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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/14/2008

Five Webcomics to Keep Your Eye On...

By Michael Cavna

Here in the land of Comic Riffage, whenever the subject of online comics comes up, some passionate readers will take one of two tacks. Either:

1. "You guys at WaPo should really run THIS cool webcomic in print!"; or
2. "We have the almighty Web--hahaHA! We don't need no stinkin' print comics!"

Both points, of course, have some validity. Some webcomics would be far livelier than some of the sleepy, grandfathered-in strips that The Post now painfully publishes. And if you have no need for a fix of print funnypages, the World Wide Web is your oyster. Cartoon readers are living in a time akin to an Oklahoma land grab: Squat wherever you'd like -- thar's unclaimed comics as far as the eye can see.

As a true cartoon junkie, however, I'll take my quality comics however I can get 'em -- one if by driveway, two if by online, thankyouverymuch. Which leads me to several webcomics that caught my eye anew at the recent Small Press Expo in Maryland. These five features were deservedly nominated for SPX's Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic:

1. "Achewood" (
2. "Danny Dutch" (
3. "Slow Wave" (
4. "Thingpart" (
5. "Traced" (

Of that handful, I'd like to focus on three.

Talk about your "alternative" energy. (Chris Onstad) | Enlarge

The two-time Ignatz winner "ACHEWOOD" features liquor-clutching creatures that are cleanly drawn by Chris Onstad. His site explains the strip's title: "Achewood," like wormwood, was used by antebellum slaves in the production of "achewater," a long-since outmoded and outlawed Southern beverage. Drinkers of achewater experienced hallucinations and euphoria, but the after-effects of the liquor produced a deep and lasting melancholy (hence its name)." Me, I tend to prefer the writing in his longer strips; your results may vary.

A tone we could grow to like a lot. (Joey Sayers ) Enlarge Comic

I also enjoyed this "THINGPART" strip, titled "Beautiful Flat Diamond," by self-described "West Coast gal" Joey Sayers.

I was most intrigued, though, by the thoroughly engaging storytelling in the "traced animations" of Tracy White, including her "true story" titled "Getting Drunk."

After the event, I asked White about the reaction to her comics. "I think people really like the universal experiences I write and draw about in my work," she e-mailed. "I often get email like: 'Thank you for that story, it brought back memories I'd forgotten and made me think about things I hadn't thought about in a while.' " She also joked that the response sometimes is: "I hope you're not in too much trouble."

Describing life as a webcartoonist, White adds: "Comics like 'Getting Drunk' end up being talked about in, say, a web blog that celebrates getting I reach this totally different audience of maybe college guys who like to party instead of people who like reading about shared experiences. It's the beauty of the web -- sometimes you have no idea how you are going to reach people but reach them you will."

Thanks to the Web, "TRACED" reached us. We'll check out it -- and the other webcomics we mentioned -- more religiously now.

Do you have your fave webcomics bookmarked? Many Comic Riffsters say they're always on the lookout -- so post 'em if you've got 'em.

By Michael Cavna  | October 14, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  General  
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My favorites:

Posted by: Regal | October 14, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

User Friendly ( - if you're a computer geek, this is the strip for you.

Least I Can Do ( - a GREAT strip that will never never never appear in a newspaper.

I loved The Norm. I lost track of it when he went to a pay format. I need to find it and catch up on the years I missed. I bet it's worth it.

Posted by: f2 | October 14, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I have Dinosaur Comics book marked, but I'm not sure that it qualifies, since the same art is used all the time.

I also have xkcd bookmarked.

Posted by: debit | October 14, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Navy Bean



Basic Instructions

Posted by: Horacio | October 14, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Questionable content has a great story line is always good for a base laugh
Cat and Girl
Married to the Sea

Posted by: Robert Lintott | October 14, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this article. I really liked the TRACED comics. I went to the site and found this one about kissing which is too funny,

Posted by: Owen B. | October 14, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

here go:

dub dub dub dot fevertown dot com

Posted by: fever | October 14, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Thingpart ran in the City Paper before the clowns at Creative Loafing bought it and screwed both the pooch and the comics. I can't say I appreciated it though.

I always liked Arlingtonian Steve Conley's Astounding Space Thrills which went to Image briefly. He's working on a 10th anniversary comic now.

Posted by: Mike Rhode | October 14, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Buck Godot

Kate Benton


C'est la Vie

Sam & Fuzzy

For the curious offers many "newspaper comics" and web comics to be selected for your own comics page.

Posted by: michael | October 14, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Achewood may end up getting a tab... I also love and Might want to check out especially the last few weeks very nice if scathing political commentary.

Posted by: AngiMar | October 15, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I just started writing my own webcomic about education and kids/teachers/technology that runs at our local newspaper site.

I hope it gets a chuckle here and there.

Kevin Hodgson

Posted by: Kevin H | October 15, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

I adore Kate Beaton

- She incorporates historical events into comics, and, although with a Canadian filter, she proves humor (humour) has no geographic boundaries.

(I think this is the Kate Benton mentioned by michael above ?)

Posted by: CFAinNL | October 15, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm absolutely hooked on CTRL + ALT + DEL ( -- ostensibly about gamers, it also has great character development and meditations on life in general.

Posted by: viking | October 15, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Some of my fav's

Posted by: Larry | October 15, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I get my online fix through a gateway site,, which specializes in (but is not restricted to) furry comics. Here are some of my faves:

"Count Your Sheep" by Adrian Ramos (

"Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures" by Amber Williams (

"Doc Rat" by Jenner (

"Kevin and Kell" by Bill Holbrook (

"Sinfest" by Tatsuya Ishida ( Caution: language

"Better Days" by Jay Naylor ( Caution: adult themes, language, violence

"Faux Pas" by R. amd M. Carspecken (

"Freefall" by Mark Stanley (

"Jack" by Dave Hopkins ( Caution: adult themes, language, nudity, sex, violence

"Newshounds" by Thomas K. Dye (

"Las Lindas" by Gonzalo Reyes ( Caution: adult themes, language, nudity

"Tales of the Questor" by Ralph Hayes Jr. ( Caution: violence

"Sabrina Online" by Eric W. Schwartz ( Caution: adult themes

Posted by: Daniel J. Drazen | October 15, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm all about Ces Marculiano's Medium Large and Corey Pandolph's Barkeater Lake and Toby: Robot Satan.

Posted by: Stewart | October 15, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You are correct CFAinNL. I meant Kate Beaton. I guess it is true, your spell check can beat up my spell check.

Posted by: michael | October 15, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Adding to the queue:

Something Positive
Templar, Ariz.
Dresden Kodak
Demonology 101
Nuklear Power
Errant Story
No Rest for the Wicked

Posted by: Bobby McObvious | October 15, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

(second attempt)
Here's my list
Barkeater Lake -The Fake Story of Real People in a Fake Town.
Toby, Robot Satan > The Comic Strip for Evil Robots and their Minions
xkcd - By Randall Munroe
Punch an' Pie: try a slice of life... then swallow.

Posted by: Thom | October 15, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I love Multiplex, Joe Loves Crappy Movies, Theater Hopper, Octopus Pie, and Kate Beaton's comics.

Posted by: Eric | October 16, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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