I was thinking about webcomics this morning, and thought that in the spirit of my music video post, I'd write about webcomics (but without ranking them). If anything, the inevitable comments will probably reveal a couple of webcomics I ought to be reading--Todd, Shaun, Kurt, I'm looking at you, heh.
I stress that the following are listed in no apparent order...
Unshelved: Every librarian--and non-librarian--should be reading this strip, period. If you enjoy pop culture, weird human behavior, and sarcasm, you'll feel right at home. Oh, and sometimes they talk about books, too!
It's currently the only strip I get through RSS, meaning it's the only strip I read on a dependably-daily basis.
Sheldon: Frankly, I had avoided reading this comic for years, even against the personal advice of Bill Barnes from Unshelved (sorry, Bill, you were right!). I just didn't want another thing to read daily when I was already trying to cut down on my media intake. Also, I didn't realize that the whole geeky, scifi (and in particular, Star Wars) references weren't just the obligatory "here's one for the geek crowd" kind of props. This storyline is a case in point--it gives me a gleeful joy to read.
Also? There's a really cute, sarcastic duck. With a lizard for a son, who only says "squee." I can't run from that.
xkcd: This comic is alternately comically genius and so mathematically complex that I find myself reading maybe every tenth comic, turning my head to the side, and saying, "huh, I bet James (my math-major pal) knows how hilarious that is." The mouse-over comments often cause me to snort aloud, which is why I shouldn't read these in public places. And anyone who's played MarioKart: DoubleDash, give it up for the Blue Shells comic!
Mark Monlux's various endeavors: I also found Mark through Bill of Unshelved (Bill, you really pimp people out on your blog, y'know?), and while I enjoy just about everything linked on his website, what I love best are the Comic Critic movie reviews. They make me laugh about movies I've seen, and sometimes make me want to see ones I haven't. I really like his artistic style--simple and punchy. If I ever have enough sense to graduate from school once and for all and pull those comics out of a drawer and start them up online, I'd be aspiring for a similar style, heavily text-driven. (Only my primary characters are a banana and a kiwi... you can see why I doubt that anyone would care to read it.) Anyhoodle: Mark's stuff = good; you read!
Joe Loves Crappy Movies: One of those comics written by someone who would fit into my group of movie-loving geeky friends just fine. I have to love a comic strip that pokes fun at movies, appreciates the cheesy ones, and provides a complete, text review of the movies under the strip. Heck, yes, sign me up!
Digger: The best comic art that I read online, hands-down. Actually, it's so good, and the storyline so involving, that I have to admit I've stopped reading this one online, and now buy the print editions instead. However, the creator, Ursula Vernon, is so engaging in both her writing and art, that I now daily read her blog and have several of her original prints on my wishlist *ahem* husband needing gift ideas, that was a hint, *cough* *cough.* (I particularly like the Wizard of Tea, fyi.)
Schlock Mercenary: Speaking of comics blogs, this brings me to an interesting category: a webcomic I don't read. I have read quite a bit of Schlock, and find it amusing, but I never feel into the "groove" with it... however, through it I discovered the creator's wife's blog, where she discusses raising four kids as a geek/writer mom married to a self-employed webcomic artist, trying to give her kids a creative, disciplined, Godly, loving home. I end up tagging about a third of her posts as "parenting advice" in del.icio.us to save for when/if I have children of my own. It's full of honesty about being a writer, creative ways to encourage your kids to be their imaginative best, and just plain daily life. I love it.
Penny Arcade: I read this one, again, in print rather than online. This is more due to the fact that in the print editions, the accompanying commentary on the strips is ridiculously funny, sometimes to the point of being funnier than the strip itself. And, I have to admit, much as I love video games, I'm nowhere near the connoisser it takes to be to get some of their jokes--so I appreciate the commentary's elaboration for us n00bs. (Hangs head.)
I am also not reading:
Perry Bible Fellowship (sorry, I just don't get it) or PVP (I dunno). If I look at the comics I enjoy the most, I think this is because these comics distinctly lack a warm-and-fuzzy connection for me (ooo, look at me getting all girlie). Then again, I read Penny Arcade... and xkcd. Hmm. Anyway, I think each of them have enough readers not to care that I'm not reading them, etc etc blah blah please don't send hate email, amen.
I read Dinosaur Comics about once every two months, in a big fat binge of hilarity, but it's just not a daily reader for me. Kind of like reading Strong Bad emails--best done in for three hours on a boring afternoon. Alien Loves Predator I read on about a six-month basis--I just like the story arcs to stack up.