Are they funny? Sometimes. Are they weird like graphic novels? Sometimes. It all depends on the artist/writers, who are usually the same person - calling these a labor of love is an understatement, although a lucky few have found the fanhood and marketing skills to make a living doing this.
For me, this is the best storytelling out there. Like TV, these young artists and writers have taken complete command of their artistic vision, and saying the results are wonderful is an understatement. For those of you who already knew that, on to the links!
Again, this is not a definitive list. A beautiful thing about the webcomics community is all the pages below have links to many, many more titles. And guest artist cameos are the norm, where artists will fill in during the regular authors' vacation and riff on the story.
"Hob" and "Dark Science" are the two novels, basically, that constitute this absolutely stunning sci-fi brain teaser involving a girl's personal inner journey and transformation into a cyborg. What she is looking for and finds along the way is oblique, painfully cerebral to read and frightening and stunning to watch, especially given artist Aaron Diaz' recent Art Deco fetish. Read on a big monitor if you can for maximum impact.
And don't forget to check out his artist's Tumblr!
A fascinatingly dystopian look into the heart of a shy but brilliant young man trying to integrate into the brutally primitive culture of a desert city (hence the title). The art is stark yet full of thick detail and the writing is purple noir with lots of surprises.
Given webcomics are almost exclusively a young audience, many of the stories center around the young hip culture: young people fucking, talking at length about fucking, relationship drama, fucking, trying to survive after college and get work, fucking, epic partying and heartbreak, fucking, fart jokes and journeys of self discovery. And fucking. A sampling of some that aren't awful:
Yes, this is the one Wil Wheaton gave props to by using Jeph Jacques' caricature of him as his Twitter avatar. And it's set in Five Colleges area of Massachusetts, still the favorite of all the places I've ever lived in.
Girls With Slingshots
Go Get a Roomie!
Menage a 3
(No archive, just click on the arrow buttons to start on page one or the dropdown list of chapters - there's a LOT!)
Heard of steampunk? Like brilliant, brave and HOT female leads and heroes? Enough said. Dig in, there's plenty from the authors of "XXXenophile" (shut up, you know you loved that comic too). And don't miss the plentiful extras on the site!
This may seem to be your more standard "Sunday funnies" with a cast of goblins, elves and other mystical creatures making their way in a hip downtown Canadian city, except the sexual appetites of the leads on display here would have given any newspaper editor a heart attack. Cute, whimsical and immensely Canadian in it's droll humor and unabashed nerdiness.
Scenes From A Multiverse
From the author of the brilliant "Goats" comes a freeform series of blackout sketches involving mayhem, incredible creatures and awful people from all over not just this universe, but a whole bunch of others.
(or click Cases)
This one started as "Scary Go Round", a British parlor mystery on really good acid, and has evolved into a supernatural themed variation with a school aged cast. Constantly inventive, witty and fun!
Don't write this off as a "Harry Potter" rip - this goes into mystical, sci-fi and even horror zones that are uniquely it's own. Anyway, moving past school age stuff...
More ladies who are upfront about their political, sexual and personal passions. And draw comics:
Kate or Die!
I don't understand it either. But I love it.
And last (for now) and never least...
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
If I forgot some, did I mention to follow lots of links?!