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Wednesday February 4, 2009 12:19 am

WEBCOMICS WEDNESDAY: PvP, Achewood, Registered Weapon, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal,




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials

Registered
Finding comics on the web? Easy. Finding a really good one to read on a regular basis? Not so much. Here are some of my favorites. 

PvP: The newspaper and magazine businesses are collapsing and taking their cartoonists down with them, but there’s at least one guy who was way ahead of the curve: Scott Kurtz. He took his talent to the internets and grew his comic strip into a personal empire - including book collections - that other cartoonists can only dream about. While Hi and Lois are rapidly walking towards the light, Kurtz is busy skewering pop culture, nerd culture, gamers and all we hold dear. In this recent strip alone, you get an argument about the new G.I. Joe movie with a reference to Thundercats. Extraordinarily well-drawn and very funny, Kurtz posts on a regular schedule. There’s lots to enjoy on his site, and lots of goodies to purchase too. Read a few strips to get into the rhythm – he has ongoing storylines and a nice archive feature can bring you up to speed quickly. And if you’re a cartoonist having a web dream, you should study his site like the Rosetta Stone, and check out his book.

REGISTERED WEAPON: This one could be called CSI: Ka-Ching! Felix is the “most advanced piece of forensic technology.” He’s also a robot. Who used to be a cash register in a previous life. He fights crime, and can still change a five.

Now he’s teamed up with a grizzled comically-brutal veteran cop (the ol’ bad cop/good machine paradigm) in Gardner Linn and Chris Thorn’s hysterically deadpan comic, Registered Weapon, illustrated by Dave Lentz. The result is “the internet’s premiere police-themed funny robot webcomic.” I couldn’t agree more. Start here. It’s the second strip in the story, but the first to introduce Felix. Feel free to continue on afterwards. They’re updating every Tuesday and Friday. It’s early in the run, so pile on now and roll with it.
(h/t Kevin Church @ beaucoupkevin)

SATURDAY MORNING BREAKFAST CEREAL: I can’t say it enough or too often: Zach Weiner always makes me laugh. An original, weird, unsettling, and hysterical laugh – whether his subject is Star Wars, true love, cannibalism, suicide or existentialism. Zach updates every day, almost always late at night so there’s a fresh one by the time you get to your desk each morning. Click on the Random button and kill an hour at the office. If you still need convincing, I’ll pimp-link to an interview I did with Zach last month.

ACHEWOOD: It’s back! After a short hiatus of a couple of weeks so creator Chris Onstad could finish moving his family into a new home, new Achewoods are up. He posts every Tuesday and Thursday at midnight, PST, and his return this week is most welcome. Since debuting in 2001, Onstad has racked up a pile of awards including Funniest Webcomic (Cracked.com, 2007), Time Magazine’s #1 Graphic Novel of 2007, and the Ignatz Award for 2007 and 2008 for Outstanding Online Comic, and even a book collection. So seriously, do you not already know about Achewood? Quirky, absurd, surreal – these can only begin to describe it. While previous generations of aging hipsters endlessly quoted Monty Python, The Simpsons, and Family Guy Quoting The Simpsons, the cool kids on the internets are quoting Achewood. So should you.

LAURA HOWELL: Want to see a cartoonist slowly descend into madness and yet still be entertained while she does it? Cool. Let’s all go to Laura Howell’s website. She’s an accomplished British webcartoonist who’s also published regularly in The Beano and The DFC (those are comics for kids, published in the UK). In 2006 she won Best Comic Strip at the International Manga and Anime Festival. As of February 1st, she’s launched her 2nd “not-quite-annual” Strip-A-Day Spectacular! She’s drawing and uploading a brand new comic “every single day for 28 solid days. Then swearing never to do it again, probably.” And these aren’t little one-panel sketches either – they’re multi-panel pages with actual lettering. I’m giving her until the17th until she cracks, but until then, check out the work.

I’m always scouring the internets looking for new and interesting comics. If you’ve got one to recommend, leave it in the comments section and I’ll check it out.

 

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Comments:

Awesome post. I think the decline of the newspaper has brought an influx of great art to the web and mobile platform. And if the newspaper becomes digital, then it won’t be long before cartoonist are drawing for their local newspaper so their strips can be read on the latest Kindle or Sony Reader, or whatever.

I haven’t seen Circle Versus Square before, so I went to their site. Hilarious. Great Link. Minimalist shapely humor at its best.

I like the “simpler” webcomics as well. They seem to have almost an indie film quality to them because their so creative with whatever they have at their disposal. But I think they demonstrate the fact that you don’t have to be an artist to be comic creator, you just need be creative and tell a good story.

Which is one of the reasons why I liked “Circle Versus Square”, cause its got these two characters going up against each other, simply because they’re different shapes. What makes it great is that it’s not much different from our own squirmishes.

Have either of you checked out Shiga’s FLEEP? about the man trapped in a phone encased in concrete.


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