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« Complete the Sentence... | Main | Fringe! Interview: Alan Brown on 'Five Dances' »
Tuesday
Apr162013

Top Ten: Webcomics I'm Reading

[Allow me an off cinema moment as a breather from the middle of a constant stream of movies for jury duty at the Nashville Film Festival. Once I'm back next week I'll hit Oscar Predix and Summer Movies full tilt boogie.]

Over a year ago I did a little comic strip riffing on Martha Marcy May Marlene and though I'd originally planned to follow it up with weekly strips, the idea kept morphing. I'm now trying again with little actressexual musings like "Tilda in a Box" and "Jurassic Memory". I hope you're enjoying but I'm doing it for me. I have to go where the muse takes me and lately I've really needed to draw. I search for webcomics semi-regularly and I've noticed there are only a handful of movie-centric ones. Each medium has its inescapable obsessions: TV is littered with cops, lawyers and doctors and Webcomics seem to mostly spin 'round animals & video games.

Do you read any? Past comments suggest that you don't but I remain stubbornly curious. Appropos of nothing other than this current moodswing, I thought I'd sing the praises of ten illustrated story thingies on the web. It's hard to know where the best ones are because they don't get much media coverage... or at least not where I personally know to look.

TEN FAVORITE WEBCOMICS OF THE MOMENT

Runner's Up: Questionable ContentSandra & Woo, Diesel Sweeties, Hanna is not a Boy's Name, and Poorly Drawn Lines

10 The Fox Sister (Thursdays)
I just started reading this one but the artwork is amazing and the color even more so. The mythical story involves a young Korean girl whose family was killed by a demon fox who then took the form of her big sister. For those who like a little extra resonance there's apparently an undercurrent of commentary on the rise of Christianity in Korea though I haven't gotten that far yet...

9 more after the jump

09 The Oatmeal
Cats and dogs and lots of internet centric humor. All of which you can get elsewhere, true. But The Oatmeal has a twisted genuinely funny sense of humor, and strips that manage to be personal, idiosyncratic and even moving along with the funny, like this recent memoir about the creator's house burning down. Bonus points: the interactive quizzes are insane.

08 Oglaf  [NSFW. Every Sunday]
This weekly strip is one you have to be in the right mood for as its extremely smutty and clings closely to the sword & sorcery genre. But if you wish Game of Thrones were Game of Bedchambers and a million times less self-serious, give it a shot. The humor is hit and miss but the recurring gags are reliably fun like two explorers who search for The Fountain of Youth but keep finding other fountains, a lizard of guilt, and 'cumsprites' who are always telling on their masters for masturbating. Bonus points: for a strip this horny, it's happily non-discriminatory with the sexual pairings.

07 JL8 
This comic, which began as Little League a year ago is like the muppet babies of superheroes... the Justice League of America to be exact but if you grew up reading DC, it's a lot of fun. Currently the heroes are in the midst of a very long birthday celebration for Diana thrown by the Amazons. But the artist seems to like the Superman/Batman rivalry best and the future Superman/Wonder Woman romantic pairing, too.

06 Artifice
This LGBT sci-fi strip about an artificial man and his human prisoner is a complete story (and plays like a movie, albeit one that would never get made) rather than a continuing weekly series.

05 Menage a 3
It's not unlike Archie if the Archie comics were randy and Canadian and happening right now and Betty & Veronica occasionally got it on. Memorable characters and fun art. Don't judge but I once found myself reading this for HOURS in the middle of the night.

04 The Abonimable Charles Christopher
This award winning strip by Karl Kerschl is considered a classic of the genre. I tried it a few times before it clicked for me but the mood definitely catches up with you as you follow a sasquatch on his adventures with anthropomorphized creatures in the woods. I love the troubled marriage of two birds, the raccoons who live for the moment the experimental flourishes and so on. Amazing artwork.

03 NIMONA
Ginger Haze runs one of my all time favorite tumblrs which eventually led me to this ongoing narrative about a non-violent super villain and his shape-shifting lethal sidekick Nimona. Fun gags, memorably stylized art, and fine character chemistry all conspire to make this truly special.

02 STOP PAYING ATTENTION
Autobiographical comics are legion and they always risk self-indulgent 'me-me-me' limitations. But this irregular strip from Lucy Knisley is quite excellent anyway. She's a master of the closing frame and maybe because she's so aware of how inside her own head her comics are, her internal monologues aren't sealed off but relatable. It feels like you've jumped right in her head... Being Lucy Knisley. Bonus points: my all time favorite cartoonist Lynda Barry is one of her inspirations.

01 HARK, A VAGRANT!
I've linked to this one several times. It never fails to delight me from its testy characterization of Wonder Woman to its hilariously unexpected pop culture vortexes (Janet Jackson's "Nasty" anyone?) to its endless poking at precious histories.

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Reader Comments (7)

I read through this whole article, expecting to have to rant on Hark! A Vagrant's behalf at the end, only to discover it exactly where it should be. It's pure happiness disguised as lessons.
Also, I really enjoy Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Humor style is sort of like Hark a Vagrant, but occasionally smuttier/science-y...er.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe K

I love Questionable Content. probably the only webcomic I've stuck with for years. When others I read kept shutting down, that one just kept getting better.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpaco

Hadn't seen JL8 before. Thank you :)

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

My choice for number one would, most certainly, be Lackadaisy. It's not a quick updater, and I probably only check on occasion, but that one is GOLDEN.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Only slightly off topic but since you brought it up: am I the only one that would rather see Film Bitch Awards from last year completed before Oscar Predix for next year?

(Asking as a big fan, not a critical nag.)

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

My favorite webcomic is RPG.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I recommend DM of the Rings. It' hilarious, even if you know nothing about D&D (like me).

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbuttface

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