones from the list to feel better.

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  15. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Ian Clifton: Yeah, I know. Matt` like killed the whole thread before it even started by listing like EVER SINGLE web comic in existence in the FIRST COMMENT. LOL

    After that, other people could mostly just go “me too!”. Way to go Matt`! ;)

    Nah, but seriously – it just shows that the comments are often better than the blog posts themselves. Matt` managed to squeeze more content in his first comment than I did in my whole post. Which is actually awesome.

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  16. Ian Clifton UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    It must feel good knowing that you can now just do one line posts that say, “Hey Matt`, can you list the 30 best 2am snacks?” Then he’ll do the whole blogging thing for you. Having them in a more organized list would be helpful though ;)

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