Anime Reporter spills the beans on some of my favourite webcomics out there at the moment.
Well, it’s been said there’s a whole wide world out there and it’s hard to disagree. I’m always on the lookout for something neat I haven’t seen before so if you know any awesome webcomics that you think I’d like that I don’t mention here, please let me know in the comments section, I’d appreciate the recommendations!
Okay, well, to be honest, I’ve fallen a little behind in my webcomicing for a little while now, so it’s entirely possible that some of the titles I talk about have been discontinued, but I’d still definitely recommend them for people to check out. I’ll keep this brief.
So, I’m in no way saving the best for last here. Sluggy is my big recommendation, across the board, no matter who you are or what your tastes are, I’m probably convinced that there’s something for you in Sluggy Freelance. It’s a seriously nifty little series by Pete Abrams, who’s actually something of a pioneer in terms of being a professional webcomic writer/artist.
Sluggy Freelance starts off as a basic enough series, with the main character Torg and his mad scientist roommate Riff just hanging out, drinking beers, occasionally trying to ogle games of Bikini Suicide Frisbee and sometimes accidentally summoning the devil or teleporting into a sci-fi style alternate dimension. They’re later joined by their new neighbour Zoe, who at first is just a no nonsense, but well-meaning, woman whose luck never seems to pan out, her co-worker Gwynn who seems shy at first but eventually develops a darker, occultish side, Sam the clueless wannabe ladies man as well as a shape-changing alien, a talking badass rabbit, the cutest ferret of all time (and I love ferrets) and a zombie head on a stick.
The story quickly develops its own continuity and drama and offers up some really original high-concept characters and story arcs, though it really never loses its sense of humour. Every Halloween, Torg is visited by foul beasts who want to drag him forever into the Dimension of Pain, though after a few years they hit on the idea of charging people admission to see a real demon on Halloween. Bun-Bun, the lop-eared thug of a bunny rabbit has an ongoing vendetta against Santa Claus which becomes vastly more epic and intense than those words can convey and, you know what, don’t even get me started on the Torg Potter storylines. They’re just amazing!
My recommendation is that you go to www.sluggy.com, go back to the very first comic, start reading and after giving the comic enough time to establish itself, confirm that you will be reading this for a long time and stock up on snack food.
(NOTE: As I just went onto the Sluggy homepage, I noticed an announcement that the series will be wrapping up before the end of 2017, or at least changing in some significant way. Get on this series now, trust me!)
Goblins is a comic based in a Dungeons and Dragons style world. (I assume, I haven’t ever played DnD but from what I know of it, that does seem to be the vibe they creator is going for). When I say Dungeons and Dragons, I don’t just mean magical fantasy, I mean that the characters of the comic exist in a fantasy world which is also an RPG. They gain experience, they level up, they have different classes and races with different attributes and skills. It’s all really quite cleverly done. The series focuses, as you might expect, on some goblins. In this world, goblins are generally considered to be quest fodder, just miscellaneous weak bad guys for adventurers to stomp over and loot in the hopes of levelling up and maybe getting a shiny new sword or potion.
All of that changes when a small band of Goblins decide that enough is enough and start fighting back. The small band declares themselves to be adventurers, taking on the classes of barbarian, monk, paladin, etc (and then some when one goblin decides to divide his class equally between every available class while sporting a pretty terrible fake moustache).
This series starts off as a very light parody, but soon winds its way into a tale of revenge, redemption, justice and peace. It also pretty quickly tapers off into multiple storylines focusing on different groups or characters, not all of them goblins. The artwork improves drastically as the series progresses, in fact the artist who pens the series makes it a point of pride not to upload a page if he doesn’t think it’s up to scratch yet. There might be a few stretches where you’re left waiting a while for an update, but trust me, when you see what this guy’s imagination can bring out and when you’re engrossed in the characters and their lives, it’s worth the wait.
Shortpacked! is a bit of a different series, focusing on the employees of a toy store, many of whom are obsessed with pop culture, from Batman to My Little Pony. There are some well handled mature themes hidden among the toys though, with prejudice, sexuality and morality often peeking out above the panels. This fun series also exists in an established universe, spinning out of the also excellent series’ Roomies and It’s Walky! Like the other series on my list so far, the characters soon grow beyond their tropes and become part of a more meaningful story, but that doesn’t mean that the Batman gags stop being hilarious.
Okay, so these three aren’t really similar at all in terms of content, but they are all written by the same person so if you dig the sense of humour you find in one, you’re bound to enjoy the others too.
Looking for Group is another RPG style parody, which a noble-ish elf, a hilariously, adorably diabolical necromancer and a great deal of wicked, wicked humour.
Least I Could Do basically revolves around a young dude who enjoys the physical activities which his single lifestyle afford him. Yep, this one’s quite often about sex (though it doesn’t contain any explicit imagery), but the main character can actually be something of a sweetheart from time to time and the humour present throughout the series is undeniable. If you’re not sure, check it out and give it a fair shot.
Gutters is quite different to the other comics on this list as it doesn’t really feature an ongoing story. Rather it parodies people, characters and trends within the comic book industry, but definitely not in a PG-13 sense. Crude language and occasional scenes of graphic violence can be found on this site, but, you know, it’s really, really funny.
And that’s it, really. Just some of my favourite webcomics out there. There are definitely a few that I haven’t mentioned, so I’ll give an honourable mention to Rock, Paper Cynic, VG Cats, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Dinosaur Comics and Roomies From Hell. Fine comics one and all, but they didn’t have a tough-talking rabbit with a knife or a cute ferret called Kiki.
Oh! and I only didn’t mention One Punch Man, because I’m getting way into the manga version right now.
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to let me know what webcomics out there tickle your fancy and what you think I should be reading!