It’s time again for my now-annual post about my favorite webcomics and comic strips.
Note it’s only currently-running strips, so don’t expect to see classics like “Calvin and Hobbes” or “The Far Side” here.
AJ & Magnus
By Bryan and Simon Steel
“AJ & Magnus” is a comic strip about AJ (a grade schooler), Magnus (his pet bullmastiff), and AJ’s two fathers (“Pop” and “Dad”). The strip features a mix of gags about the family’s home life and ongoing storylines; the latter includes a plot about Pop facing job discrimination.
It’s also probably one of the few cartoons where the parents are interested in things like video games, comics, sci-fi, and cosplay. That’s something I appreciate, as most cartoons seem to assume only people under 25 like such things.
By Ngozi Ukazu
“Check Please” is a webcomic about Bitty, a gay southerner attending college in New England; he also plays for his school’s hockey team and falls in love. Bitty also enjoys baking, to the point he runs a vlog about such. I like that it’s a comic that combines several personal interests (blogging, hockey, etc.).
By Etienne Issartial and Thomas Gx (English translation by Mark Nightingale)
“CommitStrip” is a French webcomic about the daily lives of web developers. The strip includes jokes about programming, software languages, tech standards, etc. Some of the jokes are (for me) a bit obscure, while others have broader appeal.
By Thom Zahler
“Cupid’s Arrows” is a weekly webcomic by Thom Zahler, the creator of “Love & Capes” and several other comics. It follows a pair of “Cupids,” supernatural agents tasked with pairing up particular couples destined to fall in love. It’s like a supernatural romantic comedy version of “Men in Black.”
A running gag is Rick’s interest in enjoying the (meat-and-potatoes-ish) cuisine of each location they visit. Said locations range from Milwaukee (for a comic show with a Jason Momoa-like actor) to New York City (for theater actors).
By Richard Stevens
“Diesel Sweeties” is a comic with artwork in a style reminiscent of old-school 16-bit video game characters. It features lots of jokes about coffee, robots, and cats.
By Ryan North
Each “Dinosaur Comics” strip features the same clip art of a green Tyrannosaurus rex and a few dinosaur cohorts, but with different dialogue every day.
A high point is the strip about how many of Batman’s foes have pun-themed names.
By Bill Amend
“FoxTrot” is the long-running newspaper strip about the geeky Jason Fox and his family. It switched from daily strips to Sundays-only in 2007.
The Joy of Tech
By Nitrozac and Snaggy
“The Joy of Tech” is a comic making fun of various aspects of technology. Jokes range from Facebook’s problems-du-jour to Apple’s latest iPhones.
Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast
By Greg Fox
“Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast” is a biweekly comic about the permanent residents of a gay-owned-and-oriented bed and breakfast in Long Island, New York. We get to see the residents’ soap opera-ish lives as they deal with dating, personal problems, and each other. It’s occasionally a bit NSFW.
The cartoonist, Greg Fox, is also a Legion of Super-Heroes fan. References to such sometimes turn up in the strip, such as the costume party where the gang dress as Legionnaires (the team’s Bronze Age incarnation). Fox also occasionally draws a fan strip, “Work That Flight Ring.”
By various artists
The Nib is a site that carries various left-leaning political cartoons, by a variety of creators.
By Jeph Jacques
“Questionable Content” is a long-running “slice of life” webcomic. It takes place in a college town, but in a “twenty minutes into the future” setting where sentient robots (“AIs”) coexist with humans.
Favorite characters of mine in the strip include Brun (a stoic bartender who likes puns) and Bubbles (a former AI soldier-turned-robot repairer).
Scandinavia and the World
“Scandinavia and the World” is a comic about the countries of the world represented as people; the main stars are the Nordic countries. I particularly like Sweden, who has to put up with Denmark’s boorish behavior. America’s also represented in the strip; he’s basically an in-shape/gun obsessed Homer Simpson.
This Modern World
By Tom Tomorrow
“This Modern World” is a long-running political cartoon by Tom Tomorrow that runs in weekly papers. One of the few recurring characters is Sparky, a cynical penguin exasperated by the events of the day. (Given current events, Sparky’s particularly such these days.)
“Valley Ghouls” is a strip by Kate Leth, and mostly features “slice of life” strips based on Kate and her partner; both are portrayed as a bat and a ghost respectively. Other characters are portrayed as various creatures or monsters.
That sums up my favorite webcomics and comic strips for 2020.
What are your favorite webcomics?
Photo by Liz West (Flickr / CC BY / cropped from original)