I grew up on Charles Shulz’ Peanuts — when my parents’ daily newspaper arrived every morning, I’d beg to have the back section, which hosted the the comics section. As a teen my tastes in comics gravitated towards Doonesbury and Bloom County, and discovering Calvin and Hobbes, The Boondocks, and Dykes to Watch Out For as an adult was a treat. It’s been decades since I’ve subscribed to a daily paper, but my appreciation for the medium endures. Below are three web comics that I continue to enjoy. (Out of respect for the artists, I’m posting links to their web sites rather than copying their comics in this post.)
This Modern World
I discovered Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World as a graduate student in the late 1980s. The comic’s overt left-leaning politics appealed to the angry young man I was at the time, and while I don’t always agree with the comic’s politics today I still appreciate its wit. If you don’t like politics and social commentary, especially if you’re conservative, you probably won’t enjoy this one, but I believe Tom Tomorrow is who Gary Trudeau always wanted to be.
It’s difficult to write about mental illness in a way that’s both authentic and entertaining, but Clay Jonathan’s Depression Comix pulls it off. The latest strip is a perfect commentary on life during the ongoing COVID pandemic; I especially like how the main character in that strip literally disappears at the end.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Enough already with the social relevance! Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is just a whole lot of fun. The strip makes plenty of references to contemporary issues and intellectual ideas, but a consistently self-deprecating tone makes the strip consistently entertaining.
What web comics do you enjoy? I’d love to read your suggestions in the comments!