I don’t know about your guys, but I frequently need a break from political blogs, mainstream media pages, hurricane watch weather sites and all the other serious stuff out there on the internet. Some turn to the joys of YouTube, others to collections of jokes and limericks, and some, I hear, to pornography. But not I! I often choose to indulge in webcomics, and over the years have grown particularly fond of a select few. While I may be a novice when it comes to things graphic novel or otherwise, there are definitely a few web comics that I check regularly and that I thought I might clue you guys into. Take a look, enjoy them, and let me know what you guys read if I’m missing out on something good!
First, there’s Questionable Content, a most excellent comic that’s been running since 2003 and has garnered a passionate following of readers who depend on this daily jolt of wit, humor and fun to kick off their days. J. Jacques originally started writing QC while working a crap job, but after a year took a leap of faith and devoted himself full time to chronicling the lives of a group of friends in Northampton, MA. There are over 1,000 episodes now, so go back and read your way through the archive, because trust me, while it may seem quiet, almost tame by the violent and racy standards of many other internet comics, it’ll grow on you till you find yourself one amongst many waiting with eager anticipation to see how things turn out amongst Jacques’ unique collection of characters. Go check it out!
The Perry Bible Fellowship is a very special webcomic indeed. For sheer randomness, bizarre humor and imagination it can’t be beat. Nicholas Gurewitch’s strip is syndicated in a number of national papers, and you’ll often find yourself staring at the screen, blinking and shaking your head before leaning back and laughing out loud. His art varies from his idiosyncratic style above to a wide range of different techniques, from oils, crayons, pastels, watercolors, you name it. The guy is random, brilliant and completely unpredictable. If anybody on this list qualifies for the term ‘genius’, Nicholas is it.
Qwantz is also brilliant. You will notice, dear and most astute reader, that I use that term often. That is not because I qualify all good things as ‘brilliant’, but rather that it is a common quality amongst the webcomics I find amusing and worth revisiting. Ryan North is quirky, incredibly intelligent, and prone to having his dinosaur characters discourse on subjects as varied as the maliciousness of raccoons and cephalopods to recondite philosophical quandaries. What’s impressive is that Ryan always uses the same configuration in each comic, alternating the text but not the graphics. Over time this creates a mesmerizing, rhythmic pattern to the dialogue and action, all to the most excellent effect!
Ah, A Softer World. Near and dear to my heart, and not only because it is so dark and twisted. Created by E. Horne and J. Comeau, it features Horne’s unique photography cut into panels which Comeau then adds thought bubbles of a sort to. The ‘comics’ range from deep and introspective to poignant and touching to rabidly bizarre and disturbing. What they are, always, however, is razor sharp and off the wall. For a dose of the unsettling and thought provoking, you can’t go wrong.