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Web Comics Reviewed

By UltraNurd in Culture
Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 06:22:35 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

Instead of working, I spent the better part of a week reading over 15 different web comics in their entirety. What follows are the fruits of my labors, with a link to the comic, a rating (out of 5 stars), and a short review and description of the comic. Before we get to The List, we'll take a brief look at the history of web comics, and provide some tips on finding those rare web comics that are actually good.

Although the first comic that appeared on the Internet was Where the Buffalo Roam, the distinction of First Web Comic belongs to Dr. Fun. Although Where the Buffalo Roam was available on USENET (under alt.comics.buffalo-roam) as of 1991, it was not posted on the Web until after Dr. Fun began in 1993. The latter still consists, as it did in its early days, of a simple JPEG uploaded regularly.

Comics have moved on a lot since then. Most people would consider Sluggy Freelance (reviewed below) to be the first "modern" web comic, which started in August of 1997. Sluggy is characterized by its serial style, with story arc after story arc, and mix of silly humor with drama and action. Another major "founder" web comic is Penny Arcade, a classic gamer comic, also reviewed below. Penny Arcade is often emulated, though rarely duplicated, and its main characters show up in cameos throughout the web-comic-verse. There are many, many web comics dedicated to the lives of geeks or gamers.

A somewhat newer trend in web comics is the sprite comic, as characterized by 8-bit Theater. These comics usually use images from older console video games, like Final Fantasy, and then provide humorous speech bubbles after copying and pasting the characters onto a background. I am not a big fan of sprite comics, because I like to see original art, so none of them are reviewed as part of the list. If you are jonesing for sprites, you will have to look elsewhere.

With so many web comics out there, it's hard to separate the good from the just plain crappy. Of course, Google is always an option, at least if you're searching for web comics based on topic or content. A more reliable method is to use a web page that rates comics based on reader votes. One of the more popular indexes is the Top 150 web comics listing; many comics feature a vote button that links to that site. There is also the somewhat obvious webcomics.com, which I haven't explored thoroughly. Many of the comics in The List are some of the bigger names in the online comic world, but some of them are more obscure. It's the hidden gems, without the flashy site interfaces or high production values, that really make digging for web comics worthwhile. You can probably speed the process by following the recommendations of your friends, or reading stories submitted to a web site by a complete stranger. And now, without further ado,

The List

  • AlterMeta - ***--

    This comic has barely gotten off of the ground, but it looks intriguing. Basically, it's high school, but with anthropomorphic dragons. I question the logic of reptiles with hair, belly buttons, or boobs, but I guess the artist is allowed to take some liberties. The art is good, even though the story hasn't had a chance to really go anywhere.

  • Angel Moxie - ***--

    Three middle school girls are given special powers by the representatives of the Supreme Being and charged with protecting the Earth from an invasion of demons from a dimension of pure evil. Pretty standard fair, although with a very cutesy, tongue-in-cheek drawing style. Fairly strongly parodies Cardcaptor Sakura.

  • Angels 2200 - ****-

    Almost all human males have been wiped out by a genetic disease, and the Terran Navy is forced to use buxom 18-year-old high school girls as fighter pilots in their space wars. The art tends to emphasize certain ideals of the female form, but is generally pretty to look at. All of the space scenes are computer rendered, and also look pretty cool. Decent story, although it hasn't developed much past the girls' training.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Del - **---

    Basically a complete rip-off of Penny Arcade. Occasionally funny on its own merits, but if you can only stand one or two comics in the bitter/crazy gaming geek category, you can find better ones than this. Might be worth a quick look for a quick laugh.

  • El Goonish Shive - ****-

    I don't know how to pronounce it, and I'm not sure how to define it. The content is just a little weird, and the drawing is fairly simplistic. Despite this, I just can't get over the really amusing craziness that the characters suffer through. This comic asks the question, "What happens when you combine a were-squirrel, slime from an alternate dimension, a transmogrifier/sex change ray, ancient magical artifacts, secret government projects, bisexual female duplicates with saiyan-like anime powers, and high school?".

  • Mac Hall - ****-

    Really gorgeous art style, with lots of color. An otherwise typical instance if the gamer/college life comic. Tends towards bitter sarcasm over simple funny. I can't really specify why I like it so much, although it is one of the earlier web comics I read completely through.

  • MegaTokyo - *****

    Really amazing manga-style art, with an extremely detailed story about two American gamerz who go to Japan on a whim after an E3 convention. There is no division between the comic's reality and the fantasies of various characters, so it can be hard to follow initially. Despite this, it still feels a lot more "real" than any other comics out there, because MT always follows the rules of its own universe. Excellent writing, and decent humor injected into what is somewhere between a drama and a sci-fi/fantasy story.

  • No Need For Bushido - ****-

    A classic adventure story set in feudal Japan, although with lots of anachronisms. Very nice art style, and a decent story so far. Has some really cool battle scenes, and the requisite guy-with-ten-foot-long-giant-sword. At this point, a traveling party of four has formed, although nothing is known about their shadowy enemies or the political intrigue that surrounds them and their families. A princess, a samurai, a ronin, and a Taoist priest walk into a bar...

  • Omega Syndrome - **---

    After trying to decide whether to alphabetize this under O or W, I realized that this comic doesn't really care. Features a "scientist" (guy in a lab coat) who falls into an alternate dimension, gains magical powers, and joins a masked knight with a giant spear in a quest to depose a cruel dictator. Meh.

  • Penny Arcade - *****

    The mold from which almost all other video game-related comics are cast, Penny Arcade has a really clean-cut drawing style. It is hilarious on almost every occasion (even when they're making fun of Mac users). I think I've seen Gabe and Tycho, the main characters, appear in just about every other gaming comic, usually as an homage of sorts.

  • Player vs. Player - *****

    One of my favorite entries in the computer geek category, PVP is about a gaming magazine and the funny stuff that happens to the employees. Features a fairly militant Mac-user :o), a troll, and lots of MMORPG jokes. Simple drawing style, but usually very funny.

  • Sacred Pie - ****-

    This is your standard unlikely hero comic. Three losers find themselves in the possession of sacred relics (not pie) that give them powers, and they are charged with defending the universe from the hell-borne forces of Lucifer. Exceedingly violent (Lots of FRAM!, SPLORTCH!, BUDDA-BOOM!, SPANG!, FZAP!, etc.), but well-done in a black-and-white mainstream comic book style.

  • SinFest - ***--

    SinFest is much more like a newspaper comic in style and format, although way too offensive to ever get circulation. SinFest doesn't change much over time, and keeps the same basic themes throughout, from Slick thinking he's a pimp to God mocking the Devil with hand puppets (definitely the comic's funniest gag). Has surprising theological references, especially considering the rest of SinFest's content.

  • Sluggy Freelance - *****

    Probably the biggest name in web comics, Sluggy is one of the best. It is weirder than most at times, but almost always funny. The story arcs just keep coming and coming, and although it seems like they never get finished, it's usually because they can end up coming back a year or more later with new twists.

  • Space Opera - ***--

    The name says it all - it's a space opera. The art isn't great, and the various story threads are really hard to follow, but it has bounty hunters, strippers/secret operatives, insane genetically engineered super-beings, all sorts of aliens, and artifacts of incredible power that threaten to drive their user mad. Intriguing, at any rate.

  • Spades - **---

    Really dark in both drawing style and storyline. Another comic that's barely gotten going, but has some potential. The protagonist awakes with no memory, no right eye, and some decent mystical powers. Add some mysterious figures, magical gems, and fleeting flashbacks, and you've got one big mystery.

  • VG Cats - ***--

    The easiest description would be "Penny Arcade for Furries". Features two funny, anthropomorphic cats who play too many video games. Mix with a silly sense of humor, and you get a decent web comic.

And there you have it! I hope that The List has provided you with an excellent source of Web-based time-wasting entertainment. And remember, if you're reading at work, make sure to hotkey something that looks important, in case your boss starts patrolling the cube farm ;o).


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
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Which is your favorite web comic?
o Sluggy Freelance 26%
o Penny Arcade 34%
o MegaTokyo 23%
o Mac Hall 6%
o PVP Online 8%

Votes: 72
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o Where the Buffalo Roam
o Dr. Fun
o 8-bit Theater
o Top 150
o webcomics. com
o AlterMeta
o Angel Moxie
o Angels 2200
o Ctrl+Alt+D el
o El Goonish Shive
o Mac Hall
o MegaTokyo
o No Need For Bushido
o Omega Syndrome
o Penny Arcade
o Player vs. Player
o Sacred Pie
o SinFest
o Sluggy Freelance
o Space Opera
o Spades
o VG Cats
o Also by UltraNurd

Display: Sort:
Web Comics Reviewed | 123 comments (95 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
We have a winner (2.25 / 4) (#2)
by STFUYHBT on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 06:52:53 PM EST

Folks, I think we have a new champion. "Penny Arcade for Furries" may possibly be the gayest thing on the Internet.

"Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
Uhm... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by bunsen on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 10:20:15 AM EST

You're new to this 'internet' thing, aren't you? For general reference, I refer you to this (pdf version).

Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]
and who could forget... (none / 0) (#109)
by datapunk on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:05:59 AM EST

worfle glurble ping.
[ Parent ]
Angels 2200 (4.20 / 5) (#4)
by Tex Bigballs on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 07:01:52 PM EST

the Terran Navy is forced to use buxom 18-year-old high school girls as fighter pilots in their space wars. The art tends to emphasize certain ideals of the female form, but is generally pretty to look at. All of the space scenes are computer rendered, and also look pretty cool. Decent story, although it hasn't developed much past the girls' training.

Something tells me that 95% of their space-war pilot training probably consists of submissive discipline and routine spankings.

Thank you, try again. (5.00 / 2) (#9)
by j1mmy on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:08:41 PM EST

Any discussion of web comics that mentions neither Pupkin or Pokey the Penguin (a.k.a. God) is wholly without merit. I suggest you do some more research and resubmit.

All is not lost yet. (none / 0) (#73)
by tkatchev on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 11:09:39 AM EST

You mentioned Pokey -- this means that you are not yet completely lost as a human being.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hmmm. (none / 0) (#79)
by handslikesnakes on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 01:25:51 PM EST

Never having seen Pokey the Penguin before, I was surprised when it appeared to be incredibly similar to comic made by this guy I know.

I expect the similarity is purely coincidental. Either that or they're both done by the same guy.

[ Parent ]
No, (none / 0) (#98)
by tkatchev on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 05:13:58 AM EST

it looks like this "friend bear" is a cheap imitation.

For shame. It is also infinitely less funny.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Some more comics... (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by Hatamoto on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:24:43 PM EST

Some of the ones in my list, you're welcome to tack em on to your list, but I won't "rate" them. Guaranteed that whatever I like someone else will love and another someone else will detest... so fuck it.

User Friendly @ http://www.userfriendly.org/
All about the geek humor. Daily updates.

General Protection Fault (the comic) @ http://www.gpf-comics.com/
Even more geek humor, although more strongly story-based, with a sort of secret-agent-and-superheros-good-versus-evil kind of spin. Daily updates.

Goats @ http://www.goats.com/
Satanic chickens, mad mackin' ruminants, sex dwarf, aliens with a hamster fetish... a little something for anyone with a quirky sense of humour. Updates every few days.

Schlock Mercenary @ http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
Tongue-in-cheek sci-fi about an amorphous blob and the merry, gun-toting brigade he rides with. Story-based, daily updates, and intelligent in a testosterone-laden way. (I may not rate comics, but I highly recommend this one anyways ;)

Avalon @ http://www.avalonhigh.com/
Story based on the lives of a group of kids going through high school in Avalon. Soap-oprahish stuff, but suprisingly addictive. Periodic updates again after a long absence by the illustrator.

Kung FOOL! @ http://kungfool.transpect.net/
Originally storyline based comic about a kung-fu master shooting a low budget TV show and the hillarity that ensues, but recently taken a sharp right turn into a more bizarre place. Updates every other day, and illustrator always has the funkiest links to net.oddities. *disclaimer* By a strange set of circumstances, I'm now providing host space for this one. ;)


"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)

some more that have not been mentioned yet (none / 0) (#42)
by Totto on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 01:38:56 AM EST

I do not think any of these have been mentioned yet. Listed in rough order of preference, these are generally too offensive/weird for the mainstream, but might be of interest to people with as sick a sense of humour as myself. ;)

Something Positive @ http://www.somethingpositive.net/
One of the more blatantly offensive comics I read, but also one the funniest. Sex, alcohol, violence, the myriad uses of a boneless cat, to mention some. A truly inspired cast of characters.

Boy Meets Boy @ http://boymeetsboy.keenspace.com/
Following the life of a young gay couple, their friends, and their landlord from hell. I spent the better part of a day reading their archive and keeping my surroundings awake & confused with maniacal laughter. Highly recommended.

Jake the Rake @ http://www.adjectivenoun.org.uk/jake/
"Possibly the Internet's only comic strip about Polyamorous Bisexuals!" - horrible drawings but surprisingly funny. Unfortunately no new strips are being drawn at this point.

The Call of Whatever @ http://tcow.keenspace.com/
Cthulhoid web-comic about a young man who finds a copy of the Necronomicon. Lovecraft-references abound. Been a while since I read it, probably worth another look.

Jack @ http://jack.keenspace.com/
A horrible comic. In the best way possible. Recommended.

[ Parent ]

DON'T DO IT! (none / 0) (#118)
by guyjin on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 03:04:02 PM EST


sorry about the caps, but have you ever read stories that make you sad and depressed for the rest of the day?

that comic made me depressed for the rest of the month.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]

3 more (none / 0) (#89)
by metalgeek on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 05:52:39 PM EST

3 more:
Little gamers: http://www.little-gamers.com/
another gaming comic, pretty funny though, simple drawings

errant story:  http://www.errantstory.com/
a new comic by the author of exploitation now
it's just started, fantasy based, and on the first story arc.

life of riley: http://www.clanbob.com
somewhat of a fantasy based comic, set in todays times, has vampires, angels and the like.
often quite funny.

"K5 is a site where users have the motto 'Anyone Who Isn't Me Is An Idiot, And Anyone Who Disagrees With Me Is Gay'." skyknight
[ Parent ]

Oh my. (4.00 / 6) (#12)
by jjayson on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:40:01 PM EST

I just looked at the five-star comics you listed: Penny Arcade, Player vs. Player, and Sluggy Freelance. Are they supposed to be funny or just have a storyline? If they are just to have a storyline, they are awefully boring. If they are to be funny, they don't appear to be to me. Am I just not geek enough to understand them, or do others here not get them either?
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." -
Sluggy (none / 0) (#19)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 09:51:21 PM EST

Sluggy started out as a gag-a-day comic, but has morphed into more of a zany soap opera. I still enjoy it, but I can see how someone would get lost reading it for the first time. And the jokes have indeed been getting sparse.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Ah, the internet.. (2.00 / 1) (#66)
by McMasters on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 09:33:35 AM EST

..where anyone can rate furry porn, in-joke geekdom, and pedophilia a 'five star' effort and feel good about themselves. ^_^

[ Parent ]
I'd rate then Five Stars too... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by Qarl on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 05:18:04 PM EST

but of course opinions differ.

Sluggy Freelance can definitely not be "just picked up" and read and found funny. It's an ongoing story, more so than most other web comics, and you have to start from the beginning. Once you get into it, it's fun to read day after day -- I like it just as a story, and if there aren't as many gags any more, that's not my sole reason for reading it anyway.

PVP Online still has a story, but its main feature is gags, and lots of them. It's quite funny, but a lot of them are character-based (you have to know who's the Mac guy, who's good at computer games and who's bad, etc.) so it takes a little revving up to get into it.

Penny Arcade is, to me, just flat out hilarity in a (nearly) totally non-continuous manner. Each strip stands alone, and the jokes pull no punches. Of course, a lot of them require knowledge of video games -- never fear, the news posts linked from each comic generally explain what's going on. I, for one, know almost nothing of video games, but I muddle my way through the gamer strips 'til I hit the hilarious slapstick.

So, anyway, on one end of the spectrum, you need familiarity with the strip; on the other end, you need some geek background. To their respective audiences, great comics, but don't be surprised (or discouraged) if the first read doesn't make you laugh out loud.
[ Parent ]

Aquired taste (none / 0) (#97)
by morphwin on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 05:11:26 AM EST

Yeah I agree, you gotta start Sluggy from the start.. but once you read a few and understand the characters - it becomes addictive! I remember spending some of my study-for-exams time reading sluggy cos I just couldn't get enough of it.

PVP is roughly the same (though in my opinion not as funny, but has its good moments), and Sinfest just has those strips where you just want to print off and stick on the wall. In fact I'm doing that now :)

The secret to happiness is not thinking about whether people love you enough, but worrying over whether you love others enough.
[ Parent ]

I'm not adding any to the list (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by UltraNurd on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:53:37 PM EST

I've read the entire archives of everything in the list, which is why I feel that I can review and rate those. I don't want to add comics that I haven't read. I'm sure my opinions have slighted some of your favorite web comics, but everyone has different views on what is funny or good in the comic world.

I will make the rating character change that was requested. The original version, for the magazine, had graphical stars, so I will have to make do.

I hope you enjoy the history section. I know that I have (by some standards) an over-inflated opinion of Sluggy and PA, but those were the first two web comics I read, and I've been following them for a while. I tend to define most of the other web comics I've read in terms of them, which is probably unfair to some extent. I guess I'm just web comic prejudiced :o\.

"Your Mint Mountain Dew idea is hideous and wrong."
-Hide The Hamster

More still (none / 0) (#15)
by fae on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:54:28 PM EST

? and T&R

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
Maybe I can do a Part II... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by UltraNurd on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 09:05:03 PM EST

...after I finish reading all of your suggestions. I'll promise to read them, if you promise to vote this up :oD.

"Your Mint Mountain Dew idea is hideous and wrong."
-Hide The Hamster

YAFC (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by antizeus on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 09:18:23 PM EST

Yet Another Fine Comic: Bob the Angry Flower. [Here]
damn you didn't mention my favorite (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by asad on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 10:03:06 PM EST

http://www.sexylosers.com they rock !!

There's probably a reason for that (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by godix on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:27:30 PM EST

I still find the dutch wife fairy one of the things I've ever read but there is a reason Sexy Losers is rarely mentioned in these types of lists. There aren't all that many people who would view a necrophiliac fucking a beheaded womans esophagaus as funny ya know.

"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]
It's been a while since I've seen SL (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 05:02:23 AM EST

Ah, Sexy Losers. It still makes me pee my pants in a combination of fear and laughter.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

IANACPBIPOOSD*, yet (4.40 / 5) (#22)
by demi on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 10:05:16 PM EST

there are a few that you missed.

1. Cat and Girl - all around goodness
2. Diesel Sweeties - maclot pixelated goodness
3. Wapsi Square - large breasts related goodness
4. Boondocks - for white people who are trying to understand black people goodness
5. * = I Am Not A Clever Person But I Play One On SlashDot

wapsi square, wow it roolz thanks dude! (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 10:47:34 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
+1 fp $$$ cash money blingbling good shiat (nt) (1.00 / 5) (#26)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 10:45:39 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

As far as I'm concerned, (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by qpt on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 10:58:50 PM EST

Return to Sender is the only web comic there is, ever was, or ever will be.

Oh man.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

Yeah, whatever. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by RobotSlave on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 02:33:02 AM EST

Dude, it was only like a year ago that you were totally into Friend Bear, an you were all "oh, all web comics suck except Friend Bear, Friend Bear is the greatest, I don't see how anyone could need any web comic other than Friend Bear," and now you're all pretending like you never even heard of Friend Bear, and dude, I call bullshit on that.

[ Parent ]
I'm not ashamed to (none / 0) (#48)
by qpt on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 03:01:28 AM EST

Admit that I'm frightened that you remember that.

That's right, I'm scared, little girl scared. Go on and laugh.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Sluggy is cool. (none / 0) (#33)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:31:32 PM EST

And I also like Scary Go Round quite a bit. Rachel and Tessa are cool, feisty chicks.

Minus one (none / 0) (#34)
by debacle on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:33:44 PM EST

Because you didn't spend enough time talking about PA. Fanboys rule.

It tastes sweet.
+1 Best Kuro5hin article ever (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by srn on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:46:45 PM EST

But my employer wants to sue you over lost work :)

penny arcade (1.80 / 5) (#36)
by TRASG0 on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:21:34 AM EST

is not funny, ever, and if you think it is you should be lobotomized.
sorry no sig now
But, but, but (none / 0) (#55)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:02:38 AM EST

The word 'fuck' is *so* funny!

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

To each his own, brother (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by lonesmurf on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:22:42 AM EST

The comics can go from hilarious to down-right stupid, but those news posts have had me spraying drinks on my monitor at times.


I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.

[ Parent ]
Why post *this* list? (2.00 / 1) (#37)
by mjfgates on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:21:39 AM EST

There are several "Top N Webcomix" sites out there; why not just put in links to a couple of 'em and call it an MLP? Any list you come up with yourself is certain to be woefully incomplete-- and, indeed, you've missed piles of notable stuff, like the Zen dragons, the Satanic chicken, the Really Well Done Character-Driven Soap Opera, plus lots of things I don't keep the urls to in my head like User Friendly, Helen the Sweetheart of the Internet, dozens of things on keenspot.com and keenspace.com, etc.
Unfortunately, Space Moose (obvious url) seems to have gone away, or I'd link to that too... kind of a shame, it's the single most offensive piece of visual art I've ever seen.

Sir. (5.00 / 3) (#41)
by valeko on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:56:44 AM EST

Your article lacks merit, as you failed to include Elftor.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

Something Positive (5.00 / 2) (#49)
by DavisImp on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 03:31:16 AM EST

Understanding that everyone has their own taste, I'd have to say that Something Positive is my favorite online strip out there. It's the story of a boy from Texas living in Boston, inflicting his cynism on friends, strangers, and a boneless kitten called Choo-Choo that eats midgets.

Since most of you aren't going to click on the above link anyway, I'll give you a couple of high points:

There are others, including the musical version of the cruxificion story, the redneck tree D&D character, and PeeJee and Aubrey's constant fascination with destroying the male ego, but -- yeah. It's good.

Two other fairly different comics (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by lonesmurf on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:27:05 AM EST

When I am King - No text, just amazing artwork and a really cute story.

Electric Sheep - Roams from fairly political to just weird. Feels like a pretentious art project sometimes, but also very interesting.


I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.

Hey! (4.66 / 3) (#58)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:56:00 AM EST

What, no Bob the Angry Flower?

How did this story ever make it out of the queue? :)

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".

Hey! You there! With apostrophes over your vowels! (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 10:45:13 AM EST

Get an education.

OK, I know they're not apostrophes, but no link to BTAF is complete without mentioning that gem.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Well there was some obvious holes here (3.33 / 3) (#59)
by MikaelHK on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 08:20:55 AM EST

First of all thank you for recognizing the greatness of Megatokyo. Of course stuff like User Friendly and Sinfest regular things I read are there as well :) However there are some good ones that every should at least have a look at:

This is a great spoof of everything the Final Fantasy games have ever contained. Really funny at times.

Exploitation Now
Now this is a sex fixated, at times fragmentary webcomic. But that being said it is often also wickedly funny and the supervillainess Jordan is one of the greatest characters in webcomics to date. The art is great almost always. The same author is currently penning a much better and well told comic called Errant Story that I recommend as it is almost on the same quality level as Megatokyo.

Angst Technology
This is another type of geek/gamer comic, well written very often very funny. It is about a gaming company and its employees. Highly recommended as it is also the same author's weekend updated Weak End Warrior.

nichtlustig (none / 0) (#60)
by sangdrax on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 08:37:06 AM EST

Nichtlustig is an hilarious daily 1-picture comic if you can figure out short German sentences :)

dunno if it counts here tho

www.little-gamers.com -nt- (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by lemming prophet on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 08:53:46 AM EST

Follow me.
I can't believe no one mentioned (none / 0) (#62)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 09:03:14 AM EST

Polymer City

His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.

Something Positive, Kevin and Kell (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by Karmakaze on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 09:28:33 AM EST

I have to second (third?) other people's recommendation of Something Positive.

I'm a bit surprised nobody's mentioned Kevin and Kell, which has been running since 1995. It's had a pretty solid serial plot.

User Friendly has lost some of its charm for me over time, but I still enjoy General Protection Fault still amuses me, despite, or possibly because it's moves from ISP work humor to a more fanciful continuing storyline.

Sinfest is still a favorite, (as you can tell from my livejournal icons).

I read a fair number of newspaper strips online as well, but those would be offtopic...

Nothing like a list of webcomics.. (none / 0) (#64)
by McMasters on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 09:30:13 AM EST

..to define the type of people that post to a site.

For each undying fanboy to a comic, there is one hater. Posting a graded list just serves to show what -kind- of fanboys frequent a place.

Obviously, this place is filled with.. *parses the above list* furry pedophile sarcastic computer geeks. (or, the people who voted on this article are the above. I understand the distinction, so save your post on that. -_-)

Go to various other I-comment-because-I'm-so-smart sites, and see how much the populace likes various comics. 'fives' here are 'ones' in other places, and vice versa. There are twelve million different webcomics out there. Trying to talk about them in any rating format is similar to trying to talk about your favorite 'blogs.

(nothing like trolling the fanboys to get a lot of 1's.. ^^)

Yeah, I kind of figured (none / 0) (#68)
by UltraNurd on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 10:24:11 AM EST

That I would be the only one with this exact set of opinions. That said, I am surprised that it got voted up as quickly as it did. I am thankful though, since it's my first K5 story :o).

"Your Mint Mountain Dew idea is hideous and wrong."
-Hide The Hamster
[ Parent ]

Re: Nothing like a list of webcomics.. (1.00 / 1) (#71)
by MadDreamer on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 10:50:39 AM EST

I'm not sure I'd agree completely. I think good writing is good writing anywhere, regardless of what the subject matter may be. Sure, I like comics about computer- or game-related topics; it's what I know. But I've seen TONS of such comics that turned me off after just a few strips, while webcomics such as Penny Arcade keeps me coming back time and again. There may be some deviation, but well-written is well written wherever you go, and crap is still crap.

[ Parent ]
by Canthros on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 09:30:54 AM EST

The late, lamented Japanese Beetle
Japanese Beetle is a great spoof, but gets somewhat bad towards the end. No longer updated; Dave White's got a new strip going on, but his schedule keeps updates highly sporadic. It's called Space Bug.

Leaving out things you already named (Sluggy, PA, PvP, Mac Hall, MegaTokyo) or that were mentioned above/below in other comments (Bob the Angry Flower, Return to Sender, Ozy and Millie, etc.).

It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.

My Humble Suggestions (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by Rand Race on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 10:40:56 AM EST

Unicorn Jelly which is finished and about to be released in dead tree format. A fascinating exercise in world building and pretty damn good scifi/fantasy in the mold of Larry Marder's Beanworld.

And Achewood which puzzles me but keeps me coming back.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

You overlooked... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by jayhawk88 on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 11:06:11 AM EST

Goats, which actually predates Sluggy by a couple months (April 1997), and features some pretty good story arcs of it's own (though they do tend to be quite a bit shorter and sillier than Sluggy's).

Also, though it no longer is active, mentioning Bobbins I think would have been worthwhile.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Bobbins continued... (none / 0) (#106)
by OneEyedApe on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:10:02 AM EST

See Scary Go Round. Appears to be a continuation of Bobbins with a different art style.

[ Parent ]
More more more (4.50 / 2) (#74)
by bugmaster on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 11:24:03 AM EST

I was going to write a similar article for my blog, but you beat me to it. Still, interested parties can check out my blog posting for some more mini-reviews of other excellent web comics; namely Shlock Mercenary, Errant Story, Nukees, Freefall, and Acid Reflux. Now... if you'll excuse me... those webcomics won't read themselves you know... *runs off flailing wildly*
Hey (none / 0) (#75)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 11:34:10 AM EST

Check out this page.

Better Living Through Mind Control (none / 0) (#76)
by hdaemon on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 11:53:13 AM EST

Better Living Through Mind Control
An amusing little strip done (intermittently) by a friend of a friend.. made even more amusing by the fact that apparently most of the stuff actually happened..

Even more... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by Ricdude on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:10:19 PM EST

Calvin and Hobbes
Because there's a little Calvin in all of us...

Hello Cthulhu
Because it's just so very wrong.

My other "daily visit" comics have already been mentioned above, but these were somehow overlooked.  Perhaps it was for the better.

My daily comics fix (none / 0) (#78)
by sukotto on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:14:39 PM EST

Here are some more for you to read and rate:
  • User Friendly An amusing look at life at a small ISP. Seems to have lost it's focus lately
  • Exploitation Now! (ended) A hard to explain and uneven story somewhat obsessed with sex. Especially good in it's last half
  • Errant Story (Recently started) A wonderfully drawn and interesting (and irreverant) story in a fantasy universe
  • Avalon High (recently restarted production) An addictive Soap opera story about highschool kind in Canada.
  • Life of Riley daily adventures of a bunch of unusual roommates in Florida. A mentat, Al Gore's vampire child, gamers, demons, paintball addicts, and the list goes on.
These are all on my daily read list along with several that you mentioned and a few on ucomics.com (that don't allow you to read from the start so I'm not including them here).


You missed Pokey (5.00 / 3) (#80)
by hstink on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 01:29:30 PM EST

Which is a real shame. Some friends of the author have their own web comics as well, namely Isometric and Hammerspace. Isometric is an especially fun read.

Comics I read and recommend ... (5.00 / 2) (#81)
by ceallach on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 02:33:24 PM EST

Available as a regularly maintained list at http://kelly.dwarfworks.com/comics.html

  • Absurd Notions
  • Adam
  • Angels (M,W,F)
  • Angel Moxie (M,W,F)
  • Angst Technology
  • As If!
  • Asylumantics
  • Ban The Basics
  • Bruno the Bandit
  • Clan BOB
  • Cyberbooty
  • Clan of the Cats
  • The Devil's Panties
  • Dominic Deegan
  • El Goonish Shive
  • Errant Story (M,W,F)
  • Faans!
  • Faux Pas
  • Freefall (M,W,F)
  • GPF
  • Heart of the City
  • Helen
  • HelpDesk
  • It's Walky!
  • Jack
  • Kagerou
  • Kevin & Kell
  • Kit & Kay Boodle (M)
  • Krakow (M)
  • Krakow Studios (F)
  • Madam & Eve
  • Mac Hall (M,F)
  • MegaTokyo (M,W,F)
  • Nip & Tuck (S)
  • Nukees (M,W,F)
  • Ozy & Millie
  • Penny Arcade
  • Planet Earth
  • Post Sex Cleanup(M)
  • PvP
  • Real Life
  • Residence Life
  • Roomies
  • Schlock Mercenary
  • Sexy Losers
  • Sherman's Lagoon
  • Shaw Island
  • Sinfest
  • Sluggy Freelance
  • Something Positive
  • Stone Soup
  • StripTease(F)
  • TA Vision (M)
  • Tales of the Questor (S)
  • The Wings of Change (M,W,F)
  • Under Power(M)
  • User Friendly
  • Under the Lemon Tree (S)
  • Venus Envy
  • Wapsi Square
  • Wigu
  • Zortic (M,W,F)

    More smoke! The mirrors aren't working!!!

  • Adding to that (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Perpetual Newbie on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 03:39:33 PM EST

    and available as an irregularly maintained list at http://hamburgsteak.sandwich.net/links.html#comics

    And here are archives of good strips that ended:

    [ Parent ]
    And . . . (none / 0) (#102)
    by Rolgar on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 12:21:55 PM EST

    Great lists, but add:

    F.O.G. Club: 4 college friends get sucked into a trans-deminsional portal, and have "Sliders"-like adventures.

    Critical Fumble: a fantasy comic with a great twisting plot including: a dwarf named Bob, his father, 3 men, 2 women, a female elf, an evil lord lich trapped in a halfling's body, his former gofer turned immortal, the gofer's bodyguard, a goblin horde of three, a beholder, the lich's other henchmen, and all the shenanegins they encounter.

    Everything Jake: a college student who had supernatural powers, and his friends. Includes a super-genius, his (Wolverine-like) robot, and a secret organization of people with these supernatural powers.

    Flipside: Two women escort a magician and his students as body guards.

    She's a Nightmare: a woman in the city who takes care of things for others.

    Piled, Higher, Deeper (PhD): Life as a grad student at Stanford, training on how to find free food, overcome the doldrums that prevent thesis writing, and ridicule of advisors.

    [ Parent ]

    More suggestions (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by dDave on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 03:46:35 PM EST


    Here are some other high quality (but non-mainstream) webcomics.

    Bruno Baldwin - Daily strips following a young woman. Great care and depth has been taken with the characters, and it's drawn very well.

    Jack - The grim reaper as a furry. Surprisingly powerful and dark - the stories make grim reading at times.

    Sea of Insanity - Modern Greek Mythology soap opera.

    And I would like to pimp my own webcomic:

    Pander - Dark and gritty story story about one girl and her brushes with the unexplained edges of reality.



    Pander. A webcomic. Mature Content.
    FLEM! FLEM! FLEM! (4.50 / 2) (#84)
    by grzebo on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 03:54:29 PM EST

    I don't believe that no one mentioned FLEM yet! It's (or used to be) the best one out there. The (now discontinued) Jay storyline is a must. The other panels tend to vary greatly in quality, but it's still worthwile.

    "My God, shouts man to Himself,
    have mercy on me, enlighten me"...
    yes! (none / 0) (#119)
    by anonymous pancake on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 01:30:14 AM EST

    Flem is a must read for everyone.

    . <---- This is not a period, it is actually a very small drawing of the prophet mohhamed.
    [ Parent ]
    You missed a lot of good ones, (none / 0) (#85)
    by Suppafly on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 04:02:47 PM EST

    but I'm only going to mention one, http://10kcommotion.com/ is about this kids in a DDR tournament.. the art is fantastic..
    Playstation Sucks.
    SUPEROSITY! (2.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Osama Bin Fabulous on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 04:46:25 PM EST

    SUPEROSITY! Jesus fucking Christ, I can't believe no one's mentioned Superosity. It's fucking awesome and there's like a four year archive. I think the earlier years are better, so start at the beginning. Now GO! The fate of the free world depends on it!

    I can't believe no one mentioned it yet. (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by LGM on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 05:45:44 PM EST

    College Roomies from Hell!!! by Maritza Campos. If you thought college was Hell, wait until you meet your roommates!
    Luis González Miranda, just another chilean programmer and fellow Linux nut. My comics.
    No need to view this comic... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:14:06 AM EST

    ... just read TRASG0's drom wars.

    Yours humbly,
    Ta bù shì dà yú

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    [ Parent ]

    I guess dilbert.com is implied. (none / 0) (#90)
    by bjlhct on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 06:38:06 PM EST

    Also, wigu.com deserves more coverage here than one appearance on a long list.

    Also, for more wigu pleasure there's http://www.dumbrella.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/001030.html and http://www.dumbrella.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=001575

    [kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism

    Sadly... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Canar on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:02:09 PM EST

    8 Bit Theatre was only mentioned. Sure, its creator isn't drawing anything, but it's damn funny, very consistantly, the gags are often several to a day's release, and they range from simple and stupid to witty and intelligent. Brian Clevinger is my god.

    Oooh, also... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Canar on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:11:48 PM EST

    I completely forgot about Homestar Runner. Not a comic, more of a cartoon, but still bloody funny.

    [ Parent ]
    You missed one of the best (1.75 / 4) (#94)
    by Richard Stallman on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 02:42:38 AM EST


    When mentioning sprite comics at all... (none / 0) (#95)
    by malevolent on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 03:57:15 AM EST

    ...one must mention Bob and George, one of the first (if not the first) sprite comics out there.

    All of the other ones that I read religiously have already been mentioned...

    "...the three great virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris."
    - Larry Wall, 1991

    You missed the greatest comic of all (none / 0) (#96)
    by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:00:22 AM EST

    Imran The Comix. Man, that's freaky.

    [Posted from Mozilla Firebird]

    Damn! (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:22:04 AM EST

    There are a HUGE amount of comics/cartoons out there on the web! I had no idea. 94 posts, of which there are over 150 extra web-comics mentioned, and all with their own set of fansbois and fangirls.

    Truly, the Internet is the incarnation of the mythical Land Of Lost Productivity. :)

    Ta bù shì dà yú

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".

    And I thought I had seen a lot of them (none / 0) (#101)
    by UltraNurd on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 11:55:56 AM EST

    I barely chipped away at the surface! Top 150 Web Comics just wasn't enough :o). And now the H.M.S. Titanic of my work is about to collide with the iceberg of web comics somewhere in the North Atlantic of the Internet. Ow, I think I hyperextended my metaphor!

    "Your Mint Mountain Dew idea is hideous and wrong."
    -Hide The Hamster
    [ Parent ]

    I have one (none / 0) (#103)
    by MicroBerto on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 01:04:23 PM EST

    I have one hosted on my computer -- Bertoline


    I Have 2 new good ideas, but haven't had time to make them. Some of its terrible, but some of them are good too!

    - GAIM: MicroBerto
    Bertoline - My comic strip

    Another forgotten one... (none / 0) (#104)
    by sacrelicious on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 01:16:02 PM EST

    The Parking Lot is Full, which I found disturbingly funny (the earlier stuff is better than the later stuff). Not for children or the weak of heart, yet rarely obscene.

    One more (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by TheEldestOyster on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:38:31 AM EST

    I really like the first chapter of Nowhere Girl.
    TheEldestOyster (rizen/bancus) * PGP Signed/Encrypted mail preferred
    online comix (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by datapunk on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:31:42 AM EST

    git yer war on!
    worfle glurble ping.
    Humbug I say (none / 0) (#108)
    by stretchpants on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 07:20:07 PM EST

    How can you discuss web comics without even mentioning Jerkcity?

    ?! mouth hanging open (4.50 / 2) (#110)
    by br14n on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 02:46:07 AM EST

    No mention of Leisure Town ?! It is by far the most captivating, beautiful, violent, touching, sad, hilarious, savage comic I have ever seen.

    I bet you've never seen .... (none / 0) (#111)
    by drx on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 02:51:50 AM EST

    Listen: All you people should try Zombie & Mummy. It's a web web comic that is very much web. So not a comic on the web, but 50% web and 50% comic. Plus it has its own theme midi music!

    (Yes, i am involved in this, but it doesn't make it any worse i think.)

    Sinfest. Wow. (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:25:28 AM EST

    I have to say that this article turned me onto Sinfest, and that made it all worthwhile. I don't know how to describe except as a combination of care-bear porn and theology 101...

    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.

    Hole boy (none / 0) (#113)
    by epepke on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 03:49:52 PM EST

    Especially for those who have experienced depression.

    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

    ChoppingBlock (none / 0) (#114)
    by boobytrapped on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 02:54:15 PM EST

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned The Chopping Block, a wonderfully dark and twisted comic where the protagonist, "Butch", is a maniacal psycho killer. Very creative and very original.

    Or, I need therapy.

    Red Meat (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Antiorganic on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 03:32:26 PM EST

    I'm very surprised no one has mentioned Red Meat out of all these comments yet. It's a ridiculously twisted and very funny comic, though it rarely seems to get updated these days. Fishing through the archives is still very much worthwhile.

    penny-arcade (none / 0) (#116)
    by guyjin on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 02:37:47 PM EST

    PA just isn't as funny as it used to be. Gabe's comic seems to have become a rant-soapbox for that other jerk.
    -- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
    my favorites (none / 0) (#117)
    by guyjin on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 02:54:11 PM EST

    since everyone seems to be listing their favorites:

    Gene Catlow
    Commander kitty

    One is more a funny-animal comic than the other.
    And a videogame comic:

    Kidd Radd

    Better than 8 bit theater, anyway.
    -- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
    another set of comics (none / 0) (#120)
    by maluke on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 04:57:49 PM EST


       * my new fighting technique is unstoppable - *****

       * my new filing technique is unstoppable - *****

       * get your war on - *****

    Thanks for the l33t 1ntr0duc+10n (none / 0) (#121)
    by thulsey on Wed Jul 16, 2003 at 02:37:45 AM EST

    Seriously, as much as I am into all things visual, and all things digital, I just don't usually have the time to go poking around and hadn't really realized how prevalent web comics are on the net.

    Thanks for the review and introducing me to more reasons to curl up in bed with my laptop in front of the fire.... he he.

    (-_-) - take me to your leader

    you forgot spacemoose! (none / 0) (#122)
    by nlscb on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:43:51 AM EST

    www.spacemoose.com - very funny - very crude - this comic caused a national scandal in Canada about 6 years back

    Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

    Matt and Theo (none / 0) (#123)
    by waterboy47 on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 03:04:46 AM EST

    I personally think Matt and Theo should be reviewed. I love that comic.

    Web Comics Reviewed | 123 comments (95 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
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