Lots of ongoing stories I follow, so they’re being broken up by genre. In this case, science fiction. Your recommendations welcome!
By the way, some of the recs left in comments on earlier posts are starting to make their way into the new ones. I take a look at everything that gets linked, and have gotten into a bunch of gems that way.
Waterworks – a concerned citizen goes to the local waterworks to find out what’s up with her showers. Turns out it involves teleportation, high-tech gadgets, and possibly aliens. An original story that borrows the Homestuck format and structure.
String Theory – what starts out appearing to be a slapsticky comic about mad scientists takes a leap into the serious, and the art shoots up in quality with it. When the main scientist tries a prank that ends up actually killing people, he finds his own death faked and himself captured by old enemies, with only one potential friend who knows he’s still alive.
Spacetrawler – six humans are selected to come vote on behalf of Earth in the intergalactic council, and find themselves unraveling a galaxy-spanning, even universe-spanning, conspiracy. Wonderfully detailed art, great humor, heart-rending seriousness, and quite a bit of sex with aliens. Hands down one of my favorite webcomics, even among the ones I’m reccing.
Power Nap – in a world where most people are freed of the need to sleep, our hero is one of the few who still need it. Which makes him a candidate to participate in some kind of bizarre dream-based goings-on. Lots of action scenes, some great monsters.
Shadoweyes - in a futuristic city, a teenage aspiring vigilante stumbles into mysterious morphing powers. Now she can patrol the city as a superhuman urban legend…but there’s a catch to her abilities. Striking artwork, lots of atmospheric darkness.
Some long and finished tales to curl up with over a weekend.
95 Gallons – from the artist of Phil Likes Tacos, the story of a fish who decides to take over the tank. It’s a complex and devious plan that involves running the economy…which means first he has to create an economy from scratch. Good times.
Kid Radd – a video game sprite explores the mechanics of the larger gaming universe, and, because of a fortuitous error in his code, becomes the target of a cross-game conspiracy. This one is notable for having, in lieu of still strips, beautiful and carefully-crafted pixel animations.
1/0 – a strangely meta story about creating a webcomic ex nihilo. The artist chats with the characters, which include talking molecules and manifested puns, while generating them and building up their world. Digs into the nature of writing and the relationship of artists with their art, which I realize sounds dry, but I swear, it’s also funny.
Digger – a wombat aims her tunnel the wrong way, ends up in the temple of a dead god, and finds herself becoming the lynchpin of a struggle that goes deeper than anybody realizes. Also, teaching ethics to a shadow-eating baby demon. If you liked Bone, go check this out (and vice versa!). Love the artwork.
Most of what I know about D&D, I’ve learned from webcomics.
The best roleplaying parody comics riff on the absurdities of gaming mechanics while developing a story and characters that you end up getting into for their own sakes. Here are a few.
RPG World – Comedy story, sort-of finished; some arcs get abruptly dropped, and you can tell there was more material planned but never written. Endearing cast of characters, nice expressive art style.
ADVENTURERS! – Comedy story, finished. Another charming cast (the wizard was always my favorite). Not the greatest artwork, but there’s some surprisingly effective use of color nevertheless.
What Is Roleplaying – comedy story, finished. Featuring some great creative manipulation by the players of their items and abilities.
The Order of the Stick – comedy story, ongoing. Recced this one already, but I’m happy to do so again. Amazing worldbuilding for glorified stick figures.
Elf Only Inn – comedy, probably abandoned. This one’s about a group of people on a roleplaying forum online, starring character types from “the one who wants to do a serious high fantasy story” to “the one who just wants to come up with new ways to over-power their character.”
The Misadventures of Okk – comedy, abandoned. Crack, no specific quest or campaign, but the world runs in part on D&D-style mechanics. Something about the art works for me perfectly — I’ve reread it just for the characters’ expressions.
Any similar strips you follow? Link them in the comments!
The cliche webcomic premise is “a couple of guys sitting on a couch playing video games.” Some of the following strips seem like they could have started with that idea; all of them end up in original and genuinely funny places anyway.
Phil Likes Tacos – comedy, short arcs, ongoing. One of my favorite webcomics ever. A couple of guys who share a ton of geeky interests, though one has a normal fast food job and the other lives wholly in his own little world. Half satire of the perils of customer service, half magical-realist homage to video games and geekdom in general.
Casey and Andy – comedy, story-ish, completed. A couple of guys with increasingly ridiculous inventions. One of them is dating Satan. They all hope they won’t run afoul of the Quantum Cop.
Alternate Delusions – comedy, short arcs, completed. A couple of guys accidentally find a pocket dimension where everything they want manifests. Since it’s rent-free, they move in. A computer helps them get to other cross-dimensional adventures, including tangles with the Green Lantern corps and an epic Mille Bornes tournament.
Loserz – comedy/drama, story-ish, completed. A trio of high schoolers comprised of a couple of guys and a girl…who is bisexual, has a lot of sex, and yet doesn’t hook up with either of them and is generally treated as a character worthy of respect. Good times.
The Robman Show – comedy, gag-a-day, discontinued. Just one guy, but he comes with an obnoxious Spider-Man action figure and a somewhat simple-minded plush Cthulu. Also friends, family, and the occasional supernatural manifestation.
Paul – comedy, gag-a-day, discontinued. Also one guy, who is obnoxious in a strangely captivating way. It helps that everyone in-universe is just as baffled.