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  • Bruce H. McIntosh
    Visit my work homepage
    Last revised Jan 04, 2021

    The lunatics are in the hall
    The lunatics are in the hall
    The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
    And every day the paperboy brings more

    Online Comics

    I pretty much don't read the funny pages any more,'cause all the really good stuff is online. There's a lot of creative and really off-kilter funny stuff going on in the world of webcomics. Here's what I've found to be indespensible on a daily basis.

    The Daily Readers

    Nip and Tuck
    When I first stumbled across this gem,I read the entire archive in a single extended marathon sitting; I laughed so long loud and hard (I fell off my chair three different times) my kids were seriously doubting my mental stability! I was actually in pain from laughing so much. You have GOT to check this out.
    Goblin Hollow (formerly known as Under The Lemon Tree)
    This is done by the same chap who does Nip and Tuck (see above). Imagine a typical blue-collar dude,who suddenly sees manifestations of his inner psyche as separate entities. Mayhem ensues on a semi-regular basis. Bravo!
    This goes without saying. One cannot be a computer or network geek without embracing Illiad's magnum opus. He so thoroughly nails life as a network support peon that it's eerie.
    Schlock Mercenary
    Take one amorphous blob with an attitude,one lax recruiting officer,and a plasma cannon that hummmmmmmmmms ominously,and you have a wonderful recipe for galactic mayhem.
    Day By Day
    Finally some compelling humor from a politically conservative bent. Must-read. Occasionally racy.
    Diesel Sweeties
    Again,occasionally a bit racy,but pixellated robot romance is all the rage. Important philosophical insight: "If anyone else likes it,it can't be good".
    Questionable Content
    I try to save the best for last. It's again a trifle not-kid-safe from time to time,but the characters are so believably strange and their interactions so surreal and yet so realistic that I cannot help but enjoy it.
    XKCD. Read it. Marvel at it. And don't forget the mouseover alt-text.

    The Occasional Readers and Month-at-a-Timers

    The Joy of Tech
    My dearly beloved SpousalUnit put me onto this one. Very funny.
    The 5th Wave
    I've been reading Rich Tennant's stabs at computers and their people since InfoWorld was a newspaper. Almost unfailingly funny,often bitingly so.
    This is one of the wife's favorites. Figures that the husband is oftentimes something of a jerk. An innocent jerk,but a jerk nonetheless. You trying to tell me something,hon?
    PVP Online
    Everyone needs encouragement developing their l33t g8m0r ski11z
    Two Lumps
    The Adventures of Ebenezer and Snooch. Here we have two suburban apartment-dwelling housecats. VERY funny most of the time.

    Newspaper Comics Online

    I do still read the stodgy conventional comics like Crock,9 Chickweed Lane,Ballard Street,Dilbert,Doonsebury and whatnot,just not on paper. I'd been reading them on The Houston Chronicle's website,but since they burned down and rebuilt everything I haven't gone back and redone my comics page preferences. Meanwhile,I catch a few from time to time.

    Arlo and Janis
    No other strip really captures the fun and frolic and occasional stress and angst of married life with quite the deft touch of this strip. I think I've sent more Arlo and Janis archive pointers to the wife than any other strip. I think,in many respects,that I am Arlo.
    Ballard Street
    I've been a huge fan of Jerry Van Amerongen ever since The Neighborhood first cropped up on the Post's funnypages. He made Gary Larsen look almost sane,which is saying something.

    The Fallen Flags,strips I used to read but have gone away

    Queen of Wands
    Take one firey redhead,marry her ex-boyfriend to her best friend,stir in a miserable dead-end tech support job,renfaires,and assorted other madness,and let simmer... The strip is now retired,but the archive is still around for your viewing pleasure.
    Oftentimes serious,occasionally offensive to what some would consider my stodgy conventional morality,but Bruno's just so compelling as a character. I've not seen a more fully-fleshed-out comic character. I do hope she gloms onto some happier times,though. She's had a hard life,but by the end of the story things finally started to fall into place both within and without her life.
    This fine gem of system management and development was coauthored by one of the wife's former fellow unixgeeks. Prime stuff,though tragically no longer in production. Bummer,Drake.
    This one's a lot of fun,but you kinda have to have some backstory. See,there's this spaceship that crashed on Earth,and it's disguised as a very large mallard duck,which turned out not to be much of a disguise,and a captain who tries to emulate James T. Kirk (all those tv broadcasts bouncing around the universe, you see),and a megalomaniac engineer who wants to take over,and a drop-dead-gorgeous protocol droid who made a minor career of being a pop singer,and and and just read the strips!
    Where The Buffalo Roam
    This has long been touted as the first of the webcomics,and it still remains one of the best. Fortunately,the good folks at ShadowCulture have left some samples up for your enjoyment,in the hopes that you'll like it enough to buy a tasty book.
    Ozone Patrol
    Another ShadowCulture offering,this one covering the trials and tribulations of a cool collection of yuppies (Young Unnoticed Peons) trying to make their way in the world of work and relationships. Somewhere on the site is a semi-complete archive.
    Cafe Angst
    The final entry in the ShadowCulture triumvurate,this one covered life at a classic yuppie (see definition above) hangout,the coffee house. Except that the cook used to be in the CIA,the dishwashers are bears,and one of the waiters is a trust fund baby who's too rich to really need the job. Archives are unfortunately no longer up.
    Starship Utopia
    Take one typical underachieving college student,then zap him 500 years into the future,frozen solid in a glacier with nothing but half a bag of Doritos,stick a uniform on him,and make him XO of a massive starship.
    Honors House
    This one must be mentioned,if only because my very mental,very good friend Doug was one of the creators of this University of Maryland student paper comic that ran back in the early 1980s. Doug's tentatively given me permission to scan the whole schmeer and put it up here; I haven't gotten around to it yet.
    Another ensemble piece,revolving around our somewhat underachieving namesake.