Reading the Sunday comics in the local newspaper is a nostalgic pastime for many, but there are many more excellent comic artists and writers out there making some fantastic art, besides just the ones with a weekly byline. No matter what your taste, there’s a new favorite waiting for you to discover. Some of the internet’s favorite writers have had careers launched on platforms like Webtoons and Comixology, or through subscription based Patreon, and are now publishing comic anthologies, making your dose of the weekly funnies as easy to get as binging a new show on Netflix.
Nathan W. Pyle’s wildly popular Instagram account gives a sampling of some of his funniest pieces from Strange Planet, a re-examining of the everyday and mundane through new eyes. You’ll laugh at his apt descriptions of how strange human behaviors is, and if you have young children they are guaranteed to mimic the oddball phrases Pyle uses to highlight some of life’s absurdities. His second book was just published, and it doubles down on his mastery of storytelling.
Sarah Andersen deftly captures the misadventures of independence, dating, and trying to figure out exactly when adulthood kicks in in part one of a four-volume series. Relatable to everyone who has tried dating since the invention of the internet, it’s a collection of relatable musings about coming-of-age in the modern world, that bridges the generation gaps from Gen X to Zoomers.
A humorous look at the constant conflict between what our brains know and what our hearts want, Nick Seluk’s three books (and card game) are kicked off by Heart and Brain’s competing antics. Incisive, self deprecating, and incredibly relatable, they’re an effective and funny reminder to balance passion projects with necessary tasks, and to choose joy whenever possible. And be Batman.
The third entry into the Poorly Drawn Lines series, Poorlier Drawn Lines features the kind of punchlines that stick with you; ready to use in-jokes that will break your entire friend group out in wheezing laughter over and over again. Buy a copy for everyone you actually enjoy talking to; it pays dividends.
Allie Brosh is back, following up her bestselling Hyperbole and a Half with this second entry, which doubles down on her trademark style. A blend of humor, gut-punching honesty, and powerfully evocative discussions about family, mental illness, and the modern world make her a must-read.
There are few comics who can encapsulate such a powerful range of emotions, but Christopher Grady does nothing but surprise. If you’re following his social media, it’s a daily guess whether he’ll share a life-changing piece about aging gracefully, something heartwarming about appreciating family, or the humorous chaos of raising young children.
Chris McCoy has to be one of the internet’s most famous uncredited artists. Scroll down the feed of almost every social network and you will see one of his hilarious pieces, without the kind of proper attribution that he deserves. This painfully funny collection, full of everything from dry one-liners to the sort of twist endings your average horror film only dream of, is sure to cement his place as your favorite comic.
Alex Norris pushes the limits of minimalism in art, and it’s a testament to his artistic ability that he can tell a story with so little on the page. With a commitment to running gags and recurring themes that could rival any stand-up comic, his book gets better with each read.
Listen, I know too many things get called “charming” and the word has lost all meaning from overuse, but hear me out. The Pigeon Gazette is charming. You should buy this book because reading anything by Jane Zei gives you the desire to root for her success, and be her friend.
Dami Lee could serve as a how-to guide for the modern memoir. With a sharp wit and clear eye for conveying the immigrant experience, she manages to be a cosmpolitan cool New Yorker without ever losing the affable and earnest sensibility her art highlights.
An ideal comic for budding artists to follow, Cassandra Calin’s semi-autobiographical works intersperse personal history with musings on relationships, beauty routines, and taming her web-famous hair. With a gorgeous, well-honed style and two published books, if you haven’t already heard of her, it’s time to join the bandwagon.
Former Buzzfeed illustrator and only man alive who makes social media more enjoyable, Adam Ellis is a cartoonist who has moved past self deprecating humor and fully embraces self decapitating humor; both in his art and his writing, he makes himself the butt of nearly every joke, though he still manages to be so relatable that readers feel they are also being good-naturedly mocked. Even when describing his intense fling with crystals or long-running jokes about being haunted, his work is infused with so much personality that readers cannot help connecting with his struggles and rooting for his success.
Brutally honest parenting truths and side-splitting humor are the hallmarks of cartoonist Brian Gordon, whose Fowl Language series kicks off with Volume 1: Welcome to Parenting. Bathe in the light of honest truth and recognize that sometimes, parenting requires that you pour yourself a drink and let out a stream of profanity in peace, before returning to your family to pour out more love and affection. Just don’t try to get away with any of that while on the toilet; kids never let you go in there alone.