I don’t know why I’m not big into the Calgary comic expo, because I do like comics. I attended in 2008, and mostly went for the SF BSG, and ST:TOS guests. But for the comic part of the convention? Meh. I suppose a lot of it has to do with comics focusing so much on super heroes and manga, both of which I’m not that interested in. I classify myself as interested in “other” or “Sunday Funnys” comics, which, at least the Calgary convention, does not pay much attention to. So, being the holidays, and being that you might just possibly have some free time to peruse the funny pages, I give you my list of comics that I follow on a regular basis:
- General Protection Fault – Jeffery T. Darlington
Audience: Computer Geeks with occasional forays into general Geekdom – more so as time goes on.
GPF is one of the long running comics (since ’98) that has ebbed and flowed in my enjoyment of it. Personally, I prefer the normal day to day jokes rather than the spoofs or 100 panel epic stories that have appeared in the past, although most of them have been entertaining enough to keep me coming back for more. The problem is, when there’s a stinker, I can write off GPF for the next month or two.
- User Friendly – J. D. Frazer
Audience: Computer Geeks and Gamers
Another long running comic with a set of characters you could see as being real, pitted against anything from the mundane tasks of running an ISP, to the most out-of-the-world scenarios. Pitr as the evil pseudo-Russian sys admin “God, Root, what is difference?” is just classic. Illiad has kept pumping them out since ’97 on an almost daily basis, so be prepared for a *long* catch-up if you’re going to read this one from the beginning.
- Sinfest – Tatsuya Ishida
Audience: Anyone, PG-13 topics
I have to say, Sinfest takes the cake for the best start EVAR to a web comic, here. Think of this as BloomCounty without Mrs. Grundy as Editor. The art is as good as anything you’ll see in print, and the humor is clever, ranging from naughty to very cutesy. Really, Sinfest is two comics, one about a cat and dog, (the cutesy part) and one about Slick and “Show me your ass” Monique. I’m going to hell for that link, but hey, I’ll be there with Slick so it’s all good. Sinfest has several re-occurring themes that the author always seems to find new angels on: God mocking the devil and mortals with hand puppets, Calligraphy, Ninja Theatre, Sinners, pigs on drugs, and much, much, more! In summary, Sinfest is one of those things you get an internet connection for – no way any newspaper would ever publish it thanks to it’s non-PC content, and way funnier to boot thanks to the range of topics opened in a non-Grundy world. I hope you never go mainstream Tatsuya, it would muzzle a fine, fine comic.
- PvP – Scott Kurtz
Audience: Geeky, gamer and PC but some general interest as well.
PVP stands for “Player vs. Player” a comic revolving around a group of characters who run a gaming magazine. It’s not nearly as geeky-gaming as it sounds, really a lot of the comic revolve around the standard office angst, with a naive, child-like troll thrown in to spice things up. Kurtz is a fan of action hero comics, to which his comic occasionally mimics or pays tribute to, to which I occasionally fall asleep to, not being a fan of such things as I have stated. I learned from reading PvP thatI have crossed the line from young upstart (Francis) to middle-aged authority figure (Cole, Brent). Time marches on… One major bone to pick. Kurtz to this day cannot post comics on time, although he has gotten better, still needs improvement, especially from a guy that is one of the few who is making his sole living on his web comic.
- Help Desk – Christopher B. Wright
Audience: Computer Geeks
Help Desk has been around since 1996, making it one of the first web comics out there. The comic is a thinly veiled parody of Microsoft’s corporate help desk, with an evil overlord know as “The Boss” who is some kind of evil uber-dark lord. Alex is the main character, who is one of the senior help desk techs. He spends most of his time coming up with creative ways to support the un-supportable software produced by his company. Oh, and you’ll quickly notice that artistic eye candy is not part of the enjoyment here, it’s a cut-n-paste type of comic, with the author occasionally being forced to draw new things as the story demands. As of late, not frequently updated owing to life on the author’s part.
- Two Lumps – J. Grant & Mel Hynes
Okay, now we get to my more recent acquisitions – that being, within the last two years recent. “Two Lumps: is about two cats, based on t he author’s two cats. It’s not really well drawn but the humor is funny enough to make up for that, especially if you know cats.
- XKCD – Randall Monroe
Audience: University level Geeks, helps to know some of the big names in computers as well
I admit – I was late to the phenom known as “XKCD” I think the best way to explain it is as “Farside, the Math Generation”. A word about the drawing. Okay, several words. It’s mostly stick figures. The thing of it is, if you bother to go back to the beginning, you will see that the author can draw, he just chooses (usually) to draw stick figures instead. Verrry funny stick figures. And sometimes philosophical.
- Candi – Starline X Hodge
Audience: Anyone – Warning: contains soap-opera elements (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!)
I don’t know why I keep reading this. Sure, it has some good jokes every once in a while. Sure, it is well drawn. But it’s a college – aged SOAP OPERA for gohds sake. Although, the flying ferret and the squirrel Mafia are cool though…
- Menage a 3 – Giz leLagace & Dave Zero
Audience: PG-13 – NSW – Occasional nudity and situations. Other than that, anyone 😉
This is a pretty new comic that I haven’t totally made up my mind on. When I say “NSW” I’m talking some bare breast and ass drawing, so, work surfers be warned. It’s a sexy adult story line too, so if story lines involving sexual situations offend you, move on. So far it’s a mix of sexy and funny – to be seen if it keeps up the quality past the one year mark in May.
- Daisy Owl – Ben Driscoll
I’ve just added this one to my daily reading list. Now I’m hoping it will actually start update again, having started in July with regular updates and having petered down to nothing just as I discovered it via Digg. I’m hoping it’s just an Xmas hiatus, ‘cuz these are really good. It reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes, also a bit like Bloom County, but more child-like quality. We have an Owl, raising two adopted (of course) children, visited by his friend, Steve the Bear. Anyways, the current comic with Steve the Bear is really good, and I like the one with the Owl Parenting Guide, and this philosophically funny piece.
Speaking of comics that don’t update, “Waiting for Bob” is worth a read. Dead since 2002, but so worth going through from front to back. At least they left the archives up, unlike “Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet” which made the mistake of selling out to Tribune, which dumped the comic, and it’s archives when things didn’t work out.
So, that is my list. I hope you find something there worth a funny to ‘yas – if not, well there are a zillion other web comics out there as well.