Webcomics! I love them. I have a ‘daily read’ list that is in a happy little row of bookmarks across the top of my web browser, and clicking through to read the latest updates is one of the first things I do in the evening when I turn my laptop on. Here is a list of five of my favourite webcomics!
1. Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North
Premise: According to the website, Dinosaur Comics is a comic about talking dinosaurs! This is very true. The art remains the same for every comic, and it is just the text that changes. The main characters are T-Rex and his friends Dromiceiomimus and Utahraptor.
Why I love it: Some people I know have been put off by all the writing, but I think it’s well worth it, because Ryan North is a pretty great comedy writer! There are jokes about language and culture and the Internet, as well as some interesting philosophical ideas and plenty of silliness. It’s hard to explain. It’s just my kind of quirky humour! I also have a particular soft spot for Dinosaur Comics because our mutual love of it and pretty much everything Ryan North does brought Dannii and I closer together back when we were first getting to know each other!
Bonus stuff: Alt text jokes and comic titles, viewable on the Archive page. And if you mouse over/click on the ‘Comments’ link, the subject line is a bit of an extra Easter egg as well!
2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Schedule/Status: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Premise: From the website: “Lord Ballister Blackheart has a point to make, and his point is that the good guys aren’t as good as they seem. He makes a comfortable living as a supervillain, but never really seems to accomplish much – until he takes on a new sidekick, Nimona, a shapeshifter with her own ideas of how things should be done. Unfortunately, most of those ideas involve blowing things up. Now Ballister must teach his young protégé some restraint and try to keep her from destroying everything, while simultaneously attempting to expose the dark dealings of those who claim to be the protectors of the kingdom – including his former best friend turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.”
Why I love it: Noelle has crafted a really awesome story, with interesting three-dimensional characters and a great sense of fun and humour amidst the frequent heart-wrenching drama. We’re drawing close to the end of Nimona and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.
Bonus stuff: This is one of the few times when I recommend reading the comments section. Nimona commenters seem to be incredibly witty and fun!
3. Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
Schedule/Status: Monday to Friday
Premise: QC is a sort of slice-of-life comic. The plot focuses on the life of Marten, his roommate Faye, and his girlfriend Dora. It takes place in a world that’s pretty much the same as ours, but with a little bit more ridiculousness. For instance, Marten owns Pintsize, an anthropomorphic PC. In the beginning it was very much an indie rock webcomic, with a lot of jokes that I just didn’t get because I’m not an indie rock aficionado. But over time the art and writing has evolved and can be melodramatic, sitcomish, touching, or just plain bizarre.
Why I love it: I just really love the characters! There are a lot of them, but my favourite is Hannelore, who’s described as “Obsessive-compulsive, neurotic, anxiety-ridden, surprisingly adorable”.
4. Amazing Super Powers by Wes and Tony
Schedule/Status: Mondays and Thursdays
Premise: It’s pretty difficult to explain the premise of Amazing Super Powers, because each strip is pretty self-contained. There’s no overarching story – just a great, sometimes wonderfully twisted, joke!
Why I love it: The punchlines of the comics are great! Some of the strips can be a little dark and most give you that schadenfreude feeling, but the writing is tight and witty. I also find Amazing Super Powers way more consistently funny than Explosm ever was!
Bonus stuff: Alt text, and if you click on the question mark next to the top-right corner of the comic, you get to read a hidden comic!
5. minus by Ryan Armand
Premise: minus is about the adventures of a little girl named minus who has magical powers. She can change pretty much anything in the world – in one comic, she turned herself into an elephant, and in another, she sent one of her schoolmates back in time.
Why I love it: I really like the painted art style, and I’ve always loved the ‘little girl who is cooler than everyone’ stories like Matilda and Madeline – maybe there is a thing about awesome little girls whose names start with M?! Dannii bought the book for me a few years ago, and I love thumbing through it when I’ve had a bad day – the whimsy and magic of minus is a great pick-me-up!