Webcomic Review Index

Links to each of my full, comprehensive reviews of webcomics, as well as links to all my posts on that particular webcomic. Click on the title for the relevant site, the star rating for the full review, and the “all posts” link for all posts on that comic. I’ve given each webcomic a star rating on a four star scale and a brief description of my thoughts on that particular webcomic. A webcomic can ONLY achieve a rating of four stars if I subscribe to it in my RSS reader, but being in my RSS reader is not a guarantee of getting four stars.

If you want me to give a webcomic a review, e-mail me at mwmailsea at yahoo dot com. I only give webcomics full reviews if they are either good (or at least have potential) or popular; bad unpopular comics I prefer to let founder.

  • 8-Bit Theater by Brian Clevinger: * Dull to the point of leaving me without much to say, repetitive, and with unsympathetic, interchangable protagonists, the only reason this comic is popular is that its plot moves so slowly and drawn-out you have to sign up for months to get anywhere. Mercifully coming to an end. (all posts)
  • Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle: * A barrage of bizarre awesomeness that owes much of its popularity to the novelty value of a five-year-old author. Finding its rhythm and level of bizarreness could be the worst thing to happen to it. (all posts)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley: **½ Not as bad as the Internet makes it out to be, and most of the criticisms either fall flat or could be said of a gazillion other webcomics, including quite popular – and good – ones. Most of the criticism probably reflects people’s hatred of Buckley or CAD ripoffs more than CAD itself. The stories of the characters are captivating enough I added it to my RSS reader, but just because it’s not “OMG THE WORST WEBCOMIC EVAR” doesn’t mean it doesn’t have issues, and while Buckley may be trying to improve on them I’m worried new ones may crop up in the process. (all posts)
  • Darths and Droids by David Morgan-Mar et al: ***½ Down from four stars because Attack of the Clones hasn’t lent itself to an RPG campaign as well as Phantom Menace. If innovation ranks alongside enjoyment and a gripping story as criteria for webcomic stardom, as suggested here, Darths and Droids is the poster boy for it. Took a simple idea and explored not only it but the entire world of RPGs as far as it could go. Even though you know what happens, you want to see how it happens in this new context. (all posts)
  • Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North: ** Repetitive by necessity of the gimmick, and appeals mostly to geeks’ love of surrealism; I could have easily given it one-and-a-half stars. Then again, maybe I’m just bitter because my interpretation of the concept didn’t bring me fame and fortune. (all posts)
  • Dresden Codak by Aaron Diaz: * Damn near incomprehensible, this comic should serve as proof that good art (however it’s defined) is nowhere near a guarantee your comic is any good. If I want to look at pretty pictures I can go to a museum. (all posts)
  • Fey Winds by Nicole Chartrand: ** Updates too slowly for its own good, with the result it activated Cerebus Syndrome and resolved many of its mysteries way too early. Way too little content in each comic to justify a weekly schedule either. Could have given it an extra half-star, but could have taken a half-star away as well. (all posts)
  • Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio: **½ Can’t say much about the plot, and may eventually re-review it, but representative of the problems of pacing that can crop up in “long-form” webcomics. (all posts)
  • Goblins by Tarol Hunt: ** Not as good as its enthusiastic fanbase says it is, and a far, far cry from the greatness of OOTS. Has a better handle of the flow of content than Fey Winds, but still develops its plotlines way too slowly. (all posts)
  • Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell: *** A gripping story of magic vs. technology, to the point I almost couldn’t handle it. Its biggest problem is pacing, specifically how agonizingly slowly it develops as it comes out. (all posts)
  • Homestuck by Andrew Hussie: *** If you like epic, convoluted stories about good vs. evil in a magical land with outdated pop culture references sprinkled in, Homestuck may be right for you. Side effects of Homestuck may include a general feeling of stalling, massive swathes of lost time, emotional torque, grimdarkness, warps in the fabric of reality, nightmares, death, and toothache. (all MS Paint Adventures posts)
  • Irregular Webcomic! by David Morgan-Mar: *** Just as, if not more, innovative as Darths and Droids for its structure, but before the “Irregular Crisis” only select themes were interesting, and Morgan-Mar doesn’t have per-theme RSS feeds. It’s almost unfair to review it all at once rather than each theme, but we’d be here all day if I had to review 17 themes. (all posts)
  • mezzacotta by Unknown Algorithm via David Morgan-Mar et al: ½ mezzacotta the web site: ** (concept: ****) Square Root of Minus Garfield by various: **½ Lab for the mad geniuses who brought you Darths and Droids and Irregular Webcomic! A storehouse for all the random ideas bouncing around the proprietors’ heads? Hey, that sounds familiar… The main comic is generally incomprehensible crap by necessity, and most of the other stuff comes out, well, half-baked, but √-G is genuinely interesting, if it’s started to run low on ideas a little. (all mezzacotta posts) (all Square Root of Minus Garfield posts)
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Aaron Pierce: **½ Often surreal, occasionally satiric, at times very funny, but updates too seldomly and seems to have abandoned at least some of what made it so funny to begin with. (all posts)
  • Penny Arcade by Jerry Krahulik and Michael Holkins: ** The most popular webcomic on the Internet, but possibly not on its own merits. (all posts)
  • Powerup Comics: ½ but intentionally. Probably still better than mezzacotta, though. (all posts)
  • PVP by Scott Kurtz: ** A parade of the ridiculous and surreal. (No wonder it’s popular!) Like Dinosaur Comics, I could have easily deducted a half-star. (all posts)
  • The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew: ***** The best webcomic in the history of history, and a story sure to become one of the great pieces of literature evar, right alongside Lord of the Rings and War and Peace. Funny yet gripping, rooted in D&D yet accessible, OOTS will captivate you, change your life, bring world peace, and cure cancer. (all posts)
  • Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques: *** There are times when it’s one of the best webcomics I’ve ever read. There are times when it drives me crazy and flirts with diving into the wackiness pool, to the point I could have easily deducted half a star. (all posts)
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner: **½ Can be significantly funnier than xkcd, but without the same soul and prone to being repetitive. (all posts)
  • Scary Go Round by John Allison: A group of Brits takes a bunch of wacky hijinks in stride. Simultaneously the British Goats, Something Positive, Sluggy Freelance, and Questionable Content. Choked on its own continuity twice. (all posts)
  • Sluggy Freelance by Pete Abrams: *** but almost impossible for newbies to understand comprehensively. (all posts)
  • Something Positive by Randy Milholland: ** Lots of characters with lots of plots, and kind of hard to catch up on without an archive binge, which is also how they’re best appreciated. One of the snarkier webcomics. Best value is as an enjoyable diversion. (all posts)
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff by Andrew Hussie: An atrociously drawn, sloppily written, meme-ridden parody comic… so why am I left to marvel at its surreality? (all posts)
  • User Friendly by J.D. Fraser: **½ Another entertaining diversion for its target audience, and also not as bad as some people think, but became set in its ways before it really matured. (all posts)
  • xkcd by Randall Munroe: ** The second most popular webcomic on the Internet, at least on outward appearance, but I’m not entirely sure why. Mostly, the individual comics are very linkable, but that just makes it a meme factory and little else. Stripped of that, it’s almost the definition of blandness and mediocrity. (all posts)

Webcomic Blog Reviews

A few times a year I’ll review a webcomic blog instead of an actual webcomic. Here are the blogs I’ve reviewed so far in the order I’ve reviewed them:

Websnark by Eric Burns-White (all posts)
Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad by John Solomon (trust me, you need to read multiple posts from my original review in August 2008)
Tangents by Robert A. Howard (all posts)
The Floating Lightbulb by Bengo (all posts)
Comixtalk by Xaviar Xerexes (all posts)
The Webcomic Overlook by El Santo (all posts)

Tentative List of Upcoming Reviews

Subject to change, and it’s always best to see the listed date as saying to expect a review the general “week of” that date, depending on when and how long it takes me to write the actual review.

4/16: Square Root of Minus Garfield
4/23: Ctrl+Alt+Del Revisited
4/30: Erfworld
5/7: Romantically Apocalyptic
5/14: The Oatmeal or VG Cats
5/21: VG Cats or The Oatmeal
5/28: Girls with Slingshots
6/4: Webcomic Blog Review: Fleen
6/11: Diesel Sweeties
6/18: Hark! A Vagrant (?)

Further reviews dependent on wider developments in March and April.