Cat and Girl by Dorothy Gambrell
By turns goofy and philosophical (respectively?), this one has been a weekly read for me for probably over five years now; originally recommended by Lore Fitzgerald Sjoberg.
Dinosaur Comix by Ryan North
The same art every day, but always different reflections on philosophy, linguistics, zombies, etc., by talking dinosaurs. Two times I wrote the guy fan mail and there is a picture of me wearing a shirt.
xkcd by Randall Monroe
Stick-figure drawings by a physicist or robot builder or something. Some are romantic, some serious, but most are seriously FUN!!! ha ha! I liked it so much I read them all at once and then wrote the guy fan mail. Once my friend met him at a party!
Friendly Hostility by K. Sandra Fuhr
The story of an eccentric family, focusing increasingly on the son, the hilarious self-aggrandizing Fox, and his boyfriend, who wants so badly to be an evil overlord but who is endearingly fraught with human frailty.
Choice samples: Since it’s a building storyline, it’s hard to pick out favorites (also since I read them all in one day). But I think the Fridge Demon and the strip after are if not my favorites among them–Fox is just so upbeat about everything! Oh, and I like the thing about the Cosmos. And a week later, when we learn what a hurt demon is like. (Also. I would aim for your eyes!) (Also: Your mom is hot and the ensuing totally ridiculous hetero freakout: “I don’t want to be gay! People will assume things about me! They’ll think I’m fun. Girls will think I’m NICE.”) (By the way, if you want to be directed to the FHiest episodes of the author’s earlier strip, Boy Meets Boy, drop me a line. I have them meticulously catalogued.)
Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew
D&D humor! Too lazy to look up choice strips now, but it’s also an ongoing story so they’ll be better in context anyway. My favorites are probably the early, Dungeon Crawlin’ Fools set. Also, I adore Elan.
Build your own comics page at the Houston Chronicle
The syndicated comics, just like in the paper, but you get to pick your own. For maximal efficiency make sure you select the 8 comics per page option. Once you’ve built your page, bookmark it. My (admittedly soap-biased) recommendations (including the good, the funnily bad, and the often-remarked-upon-at-Comics-Curmudgeon): 9 Chickweed Lane; Apartment 3-G; For Better of For Worse; Fox Trot; Get Fuzzy; Gil Thorpe; Judge Parker; Luann; Mark Trail; Mary Worth; Classic Peanuts; Rex Morgan; Sally Forth; Spider-Man
9 Chickweed Lane by Brooke McEldowney
(Or, as Alison calls him, “Brooke McCrushesonhisowncharacters”.) My favorite syndicated comic, centering on a likeable intellectual ballet dancer, her adorable gay roommate Seth, her mother who loves Tarzan, her grandmother who is evil, her geeky boyfriend Amos, a crazy old guy named Thorax, and a tangentially-related former nun and priest battling conflicting feelings of love and honor.
- Earliest strips I could find
- A pretty good starting place
- Note: There’s a weird bug where it won’t let you navigate forward after November 13, making you think the comic stopped then. But it didn’t! Pick it up again on November 14.
Syndicated Comics Commentary
The Comics Curmudgeon by Josh Fruhlinger
Commentary on the daily comics. A daily must-read (after you’ve read the daily comics on Houston Chronicle!)
Archives of The Funny Paper by Scocca & Macleod
The people who used to read the comics so you don’t have to, before Josh took over (though their modus operandi was to pithily summarize all the week’s storylines.) They’re funny enough that you don’t care that the strips and storylines they’re commenting on aren’t relevant anymore. There’s too many choice entries to choose from–and the running gags are what make it, a lot of the time (e.g. declaring each FBoBW week either “for better!” or “for worse!”; the crossword Oreo watch; crudely drawing Mother Goose and Grimm characters as vengeance; “Great laffs from a Great Dane.”)–but here is the first one I read after an Internet search for someone as dumbfounded by Luann kissing Aaron Hill as I was.
Not really a comic but a thread on Truth and Beauty Bombs (a Ryan North-affiliated message board) dedicated to looking at Garfield on the level of reality where you don’t know what the cat is thinking (from Jon’s perspective, or an outsider’s). Turns out to make Garfield a surprisingly funny, poignant, surreal strip.