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The Quixotic Engineer

Friday, July 13, 2007

Webcomics - Part II

And now, the thrilling conclusion of our two-part look at the world of webcomics (part one can be found here).

The Good: Overcompensating features the offbeat humour and social commentary of Jeffrey Rowland, a man some describe, with a glint of fear in their eyes, as a "billionaire cowboy poet hacker". He is also the creator of Wigu, another very popular webcomic.
The Bad: Sometimes more strange than funny.
Worth reading: Diggin

Penny Arcade
The Good: Penny Arcade was the first webcomic I ever stumbled upon. To many, it is the standard by which all other webcomics about video games are judged. Even after all these years, it's still my favorite gaming webcomic; it's extremely well written, and has been consistently funny for as long as I've read it.
The Bad: Occasional "strip only funny if you read the news post and follow three links" syndrome.
Worth reading: Dark Truths

The Perry Bible Fellowship
The Good: It's hard to describe exactly why Perry Bible Fellowship is funny in such a unique way. Artist Nicholas Gurewitch seems to have a knack for humour that comes at you in ways that you didn't see coming. The comic is quirky, offbeat and fantastic, a must-read.
The Bad: Can't think of anything, it's just a great strip.
Worth reading: Food Fight

Questionable Content
The Good: Questionable Content is a comic about indie rock, hipster romance and a maniacal robot named Pintsize. While getting into the story will involve reading through the substantial comic archive from the beginning, the plot is really engaging once you do.
The Bad: Dark rumours surrounding the author (not really). While QC features some interesting female characters, the male characters are generally either really boring or completely embody male stereotypes. That's just my perspective though, feel free to argue the contrary if you disagree.
Worth reading: Lady Classes

Sam and Fuzzy
The Good: Sam and Fuzzy is quite possibly my favorite non-gaming comic. The dialogue is terrific and the artwork is top-notch, but most importantly the comic features a terrific cast of characters (psychopathic Fuzzy is particularly excellent). Recent story arcs have been really interesting and imaginative.
The Bad: No RSS feed!
Worth reading: Paycheque

Scary Go Round
The Good: Unlike some webcomics, Scary Go Round does not grab you rudely by the collar and shove a joke down your throat. The humour is subtle, sarcastic and served with a cup of tea, a style that is distinctively British. The cast of characters is fantastic, including the bright-eyed and troublesome Shelley Winters and the decidedly pragmatic ex-boozehound Ryan Beckwith. Furthermore, the strip has featured some incredibly creative settings and story arcs.
The Bad: Individual strips are generally not that funny unless you're familiar with the characters and plot (but if you are, they're terrific).
Worth reading: March 16, 2004

The Good: Regular characters in Sinfest include God, the devil, Buddha, and a wanna-be player named Slick. Weird? Pretty much. Social and religious commentary abound, and the art style is really unique.
The Bad: Individual comics tend to be hit or miss.
Worth reading: Craving

Three Panel Soul
The Good: Three Panel Soul is a new project from the creators of the now completed Mac Hall. The humour is fresh and strange, with intermittent political commentary. It also has a rather unique art style, mostly black & white with occasional splashes of colour.
The Bad: Too soon to tell, seems excellent so far.
Worth reading: On Literary Criticism

VG Cats
The Good: VG cats is one of the most popular webcomics out there, well-known for it's excellent parodies.
The Bad: At least Scott Ramsoomair isn't teasing us with "Updated Mondays" anymore; new comics are fairly sporadic.
Worth reading: How I Learned To Love The Bomb

The Good: xkcd is the kind of comic that appeals to tech geeks, math nerds and science dorks. Clearly I'm a huge fan. Randall Munroe's offbeat humour is truly first class, even if his characters are essentially stick figures.
The Bad: To quote the author: "Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)". Consider yourself warned.
Worth reading: The Difference

In conclusion, I'd like to thank the authors of all the webcomics that I've profiled this week. While I did write some minor complaints about each of your comics, I remain a huge fan of your work, which you generously offer to be enjoyed for free. Thank you for all your hard work, and please continue making great art.



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