50 Webcomics You Have to Check Out Now

Robots? Porn stars? D&D jokes? Sign me up! I began reading webcomics in late high school/early college and I just couldn’t get enough of these quirky and at times subversive comics. As a kid, I grew up on a diet of newspaper funnies, but these webcomics were so much  more edgy. I devoured Diesel Sweeties and Order of the Stick and the many others that came along.

I’ve put together a list of 50 webcomics that I wish to share with you all. This list is not comprehensive. In fact, choosing exactly 50 comics was daunting. There are really astonishing number of well-written and well-drawn webcomics out there. I tried to choose the top fifty I liked personally but with an eye to diverse storylines, styles, etc. Some series are ongoing or even new while others have stopped updating. Several webcomics are long form stories, some are single panels, and a few are short story comics. As for the ones that have complete story arcs, I selected ones with free archives. Many have been published into books while others have ongoing campaigns; any book covers are from print collections. I have categorized them into a few areas: Humanities/Science, Animal-based, Slice of Life, and the largest category by far, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Steampunk/Horror and D&D.

 

History/Literature/Philosophy

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophers By Corey Mohler

The comic describes itself as “about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world.” Imagine your favorite philosophers—Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre—debating life the universe and everything but in comic form. Updates on Mondays.

http://existentialcomics.com/

Hark A VagrantHark! a Vagrant By Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton is one of the best. Hark! a Vagrant is composed of several one-off comics that tackle literature, history (with a special nod to Canadian history), science, and more. There’s a delightful feminist bent to her work. She doesn’t update the comic often since she’s working on other things but her archive is still available.

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php

Hyperallergic By Various

Hyperallergic is an online magazine dedicated to all things art. In addition to many pithy articles about the art world, Hyperallergic has regular comics about the art world by several contributors. Some are tongue in cheek like Jack Sjogren’s “Five Rejected Ideas for Coachella Art Installations” while others deal with heavier themes like CM Campbell’s “Cashing in on your White Privilege Tax Deduction” or Jessica Campbell’s “No Amount of Compliments Can Outweigh the Artist’s Self-Doubt.”

https://hyperallergic.com/comics/

Stick Figure HamletStick Figure Hamlet By Dan Carroll

Stick Figure Hamlet is the full text of Hamlet but with stick figures. There’s a lot of great gags in this comic. For instance, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Bert and Ernie shaped and the ghost is the Lego ghost. Well-worth checking out if you are a fan of the bard.

http://www.stickfigurehamlet.com/

What If?xkcd By Randall Munroe

This comic describes itself as “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.” That’s a pretty apt description. Some of the comics discuss mathematical and scientific principles while others are heart-wrenching panels about love. Also, if you hover your mouse over the comic, there’s a little mouseover text, which is always fun. Updates Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

https://www.xkcd.com/

You're Just Jealous of My JetpackYou’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack By Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld’s tumblr page shows off his precise wit on a variety of topics including literature, science, and history. Where else would you find a comic comparing ichthyologists and fishmongers?

http://myjetpack.tumblr.com/

Animal

This category is for webcomics where the main characters are animals. It’s a broad category, I know, but we know the internet is for cat memes.

Adventures of Business Cat By Tom Fonder

Imagine a CEO but as a cat. This comic brings the wide world of business with the eccentricities of cats. It updates most Fridays.

http://www.businesscat.happyjar.com/

Cat and Girl By Dorothy Gambrell

This long-running series features an anthropomorphized Cat and a Girl who cynically ponder the nature of the universe. Some of the jokes can be esoteric and gives me a hipster feel. The webcomic still updates Tuesday and Thursdays.

https://catandgirl.com/

Dinosaur ComicsDinosaur Comics By Ryan North

Ryan North is one of my comic heroes. I loved Dinosaur Comics so much that when I heard that Ryan North was writing Squirrel Girl, I had to run out and buy an issue. And the rest is history. Dinosaur Comics uses the same six panels of a T-Rex and other dinosaurs to discuss everything from kissing to the nature of G-d. Intensely humorous. I highly recommend. it

http://www.qwantz.com/

GronkGronk By Katie Cook

Gronk is about a monster who doesn’t fit in with other monsters. He’s discovered by Dale Wilco, a composer who works in her house. It’s a sweet comic as Gronk learns to live in the human world. Sadly, it looks like the last time the comic was updated was in 2015.

http://www.gronkcomic.com/

Phoebe and Her UnicornPhoebe and her Unicorn By Dana Simpson

This work is often compared to Calvin and Hobbes but it really is its own thing. Phoebe meets a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils who gives her one wish. Phoebe asks for her to be her best friend. They get into adventures with other fantasy creatures and Phoebe’s classmates.

http://www.gocomics.com/phoebe-and-her-unicorn

Poorly Drawn LinesPoorly Drawn Lines By Reza Farazmand

Poorly Drawn Lines features a variety of animals including bears and rabbits in often sarcastic standalone comics  The comic updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

http://www.poorlydrawnlines.com/

 

Slice of Life

These comics are mostly representations of day to day life. Some might feature robots and other figures but the focus is on the day to day. Some are fictional while others are non-fiction.

Addanac CityAddanac City By George Ford

Addanac City is about the wacky people living in a town. Running for ten years, it has the feel of a syndicated newspaper comic. Fun and quirky characters for the win. Posts regularly.

http://addanaccity.com/comic/guess-who-isnt-coming-to-dinner/

As the Crow Flies By Meredith Gillman

This is the story of Charlie, a queer 13 year old who goes to an all-white, all-Christian summer camp. Charlie’s adventures are beautifully rendered in pencil. 

http://www.melaniegillman.com/?p=96

Check Please!Check Please By Ngozi Ukazu

This comic is about Eric Bittle, a figure skating champion and vlogger, starting his freshman year of college playing hockey. It’s about finding yourself in college and hockey.

http://checkpleasecomic.com/comic/01-01-01

Connie to the Wonnie By Connie Sun

Connie Sun describes her comic as “an illustrated status message.” Each post is a beautifully drawn semi-autobiographical exploration of what it means to be a woman living in contemporary life. She tackles issues of the creative process, cultural identity, dating, and much more. Updates regularly.

https://www.conniewonnie.com/

Diesel SweetiesDiesel Sweeties By Richard Stevens

Another long running comic that features the romance between Maura, a porn star, and Clango, a robot. Other characters include uber-hipster Indie Rock Pete, Metal Mike, and killer Red Robot #C-63. This comic shaped me in my formative years: “It’s fun to use learning for evil.”

http://dieselsweeties.com/

Fried Cheese Balls By Arp Laszio 

This webcomic talks about life as a second generation Indian American in the U.S. Topics cover food, memory, family history and much more. Beautiful precise drawings of floor plans and much more. I think he’s revamping his website so keep checking back for more content.

https://www.friedcheeseballs.com/comic/chapter-one/loosely-arranged-marriage-v2/

Hyperbole and a HalfHyperbole and a Half By Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half is a nonfiction webcomic and blog that details Allie’s life. She talks about misadventures as a kid and her challenges with depression as an adult. It’s funny and poignant. Her comic about getting a dinosaur comic as a child is amazing. I’m not sure if she still updates.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

Khaos Comix By Tab Kimpton

Khaos Comix is a queer coming of age comic. It’s sweet and angsty, just like one would expect of teenage years. This is one comic series on Kimpton’s Discord comics website. Minority Monsters is another delightful comic  where Kimpton uses mythological creatures to explore different aspects of sexuality and identity. Some comics on the site are NSFW.

http://www.discordcomics.com/comic/chapter1cover/

The Less than Ideal Adventures of TJ and Amal By E.K. Weaver

This webcomic is about Amal who comes out to his parents, calls off his arranged marriage, and goes on all night bender. He wakes up to find TJ in his apartment cooking breakfast. TJ tells him that they drunkenly made a pact to drive cross country. The comic is about their adventures across the U.S.

http://tjandamal.com/comic/?id=4

The OatmealThe Oatmeal By Matthew Inman

Matthew Inman’s webcomic is a combination of informational comics, discussing grammar, etiquette, and animals, and his nonfiction stories, such as his challenges with running. Always worth a look.  His comic on the Rainbow shrimp is a personal favorite. He’s also come out with some amazing games including Exploding Kittens, Bears vs. Babies, and the most recent You’ve Got Crabs. Updates periodically.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics

Q2Q By Steve Younkins

This is a theater tech–themed comic. This is for the folks who live in the theater tech world or who ever worked/volunteered in it. Updates periodically.

https://q2qcomics.com/

Perry Bible FellowshipPerry Bible Fellowship By Nicholas Gurewitch

This comic is deceptively bright and cheery. Each comic has a dark but humorous twist that resonates deep within my evil soul. Astronauts burning up the atmosphere are mistaken for snowflakes by children. A robot receives a human heart to learn about humanity and begins gleefully killing nature. My cup of tea! Sadly, the series has now ended, but the archive is alive and kicking.

http://pbfcomics.com/

Say it with Noodles By Shing Yin Khor

This short story comic is so good I had to include it. This comic is a memorial to her grandmother and the power of food to bridge generations and cultures.

https://catapult.co/stories/say-it-with-noodles-a-comic-about-food-and-language

Something Positive By R. K. Milholland

Something Positive details the lives of 20-somethings navigating the world of dating, friendships, and more. Sometimes the comic can be quite brutal (and warms my dark heart). Updates regularly.

http://www.somethingpositive.net/index.html

Truthout By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Various

Okay, so Truthout is not a webcomic per se. It’s a champion of the free and independent press and does incredible investigative reporting. I included it on this list because Anne Elizabeth Moore, social commentator and more, has been working with various cartoonists to create poignant social and political comics based on oral histories Moore has conducted. Some cover food justice, housing, textiles, and so much more.

http://www.truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/45499

Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan

This 2018 Eisner-nominated NYTimes limited run comic series follows the life of a Syrian refugee family that arrives to the U.S. on election day. It’s an important story told in a limited palette of blue, white, and black.

http://www.michaelsloan.net/welcome-to-the-new-world/

Fantasy/Sci-fi/Steampunk

Ava's DemonAva’s Demon By Michelle Czajkowski

This comic takes place in a world of multi-planetary travel. Ava is a young woman who has a demon inside of her that has been trying to convince her to kill herself throughout her life. When Ava finally learns the motivations of the demon, they make a pact that will hopefully remove the demon from her body. Not only are the panels painted beautifully, there are occasional animated videos to carry the story along.

http://www.avasdemon.com/

Baker’s Dozen By Aatmaja Pandya

This short story comic is about a girl who receives a fortune at a festival that will change her life and those of her people forever. It’s a lovely tale. Pandya has other comics on her site that are worth checking out.

http://aatmajapandya.com/Baker-s-Dozen

Brothers Bond By Kevin Grevioux and Ryan Benjamin

Just nominated for an Eisner, this beautiful comic is described as “an exiled prince and his two blind samurai protectors set on a dangerous journey to reclaim their kingdom from demonic forces.” When you read it, make sure to have your headphones on to hear appropriately-timed music as you scroll down each page.  Updates Wednesdays.

https://www.webtoons.com/en/action/brothers-bond/list?title_no=1191

Demon Street By Aliza Layn

Demon Street is about Septimus Maeda who wanders into a street that has been blocked off from the rest of the world. There he meets fantastical people and monsters. Updates Mondays and Thursdays.

http://www.demonstreet.co/comic/1

Dresden CodakDresden Codak By Aaron Diaz

Aaron Diaz describes the comic as “a celebration of science, death and human folly.” The website has several comics series including Hob and Dark Science. Kimiko Ross is a “Autodidactic Robot-Girl” who has fallen in love with science hardcore. Both comics trace her adventures in a fantastical world filled with time travel and giants.

http://dresdencodak.com/archive/

Girl GeniusGirl Genius By Phil and Kaja Foglio

This  award winning comic is about aspiring scientist Angela Clay who is the apprentice to a Mad Scientist. While the Foglios call it “gaslamp fantasy,” many would include it it the wild world of steampunk. Wacky, delightful. Updates Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php

Gunnerkrigg CourtGunnerkrigg Court By Tom Siddell

This is another oldie but goodie. After I read Harry Potter, this scratched an itch for magic school stories. This story centers on Antimony Carver who begins school at Gunnerkrigg Court and quickly learns that not everything is above board.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1

Haunter By Sam Alden

This wordless comic is about a hunter who accidentally wakes up something evil. The drawings are unlike any other comics I’ve seen: full of lush bright colors and a sense of menace and lingering terror.

http://studygroupcomics.com/main/haunter-part-1-by-sam-alden/

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin By Stevan Živadinović

This comic is truly unique. You read each page by scrolling over. It’s partially animated. It’s a darker remake of the Pied Piper with significant political overtones.

http://hobolobo.net/

JL8JL8 By Yale Stewart

This Tumblr comic is a nod to the world of superheroes. Imagine all your favorite superheroes, except they are eight years old. The art, at least in the beginning, has a very serial newspaper quality to it. Nostalgia!

http://jl8comic.tumblr.com/

Johnny Wander By writer Ananth Hirsh and illustrator Yuko Ota

Johnny Wander seems to be a catch all site for Hirsh and Ota. Their initial work was more in the realm of slice of life. Their most recent work Barbarous is about a young woman with uncontrollable magic who finds herself down and out of luck. She ends up getting a job managing a property with a super whose a dinosaur. I haven’t gotten too far but it’s very intriguing. Chapter 3 just finished.

http://www.johnnywander.com/barbarous/barbarous-chapter-1

Kill 6 Billions DemonsKill Six Billion Demons By Tom Parkinson-Morgan

This comic starts when Allison Ruth and her boyfriend’s intimate moment is interrupted by a horde of orc-like creatures. They kidnap her boyfriend and somehow Allison falls into a portal into a strange new world. Interestingly, the author takes reader suggestions for the plot so the webcomic may go in some interesting places. Updates Tuesday and Friday evenings.

https://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/kill-six-billion-demons-chapter-1/

Looking for a GroupLooking for a Group By Ryan Sohmer and drawn by Lar DeSouza

This comic is about the adventures of Cale’Anon and Richard. While other fantasy adventure comics are about groups trying to do good in the world, this adventuring group is evil. Funny and wicked. http://www.lfg.co/page/1/

MFK By  Nilah Magruder

MFK is “about Abbie, who just wants to get to the mountain range called the Potter’s Spine and scatter her mother’s ashes. But the way is filled with sandstorms, wild beasts, and rogues that wield inhuman powers and prey on poor desert dwellers. When one of these rogues threatens the town where Abbie takes refuge, she must choose between running, or unleashing her own hidden power to meet danger head-on.” Updates Fridays.

http://www.mfkcomic.com/comic/chapter-1-page-1-2/

O Human StarO Human Star By Blue Delliquanti

O Human Star starts with the reanimation of robotic engineering genius Alastair Sterling. He wakes up to find himself in a robotic body after his death. He has to figure out how to live in his new body, the new world he helped create, and uncover the mystery of his reanimation.

http://ohumanstar.com/comic/chapter-1-title-page/

PowernapPowerNap By Maritza Campos and Bachan

Powernap takes place in a world where the need for sleep is eliminated by a pill. Except for Drew, who is allergic. However, he’s seen as a freak of nature. The world is a mixture of fantasy and corporate hell. Good times. Updates whenever.

http://www.powernapcomic.com/d/20110617.html

The Rainbow OrchidThe Rainbow Orchid By Garen Ewig

The Rainbow Orchid is the first adventure of Julius Chancer. This adventure series is about the hunt for the legendary rainbow orchid. The style is very reminiscent of Herge’s Tintin, which is a bonus in my book. The Secrets of the Samurai appears to be a sequel.

http://www.garenewing.co.uk/rainboworchid/comics/comics.php

Romantically ApocalypticRomantically Apocalyptic By Vitaly S. Alexius and various

This astonishing post-apocalyptic by various authors is a multimedia masterpiece including poetry, photography and much more. It’s about Charles Snippy and crazy Zee Captain navigating the post-apocalyptic world.

http://romanticallyapocalyptic.com/info

Templar, ArizonaTemplar, Arizona By C. Spike Trotman

Templar, Arizona is the webcomic of C. Spike Trotman, founder of comics powerhouse Iron Circus. I’ve written about her previously here. The comic centers on the strange and wondrous characters in the town of Templar. Chapter 1 starts with recent transplant and hermit Ben Kowalski: “In two months in Templar, his only friendships so far have been forced upon him: The acquaintance of a kindergartener named Zoradysis, and the determined attentions of his overbearing and flamboyantly obscene neighbor, Reagan.”  I don’t think it is still updating but it’s still a fun series to check out.

http://templaraz.com/chapter_guide/

Wormworld Saga By Daniel Lieske

This astonishing beautiful comic is about Jonas Berg, a young daydreamer, who visits his grandmother in the country during the summer with his dad. However, he gets grounded because daydreaming is interfering with his studies. When he accidentally falls into a portal to another world in his grandmother’s house, he has to figure out where he is and how to get home.

https://www.wormworldsaga.com/

D&D

Since there two comics dedicated to the wonderful world of D&D, I decided to make a separate category.

The Order of the StickThe Order of the Stick By Rich Burlew

Rich Burlew’s comic features a roving band of adventurers. The group is led by Roy Greenhilt, a fighter. This strip is based strongly on the world of D&D and will be hilarious to anyone who has or is currently playing. The style is like the name—stick figure-y. While this comic goes back at least a decade, Burlew still publishes new strips.  http://www.giantitp.com/comics/ootscast.html

Table TiansTable Titans By written and drawn by Scott Kurtz and colored by Steve Hamaker

This comic is a combination of the roleplayers and the roleplaying. Players squabble about their characters, gaming conditions, etc. You also get to see their adventures play out. Charming. I also read Scott Kurtz’s PVP back in the day so it’s neat to see more recent work.

http://tabletitans.com/comic/mines-of-madness-page-1

That’s just my list of 50.  What webcomics do you adore?

Here are two other great BookRiot lists of webcomics: 12 Queer Webcomics You Can Read for Free Right Now and 6 South Asian Webcomics You Should Check Out.

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