Happy Friday, friends! This week, I wanted to point you to five web cartoonists whose work is always worth a look. You may be familiar with some or all of these artists, but I would recommend you check them out (or check them out again) this afternoon!
XKCD — Okay, fine, file it under “obvious statements are obvious,” but Randall Munroe’s brainy webcomic is a mainstay of the format, and always worth a look. His work is clever, dry, and expressive even in its simple stick-figure design. In other words, it’s not as much about the art as about the ideas behind each post (especially when some of the best material is hidden in the “scroll-over” text of the published image). I should hope by now if you are able to use “the internets” in any form, you have already enjoyed some of his work, but if not, here’s a recent post that made me smile.
Nathan Pyle’s Strange Planet — Let’s acknowledge and set aside the recent hubbub about Pyle’s alleged pro-life views, the “cancel-culture” dogpile, and his subsequent “clarification.” His series of comics examining common human behavior from an alien’s perspective is full of off-beat, pointed observations, drawn in a charming style that brings a smile to the face. I just found out about his work a few weeks ago (just before the dust-up), but no matter what his politics are, I really do enjoy his work on this series and will continue to follow his updates.
The Awkward Yeti — I’m not sure when I started following The Awkward Yeti (Nick Seluk), but his colorful designs and relatable punchlines keep me coming back. I am particularly a fan of his charming (and hugely-popular) “Heart and Brain” series. If XKCD tickles my geeky little brain, The Awkward Yeti touches my geeky little heart.
RefToons — If you’re into Christian theology (particularly of a Protestant bent), get thee to RefToons immediately. Paul Cox has created a host of lovely illustrations and portraits of figures from church history. His figure style has the feel of a more complex and artistically mature “Calvin and Hobbes,” and I find his work absolutely delightful. Check him out, buy his merch, support his work.
Adam4D — I think my favorite cartoonist online is still Adam Ford. His work is sharply-written and thoughtful (no surprise from the founder and former editor of The Babylon Bee), and his art is simple but subtle. Again, these are comics about ideas–and sometimes those ideas are challenging. (Case in point: On Wednesday, Instagram removed a comic he posted that compares the arguments used to justify abortion to those used to justify slavery–a post that contained no profanity, no slurs, no suggestion of violence or abuse, but was deemed “hate speech.”) I hope he continues to produce work like this, and keeps pushing the boundaries to challenge mainstream ideas that should be re-examined.
There you go–five web-based artists whose work I enjoy. I hope you are able to find something new and fun to check out among these listed.