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Entertainment Friday, June 17th 2011 at 1:58 pm

Geektastic Webcomics That Deserve More Attention Than They Have Received

There are an absolute plethora of webcomics out there. Some have lasted for years while others are only just now starting out. Some are known for their humor, their brevity, their wit, their unique style or really any combination of these and many more. Some follow strict linear plots while others are just a jumbled mass of comics with a sort of tangible reality stretched to cover them.

So, the chances are good that there’s at least one that will strike your incredibly niche fancy. Due to the ways in which the geeky demographics mix, if you’re reading this list on this site, chances are even better for at least one if not a whole bunch to be spot on. In fact, you might already know and love XKCD and Dinosaur Comics.

But the world of webcomics is far larger than just those two or even three if you count Achewood. So, for those of you out there just dying for a new webcomic to follow, Geekosystem proudly presents a number of geeky webcomics that deserve more attention than they have received.

1. Three Panel Soul

Three Panel Soul is the brainchild of Ian McConville and Matthew Boyd. As the name implies, the comic is told entirely within three panels. Often enough, this has to deal with issues of gaming or the characters that they play within games. Considering that Mr. McConville was the art lead on Spiral Knights from Three Rings, this kind of makes sense.

What makes Three Panel Soul what it is, however, is the relationships portrayed within. Though the initial description may not sound like it, this webcomic is as much about Matt and Ian’s relationships with each other and their friends as it is about random doodles of their World of Warcraft characters.

2. a softer world

a softer world is the product of dynamic duo Emily Horne and Joey Comeau. Possibly the best description for exactly what’s going on in any given strip is as follows: chopped photographs, alt text and words by Chuck Palahniuk. Okay, not Chuck Palahniuk, but Comeau’s writing often comes close.

ASW is possibly the darkest of those comics included in this list and that can easily be attributed to Joey Comeau. That’s not to say that Emily Horne’s contribution isn’t half of the whole but that Comeau’s words are often the darkness that he draws out of Horne’s photographs. The two bend, twist and break both the photos themselves and the narrative constructed out of them in glorious fashion.

3. Hark! A Vagrant

Kate Beaton might have seen a recent surge in popularity thanks to Fallout: New Vegas, but Hark! A Vagrant has been chuckling at history while also presenting many, many facts that folks might not know about for years. There also seems to be little consensus on how to write the title of this comic, which can be awfully frustrating when trying to include it in a list, but I digress.

Ostensibly, the comic presents historical situations with humorous and often satirical takes on what actually happened. Sometimes, though, it’s about Beaton herself or the Pope. In fact, some of the best ones have been about the Pope. She’s also apparently popular with feminists, geeky and otherwise.

4. Nedroid.com

Depending on how you encountered his work, it’s possible that you know Anthony Clark as the guy who does the colors for The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the dude behind Nedroid.com, or just that guy who doodles on a tumblr. That is, if you know of Anthony Clark at all.

And that’s not meant to be disparaging or unintentionally hipstery, as Clark’s talent is kind of obvious. But if you haven’t been reading Nedroid.com, you’ve seriously been missing out. I mean, c’mon, there’s a beartato involved. Or, rather, Beartato, I suppose. It is his name after all. Regardless, this one is just as charming and adorable as it is perplexing.

5. pictures for sad children

It is both hard to describe why, exactly, John Campbell’s pictures for sad children strikes a certain chord with its fans. Either there aren’t words to accurately illustrate its appeal or the words there just don’t do it justice. Instead, in order to cut off any potential commentary of hyperbole, perhaps this panel will suffice.

The dark humor is prevalent throughout most of strip’s run. Sometimes it’s more amusing than dark and sometimes it’s more dark than amusing. It straddles the line seemingly without abandon and dabbles in various manners of expression. For instance, Campbell’s work can be seen illustrating various buildings and the like in Chicago from time to time, like in the header for his interview at The A.V. Club last year.

6. Family Man

Dylan Meconis’ Family Man is about a young man named Luther Levy living through a tumultuous time in German history. To be specific, 1768. To be even more specific, there’s no real “Germany” yet. It might be worth reading the Introduction first, as Meconis herself describes it as being about “18th century universities, religious doubt, and (eventually) werewolves, among other things.”

Family Man is perhaps the most intellectual comic of those included here. If you’re looking for werewolves, you’re going to need to be patient, but if you’re looking for a webcomic that tackles the other subjects mentioned by Meconis, then you’re in luck. Either way, Family Man is really in a class of its own.

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