What’s better than the internet? Comics on the internet! The best source of independently produced and published comics, no where else do you find such a treasure trove of laughs, gags and imagination? Free from the traditional publisher model, there are webcomics to cater for virtually every taste. Some even delight in the freedom from the constraints of the printed medium. Here are three we believe you should know of. If you don’t, it is time you did.
Considering it is a six-panel comic with the same clip-art images of dinosaurs in every strip, Dinosaur Comics may seem like a strange place to start. However, it demonstrates the willingness of webcomics to step outside of established conventions. Written by Ryan North, the only thing that changes in each strip is the dialogue between the various characters, both those depicted (T-Rex, Dromiceiomimus and Utahraptor) and those off-panel (A cast of many that includes God, the Devil, William Shakespeare, a flea named Morris and Mr. Tusks, a dwarf elephant who acts as the mayor of Tiny Towne). Dinosaur Comics’ success lies in Ryan North’s voice, filtered through his characters but still unmistakably his own.
What started out as a comic about author Chris Onstad’s stuffed animals eventually became a rich world in which millionaire cats drive Cadillac Escalades, squirrels have terrible drug addictions and a five-year-old otter can run for president. Eccentric and often deeply surreal, Achewood’s overriding strength is its dialogue. Onstad gives his characters unique and instantly memorable voices, which continue outside of the comic in the form of character blogs. Whatever form the writing takes, it is always engaging and the characterisation is exceptional.
Created by Anthony Clark (who also colours Dr. McNinja), Nedroid centres primarily on the friendship between Beartato (half-bear, half-potato) and a bird called Reginald. Structurally a fairly standard short-form comic strip, Nedroid’s humour is often bizarre and unexpected, and the four-panel nature of most of the strips makes it punchy. Also of interest is Clark’s Tumblr, where he posts frequently hilarious sketches and one-off comics.