The Webcomics Shuffle

I've been updating my webcomic bookmarks, adding some new series and getting rid of some old ones, and I figured it couldn't hurt to share some quick thoughts...

My Favorites

Bob the Angry Flower: I really loved the two recent cartoons featuring the Empty Set.

Cat and Girl: Because how many comics make jokes about Joseph Beuys?

Dr. McNinja: I'm not sure color adds anything to the experience, other than not driving off people who hate black-and-white.

Galaxion: I loved Galaxion when it was a minicomic and was overjoyed when it was resurrected on the web.

Kate Beaton: Everyone's reading Kate Beaton these days and who am I to diagree?

Les Petits Riens: A regular dose of Lewis Trondheim is always worthwhile, and it gives me a chance to practice my French.

Nobody Scores!: Now that Muertitos is on hiatus, this is probably the funniest comic on the web. There's a whole post on this one coming later.

Princess Planet: A fun little diversion of pleasantly high quality, with enough variety to prevent things from becoming stale.

Scary-Go-Round: I've been reading John Allison's cartoons for so long that it's hard to imagine not reading them.

Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki: The little 1GB USB drive collection that they're selling is pretty sweet. Sure, $35 is a bit steep for 1GB these days, but it's a deluxe package and the premium is really for the comics, anyway.

Skin Horse: It's an entire office building filled with crazy Narbonic-style mad scientists (or their equally mad creations). What's not to like?

Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: At first it looked like the premise of this comic was going to be "monsters are people too" but it's also never forgotten that those people are also evil, evil monsters. That tension helps give the comic a bit of an edge. Also, Rich draws some sexy harpies.

On the Threshold

Bear and Kitten: It sort of lost me when Bear traveled through time to stop Kitten from going to Japan (it was the best thing that ever happened to Kitten, but the worst thing that ever happened to Bear). It was petty and mean-spirited, and not in a particularly amusing way. It's colored my perception of every strip since.

Erfworld: I was intrigued enough by the Webcomic Overlook review to check this one out. The premise is interesting — real-world gamer gets sucked into a tactical RPG which seems to be based on some sick child's fantasy. It's not afraid to play to the crowd, but there are enough unsettling elements that you really want to learn what's going on under the surface. I'm mildly annoyed that there's no way to bookmark the main page and go right to the latest comic.

Flaky Pastry: I really like the premise of this strip — it's got fun art, and some neat characters — but it just doesn't update frequently enough.

Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy: S. Sakurai's other comic, which starts off as a parody of magical girl anime and gets progressively weirder from there. I like it, but it's not nearly as out there or tightly plotted as Muertitos and the current storyline has gone on for way too long.

Kawaii Not: Kawaii Not is the webcomic version of Frank and Ernest — dependable but nothing to get really excited about. But I'm in a good mood today so it stays.

Kiskaloo: A fun little comic from Chris Sanders, best known as the character designer from Lilo and Stitch, but I'm not entirely convinced that he can provide updates on a regular basis.

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella: It's Wonder Woman, if she was one of those vacuous twenty-somethings I can't seem to escape from. It's pretty damn funny but I can't help feel like the joke has played out.

Octopus Pie: It had a really awkward beginning, but the characters really to grow on you. The latest story — a reimagining of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight set at a Rennaisance faire — was great, though, and guarantees that this one is staying on my list.

Questionable Content: Every time I think about dropping QC because nothing's happening, Jeph manages to post another strip that makes me laugh out loud. This one's probably.

Rob and Elliot: Entertaining, but does't quite post frequently enough.

Shortpacked: I like the toy jokes (I'm not a toy collector myself, but my best friend is) but I want to punch every one of the characters in the face. Well, maybe not the lesbian.

Skadi: I liked the look of the first batch of strips, but Kricfalusi-esque grossout humor doesn't do anything for me and that's all the last several weeks have consisted of.

Starslip Crisis: I like it when it's doing bad jokes about fine art, and can't stand it when it's a giant space opera. I think I might just give up on the main strip and switch over to the continuity-free Starslip Extra instead.

Wondermark!: I'm not a big fan of clip art comics, but Wondermark! does manage to amuse every now and then.

XKCD: XKCD hasn't worn out its welcome with me yet, probably because it isn't character-based.

Dropped

Anders Loves Maria: I don't get it. Can someone explain the appeal to me?

Beaver and Steve: A funny series put on indefinite hiatus. It'd been coasting somewhat since this strip and updating irregularly though, so it's not a huge loss.

Dominic Deeghan: I only started reading this to see if it was as bad as John Solomon said it was, and you know what, it wasn't all that bad (but it wasn't any good either). But once you've read several hundred pages of something it's kind of hard to stop.

Dresden Codak: Dropped partly because it doesn't update frequently enough, and partly because it's gone from funny jokes to meaningless babble about the technological singularity. It's been weird to see the trajectory for this comic — it started super-hot and just dropped as it became popular.

+EV: It just doesn't update frequently enough, and when it does it's either an obscure poker joke or some vile character-based humor that doesn't work because the characters are paper-thin.

Evil Inc.: As much as I like the basic concept, this comic's never been more than an "eh" that's been kept on my list by sheer momentup.

La Muse: Ended, and should make for a fun print comic.

Lackadaisy: Doesn't update frequently enough, and it's getting hard to tell what's going on.

Marry Me: Ended, though I think the print version will probably compound its pacing problems..

Minus: I'll really miss Minus because it was charming and funny in a way that the internet usually isn't, though think I'd rather see it end now at the peak of its quality than watch it drag on for another couple of years. Maybe if we're lucky Ryan will put a book version. I'd buy two.

Much the Miller's Son: This would make for an incredible print comic, but it's just not paced for the web and doesn't udpate frequently enough.

Muertitos: Wait, how did Muertitos go from being my favorite webcomic to being on the drop list? Simple — it's been put on indefinite hiatus because S. was feeling tapped out. Of all the series I've dropped, this is one of the ones I'll miss the most.

PAWN: Doesn't update frequently enough, and the "progress updates" are just infuriating. If you've got enough time to update about playing MGS4, maybe you should spend some of that time drawing.

Perry Bible Fellowship: Ended, but you knew that already.

Linkdump

Afganisu-tan: Everyone's probably seen this one already, but I still think it's charming. It's a basic (and extremely unreliable) history of Afghanistan, where each country is represented by a cute little chibi character. Just don't use it as a basis for your term paper on foreign policy.

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