NOTE: While none of the comics discussed here go much beyond PG-13 in art, they do sometimes have offensive language in them. This is a major update of a post I originally did about 3 years ago:
Regular readers here know that I’m a huge fan of web comics.
I’m also a longtime fan of The Devil’s Panties (It’s not Satanic Porn!), Questionable Content, Sheldon, Player vs Player, and Dumbing of Age. But I’d also like to highlight a couple of fascinating comics that defy easy classification:
- Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell
The central plot of this strip (written and drawn by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan) is almost impossible to describe with a straight face. As a teenager, Darwin Carmichael made a mistake so bad that he now has the worst karma in the entire world and is destined to go to Hell. (Never mind the theological mash up going on here.) This incredibly charming strip tells the tale of Darwin, his immortal pet manticore Skittles, his minotaur landlord Pat, and a host of friends. If you go to see this comic, make sure you start at the beginning and read to the very end. (The comic came to an end in the summer of 2013, but you can now buy a gorgeous book of the entire series.)
- Hark! A Vagrant
Speaking of indescribable web comics, Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant has to be one of the most consistently brilliant ones on the web. The comic is a mix of history and pop culture stories. Where else will you see comics about the French revolution, Nancy Drew, Lois Lane and Andrew Jackson? Beaton’s published anthology of comics was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 10 best fiction books of 2011.
- The Abominable Charles Christopher
Karl Kerschl’s story of the sasquatch with a binky and a heart of gold is the most beautiful web comic anywhere. Which is not surprising given that Kerschl’s day job is drawing comic book art for folks like DC and Marvel. In addition to often being very funny, it can also be absolutely heartbreaking.