Webcomics You Should Be Reading

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on The Nerd Is The Word my Tumblr based comics blogging home before moving to WordPress.]

For all the popularity and success webcomics have had over the years it is surprising how split the readership is with many people not reading “the big ones” or those who exclusively read them. Personally I read a mixture of both with more of a swing towards the larger ones. Still I’m always up for trying new things so if you have any suggestions please feel free to tell me.

This list is of my top picks so don’t think of it as any kind of definitive list. More of a set of recommendations. These are the webcomics I gleefully enjoy on a regular basis and I feel many would like them too.

The list gets started after the jump!

PvP – Scott Kurtz 

One of the pioneers of the modern webcomic and as a result one of the longest running (14 years!) PVP has evolved over the years from a gag a strip format into a brilliant and heart warming long form sitcom. This is a comic where the characters have come into their own and long time readers are constantly rewarded through returning characters and the odd running joke. Kurtz’s has gone from strength to strength over the years as has his writing. Each strip shows the care and attention Kurtz puts into them as year on year he is constantly adding and changing elements of the comic’s style to keep it fresh. So while the current storyline a month or so format can make it hard for new readers to get into the comic it is worth your time to go back a few months or years and go from there.

Our Valued Customers – MRTIM 

While it is more of a caricature of life in a comic book store Our Valued Customers still delivers constant laughs as MRTIM takes the utterances of the customers of the store and elsewhere and spins them into comedy gold. Each image is accompanied with a brief intro and explanation, if needed, along with the caricature of the customer. If you’re a comic book nerd or have ever stepped foot in a comic shop it is worth your time to check OVC out.

Ménage à 3 – Giz and Dave

A recent find thanks to Lauren Davis’s brilliant write up of the webcomic over on Comics Alliance. Ménage à 3 has become my new obsession as it takes every rom-com and relationship sitcom and turns it on it head in a brilliant and sexy way. Giz’s art gives the comic a brilliant Archie for adults feel as the writing deals some very adult subject matter with a good sense of humour and heart. It also helps that every cast member is beautiful and funny in their own unique way. It starts off slow but after a few pages you will be hooked and willing to see the lives and sexual escapades of Gary, Zii and DiDi unfold on a regular basis. A few words of warning though; it is not for everyone, it is very NSFW as every type of relationship and sexuality is catered for and explored through the comic. Nudity and adult content are in abundance. So if that is not your thing feel free to give it a miss but for anyone willing to give it a go I say good for you and your open mind! I love this webcomic!

Penny Arcade – Tycho and Gabe

Another webcomic pioneer and perhaps one of the most well known webcomics on the net, as this is a comic turned gaming related empire. Great art and good humour, with the odd scandal from time to time. Penny Arcade is always great and fun but you probably know that already! Gabe and Tycho also share office space with Scott Kurtz of PvP and work on new webcomic The Trenches together in one big webcomic love-in.

Gutters – Ryan Sohmer and friends

The Gutters is the webcomic about comics that isn’t afraid to pull its punches. It has gotten itself in to hot water with comics industry people a few times but just keeps chugging along holding up a much needed mirror to the more farcical aspects of the medium I love. Sohmer’s writing is accompanied by a constantly great list of guest artists who are game for a laugh. Its appeal is limited to the core mainstream comic book readers for the most part but it is worth checking out because it is a good commentary on a industry full of crazy and funny talking points.

xkcd – Randall Munroe

Another well known webcomic that mixes multiple types of humour brilliantly in a simple but unique style. Always witty, interesting or both. xkcd is smart, science/logic based humour at its best. I can happily sit there and re-read the various comics by hitting the random button when I need a quick laugh or a pick me up. Granted it not for everyone but for those who like their jokes on the smart end or for those who like to think they are the really clever people of the world it is required reading.

Virtual Shackles – Jeremy Vinar and Mike Fahmie

On the surface many dismiss Virtual Shackles as yet another webcomic about video games but for those who give it a go you are rewarded with a different viewpoint on gaming. A much needed industry viewpoint. Both its creators, Mike and Jeremy, work in the games industry and provide their spin on the current affairs and games that are shaping the news. For every strip poking fun at a game there is one that gives insight on the workings of the games industry. With good writing and great art to boot!

I think that will do for now. I might post some more recommendations in the future because it is always good to share!

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