Friday night topic: Web comics

I have long been a Penny Arcade reader, but I haven’t really read any other web comics with regularity, although I’ve occasionally followed a link to a Ctrl+Alt+Del or PvP strip. This experience has helped form the impression in my mind that web comics tend to be about video games.


Thus, when I came across Order of the Stick recently, I assumed it was about online RPGs. Turns out it’s about the old-fashioned kind of RPGs involving pen, paper, and dice. Who knew? I never played such games, but my time spent in Guild Wars helped me to relate. I got sucked into the story arcs and devoured the entire OOTS backlog over the course of a week. Some very funny moments in there.

Now that I’m done with that, I’ve segued into reading some other web comics. I’ve just finished the Dueling Analogs archive, and I’m part-way into Extra Life, as well. 2P Start! may be up next, if I can stand another video game-related comic. Still, my top two are definitely PA and OOTS. Some of the others are kind of uneven, but the good news is that so many of them are better than the junk you see in the newspaper. The web seems to be saving an art form—or allowing it to flourish.


What web comics do you read? Have links to your favorite strips? Any popular web comics you don’t find funny? Are the best ones all about games and technology? Discuss.

Comments closed
    • Semper1775
    • 12 years ago

    Every now and then I check these guys out. Their jokes are funny every now and then and some really push it:

    Cyanide and Happiness

    §[< http://www.explosm.net/comics/924/<]§

    • gratuitous
    • 12 years ago
    • Jive
    • 12 years ago

    My personal favorite would be §[< http://www.achewood.com<]§

    • Tarx
    • 12 years ago

    Scott, I’m curious how stumbled upon Oots…?
    Also in TechReport’s links, the link to Penny Arcade is incorrect.
    Quite a few “comic” strips are more into story rather than being funny. Some, like Oots (my top choice) does both (and in this case done very well).

    And here are a few more of the better comics that I don’t think were mentioned yet:
    SomethingPositive: §[< http://www.somethingpositive.net/< ]§ Saturday Morning Breakfast cereal: §[<http://www.smbc-comics.com/< ]§ Goblins: §[<http://goblinscomic.com/<]§

    • Saeghwin
    • 12 years ago

    Dinosaur Comics, XKCD, Questionable Content, Perry Bible Fellowship (awesome)

    • eloj
    • 12 years ago

    DM of The Rings. Answers the question “What if the Lord of the Rings Movies were more like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons…?”

    §[< http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=14<]§

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Who has time to visit all these sites?

      • Afty
      • 12 years ago

      Stick ’em in your RSS reader, and you’ll never have to visit the sites.

    • provoko
    • 12 years ago

    Web comics aren’t that funny. They almost always have weak punchlines and are extremely boring.. Especially when moving flash animations are a click away on sites like newgrounds.com or streaming video on youtube.com.

    • sigher
    • 12 years ago

    Don’t like them as a rule, look at 5000 and see one good one, then another 5000 moments of pain until the next good one.. not sure it compensates, for me it doesn’t really.

    • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
    • 12 years ago
    • diamond2a
    • 12 years ago

    OOTS is absolutely brilliant. I also read XKCD regularly

    • MagerValp
    • 12 years ago

    Others have already mentions XKCD, and OOTS is wonderful. Deathpiglent is another favourite:

    §[< http://chibi.nekrozin.com/<]§

    • Mithent
    • 12 years ago

    There is, of course, also Dinosaur Comics, which shows how much you can do without actually changing the art almost ever: §[< http://www.qwantz.com/<]§

    • quock
    • 12 years ago

    The gods of Arr-Kelaan:
    §[< http://www.rmcomics.com/<]§

    • wilreichert
    • 12 years ago
    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    Garfield FTW

    Maybe not a digital comic strip, but it shaped my pathetic humor during the early years of my life

    PBF is the only comic strip I find funny, although I still have to pull up the M$ strip every once in a while.

      • bthylafh
      • 12 years ago

      Good Ghu, someone who thinks Garfield is still funny.

        • 5150
        • 12 years ago

        I haven’t read Garfield in twenty years, but I thought he was awesome when is was < 12.

        • willyolio
        • 12 years ago

        yeah, seriously. garfield is in the running for one of the lamest comic strips that’s still manages to make it into the newspaper.

        all artwork can be summarized as such:
        1. horizontal line representing a table.
        2. cut-and-paste jon
        3. cut-and-paste garfield.
        4. speech or thought bubble.

        the contents of the speech or thought bubbles can be summarized as:
        “jon, you’re a loser.”
        or
        “garfield is fat and lazy.”

        15 seconds of work, per day. how much does davis get paid again?

          • indeego
          • 12 years ago

          He hasn’t drawn them all for yearsg{<.<}g It's the most popular comic (by syndication) everg{<.<}g

      • zgirl
      • 12 years ago

      You’re kidding right? Seriously it might have gotten me reading comics in 4th grade but by 6th I was all about Bloom County. Even if I was a bit too young to understand all the jokes. Great character and Breathed pushed the envelope.

      Then there was The Far Side and of course Calvin and Hobbes. (possibly the best artwork in modern years.)

      The only thing resent in print comics was Liberty Meadows. Cho was super talented and had some of the best of color jokes I’ve ever read. To bad he stop cause of fighting with the syndicates over content.

        • 5150
        • 12 years ago

        Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?

        I enjoyed C&H as well as Far Side, I owned many books from both. 12 was a guess, maybe it was 19. All I know is that I like what I like, and I sure as hell don’t need you to tell me what is cool and what isn’t. I have Paris Hilton for that.

    • Forge
    • 12 years ago

    So when is Damage the GW fiend going to do some adventuring or PvPing with CBE??

    • PerfectCr
    • 12 years ago

    I read none. I only see them when someone links to it in a thread or something.

    • metalhead
    • 12 years ago

    I always check the latest of PA, OOTS, The Noob, and Elf Only Inn.

    • eh?
    • 12 years ago

    Penny Arcade, PVP and Sinfest

    • Illissius
    • 12 years ago

    Cyanide and Happiness, which is so awful it’s awesome, occasionally Penny Arcade, and random things people link to.

    This one is classic: §[< http://www.explosm.net/comics/892/<]§

    • bthylafh
    • 12 years ago

    Userfriendly, Sluggy, Red Meat, 8-bit Theater, Penny Arcade, xkcd.

    • My Johnson
    • 12 years ago

    Userfriendly

    • dragmor
    • 12 years ago
    • Buub
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, I can’t believe I’m the only Sluggy fan here…

    • IntelMole
    • 12 years ago

    If only Marilith was actually released on a semi-regular schedule (the guy who writes it has had an absolute mare of a time with different artists), I might read it seriously, because the writing on it is excellent.

    §[< http://www.marilith.com<]§

    • Xenolith
    • 12 years ago
    • zgirl
    • 12 years ago

    I grew up wanting to be a cartoonist.

    I read pvp, LFGroup, Penny-arcade, CtrlaltDel-online

    Sadly my favorite comic is not longer produced, Angst Technologies.

    But I still highly recommend the archives. §[< http://www.inktank.com/at/<]§

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago
      • bthylafh
      • 12 years ago

      Awesome. I read all the way through a few years ago and forgot where it was.

      • Chrispy_
      • 12 years ago

      Bump.
      PBF content release is too slow but it’s really well-thought out.

      • eitje
      • 12 years ago

      by the way, i’ve recently organized my comics into folders by update day. sure, it means i have the same link 3-5 times, but now i don’t get disappointed by a comic which has not been updated when i think it should have been!

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago
    • SNM
    • 12 years ago

    XKCD deserves its own top-level post. I give it one here.

    • fyo
    • 12 years ago

    Userfriendly & PVP.

      • lethal
      • 12 years ago

      heh I was going to post about PBF :).

    • ludi
    • 12 years ago

    Greg Dean’s RealLife, since the early days. Usually keep tabs on what’s happening in PVP, Megatokyo, etc. And if you aren’t reading Alpha-Shade (http://www.alpha-shade.com/)…well, then you’re missing out on some of the best Flash-rendered art I’ve seen in a while. Story line is a little convoluted, but worth the time.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 12 years ago

    OOTS is fantastic, I love that one!
    I used to check out penny arcade once and a while, but not so much anymore.

      • Satyr
      • 12 years ago

      XKCD ftw. Though the guy is a bit pompus :). Hold on, I could say that about all web comics… 😀

      • eitje
      • 12 years ago

      big XKCD fan. dude doesn’t do commission work, though.

      • Swampangel
      • 12 years ago

      xkcd is currently my favourite webcomic.

      I also read PA, OOTS, Questionable Content, the Perry Bible Fellowship, Able and Baker, White Ninja, Toothpaste For Dinner, PvP Online, Ctrl-Alt-Del and BOASAS. I enjoy them in roughly that order.

    • Draith
    • 12 years ago

    I read Oots, CAD, PA, 8-bit theatre(does a sprite comic count as a web comic?) and a few others. My personal favourite is LeastICouldDo (which is a sexually oriented comic) and it’s cousin Looking for Group (a fantasy based comic.). I find that I actually burst out laughing regularly at LICD and Looking for group. I also read a comic called Bizarre Uprising which is more of a Manga based comic.

    • Gungir
    • 12 years ago

    Applegeeks, In the Puddle, Three-Panel Soul, Sinfest, Errant Story, Swordwaltzer, Questionable Content, and Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire. I check 17 webcomics daily as part of a balanced infosnacking breakfast.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 12 years ago

    I read Megatokyo…nothing else really caught onto me, honestly.

    • lordT
    • 12 years ago

    I read CAD, PA, QC and OotS. I really like QC for not being about gaming or technology. PA qualifies as the specialist gaming comic in that there are not story arcs of any sort. I read CAD since Ethan and Lucas remind me a lot of myself. OotS probably because I really like the story and the characters.

      • nexxcat
      • 12 years ago

      You know, referring to your favourite webcomics by their acronyms probably won’t help anyone find them 🙂

      I read: Bunny, Questionable Content, Ozy and Millie, and Punch an’ Pie.

        • lordT
        • 12 years ago

        Heh.. After reading Scott’s post, people should be able to put it together. Only thing missing is QC which stands for Questionable Content.

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