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My Webcomic List

By Shamus
on Tuesday Oct 9, 2007
Filed under:


Before writing DMotR, my entire webcomic intake consisted of stopping at Penny Arcade twice a month to catch up. Once my comic got rolling people started sending me links, “Hey, did you see THIS comic?” My reading list grew from that, and at this point I have quite a few.

I thought I’d make a list of them to satisfy the curiosity you probably don’t have:

Girl Genius

This is the only story-driven strip in my reading list. I love the art.

The story is fairly gripping, although it takes almost the entire first volume (which is in B&W) to set the stage. (Nothing wrong with that, this is a big story.) After that the comic is both exciting and in color. It’s steampunk (Gaslamp Fantasy is what they call it) and I’ve always had a soft spot for Steampunk. (Last month I very, very nearly picked up a softcover compilation of GG strips, but picked up Transmetropolitan instead. My love of steampunk is surpassed only by my love for cyberpunk.)


Copper updates about once a month. The art is gorgeous, generous, and painstakingly wrought. Makes me tired just reading about the process. It has a philosophical / whimsical, Calvin & Hobbes vibe that I love.


This strip seems to be approaching Penny Arcade in terms of sheer popularity and ubiquity. Remember my old post about how far your socks travel when you aren’t wearing them? That actually rose from this XKCD strip:


This was during the run of DMotR. For fun, I was going to fire back with the attitude as if I had some sort of monopoly on roleplaying comics and Randall Munroe was infringing on my turf. In “retailiation”, I was going to make one nominally about math.

I cooked up a comic with a stick figure guy next to a dryer, along with the bit about socks. I dropped the idea because I don’t know enough higher math to express the sock distance using Greek symbols and whatnot, which is what would have made it funny. (The math formula stuff would have gone within the image alongside stick man, and the caption would have been the bit about socks traveling further when not being worn.)

Anyway, I chucked the idea and turned it into a regular old post, which is still one of the most amusing threads we’ve had here.

Darths & Droids

We’re still in the first few strips, but David Morgan-Mar is already off to a great start. He’s made me laugh out loud twice already. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Penny Arcade

As the authors have moved away from PC gaming (an inevitable process, I fear) I’ve found the jokes don’t connect with me nearly as often as they once did. I usually play three or four year old PC games, so I’m not privy to the latest games for all the various next-gen consoles and innumerable species of handhelds. Half the time I can’t tell if they are making fun of a real game or just making crap up.

Still, I keep at it because when I do find one that connects the payoff is huge. I’ve read this one about ten times now, and I can still laugh when I read it.

Order of the Stick

I still love this strip, despite the fact that people are always telling me how much better it is than DMotR. In the past I’ve paid homage to OotS here and here.

Rich Burlew seems to be suffering from some sort of non-specified health problems, and updates have been irregular lately. He was even obliged to cancel his GenCon appearances. Get well soon, Rich.

That’s it. There are other worthy comics out there, but these are the ones that have managed to grab hold of me and compel me to read on a regular basis.

You know what to do next: Give some love to your favorite comic in the comments below. (If you want to make a link, just put the url in the post. Don’t put it into an <a href=> tag or wordpress will strip it out. Stupid WordPress.)

Comments (91)

1 2

  1. Du Jurk says:

    Don’t know if you’ve heard of these, Shamus, but Goblins and Looking For Group are quite good.



  2. Hal says:

    I’m a personal fan of Piled Higher and Deeper, which is entirely about grad school. Another good one is Sheldon, which I think captures the spirit Calvin and Hobbes pretty well.

  3. Snook says:

    Try Misfile. It’s mainly story driven, and is about a guy and a girl whose lives are altered thanks to a misfile in heaven… The religious tone pretty much ends there, for all the atheists out there, so don’t be scared! The art is pencil-drawn and in black & white, but resembles alot of anime art.


  4. lplimac says:

    Let’s see..

    I’m in no way into Indi Music but the story and art in Questionable Content is great. The art work has evolved over time (as web comics have a habit of doing) but it has followed a well developed storyline from the start, with interesting characters.

    Great video/computer gaming comic.

    Monkey and Sheep! Together! As NASA test animals!

    Because I’m, well an Apple Geek!

    Another gaming comic

    Games and life in general

    This one is just strange….

    I have others but these are the best.

  5. Samrobb says:

    If you like Girl Genius, I suspect you might appreciate Narbonic as well:


    The early strips are kind of rough, but you can see the potential. The artwork really improves over time, and the plotting is great. As an extra bonus, it’s a finished 5-year plus story arc… so you can enjoy huge swathes of non-productivity :-)

    Schlock Mercenary is another strip that falls into the “starts out rough, gets much better over time” category… and unlike Narbonic, the story is still going strong. Space opera, plasma cannons, intergalactic conspiracies, dark matter entities, and weird aliens but the truckload.


  6. Jeysie says:

    Noting stuff that hasn’t been covered already…

    8-Bit Theater
    A sprite semi-following the Final Fantasy 1 storyline, but more devoted to poking fun at RPGs and gaming in general.

    Transformers Mosaic
    Actually less of a webcomic and more an anthology of fan-created TF short stories, ranging from the serious to the weird to the hilarious.

    Lil’ Formers
    A series of satirical/parodic one-shots with chibi Transformers. Cute and cynical at the same time.

  7. Snook says:

    If you haven’t seen 8-Bit Theatre, you’ve been living under a rock, I think.

  8. James says:

    Elf Only Inn is old and almost never updates now but it’s still good stuff. http://www.elfonlyinn.net/
    Sheldon and Elio is surreal and slightly disturbing. http://sheldonandelio.blogspot.com/
    Everything on Clone Army is either hilarious, amazingly drawn, or both. http://manga.clone-army.org/index.php
    Horribleville. http://horribleville.com/
    Stuff Sucks has ended now but whatever. http://www.stuffsucks.com/index2.php

  9. Takkelmaggot says:

    My first webcomic was Sluggy Freelance, and since then I’ve had an enduring affair with Penny Arcade, Miracle of Science, and xkcd. I used to lament the quitting-while-they-were-ahead of people like Gary Larson and Bill Watterson (and flip-flop on Berke Brethed). If the ‘net had done anything for us, it’s given smart, funny people an outlet for their creativity.

    Pity that Sturgeon’s Law still applies, but that’s par for the course.

  10. Phil says:

    I updated my list this morning and added reader-submitted and even one reader-created Webcomic.


    Don’t forget that new Chainmail Bikini one, It’s quite good really.

  11. Andy says:

    Sinfest — http://www.sinfest.net

    Big fan. The artwork is fantastic; it’s like what Calvin and Hobbes might have looked like if Bill Watterson were a manga artist. It does some lampooning of religion (but is very even-handed in this regard), and can move between F-bomb laden sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll humor and that philosophical/whimsical humor you mentioned without missing a beat.

    Also, for those who are into MMORPGs, try The Noob at http://www.thenoobcomic.com. It is to online RPGs as DMotR is to tabletop.

  12. Mob says:

    Two of my favourites:

    Beaver and Steve (beaverandsteve.com) – Silly, funny, awesome.


    Scary Go Round (scarygoround.com) – Story driven, but the story changes between chapters. Very funny at times, and very strange at times. I love the art. The only one in my rotation that I’ve actually bought a shirt from.

  13. Cadamar says:

    Being a gamer who is also into anime, I really enjoy http://www.megatokyo.com. I drink my magic coffee +1 power-up every morning.
    By the way, I had the opportunity to meet Rick Burlew a couple years back at the Origins convention. He signed all of my Oots books. Cool guy. Hang in their Rick! You have friends pulling for you that you don’t even know.

  14. Cadamar says:

    “No recursing” *snicker*

  15. Vyolynce says:

    It’s probably only fair that I point you to Home on the Strange, since that’s how I found DMotR. It’s a “slice-of-life/geek culture” comic that hits most of the topics you enjoy.


  16. Hmm, webcomics I read… oh dear. At last count I think was approaching 80.
    http://www.ozyandmillie.org/ – good comic, short of in the same vein as peanuts/calvin and hobbes style stuff. Very cute and funny

    http://www.egscomics.com/ – this one is plain weird, but has a fun story

    http://www.pbfcomics.com/ – Not sure if I should add this, but seeing as Penny Arcade is already on the list, I think it’ll be ok. Adult jokes a lot of the time (you have been warned), but usually very funny

    http://www.punchanpie.net/cgi-bin/autokeenlite.cgi and also
    http://www.queenofwands.net/ – the former is a follow on from the latter. It’s a fun comic about life in general. It also has tie-ins to the next one:

    http://www.somethingpositive.net – This one is dark, but it’s the webcomic that’s made me think and touched me the most out of all the ones I’ve read

    http://www.qwantz.com/ – Dinosaur comics! Read the whole thing through, it gets better. Also, mouse over them after reading to get an additional comment.

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/ – random jokes, sometimes a little unpleasant, but also has some of the best one panel gags ever (‘and now to weaponise the smallpox!’ and ‘the vegetarians had had ENOUGH’ being my favourites)

    http://indexed.blogspot.com/ – if you like XKCD, this one is a pretty fair bet too.

    http://www.frozenreality.co.uk/comic/bunny/ – random comic. Lots of fun

    http://www.crfh.net/ – Used to really really interesting, I’m currently drifitng from it a little, but still worth reading.

    http://www.countyoursheep.com/ – possibly the cutest comic ever

    http://www.dominic-deegan.com/ – I’m amazed no one had mentioned this one yet. Fantasy comic, lots of fun, look out for puns and random alliteration

    http://www.megatokyo.com/index.php – if you like maga type stuff.

    http://www.pvponline.com/ – gaming comic

    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/- computer geek comic

    http://www.vgcats.com/comics/ – similar vein to PA, but less crude usually. Not that that’s hard.

    http://www.thewotch.com/ – another fantasy comic. See also spinoff comic http://cheer.thewotch.com/index.php

    http://www.zapinspace.com/ -scifi comic

    http://zebragirl.keenspot.com/ – fantasy comic, quite dark.

    http://www.basicinstructions.net/ – simple premise of funny ‘how not to do’ comics


    http://www.noneedforbushido.com/archive.php – japanese sword fighting stuff. Art is really good.

    http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dirktiede/ps/series.php – interesting new york based cop/werewolf drama

    http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php – clip ar comic. Quite funny, hilarious at times

    Right. Yes, I have no life

  17. Denubis says:

    I’m suprised that no-one has mentioned

    Schlock Mercenary:
    http://www.schlockmercenary.com/basic1.html (linked to the “start here” page.)

  18. Doola! says:

    Among others already mentioned here…

    Goats – http://www.goats.com

    Starslip Crisis – http://www.starslipcrisis.com

    Perry Bible Fellowship – http://www.pbfcomics.com

    Cat and Girl – http://www.catandgirl.com

    Dinosaur Comics – http://www.qwantz.com

  19. KMJX says:

    The Gods of Arr-Kelaan (http://www.rmcomics.com/)

    And since the Goblins were already mentioned, i’ll throw in one of my favorite fantasy stories, which just recently ended: Inverloch, over at http://www.seraph-inn.com

  20. Nathan M. says:

    Eighteen replies and nobody has yet mentioned Nodwick (www.nodwick.com – sort-of)?

    Dear me!

  21. axcalibar says:

    Here are some console console RPG oriented comics not previously mentioned.
    I actually only read Sluggy Freelance, Penny Arcade, and Order of the Stick these days.

  22. Kalle says:

    I’ll buck the trend and go all anti here.

    Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

  23. onosson says:

    I wholeheartedly concur with the two mentions of http://www.qwantz.com – dinosaur comics. It is my absolute favorite, as it is concept-driven (the concept being that the artwork does not change, merely the dialogue – with a few small exceptions).

    I also recently ran across http://www.terrorisland.net/ Terror Island. It’s a photo-based comic using various game pieces (mostly chess-like), and is essentially character-driven with a ridiculous plot involving two roommates who refuse to do the grocery-shopping. Pretty funny, but you might need to start at the beginning (I usually do with ANY webcomic).

    P.S. I don’t know how your posts respond to links, so hopefully they appear alright.

  24. Phlux says:

    I will forgoe the list of my own favorites, but will instead say that I also started with Penny Arcade, back when it was still fairly new, maybe 18 months or so. Since then I’ve added 5 or 6 more. I added XKCD after reading posts linked here, though, thanks for that! Also of course for DMotR and CB.

  25. Issachar says:

    Evil Inc.: A daily (except Sundays) strip about a corporation of comic book type supervillains. The archive of Greystone Inn, the author’s previous online strip, is also well worth checking out.


  26. I love Order of the Stick and xkcd, which have been mentioned. Another great geeky one is http://www.shortpacked.com. Collecting toys is not a hobby of mine, but the art is great and it’s usually very funny. I love the many faces of Batman, too.

    I also like http://www.twolumps.net. Nothing to do with geeks, but some internet culture stuff.

  27. TooMad says:

    http://www.tsoalr.com for WH40k players with a little WHFB thrown in

  28. Minion1stClass says:

    I think the only one I read that has not already been mentioned would be Joe Loves Crappy Movies.

  29. Shawn says:

    Aww, Two Lumps gets some love. J. Grant is a mad genius. I’m more of a Flem fan myself, but hey.

    I could never get into Girl Genius, as much as I love Steampunk. Oddly, for me the art is a big turn off. I’m not entirely sure why, I think it’s the faces. I’m obviously in a minority there though, and if the last month has taught my anything, it’s that preferences are not fact.

    Like everyone else, I check PA and XKCD regularly. I’ve largely given up on PvP, but Questionable Content is good stuff. Oddly enough, being that I make webcomics, I don’t read too many of them.

  30. Issachar says:

    Also, the now-defunct Checkerboard Nightmare (by Kristofer Straub, now of Starslip Crisis and other projects) had many truly great moments. Here are a few early strips:


  31. Mari says:

    A couple more that I read regularly that haven’t been mentioned yet.

    No furry jokes. They’re not furries, they’re anthropomorphic.


    I actually started reading Gunnerkrigg more for the art than the writing. The bold outlines and color scheme and overall art style just really attracted me but as I became involved in the story I started to love it on a whole new level. It’s pretty weird so don’t try to make sense of it, just enjoy it for what it is. The surreal is what makes it special.

  32. Shawn says:


    Turn Signals On A Land Raider is awesome! I haven’t read it in a while, but this one is one of my favorite comics of all time:


    I suppose that one’s only really funny if you’ve been a tabletop wargamer.

  33. Shawn says:


    Oooohhh, the Gunnerkrigg art IS super cool.

  34. JKPolk says:

    I’ve been reading Girl Genius for a Loooong time now, and I’ve loved every bit of it.
    On an aside, Randal Munroe visited my school (WPI) at the beginning of this school year, and he was funny as hell. It’s actually amazing to realize how young he is, basically fresh out of college, and still be able to create comics based around some of this incredible science.

  35. Henebry says:

    I really love Girl Genius, too! Have any of you read Foglio’s Buck Godot, a noirish SF feature that Foglio wrote about a decade ago.

    Errant Story (excellent art and detailed plotline with a wry sense of humor at the character level – by contrast to oots and DMotR, where the humor involves breaking the frame of the fiction)

    Something Positive (set in the real world, and covers real-world problems of a bunch of twenty-somethings living in the Boston area. As a thirty-something living in the Boston area, someone who’s moved on in his life from the dramas of the twenty-something to the very different dramas of the thirty-something (or, ugh, forty-something), Something Positive feels oddly nostalgic for me.) Looking back through other people’s posts, I see I’m not the first to mention this one.

    Lastly, the king of ironic understatement and wry contemporary satire: Boy on a Stick and Slither.

  36. maehara says:

    Megatokyo & Bunny already mentioned – both good fun.
    Girl vs Pig – http://girlvspig.com/ – surreal fun. The Random Strip Generator can throw up some good combinations, too.
    The UNSPEAKABLE VAULT (of Doom) – http://www.macguff.fr/goomi/unspeakable/home.html – Cthulhu-themed funnies. The artist for this one has just been signed up to do the art for the latest Munchkin set (appropriately titled The Unspeakable Vault). Some of the strips rehash the same gag, but there’s some good stuff in there too.

  37. JKPolk says:

    Just noticed this, thought it was interesting because of the xkcd mention:

  38. Bleyn says:

    My three favorite gamer’s web comics are OOTS, DMOTR, and AGC (Another Gaming Comic by Casey Herdman). Each was told from a different point of view, oots is told strictly from the character’s perspective, while AGC is told strictly from the player’s pov. DMotR was told in a hybrid manner (pictures from character, word from player) No one has mentioned AGC yet (as far as I saw) so I thought I’d throw that in the ring. The interface is terrible, with no forward-backward buttons but it’s well worth the trouble.


  39. kanthalion says:

    I think the only one on my regular list that I haven’t seen mentioned is weregeek.com

  40. -Chipper says:

    None to add, but have to say I LOVE Girl Genius. So do my kids. Amazing plot, characters, humor, and artwork.

  41. Melfina the Blue says:

    A classic geek one (and boy do I mean geek) User Friendly

    All the others I read daily (all three of them, not counting yours), were already mentioned.

  42. Namfoodle says:

    Irregular Webcomic (by Darths and Droids’ David Morgan-Mar) is great, but I don’t see it on the list here. I like it because it updated daily without fail. Even weekends. So I look at it first every day. I keep bumping OoTS down the list because the only update a few times a month.

    The old Phil & Dixie strips from the Dragon were written by the folks behind Girl Genius. They are being re-run online.

    Casey & Andy was a great strip which has now ended, but you can read the archives. The author is now doing Cheshire Crossing, which is a Peter Pan-Alice in Wonderland-Wizard of Oz Crossover thing, where all of the chicks are hot.

    I look foward to the next project from the Miracle of Science guys.

  43. Winter says:

    I’m with the Dresden Codak suggestion. I could list a big bunch of stuff, but really that one is pretty darn awesome. It’s like an XKCD that’s even smarter and more philosophical, although it updates in geological time…

  44. Lycoris says:

    I second the Bunny!

  45. Mari says:

    Shawn: Now you know why I fell in love so easily with your art on CMB. Not that art alone makes a great webcomic but it can really help. For some reason, I’m drawn to strong lines and angles. It really “pops” to me. But as you said, opinion isn’t fact and I accept that everybody has their own taste.

  46. Justin says:

    Penny Arcade is my favourite web comic, but I have to admit that this Ctrl-Alt-Del comic was an even better take on the “Halo 3 advertising saturation” than that of the PA comic Shamus linked.

  47. Ishmael says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for introducing me to Copper. You made my universe.

  48. Pilomotor says:

    Here are some I haven’t seen mentioned yet.

    Another comic from Giant in the Playground, the site that has Order of the Stick. Definitely worth a shot.

    Doctors exercising humor at their patients’ expense. For a good representative sample, try #67.

    Basically, people send in descriptions of their weirdest dreams. An artist turns the best ones into four-panel comics.

    Not even gonna try explaining this. If it doesn’t catch your interest after the first few pages, just give it a pass.

  49. dragonbane says:

    The ones I read despite not having them on RSS:

    The ones I read on RSS:
    DMotR, Sluggy Freelance, Punch n Pie, Something Positive

    I cannot for the life of me find any funny in Penny Arcade. I do not understand for a picosecond what makes it so popular – perhaps it USED to be funny, and there is nostalgia?

  50. Avaz says:

    I can’t believe no one has yet mentioned Strong Bad’s Emails over at Homestar Runner. (!!)


    The whole Homestar Runner site is also worth checking out, but IMHO, SBEmails is the shining star of it.

  51. The Delurker says:

    People have already mentioned The Wotch. It is a different general, but for those liking zen, http://www.ozyandmillie.org/ is a good one.

    I also would like to add. It is unfair to compare OTS to DMotR. It’s about as pointless as that Enterprise vs. ISD debate that raged across the old newsgroups. I have been an avid reader of both. I thought your tributes were cute and would really like to see OTS return the nod some say.

    Derailing slightly. I can’t yet say I find Chainmail Bikini funny. That I think you can blame on my college gaming group. Reading the strips, I can easily replace your names with players and characters from that time, so it’s more of “So it wasn’t just me” thing. Call it gallows humor. Still, I don’t intend to stop reading it.


  52. gottasing says:

    If you enjoy gaming comics that update regularly, try Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: http://yafgc.shipsinker.com/
    It is not suitable for the young uns, (he likes to draw breasts. A lot. ) but it’s funny.

  53. Captain Fuu the Ninja Pirate says:

    I get my kicks from http://fanboys-online.com/

  54. cory says:

    The latest Strong Bad e-mail is lampoons web comics. It references Penny Arcade and 8-bit theatre, though sadly not DMotR


  55. DaveJ says:

    Please, nobody read that awful ctrl alt delete! It is the stupidest comic that has ever been. Ever. Good gravy it is terrible.

  56. onosson says:

    Ohhhh, almost forgot: Dr McNinja!


    He’s a ninja AND a doctor!

  57. Ian says:

    Oooh – specialist subject! These are the ones I regularly check.

    AppleGeeks – http://www.applegeeks.com/comics/

    Basic Instructions – http://www.basicinstructions.net/
    How To on life’s little difficulties.

    Cat and Girl – http://catandgirl.com/
    Interested in philosophy, art and literature? Neither was I until this.

    Copper – http://www.boltcity.com/copper/
    Should be near the top of anybody’s list.

    Dresden Codak – http://dresdencodak.com/
    Awesome art, incomprehensible themes, but who cares?

    Erfworld – The Battle for Godwin Knob – http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf.html
    Miles away the best gaming-related comic.

    Jesus & Mo – http://www.jesusandmo.net/
    Religious humour – look away if you’re easily offended.

    Little Dee – http://littledee.net/index.html

    Looking For Group – http://www.lfgcomic.com/
    Great, exuberant art and story, and a REALLY good baddie.

    MegaTokyo – http://www.megatokyo.com/
    One day I’ll figure out what’s going on with the story…

    Schlock Mercenary – http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
    Space opera, but with bigger breasts than usual :)

    Simulated Comic Product – http://simulatedcomicproduct.com/
    Like PBF. Nearly as good which makes it very good indeed.

    Sinfest – http://www.sinfest.net/index.php
    Wicked, gentle fun.

    The Non-Adventures of Wonderella – http://www.webcomicsnation.com/justinpie/wonderella/series.php
    “Zombies are Nature's disposable horror sloths!”

    The Noob – http://www.thenoobcomic.com/
    Regular MMORPG stuff but with good characters.

    The Perry Bible Fellowship – http://www.pbfcomics.com/
    The Daddy – ’nuff said.

    TIN The Incompentent Ninja – http://tin.snafu-comics.com/
    Says it all.

    Wondermark – http://wondermark.com/
    “An illustrated jocularity (Price sixpence)”

    xkcd – http://xkcd.com/
    Who knew Maths and Funny could live together?

  58. kiwi says:


    It’s slow, but understandable given the amazing amount of time going into each page. Definitely worth the wait!

  59. Nefke says:

    This one just started, so we´re all curious about how it will develop. The art is, in one word, astonishing!


  60. Ian says:

    Things I hate about web comic sites No. 1:

    Web comics that don’t provide RSS feeds…

    Things I like about web comic sites No. 1:

    Web comics that provide a “Random” feature. It’s a really good way to quickly find out if it’s worth staying.

  61. Heather says:

    Wow, you read Darths and Droids, but not Irregular Webcomic! itself? One other person has mentioned it in here, but without a link. So here ’tis. http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/ Today’s comic (#1718 if you’re reading this comment after Wednesday) was one of those seriously laugh out loud ones.

    I started on 8-Bit Theatre after being pushed towards it by a friend back around strip #60 or so. From there I’ve expanded to a small but select group of webcomics. I came to DMotR fairly late (from a link from IWC, actually), but it soon gained a spot in my short list of bookmarked comics. I’m still checking Chainmail Bikini every week or so to see if it’ll gain one of those hallowed spots.

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