10 Webcomics You Should Be Reading


(Courtesy of Safely Endangered creator Chris McCoy)

Comic Books are wonderful. They are the perfect mix of story and art. They can also be expensive; ranging from £2 to £5 per issue, the cost can really stack up. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative comic strips available for free on the internet.

Webcomics are a great way for people to showcase their art or storytelling ability, they are not limited by cost and there is a myriad of possibilities. You all know the scope of the internet, finding the best version of anything can be hard so I thought it may be helpful to compile a short list of some of the must-read webcomics out there today. (I've even got some of the creators suggesting titles for you!)

This list is in no way supposed to be comprehensive, and I’ve tried to stay away from the bigger names like Penny Arcade etc, and give some of the lesser-known comics the spotlight for a change.

Did I miss your favourite? Mention it in the comments!



How did Framptown come about?

I'm not too sure, actually! I knew I wanted to start a comic, and during Italian class once, I tweeted the first-ever drawing of Cool Duck (Which can be found here) and ideas kind of took off from there. There were animations I had been working on already (which never got finished) where there was a character whose only purpose was to give vague advice to the main characters, and because I didn't think those characters would ever see the light of day, I guess I sort of started Cool Duck off as that sort-of-advice guy. I always liked that idea. He's evolved beyond that being his thing. He's kind of some coolish entity now, but yeah. It's tough to explain how exactly the comic's gotten to the point it's at now, but it can be seen. There've been a lot of changes.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

I do. Framptown wouldn't exist if not for Nedroid Picture Diary. Anthony Clark and Pendleton Ward are big inspirations for me, and I think (or I hope) that people can kind of see how Framptown's sort of stemmed off from those two things (Nedroid and Adventure Time.) I don't want to say I'm copying them at all, though I may have at times unintentionally. But if I can be on sort of a separate branch on a similar tree to those two guys, that's where I'd want to be.
Also KC Green of Gunshow. There's also Ryan Pequin and Ryan North and there are definitely other people in the business that I admire that I can't think of off the top of my head. But yeah, those guys are geniuses.
Oh, and Randal Milholland of Something Positive. I can't say that that comic has inspired much of Framptown, but I've been keeping up with it for years. It's hard not to get attached to those characters. I admire continuous storytelling a lot and Something Positive has more of that than the other comics I've listed.

You can follow Cool Duck and his friends in Framptown on Facebook, Twitter and on its own site here



How did Doodle Time come about?

For most of my teenage years I drew little cartoons in my sketchbooks. I would draw them in school and with friends just for fun. When I got to college, classmates encouraged me to put them online. I did, and all of a sudden I was lucky enough to have a few comics go semi-viral. From there I realized I could really make something out of Doodle Time, and I became much more focused and decided to seriously work on it as an ongoing cartoon.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

There are so many great web-comic artists. Off the top of my head, I love Ryan Pequin's comic "Three Word Phrase" because his sense of humour is so unpredictable. Someone I just discovered is an artist named Luchie who, amongst other things, wrote a comic story called "Introversion." . She's very talented at storytelling and her artwork is just beautiful. Also, Claire Jarvis of "Infinite Nap" and Beth Evans always crack me up.

You can find Doodle Time and creator Sarah on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.



How did Poorly Drawn Lines come about?

PDL started as a weekly comic strip in my college newspaper. After I graduated I decided to keep the strip going, bump my output up to three a week, and try to make it a real webcomic. That's pretty much where I am now.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

Too many to name, but a few I really like are Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Creased, Achewood, Nedroid and Gunshow.

You can find Poorly Drawn Lines on its own site, Twitter, Tumblrand Facebook. Updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.



How did Safely Endangered come about?

I spend so much time doodling I guess a webcomic was inevitable haha!

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

I read so many great webcomics it would take forever to list them! I really enjoy Eat More Bikes, Completely Serious Comics and Invisible Bread to name a few.

You can find Safely Endangered on its own site, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.



How did The Gentleman's Armchair come about?

I've drawn little cartoons my whole life, but never actually gave a comic strip a shot. So I decided to try it out. The Gentleman's Armchair is the result. Now I'm just trying to get better and refine my work. A work in progress!

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

I love a lot of webcomics, but I'll call out Loading Artist and Poorly Drawn Lines. There's something about their humour that is really amazing. I don't even know what it is, but it's good, real good.

You can follow Wes’ progress with The Gentleman’s Armchair on its own site, Facebook and Twitter.



How did The Frumps come about?

The Frumps started off as quick sketches sometime back in the late 90s. I liked the simplicity of them and the fun ways I could draw their expressions. Then for about a decade they went into hibernation, until one day I drew one making a silly face at me and it made me laugh, which was something I desperately needed at the time. I created 3 strips as a means to keep my mind occupied from what was going on at the moment, and found that I really enjoyed making them. They've been with me ever since.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

I have about 40 or so other webcomics in my queue, but the ones that stick out are Jefbot, Sheldon, I Am Arg, Legacy Control and TWXXD.

You can find The Frumps on its own site, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.



How did Owl Turd Comix come about?

I've always made comics, but Owl Turd Comix started when I realized the benefits of consolidating my effort into one recognizable thing. I had seen my work floating around before, connected to no identity and associated with no website. Having realized my potential as a comic artist (which is between massive and nonexistent depending on who you ask), I now seek to popularize my comics under this Owlturd banner, and if all goes well, eventually make a living off my work. It's brand-building!

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

I absolutely love webcomics. My favorites would be Whomp!, Blaster Nation, Gunshow, Penny Arcade, The Trenches and Dinosaur Comics. I generally gravitate towards humour!

You can help Shen with the brand-building by following Owl Turd Comix on its own site, Twitter and Facebook.



How did American Captain come about?

It pretty much started as a joke on indie comics and regular comics because I drew indie comics for years - I even ran an indie comics festival - and a couple of friends of mine and I were very into making jokes about The Avengers movies, which we love but also love to make fun of (and talk about who is obviously boning who and so forth, that kind of very mature thing that nerds do sometimes).

But a lot of what I talk about when I talk about superheroes (and I have talked a lot about superheroes in my life) is psychology. And particularly trauma psychology, because heroes are always about trauma. Batman's parents are shot in front of him. Spider-Man has a Cronenberg style body-horror transformation (h/t to my penpal Rachel at Pratt for pointing that out). Iron Man is a paean to trauma anxiety ("I am Iron Man," he says at the end of the third film, and I remember heart-break loling at the fact that he thinks he's Iron Man because of his iron will, but actually it's because he's scabbed over with defensive anxiety).

Steve - well, Steve is a really great example of the fact that the American dream is... how shall I put this... slightly, slightly terrible, in that it's inclined to tell young men with no parents from incredibly impoverished backgrounds that the way to be a real man is to put all that legitimate anger they feel about their circumstances into punching dudes for the empire. I'm not having a go at him, he fought Nazis, that's great, and everybody should fight Nazis. But still.

Anyway, I sort of realized, gradually, that I was also writing about that. Unfortunately, I was also writing about trauma. I think it's pretty difficult to write about superheroes at all, ever, at any time, without encountering the fact that their origins and the stories they're bound up in are frequently psychological narratives about trauma. So basically I was just doing it for fun while I stalled on my novel and my PhD, and then like most things I do for fun, a couple of comics in I had to ruin it for myself by getting semi-serious about it, and starting to think about the thing I always think about: Empire, and the possible (and rightly contested) ability of fanworks to respond to it.

Trauma and empire are bound together in superheroes (and a lot of things but superheroes particularly) in that traumatic origins are directed towards violence done moral certainty, which (h/t Albert Camus) is of course the first step on the road to fascism, and a driving logic of empire.

Right now it's still poised between being a thing I do for kicks and a thing I intend to Say Some Things with, and I may or may not leave it in that greyspace.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

Webcomics I love are diepopular, nosoapradio and heyyouguys. I also like Kate Beaton a lot.

You can find American Captain on Tumblr and Twitter.

Everybody's favourite peace-seeker...



You can follow Lard on his mission on his official site, Wordpress and Facebook

Now I realise I said I'd leave out some of the bigger names, but I must mention one of my favourites...



How did Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal come about?

SMBC was a comic I started in high school, mostly to make fun of friends.

Do you have any favourite webcomics of your own?

Oglaf is pretty great. (ED: NSFW, over 18's only!)

You can find Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal on its own site, Facebook and Twitter.

Now if you feel like a favourite hasn't been mentioned, feel free to suggest it in the comments!

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