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Eric: Daily Comics Trawling: the Day Comics List

I read a lot of webcomics. And by a lot, I mean "almost none, compared to how many web comics are out there." I mean, there's a ton of digital art floating around, and I read... well, everything I have some interest in reading. Jesus, what do you expect me to do? Read stuff I couldn't possibly care less about?

Actually, some of you do expect me to do that.

So, while I always reserve the right to update these lists, here's what I'm consistantly checking.

My method of organizing this ton of comics is through Safari's 'bookmark tab groups' feature. When I'm ready to read a block of comics, I select a bookmark that opens up some 20-25 comics at a time. That way, they all show up and I can just read and close window, read and close window. It's not quite as fast as scanning a comics page in a newspaper, but it's a Hell of a lot faster than schlepping out to get a newspaper in the first place.

I have two of these tab lists, plus a 'clearinghouse' page for a third group. These are the fodder I'm almost always going to have available to comment on, so you'll see a lot from these.

This first list is called "Day Comics." Originally, this list was formed out of comics that update in the morning. Over time, it's become something of a Keenspot clearinghouse with a few ringers (including some that really should be in the "Night Comics" block, like PvP.

These entries (in the order they come up in the tab list) are:

  • Superosity, by Chris Crosby. This strip is utterly, totally weird, in a good way. It's incredibly consistent, too. If you didn't like it yesterday, you're probably not going to like it today. If, on the other hand, you liked it yesterday, today's probably not going to disappoint you.
  • Sore Thumbs, by Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni. Touted (and often reviled) as a Gaming Comic and a political comic, this still-freshman strip really isn't either. This strip takes on political and gamer trappings, shoves them through a manga cheese grater, and comes out with something not quite as weird as Superosity, but still pleasantly warped. These aren't liberals and conservatives. These are complete idiots on crystal meth and LSD.
  • Greystone Inn, by Brad J. Guigar. One of those "why am I reading this, again?" strips. I think I got into it because Guigar is a true student of the comic strip art form -- when he gets into the history of comics, he doesn't talk about "User Friendly" or "Sluggy Freelance" or even "Bloom County" or "Peanuts." He brings up "Popeye" and "Dick Tracy" and "Lil' Abner" and "Mutt and Jeff." I respect that tons. And the art is really clean. And he's never late. So it stays on the list. Maybe sometime soon I'll laugh at it again.
  • Nukees by Darren Bleuel. Now this one I know why I read. Besides having a great sense of humor and a fantastic sense of character, Nukees manages a balancing act a lot of webcomics fail: it has full out storylines (some of them quite series) and yet manages to be funny every single time. It never has to put a cavet about how this is a serious, plot building storyline and no, honest, the funny will come back later. The funny is there, damn it. Even when Gav is lying on an operating table having a near-death experience with an Egyptian Goddess.
  • Ozy and Millie, by David Craig Simpson. On its last legs on my list. Inconsistency in publishing along with a real feel that Simpson's either burnt out or just doesn't care like he used to -- and a systemic loss of funny along the way -- mean one of my favorite "Calvin and Hobbesesque" webcomics from the last several years just doesn't thrill me any more. We'll see.
  • RPGWorld, by Ian Jones-Quartey. This one I stick to, despite an increasingly sporadic schedule. Its quality has remained high since the beginning, but we've also seen a real growth of the artist throughout. Ian J. was literally a kid when he started this strip. As he moves forward, learns more about Art (he's in Art school now) and develops as a person, increasing sophistication continues to flow into his strip. I'm willing to wait for quality like this, and can't wait to see where he goes from here.
  • Sinfest, by Tatsuya Ishida. One of the most (pun intended) slickly produced webcomics out there, Ishida has a fantastic understanding of his own sense of humor. The common complaint is that Slick is a knockoff of Calvin (or of Milo Bloom), but honestly I don't agree -- there's nothing wrong with being influenced in art, and I don't see Calvin macking on Suzie in the reprints, do you? There's artistic validity in taking the familiar into unfamiliar territory. Besides, Satan and God rock. And the animals. The animals, man. Normally rock-solid in updating, but with exceptions.
  • The Suburban Jungle by John Robey. Not the best work that Robey's done (it doesn't hold a candle to Robey's brilliant Never Never (which itself suffers with its new artist, who is brilliant but doesn't bring out Robey's whimsical cynicism very well), but by far his most popular, so he sticks with the one he came in with. It's my favorite "furry" comic, even eclipsing the technically superior "Kevin and Kell," for two reasons. One, it doesn't rely on the fur to bring the funny or the serious, which makes the anthropomorphic characters more a style choice than an end unto itself, and two, because it doesn't make every anthropomorphic character exactly like every other. Mice are mouse sized, even if they walk on their hind legs. Dogs are much smaller than tigers. Tigers are larger than housecats. That appeals. Plus, he has strong characters. Now, if he'd stop with the furry community in-jokes, it'd be better still ("Spiked Punch?" Someone has to be kidding me....)
  • Goats, by Jonathan Rosenberg. Distinctive and funny, unafraid to experiment, but also pulls its experiments off, Goats is generally damn good. Occasionally, it falls flat, but hey -- what doesn't? I do like the fact that the superfluous and unfunny junior character added to the cast is named "Oliver." It gives me hope that he's meant to be a riff on Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch. And with luck he'll soon die. Of cancer.
  • PvP, by Scott Kurtz. I have a total love/hate relationship with this strip, because Kurtz can be and often is a total asshole, but his strip is extremely funny. By far the best of the "Geek Humor" strips, because it's not actually a gamer comic, or a tech comic, or an RPG comic. It's a comic about geeks, and it's brilliantly pulled off. It really should be in the "Night Comics" section, though, because the last time Kurtz actually put his strip up on time Clinton was President.
  • Irregular Webcomic, by David Morgan-Mar. Proof positive that you don't need to be able to draw to create a comic strip, and further proof that funny is not dependent on medium. Entirely composed of digital photos taken of lego characters and painted miniature figures (excepting only a very occasional dip into "Supers" drawn by a collaborator), Morgan-Mar distills the essence of funny out of Role Playing Games (and popular culture) and pours it through peg boards. As of this writing, it's the newest addition to my daily trawl, and I'm glad to have it.
  • Two Lumps by J. Grant and Mel Hynes. I admit it freely. I'm a major J. Grant fanboy. His level of brilliance is hard to achieve, and Flem Comics is high up on my 'sporadic check list.' (I don't do it daily because I find I like it better in bunchs. Also, like many others, I prefer Grant's storylining to his random comic drawing, and Flem's currently in random mode.) However, Two Lumps is by far the best thing he's produced. It may be the influence of his writer, Mel Hynes, but I think it's because the subject matter is universal (to cat owners, anyhow), and therefore J. Grant's utterly horrific twisted sense of humor can deliver its steaming payloads when you least expect it. I love this strip.
  • Real Life Comics, by Greg Dean. I have no idea why I read this. Inertia, I guess. It's not bad and it used to be fantastic, so I keep up with it. It's on the 'maybe drop' list, right now. I can't point to why. I just can't point to why I'd keep it or why I'd recommend it. It's just there, taking up a Safari Tab.
  • /usr/bin/w00t/ by Chaobell. Still a journeyman comic in a lot of ways, but one that's fun to follow. Unashamed to be a gamer comic, though falls into a few of the more common webcomic pitfalls. Still, it's got some good resonance and it's a lot of fun, and it encapsulated the LARP experience better than any comic I've ever seen (in part because it didn't try to encapsulate the role playing experience, but instead the batshit insane group politics that surrounds most LARPs. Now that's funny.
  • Penny Arcade, by Mike Krahsomethingorother and Jerry Holkins? Hopkins? What the Hell? Gabe and Tycho. I can say Gabe and Tycho because they put those names on their site in a LEGIBLE FONT making it POSSIBLE FOR ME TO SPELL THEM! Seriously, people. If you're going to put your name in a copyright notice, make it possible for critics to read it. Oh sure, I could do a websearch and get the spelling from an article or something, but that's already more effort than I'm willing to put into this piece of shit bullet point. Oh, and the strip? It's funny. And they have a juicer that fucks fruit.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day, by NASA. Okay, you got me. This isn't a webcomic at all. But it's in my tabs list because... well, because! It's gorgeous! It's majestic! It's the universe we live in! Take eight seconds out of your day and be impressed with the incredible place we call home. Jesus Christ, life isn't all webcomics and snarking, you know!
  • Road Waffles by Eight. Incredibly sporadic, as Eight runs out of enthusiasm on projects, puts them on hiatus for a long time, runs random weirdass crap in its place, then picks it up later. And yet, I could read Eight doodling randomly for five screens and still groove on it. This isn't a webcomic, it's a Jazz riff, and the man can play a sax.
  • Her: Girl versus Pig, by Chris Bishop. A weekly cut and paste comic, so we're not talking about significant effort here. And yet, it balances surrealism with cynicism just about right for my tastes, so I read it. Weekly. You know, because that's how often it comes out.
  • Lore Brand Comics by Lore Sjöberg. Like Her, a weekly cut and paste comic strip, generally. Really, just a medium for Lore to say weird things. And that's enough for me.

Later on, you'll get the Night Comics, plus the Collected Comics Page, and the "sporadically reads." And if you're very good, the "used to read but then they lost me" list. Which has Megatokyo on it, so it's very, very likely it'll piss you off.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at August 20, 2004 5:05 PM

Comments

Comment from: b-i-m posted at September 5, 2005 10:43 AM

w00t is rather long dead. Perhaps this page needs an update?

Comment from: siwangmu posted at September 5, 2005 4:11 PM

Yeah! Plus, it's September. Eric, your life is less shitty. Can we start harrassing you about things we want again? I want to steal your trawls! Also, to find out whether you're still doing the daily grind thing. And to hear why you came away from the Shortbreads with the negative feeling you made reference to a while back.
But not in a bad demanding public way, just in an obsessive fan way.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 5, 2005 4:17 PM

In order: 1) yes. 2) yes, but it's a low priority. 3) Because while they were popular in their way, their execution lacked, and the Story shortbreads were an abject failure.

We'll see what happens this year. ;)

Comment from: Ed_dirt posted at November 2, 2005 8:30 PM

you got dead webcomics up, but no mention of Edible Dirt.

slam me or promote me, but dude...I'm doing the work.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 2, 2005 8:36 PM

Sorry, ed. I don't actually read it.

Comment from: Ed_dirt posted at November 3, 2005 10:55 AM

Fair enough. But then that beggars the question...


why not?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 3, 2005 11:09 AM

It's on the list -- I just haven't gotten to it. Folks have recommended it, though, so I'm looking forward to it.

Comment from: oobie posted at November 19, 2005 3:03 AM

hey you might want to check out white ninja comics..
pretty bizarre....

http://www.whiteninjacomics.com/comics.shtml

Comment from: krikkit posted at December 10, 2005 11:33 AM

Dunno if this is the preferred location for recommendations, but it seems appropriate. Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge ChamJorge Cham is a fairly accurate and funny look at academia from the grad student point of view. Around my physics department it is running neck and neck with foxtrot in office door/wall postings.

http://www.phdcomics.com

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