Saturday, December 02, 2006

Comics! (part 1)

By request I'm going to be talking about and posting some of the online comics I read regularly. Today I'm gonna be focusing on the best stuff. Stuff that's funny and almost certainly won't send parents into shock.

User Friendly (
This is a strip by a guy who works at an ISP about a bunch of guys who work at an ISP. He's making enough off this that he could quit his job and work on this full time, but he doesn't. O'Reilly Books, known for making programming books with animals on the cover, prints only one thing that isn't a programming book and that is the User Friendly collections. The art is nothing special, but the humor keeps the strip going.

Sluggy Freelance (
This strip has changed significantly over the years. It started with rather simple art and the standard gag-a-day strip. This is what is now known as the "Suicide Bikini Frisbee Days" for reasons that become obvious when you start working your way through the archives. Soon the stories became bigger and grander to become whole sagas. For one he even gave up being funny just to tell the story. Now it's all one saga running into the next while still managing to be funny most days.
He has managed to quit his day job and make this his full time business and the art reflects the extra time he can spend on it.

PVP Online (
This started as a gaming strip about a group of people working at a game magazine. While it's still technically about that the gaming side has slipped to allow broader appeal. This author has also quit his day job. He allows anyone to print his strip free of charge just as long as they also publish the source so readers come buy stuff from him.

Schlock Mercenary (
This is a science fiction comic about a team of mercenaries. The author has recently quit his day job. His second book has recently come out. I got mine yesterday. Alas, the first book started several years into the strip so you'll need to read the archives to get caught up.

Kevin & Kell (
Bill Holbrook is a comic producing machine. This is one of three strips that he does every single day. The other two are On The Fasttrack and Safe Havens.

Sheldon (
This guy started off with an online comic and achieved what many of the online cartoonists yearn for. He became syndicated. But despite the quality of his art and humor he wasn't widely accepted. Newspapers are dying off and most papers don't have room for new strips. They'd prefer to run strips whose creators are long dead. So he left the syndicate realizing that they were taking a huge bite of his profits and those profits would be bigger on his own. So a few weeks ago he went back on his own.

Nukees (
The art is simple but the comic is quality. This was originally a strip about the nuclear engineering department at a major California university. It still is, but they don't talk about it as much anymore. The author is one of the grandpappys of online comics. He helped get Keenspot up and running and makes guest appearances in many other strips.

And since I mentioned it...
Keenspot (
Not a comic so much as a place that hosts other cartoonists. Some are good, some are bad, some rely on cartoon nudity and profanity for readers. But going through the daily line up of more popular stuff in the Quickkeen lineup gives you a good idea of what's out there. Some update only on weekdays, some on M-W-F, some whenever they feel like it.

These are some of the better strips. Tomorrow I'll post some of the lesser stuff and then I'll get to some of the syndicated stuff online just to complete the roll.

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