Welcome! Come inside, my friend. It sure is cold out tonight, isn’t it? Here, let me take your coat. Would you like something hot to drink? Settle in over here, by the fire.
Milk and sugar, right? OK, here you go.
So. You want to know my life story. How I became who I am, eh? You want to hear of the crooked path of ill-made decisions and forlorn tragedies that have led to my weather-beaten door? Well, stormy nights always were the best for stories.
Do you smoke? No, of course not. I hope you don’t mind if I do; I’ve always found a solid corn-cob pipe good for my thinking.
Lean in close. It all began with my first love – before Annie, may her soul rest in peace; before women; before the sea, even – my first and one true love . . .
. . . webcomics.
No list of webcomics can be complete without xkcd. Self described as “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language,” Randall Munroe’s decade-running stick-figure-based comic has garnered a massive following. Following a gag-a-day format, xkcd offers things like: a visualized map of the internet, a discussion on real map projections, a concerningly large number of comics about velociraptors, and sad comics about loss and longing. Perhaps most significantly, xkcd has this enormous gem of exploratory whimsy.
Truth be told, I don’t like xkcd all that much; while it has its high points, on the whole I find a lot of its emotion forced, and some of the nerdier humor simply goes over my head. Still, it’s a big deal, and so deserves a spot on this list.
12. The Last Halloween
The Last Halloween is a horror webcomic about the end of the world as we know it. Through gorgeous black and white art, it tells the story of a world in which humanity teeters on the edge of extinction following the death of its only protector against the monsters that dwell in the shadows. It’s earned its spot on the list thanks to its beautiful art and creature design, interesting world building, and because I really really like Halloween and spooky things.
If you have a low tolerance for creepy stuff, I’d recommend skipping this one.
Boulet (the pen name for Gilles Roussel) is a French artist and comic writer, and Bouletcorp is his site: half webcomic, half visual blog. Here, Boulet offers stunningly rendered and poignant musings on the beauty of the universe, nostalgia, and roommates. Even if his English is shaky at times (it’s not his first language), Boulet’s beautiful art in comics such as this earn his spot on the list.
Boulet is French, though, so be aware that there’s some adult material here.
Join us next week for beartatos, chicken nuggets, and Irish-American ninjas, in Part 2.