[edited 1/6 – I decided this topic didn’t warrant a separate page after all, so I’ve moved it into body of the post. I think that I *am* going to devote a separate page to music resources, however, so keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks. – Erik]

I love comics and humorous illustration, always have. The following links are to my favorite comics of the past and present (I’d include the future if I could swing it…). Most of these are funny, because that’s generally what appeals to me, but not all are.

I’d love to hear your suggestions as well, I’m always on the lookout for good new comics! Generally speaking, I don’t care about gaming-based comics at all (with the exception of Megatokyo, but that’s not really game-based any more anyway), nor about IT/”geek” comics (with the exception of XKCD)… but whatever your favorites, bring them on! I’m always open to finding an exception, and in the end what matters to me is how well it’s written and/or drawn, not what category it fits in.

I have broken my list down into online and print; this is sometimes a little arbitrary, as some of the online comics have a print life, and many of the print comics have at least a nominal web presence. I tried to restrict the “online” list to comics that can be read fully online – which lets out any title that limits the archive to the last 30 days or whatever. Those are all in the “print” list. Not all of these comics may be active any more (Charles Addams, for instance, is dead, which would make that problematic at best… although if anyone could have figured out a way it would be him!), but they are all worth reading. I note in the description when a comic is child-safe – many of my favorites are not, but I also like genuine children’s comics (like Owly and Little Dee) if they’re good.

Online Comics

  • The Abominable Charles Christopher – Interesting and quirky, with *wonderful* art.
  • Girl Genius – Steampunk-tinged humorous fantasy, drawn by the great Phil Foglio – what more could you ask for?
  • Hereville – How many comics about a troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl does the world need? At least one!
  • Little Dee – Sometimes sweet, always funny and family-friendly.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella – Strange. Sometimes funny, sometimes just… strange.
  • PartiallyClips – Highly literate humor – by far the best clipart based comic on the web, by which I mean that it is consistently funny.
  • The Phoenix Requiem – I stumbled across the first volume of this on WOWIO, and had no idea that it was a phenomenon; I just new that it was pretty and interesting. Apparently it’s a phenomenon.
  • Something Positive – My guilty pleasure. I’m not sure if there’s a term for the opposite of family-friendly, but if so it should be applied to S*P.
  • SPQR Blues – Excellent semi-sprawling family saga set in the Roman Empire. Reasonably family friendly.
  • Unshelved – Ever wanted to be a librarian? Me too… but you don’t have to have set foot in a library to enjoy this library-based comic. Family friendly.
  • XKCD – Snark with stick figures. Needs no introduction.

Print Comics

  • Charles Addams – How could I not start here? Addams is the dark and twisted god of comics.
  • Edward Gorey – Strictly speaking, Gorey was an illustrator rather than a comic artist; but so much of his work fits Will Eisner’s definition of comics as “sequential art” that I feel justified in including him in this list. More to the point, I could not justify leaving him out.
  • Courtney Crumrin – A marvelous series of graphic novels about a cynical, somewhat goth-leaning little girl who discovers that her family is even weirder than she thinks. You can read the first story online here.
  • Owly – Wordless comics for very young children (but I like them too, or they wouldn’t be listed here). Laced with sweet and gentle humor, Owly manages to capture some of the feeling of a safe, eternally existing self-enclosed world that makes Winnie the Pooh so magical. Not to be confused with Owlie, which is a quite different comic.
  • Age of Bronze – The story of the Trojan War retold in graphic novel format. More than just the Iliad – Eric Shanower brings together all the ancient sources to paint as complete a picture as possible of the war, its prelude and (presumably) aftermath.
  • Asterix – The classic (and extremely silly) French comics about everybody’s favorite Gaul. Site is in English.
  • Tintin – The hair-raising adventures of a boy and his dog; be aware that many of these were written 60+ years ago, and so reflect the social and cultural attitudes of the times, but no more so than Kipling. (Link is to the English-language site; Hergé was Belgian, and so like Asterix the comics were written in French. Pour mes lectures Francophones, voici un link pour le site officiel.) Spielberg is currently working on a Tintin movie.

8 thoughts on “Comix

  1. executivepagan Post author

    D’oh! I have several of the Groo collections, actually – thanks for the reminder. (I’ve loved Sergio Aragonés since MAD Magazine in the 1970s). I gave them to my daughter last year and she loves them. That also reminds me that I need to add Jeff Smith’s “Bone” to the list. Thanks again!

  2. executivepagan Post author

    Oh, and for online comics I completely forgot about these:

    Red String – I’m not actually sure why I started reading it initially – a romantic manga set in Japan done by an American would not normally be my cup of tea – but I’m glad I did.

    Punch’an’Pie – a spin-off from the truly brilliant and classic (and much-lamented) Queen of Wands. Fewer tea-spewing moments, but still fun.

    Sinfest – Another one that’s a little hard to explain; it just needs reading. Any comic that has God routinely mocking people with hand puppets is all right by me.

  3. Kullervo

    I love Married to the Sea, Toothpaste for Dinner, Superpoop, and NAtalie Dee (all of which are by the same husband and wife creators). They’re not always hilarious, but when they’re good, they’re good. Generally the earlier stuff in the archives is funnier though.

    I also loved Perry Bible Fellowship.

  4. executivepagan Post author

    I like some of Married to the Sea (this one is a particular favorite), but it didn’t catch me enough to follow it… I’m losing interest in The Saturday Bulletin as well, which I started to follow when Monkey Fluids signed off (I realize now that the real attraction of Monkey Fluids was often not the comics themselves, but the great flow of twisted ideas in the comments).

  5. Feral Boy

    Two of my favorite (classic) cartoonists are John Callahan and
    Gahan Wilson. That probably says a lot about me ;)

    Oh yes … “The Adventures of Fat Freddy’s Cat”–also
    definitely NOT “Family Circus”, but a lot of fun & he’s
    DEFINITELY a real cat! That also reminds me of
    B. Kliban’s “CAT” — “CAT: def. (noun) One heck of a nice animal, frequently mistaken for a meat loaf.”

    And of course, “Calvin and Hobbes”. Is Hobbes ‘real’? or
    does Calvin just have … issues ? There was a short send-up
    of C&H on “Robot Chicken” — it doesn’t end well…

    Side note: A friend of mine who lives in Arkansas was brave enough to name her son Calvin. The funny thing is one of his girl friends is known as Tiger :) I’ll bet that changes.

    But my favorite probably has to be “The Far Side.” “Ha ha ha, Biff. Guess what? After we go to the drug store and the post office, I’M going to the vet’s to get tutored.”

    I’ll have to check out some of your online recommendations.
    I’m also a fan of “Partially Clips” & “Sinfest”. Have you
    checked out “Freefall”? ( Good fun
    in the future with a genetically engineered wolf A.I. & her
    unscrupulous squidlike alien captain.

    — Feral Boy

  6. executivepagan Post author

    I also love the C&H parody in National Lampoon’s “Book of Sequels”…

    I’m pretty sure I read Freefall at some point along the way, it sounds really familiar.

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