I Love Webcomics

SickWatch 2014:  Minor overall improvements in Patient Zero; however cough and sore throat intensifying by the day. Infection has been transmitted to husband, hereafter known as Patient One. No end in sight. Send soup and crackers but do not make contact. Subjects likely contagious and certainly cranky.

I don’t remember when/how I discovered webcomics, or which was my First. I know I read through the entire archives of Between Failures at some point early in college, and I remember being devastated around that same time to discover Daisy Owl was no longer updating. A good friend of mine definitely introduced me to Dresden Codak at some point and it’s still one of my favorites.

However I got into webcomics, I’m super glad that I did. I was obsessed with comic strips when I was a kid. I dove into the Sunday paper each week for the two-page color funny pages, and I read the dinky little black-&-white page almost every day. I even read the weird narrative strips like Mark Trail and Prince Valiant, which… why? Why would I do that? They’re terrible. We got all the collection books of Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot. My grandparents had dozens of old Peanuts paperbacks from when my dad was a kid, and I always flipped through them when I visited. (I recently inherited those when they cleaned out their Kid Stuff, score!)

But eventually I “outgrew” gag-style newspaper comic strips, and I thought my comic days were over. As far as I knew, my only other options were superhero comics, and I’m not interested in that genre, in general. Discovering a whole world of “grown-up” comics with varied art styles and no spandex was Earth-shattering for me! I don’t have time to read through archives anymore, but here are some of my favorites to keep up with, in no particular order…

Dresden Codak

Dark Science | Dresden Codak

Clip from Dresden Codak by Aaron Diaz

I mentioned this one earlier, and it deserves two mentions because folks, it is amazing. Aaron Diaz paints (digitally) his strips, with incredible attention to detail, and a grasp of anatomy, light, and character design that is absolutely stunning. (He posts about that stuff on his art blog, which is also a great read) Updates are slow coming but absolutely worth the wait. The content of the comic deals with fun sci-fi stuff like Mad Science and transhumanism, set in a silly sort-of-dystopia, where the cities are built on the bones of ancient monsters and no one remembers how to fix the robots. You can read the full Hob storyline, or start the current Dark Science story.

Nimona

Nimona #1

Clip from Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is Noelle Stevenson’s (gingerhaze) latest award-winning project, which is currently appearing serially on her website and will be published by HarperCollins in 2015. The story centers on the villain Ballister Blackheart, and his teen shapeshifter sidekick Nimona. They have great plans to wreak havoc on the kingdom, and particularly on Ballister’s former friend and nemesis (and possible hair model), Goldenloin. But Ballister gets uncomfortable when Nimona turns out to be a little too effective at villainy. Noelle’s art is so incredibly charming, and the characters – both Good Guys and Bad Guys – are endearing and sympathetic. The comic started out lighthearted but it took a super dark turn and I’m on the edge of my seat for the next update!

Starslip

Starslip

Clip from Starslip by Kris Straub

Starslip is one of Kris Straub’s comics (he also does chainsawsuit and Broodhollow, which I’ve heard great things about but haven’t read – I do enjoy his chainsawsuit podcast with Mikey Neumann). It has concluded, so you can read the full run either online or in book form. It starts out as a silly adventure story about the curator of a museum spaceship and his less-than-civilized crew, but ends up as a complex time-travel romance. The art is pretty simple, but the story is anything but. If I had to choose a favorite completed comic, it would probably be Starslip.

Hark! A Vagrant

H!AV clip

Clip from Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

Hark! A Vagrant is the oddball on this list because it’s not a story comic – just a collection of random (usually literary or historical) jokes drawn in Kate Beaton’s insanely charming style. I am seriously obsessed with the way she draws; such doodle-y, messy lines create such lifelike expressions! If you like what you see be sure to follow her (@beatonna) on Twitter, if only for her adorable family comics around the holidays.

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Put This in Your Eye Holes

You know what’s fun? Web series. They’re like TV, except they can do whatever they want and say whatever they want and tailor their stuff to smaller audiences, so you get fun non-mainstream content that would never make it onto a network. It’s amazing what people can do with a tiny budget and amateur actors and ***a dream***

So… What time is it? Recommendation tiiiime:

Journeyquest:

Journeyquest is a fantasy adventure series from Zombie Orpheus Entertainment that follows a party on their quest to retrieve the Sword of Fighting from the mythical Temple of All Dooms… But what will happen when they discover the bumbling wizard Perf is the Chosen One, instead of the party’s “brave” knight? Characters include a progressive barbarian usurper, an undead cleric, a sensitive orc, a gargoyle that always lies, and the bumbling bard who’s chronicling everyone’s shenanigans. The third season is currently in the works and I’m excited!

Space Janitors

We all know what life is like for the elite evildoers on everyone’s favorite Not-A-Moon – It’s all huge, ominous chambers and mind-choking, 24/7. But what do the underlings get up to in those circular halls… and who keeps the floors so very shiny? Space Janitors on Geek & Sundry tells the story of Darby, an ambitious janitor aboard a certain unnamed evil space station. Star Wars jokes abound and it is delightful. (“The more they disobey the Emperor, the more we tighten our grip. And the more we tighten our grip, the more systems will be held firmly in our massive space hand.”)

The Guild

Also on Geek & Sundry and created by Internet superstar Felicia Day, The Guild is an award-winning, super-popular web series… So popular, in fact, that you’ve probably seen it and it’s pointless for me to recommend it here on my humble Farmpartment. But hey, just in case… You should really watch The Guild. It follows the friendships that form when an online gaming guild decides to meet up IRL. There are plenty of gaming in-jokes, but it’s also accessible for those of us who don’t frequent the World of Warcraft. It’s clever, charming, and occasionally truly moving as the characters help each other grow. The show went six seasons and I think it’s done now… so you can binge-watch the whole thing. Hooray!

 

Those are my top 3 but there are plenty of other fantastic web series out there. Got any recommendations for me? Leave ’em in the comments.