Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Best Web Comics

I don’t really read web comics. Except for xkcd, when I think of it. But this is the kind of post that might change all that: David Brin helps all find things to do with our time by pointing out some of the best web comics out there today.

This one sounds especially appealing to me:

Crimson Dark, by David C. Simon, a serialized science fiction drama that ran from 2006 to 2012. Gorgeously illustrated with 3D graphics rendering detailed starships (capable of FTL jumps) and space battles (with lots of vivid explosions). Set in the 27th century, it follows a tough but troubled Commander Kari Tyrell. Sent on a reconnaissance mission, Kari’s Republic fighter is attacked; she is left drifting in space and rescued by privateers of the antiquated Niobe spaceship. When they return to base, Kari is taken into custody, accused of treason, as her past returns to haunt her… Officially declared dead, she casts her lot with the crew of the Niobe (led by Captain Vaegyr Ward), heading out to seek salvage and survive — while avoiding pirates and hostile ships amid the treachery of a brutal war.

That’s the kind of story which would appeal to me in novel form; I think I’ll take a look at this comic. Especially since it’s finished.

Also this:

Digger, by Ursula Vernon, was a fantasy adventure comic, which won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. This black and white comic has the tagline: “A wombat. A dead god. A very peculiar epic.” Our heroine, Digger, a talking wombat, got very lost when digging an “unnecessarily convoluted” tunnel, and surfaced at the feet of a talking statue of Ganesh the elephant god. Digger finds herself in a land far far away… a strange world with only her pickaxe by her side, and predators closing in. “Man don’t you know not to mess with a sleeping wombat? We swing pickaxes for twelve hours a day. We’re like biceps with feet.” Along her quest to find home, there are nods to mythology and religion and existential crises of good and evil.

I’d heard of this, but I don’t believe I realized it was a web comic. I must take a look now that I am an Ursula Vernon fan.

Also, this sounds oddly appealing:

Unshelved, by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, is a daily comic that simply celebrates reading, books, literacy, and libraries. The characters are mostly librarians and the setting is often… a library. Literary references abound, along with light-hearted humor about book clubs, overdue books, bookmobiles, bureaucracy, research… and the joys and challenges of reading. The Sunday full-color full-page editions became the “Unshelved Book Club,” which highlight recent books and graphic novels. Here’s the one that focused on Startide Rising!

Brin describes a whole lot more at the link.

Update: I must admit Crimson Dark is definitely making it harder to get work done today.

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8 Comments Best Web Comics

  1. SarahZ

    Besides xkcd, my semi-regular webcomics are Dinosaur Comics, Wondermark, puddin don’t, and Hark! A Vagrant. I also like Battlepug, although more for the concept and the image of a warrior on his fierce pug steed than anything else. I’m not familiar with any of these, though – will have to check them out.

  2. SarahZ

    Oh! Also, A Softer World, which wrapped up last year, but is at turns lovely and darkly hilarious.

  3. Elaine T

    The Teen recommends Gunnerkrieg Court by Siddel which by what I gather is a science fantasy (alchemy, robots, demons) in a boarding school thing. Wiki has a summary.

    I know a lot of people like Girl Genius, but no one I personally know likes the art.

  4. SarahZ

    I thought Girl Genius was cute at first, but I eventually got frustrated with the story. No calm moments or bits where you get a feel for the characters, just rushing from one emergency to the next.

  5. Kristina

    “Digger” is definitely addictive. I finally gave in and bought the Omnibus edition. Give “The Black Bull of Norroway” by Kit and Cat Seaton a try, too. It’s a fairy tale retelling and is currently ongoing.

  6. Rachel

    Thanks for all your suggestions! I’m definitely likely to buy the Omnibus edition of Digger since I can’t honestly justify pouring computer time into reading web comics.

    I’m not tooooo into the art, so if I like the story, probably I would like Girl Genius regardless of the art. I’ve always meant to give it a try, but just never have quite gotten to it. Like so many other things.

  7. Elaine T

    There are Girl Genius novels now. I’ve found them in the YA section, and gave one a try to find out something of what so many people enjoy. It wasn’t bad. Title of the first was Agatha H. and the Airship City. Interesting world.

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