By Nathan Olsen & Robert Olsen

Web Comics

One of the many benefits that’s come from agreeing to collaborate with my brother on Haiku Comics is that I’ve been learning a lot about the web comics scene which, really, might more accurately be called a movement. After all, the directory, Online Comics, currently lists 7,754 web comics in its database — that’s about 7,740 more web comics than I even knew existed just a few months ago. Frankly, as someone who was an avid collector of mini-comix in the nineties and has been a lifelong reader of comic books and newspaper strips, I am somewhat ashamed to admit the extent of my ignorance in this area. Especially since, you know, I now draw a web comic.

Penny Arcade by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins

There are a few strips that I have been following for quite some time, many of which you all are no doubt already aware: Penny Arcade, The Perry Bible Fellowship, Questionable Content, and Freak Angels. And if you haven’t had a look at them you probably should — they are the Thimble Theatres and Gasoline Alleys of our era. However, as great as those strips are, what I’ve come to more recently discover is that they are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to web comics. There is so much more to see. So, I thought I might share with you some of my finds.


One of my favorite new discoveries is Pictures for Sad Children by John Campbell. Campbell recently did a hilarious pair of strips that were supposedly sponsored by the fast food chain, Long John Silvers. You can see part one here. And here is part two. I am envious of the site redesign that Campbell created to accompany the strips — the whole thing is brilliantly executed. I am also quite taken with this strip, although it is the work of guest artist, KC Green.

Gun Show By KC Green

Speaking of KC Green, his gag strip Gun Show is well worth your time. The more recent strips aren’t as accessible, but there is some great material in the archives. The comic appears to have started in September 2008 and I think it’s pretty amazing how far Green has developed such a short amount of time. It just proves the point that the best way to get better at anything is through continued practice. It’s certainly paid off for Green.

Lucy Knisley

While I don’t know that it qualifies as a proper web comic, Lucy Knisley has been posting strips to her Live Journal account pretty regularly. My sense of humor generally tends to gravitate towards darker material, but I’ve really been enjoying the work she’s been putting up. And, hey, if you need zombies in your comics, she did draw this.

Johnny Wander by Yuko Ota and Anantha Panagariya

Yuko Ota and Anantha Panagariya have a comic going called Johnny Wander that has some potential. Ota is also responsible for a slightly more famous web comic, Fallen.

We The Robots by Chris Harding

We The Robots by Chris Harding hasn’t been on a regular publishing schedule for a while, but what is already in the archives is definitely worth your time. The same can be said for Butternut Squash by Ramon Perez and Rob Coughler. And The Bean Men by Sean Tenhoff.

There’s just a lot of great work out there. If you know of any great strips that I’ve missed, please leave a comment and let me know about it. I am a huge comics fan and I am always looking for new stuff to read.

Before I go, I would be remise if I didn’t take a moment to thank all of you for your continued support of Haiku Comics. I especially appreciate those of you who have taken the time to leave comments for us on the site — your vocal encouragement is the fuel that keeps Bob and I going. In addition, I would like to thank Jonny Metro of Midnite Media and Victoria Gadson of Geekery Under The World, who have both been generously promoting Haiku Comics on their own websites. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and are very much appreciated. Bob and I really enjoy making this comic and having such a wonderful audience with whom to share our efforts has just been icing on the cake.

Comments (9)

  1. This was a great post, I’m gonna have to go read me some of those! I didn’t realize there was so much online. I didn’t see you mention, though you might already be aware of, Dash Shaw’s webcomic “BodyWorld.”

    A friend of mine recently showed it to me, I was impressed by the way he makes use of the webpage format so you scroll through the comic very naturally.

  2. I’ve never heard of BodyWorld. It looks cool! I just read through the prelude and I have no idea what it all means but I’ve bookmarked the rest for later. The guy’s rant about the “Angels and beautiful virgins everywhere! Yes! Yes! No more misery!” reminds me of the time when I was stuck in the hospital with a psychotic for a roommate who kept shouting, “Rivers of blood! Ten thousand or more!” All. Night. Long.

    Good times.

  3. What was even better? The roommate I had the next night who smuggled in a screwdriver and used it to escape out a window, which brought security guards flooding into the room at 2am looking for clues. He. Escaped. Out. The. Fucking. Window. What more do you need to know?

    By the way, I should have mentioned: Matt made a neat comic too.

  4. umh…are psychotic episodes going to be “all in the family” too? should i be watching bob a wee bit more carefully? LOL!

  5. I wasn’t crazy. (Or, at least, I managed to evade that diagnosis.) I just had pneumonia. For some reason, the hospital seemed to think my road to good health required bunking with a lunatic strapped to a gurney who raved about the impending apocalypse. I wouldn’t think being subjected to that sort of thing would be good for the immune system, but what do I know?

    It seems to have worked.

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Haiku Comics often pokes fun at the horror film genre and may contain humorous drawings of nudity and violence not suitable for children or the workplace.