I am a huge fan of comic strips. The comics section is the first place I go when reading the daily newspaper. (Newspapers, how quaint!) My kids love the comics, too. They wait in (almost) silent anticipation for me to move along to the Sports Section, so that they can get their sticky little hands on the page.
We here at GeekDad are dedicated to providing examples of geeky things that geeky parents can do and share with their kids. This is not one of those times. Well, at least not with the little ones!
Webcomics began springing up like kudzu almost as soon as Al Gore finished inventing the interwebs. Some were good, some were bad, many were indecipherable. However good, bad or fugly they were though, they all had one thing in common: a complete lack of censorship. In the spirit of Bad Dad Month, I have compiled a list of 10 of my favorite geeky webcomics, most of which I will not be sharing with my children until they are well into their teenage years. Let’s face it, much of geek-related humor out there tends to have more of an adult/bizarre/sophomoric streak than your typical Sunday Comics page. It can also be hi-friggin’-larious. Tired of Garfield? Tired of Garfield Minus Garfield? Check out the comics on this list and feel free to recommend your own choices in the comments section.
WARNING: All of the comics on this list include adult themes, adult language, adult situations and/or violence. Whee!
1. Schlock Mercenary — This will be the first comic I share with my kids once I feel they are old enough to enjoy the content. There are not too many adult situations in this one, just many examples of bloody violence. The story centers around "Tagon’s Toughs," a band of space mercenaries who solve most of their problems through superior firepower. The title character, Sergeant Schlock, is a carbosilicate amorph who looks a bit like a pile of crap with eyeballs, and has a fondness for large-caliber weaponry. GeekDad Contributor, Brian Little and I share an affinity for this comic by Howard Tayler, who is about to celebrate his 3,000th comic in 3,000 days without a repeat, a break or use of a guest artist. Congratulations Howard!
2. Questionable Content — Jeph Jacques pens this Monday-Friday comic. QC follows Marten Reed, a former self-described office bitch and current library assistant, who plays guitar and is a fan of indie rock. He shares an apartment with Pintsize, an anthropomorphized computer or "Anthro-PC," and Faye, a girl with a snarky sense of humor, a love of alcohol and quite a few past issues surrounding her father. Marten’s girlfriend is Dora, a metal-loving, former Goth-chick, who is Faye’s boss at "Coffee of Doom," Dora’s fictional coffee shop. Adult language, sex jokes, jokes about bodily fluids and stories of twenty-something angst are featured throughout this ongoing series.
3. Sinfest — Slick is a a short, wanna-be pimp with a penchant for slam poetry. Monique is a young fashion-whore with many tramp-like tendencies. Together they try to solve life’s big questions with help from a puppet show depicting God, a corporate tycoon-like Satan, a cloud riding Buddha, a very athletic Jesus and the occasional God-taunting Chinese Dragon. Combine that with God and Satan fanboys, and a pot-smoking pig, and you have Sinfest, created by Japanese-American comic artist Tatsuya Ishida. This comic takes a very irreverent view of organized religion and should not be viewed by the overly devout or by the closed-minded.
See the rest of the list after the jump:
4. Overcompensating — Jeffery Rowland is the author of the longtime online comic Wigu. In 2004, he began writing Overcompensating, a five-day-a-week, journal comic where he appears as the main character. Although highly exaggerated, many of the topics and much of the humor is said to spring from his own real life. The comic version of Jeffery and his friends Weedmaster P, Baby Lam and Tallahassee Econolodge (an "American Paris Hilton") poke fun at everything with a less-than-subtle, and dare I say, overtly redneck perspective. I think I can relate…
5. xkcd — Any blog with the word "geek" in the title is contractually obligated to mention xkcd, "a webcomic of romance sarcasm, math and language." Created by former NASA contractor Randall Munroe, this comic combines simple stick figures and simple backgrounds, with overly complex, and often physics related, subject matter. It is published online three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are not too many adult themes in this comic, but there are some occasional sex references and the subjects are often way over the head of most young readers.
6. Cyanide and Happiness — Drawn by four authors: Kris, Dave, Rob and Matt; this comic is quickly becoming one of the more popular and highly controversial strips on the web. The artwork may be simple but the content is definitely twisted. It is also one of the few online comics to actively invite people to hot-link their work, otherwise know as "leeching," to their fans blog pages or social networking sites.
7. Ctrl+Alt+Del — The story of a bunch of friends who love computer games, written by Tim Buckley. It is one of the better written and more popular gaming-themed comics. (And believe me, there are a lot of them!) Language, adult situations and the occasional decapitation make this one not so safe for the prepubescent set.
8. HijiNKS ENSUE — Is a geek comic by Joel Watson which appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This series is topical, nerdlike and oh-so wrong. One recent panel compared the experience of watching the movie Tropic Thunder to choking on unicorn vomit. Read (and laugh) at your own peril!
9. Penny Arcade — I risk being flamed by a thousand fan-boys if I did not include Penny Arcade, currently being released as Bogey Golf, on this list. Written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik, this online comic has been a stable of gamer culture on the web for many years. It features the authors alter egos, Tycho Brahe and John "Gabe" Gabriel who spend most of their time playing and/or commenting on video games. Started in 1999, Penny Arcade is one of the grand-daddies of online comics.
10. Atland – The realm of Atland is a beautifully drawn weekly comic by Nate Piekos. It takes place in a medieval-like setting which is populated with mythical creatures and amazingly endowed women. The stories are well written, the battles quite violent and the humor is often scatological in nature. It is published every Thursdays and is well worth the weekly wait. (Damn, my alliteration is acting up again!)