5. Dinosaur Comics
From the fertile imagination of Ryan North comes Dinosaur Comics, a webcomic about dinosaurs (surprise!) composed of the same six frames of clip art. For over a thousand strips and 12 years, Dinosaur Comics has used the same format (with a few exceptions), with only the dialogue ever changing.
And what dialogue it is. The comic itself follows the life and musings of T-Rex and his friends Dromiceiomimus and Utahraptor. More than that, though, it covers topics from the profound to the idiotic (often over the course of a single strip), all while written in an eternally hyperbolic style. Seriously, though, I really dig his writing. It’s hilarious.
4. The Perry Bible Fellowship
Holy moly is Perry Bible Fellowship dark. I looked at it again to write this post, and it is way way way more inappropriate than I remembered. So, definitely proceed at your own caution. If you have a problem with cartoon death or nudity, you probably want to just skip this one altogether.
However, if that doesn’t deter you, then PBF has a world of comedy for you. Dark, twisted comedy, though always wrapped up in a fun little bow. The artistic range expressed here is one of PBF’s most impressive strengths. Frequently, the dissonance between the art style and what actually occurs in the comic is, if not the actual joke, then a large part of it. This subversion of the reader’s expectations is the core of what makes Perry Bible Fellowship Perry Bible Fellowship.
3. Hark! A Vagrant
Hark! A Vagrant is a history and literature webcomic by Canadian Kate Beaton. Before you all start yawning, let me hasten to tell you that Beaton’s irreverent take on various historical and literary figures is really funny. A lot of the references go over my head, but the beauty of Beaton’s writing is that they’re usually funny anyway – while usually being at least a little bit educational.
Hark! A Vagrant is witty, occasionally educational (especially if you want to learn about that most fascinating of subjects, Canadian history), and always a good time.
2. Broodhollow is a cosmic horror webcomic about an encyclopedia salesman, and it is very very good.
The art ranges from a simple cartoony style used to depict day-day events to beautifully detailed depictions of every horror in all of its creepy glory. The contrast between the “normal” art, which is masterfully executed in its simplicity, and the highly-detailed monster illustrations very effectively emphasizes their creepiness.
Beyond the art, Broodhollow tells a rippin’ good story. Set in the 1930s, the comic is about Wadsworth Zane, an anxious encyclopedia salesman, who travels to the town of Broodhollow to take over his recently-deceased second grand half-uncle’s antique store. However, creepy goings-on seem to follow Wadsworth around, and something about Broodhollow just doesn’t seem quite right…
And even if it weren’t so good, it would nearly earn a spot on this list just for its wonderful feature of allowing the reader to save and then later load their spot in the story.
Broodhollow is a well-paced, frequently eerie (and sometimes heartwarming) story with interesting and likable characters. Go read it.
Join me next week for the thrilling conclusion!