I recently came across this page in the GeekDad archives and while I agree that most webcomics are made with an adult audience in mind, I thought it would be good to point out a few of them that kids would appreciate. Some of them are particularly funny, some have exceptional artwork, many have both. Even if your kids don’t like them, you can at least rest assured that you can read them yourself while they are in the room. So here are a few of my favorites that I will be sharing with my kids… as soon as they can read. (Note: these are in no particular order, and this is not a ‘best of all time’ list; I’m sure there are about a thousand more comics out there as good or better than these, so please pass along your favorites.)
This one has been running every day for almost six years. It follows the adventures of the naive but optimistic T-Rex and his friends: the lovely Dromiceiomimus and the pragmatic Utahraptor. You should definitely go through the entire archive at some point, but let me save you some time by answering your first question: yes, it’s the same six panels every single day. Apart from the occasional dream sequence or alternate universe story, the artwork never changes. What does change is the hilarious dialogue between the three. They tackle everything from linguistics to religion to sexuality to video games. Sometimes god and the devil show up as well as a tiny elephant and T-Rex’s creepy racoon and cephalopod neighbors (all off-panel, of course).
At almost exactly a year-old, Daisy Owl is a relatively new strip. The title character and her little brother, Cooper, are not actual owls, but their father is. His name is Mr. Owl (as an aside: why are anthropomorphic animals always named after their species; do you know anyone named Mr. Human?). Mr. Owl has a best friend named Steve who is a bear. Steve works at the honey factory and he has some issues with his family… and cheese. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Charles Christopher is a yeti and not a terribly bright. That’s about all we know about him because he never says anything. He lives in a forest filled with an eclectic array of animals who seem to have no trouble talking. For some reason, Charles has been put in charge of protecting his forest and its inhabits from… something; maybe human encroachment, maybe something worse. This comic probably comes the closest to achieving universal appeal featuring exquisite artwork as well as running the entire dramatic gamut from suspense to eye-watering humor. Fair warning: be ready for at least one ‘Bambi’ moment.
If you prefer comics with a compelling story over humor, you will like these two. The first story, Rice Boy is about the last person you would expect to be the savior of the world. The second story, Order of Tales, takes place in the same world as the first but thousands of years in the past. Like Rice Boy, it is the story of a young man who is forced to leave the comfort and safety of home to explore a strange, dangerous world. These stories do have some violent battle scenes but they are all very stylized and cartoonish.
Have you ever read the comics page in your local newspaper and thought to yourself “I wonder why there aren’t more comic strips made from 19th century woodcuts and engravings”? Then do I have the comic for you… David Malki ! (the ! is silent) takes digital scans from what must be a staggering collection of books and newspapers from the 1800s and turns them into some of the funniest comic strips since the Van Buren administration. Beware of some crude humor and mature topics, but nothing explicit.