BuzzFeed ran a rather nice piece this week covering 42 webcomics that you need to read. Now, they did a good job overall, but we think they missed a few.
So here’s our list of need-to-read webcomics…
The concept is deceptively simple: take Charles Schulz’s old “Peanuts” strips and whack off the last panel, which contains the punchline. The result showcases a very dark worldview that most people don’t recognize in Schulz’s work. While an easy webcomic to execute, reflecting on the truncated strips focuses the reader on the nature of joke-telling and how Schulz himself thought.
19. Ava’s Demon
Ava Ire survives a crash by essentially making a pact with the devil. Creator Michelle Czajkowski’s artwork is gorgeous and her decidedly infrequent use of animations and music makes for some very powerful storytelling.
18. Bad Machinery
C’mon! This is great storytelling with great characters! How did BuzzFeed miss this?
Yes, we’ve seen parodies of the Star Wars movies pretty much as long as there have been Star Wars movies and, while the Mort Drucker caricatures from Mad are brilliant, the husband/wife team of Rod and Leanne Hannah take advantage of the longer form of webcomics to really skewer every. Single. Scene. Love it!
16. Bob the Squirrel
The human and talking animal motif is common in comic strips, but the newspaper versions where the idea originated has gotten pretty watered-down. Frank Page brings the idea back with some real biting sarcasm, and the semi-autobiographical nature of his stories really hit some strong emotional elements.
15. Cat and Girl
There are few really good, straight-up superhero webcomics. Marvel and DC have spent decades getting good at telling superhero stories, and it’s hard to compete with them at their own game. Where Cary Kelley and Harold Edge set themselves apart in the genre is with strong, well-written, realistically proportioned female leads.
13. The Hues
Only launched this year, aliens have invaded and a group of young women discover they have the power to stop them. It’s a little more Power Rangers and Sailor Moon than Marvel and DC superheroes, but here again, we’ve got strong female characters that aren’t really seen in traditional superhero comics.
Ryan Dow isn’t the most self-assured guy, and he puts out his depressions and anxieties on the screen for all to see. It’s a little like reading Harvey Pekar if he drew his own books. It’s cathartic for both Dow and the reader.
Rum-runners during American Prohibition. Except they’re all cats. And it’s got amazingly gorgeous artwork!
This story has been completed, but it’s a very powerful look at some serious mental instability from the perspective of someone who’s living it.
A mixture of short gag strips and long-form stories, Philippa Rice creates the strip using cut paper, cloth and found objects. Her characters are whimsical and she often makes incredibly clever use of her materials to drive the humor.
This is new webcomic written by Will “Dr. Batman” Brooker, who got tired of criticizing how Marvel and DC portrayed women in their comics and decided to show them how it should be done. Why they haven’t hired him to write Batgirl yet, I don’t know.
Erika Moen reviews sex toys. ’Nuff said!
Who better to poke fun at geeks of all sorts than someone who works in a comic shop? And what better way to do than quote the geeks who walk into the store verbaitum?
5. Oyster War
Ben Towle’s historical fiction story is up for an Eisner this year. Why would you not consider this a Must-Read?
4. Power Nap
I’m not sure I can summarize this, honestly, other than to say it’s really good, really clever, and occassionally surreal.
Comedy based on current scientific findings and research. You laugh, you learn!
What if Steve Rogers — Captain America — drew a webcomic? Something small and personal. It’s not funny, and that’s the joke.
Amal does the driving; TJ pays the way – but a 3500 mile journey leaves plenty of time for things to get complicated. It’s wonderfully illustrated and, although this isn’t the point of the comic, it may get you to think a bit more about gay rights.