With the end of the year approaching, I though now might be as good a time as any to catch everyone up on what web comics I’ve been reading lately. Can you believe that it’s been eight months since the last time I did this?
First off, if you’re not following Kristian Nygård’s Optipess, you’ve been missing out. I think the strip has a lot in common with Haiku Comics, both in the way the strips use action to tell a joke and in the frequent misfortune that befalls the characters. This is one of my favorites. And, according to Kristian, this strip was inspired by the Haiku Comics book. Kristian isn’t afraid to experiment with his comic and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with it in 2010.
Apparently, Neil Swaab’s Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles can be found in newspapers, so I’m kind of bummed that I’ve just discovered it. Neil recently wrapped up a storyline that involved Mr. Wiggles, a stuffed bear, becoming God. In case you were wondering, this turned out to be a bad idea.
Moe by Michael Firman has given me more than one good belly laugh. I don’t know what exactly Moe is, but I’m not sure he should have been allowed to breed. But any comic that has a character named Cement Bag Head is okay with me.
If you are an adult and enjoy sexual humor, you should be reading Trudy Cooper’s Oglaf. It is ridiculously pornographic, however, so it’s probably not the best choice for passing the time at work. The strip is set in a fantasy sword-and-sorcery-type world, which often results in jokes like this one and this one. In case you were wondering, not all of the jokes are pornographic, just 99% of them. You’ve been warned.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Becky Cloonan & Hwan Cho’s KGB. KGB is a serialized graphic novel about a Korean pop band. I’m undecided about the story — the characters are a bit weak at this point — but the artwork is gorgeous. Cloonan and Cho are a talented pair, so I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take this.
Whew! That’s a lot of comics. If you get through all of those, you might take a look at Atomic Laundromat by Armando Valenzuela, Fantasty by Lauren R. Hale, Woody After Hours by Ben Carter and Paul Westover, and Borked Planet by Jess Warren — who all have been kind enough to throw their support behind Haiku Comics over the past year.
Thanks to everyone for such a great year. Here’s to 2010! Happy new year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.