I’ve read a lot of comics this year, both in print and online. I might do a top 5 print comics list later on, but I’ve read many more comics on paper and it will be more difficult to condense all I’ve read into a Top 5 or even Top 10. I don’t love reading comics online, but there’s a lot of good work that hasn’t made it to print yet or
will can only exist online that would be a shame to miss. So without further rambling, here are the 5 online comics I enjoyed the most this year (in no particular order):
1. On Hiatus by Pete Toms (read here)
Not only is this one of my favorite comics this year (online or otherwise), this is one of my favorite comics of all time. This has some of Pete’s best artwork to date, not to mention the writing is funny, exciting, and poignant. Pete Tom’s is kind of like the Charlie Kaufman of comics and also kind of like the David Lynch of Charlie Kaufmans. On Hiatus is a comic about what it means to be washed up and whether there’s a line between being an artist, an entertainer, or something more. This comic was really summed up for me in a monologue in Part 2 about God as a has-been. Pete is doing work that is propelling the comics medium forward and On Hiatus holds its own as both a piece of art and a piece of entertainment. I hope this comic is released in print some day because I’d love to have it on display in my home.
2. When The Darkness Presses by Emily Carroll (read here)
This is what I’m talking about when I talk about a comic that can only exist online. Emily Carroll is probably a “duh” person to mention, everyone knows and loves her stuff, but it’s for good reason! This comic really pushes the online format. It jumps back and forth between a standard webcomic layout for day scenes, complete with fake banner ads Carroll designed herself that later become subverted by impending horror, and night scenes that are hazy and happen over a solid black page background. It all works together to become another very creepy comic that Carroll is renowned for. A short but sweet (or sour) comic that should be experienced by all.
3. Demon by Jason Shiga (read here)
Demon really took me by surprise. Or rather, Jason Shiga took me by surprise. I only discovered his work this year and I find it all very exciting. This guy is a great storyteller. This comic updates daily M-F and I check it every day reading only 1 page at a time. That’s how exciting this story is. I think Shiga’s comics are best experienced going into them knowing nothing, but I will say that I highly recommend this comic to fans of Death Note.
4. Actual Trouble by Michael DeForge (read here)
DeForge makes so many comics and they’re all great. He also puts a generous amount of his work online. This isn’t my favorite comic of his this year but it is my favorite comic of his that he serialized online this year. This isn’t exactly a comic per se, more of an illustrated short story, but I’m still counting it. The art and colors are great and the story is another classic DeForge bizzare love story. Read this comic, and then go read the rest of his comics online and then buy Lose 6 and then subscribe to his Patreon to get even more comics!
5. Thunderpaw by Jen (read here)
Last but not least is Thunderpaw. This comic is beautiful with so much animation and work put into it. It’s trippy, funny, manic, paranoid, everything you could want in a comic about 2 young dog people. Jen’s been working on this for a while but has been posting a lot more lately. Go read it and support her patreon so she can make more!
There you have it! If you read any great comics online this year, reblog and add to the list. I’d love to see what everyone else is reading.