Ironic, absurdist, and brainy webcomics

The enigmatically-titled xkcd is an increasingly beloved Internet darling with a devoted following, and as usual I'm late to the party. But what a party. This "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language" is both smart and sweet, irreverent and good-natured, an unashamed celebration of geekery in its highest forms -- curiosity, wonder, and a particular way of looking at the world through a combination of scientific analysis and niche culture references. It's also funny, which is a plus.

I can't not also include this one -- it's a classic. (Here's the folks at Language Log debating the punchline, included because I'm a language geek.)

Dinosaur Comics is a talky, clip-art style comic addressing an eclectic range of subject matter with zany energy. Enthusiastic T-rex philosophizes while stomping things, straight man Utahraptor acts as the voice of conscience and dramatic foil, and bystander Dromiceiomimus sometimes chips in, too. It also employs the fairly cute gimmick of using the exact same sequence of panels for every strip, which must be a great timesaver if nothing else.

David Malki's Wondermark, sometimes traditionally comic, and sometimes bizarrely abstract or simply surreal, derives its success from the calculated juxtaposition of stuffy, Victorian-era illustration with biting postmodern irony.

The Perry Bible Fellowship is a collection of comics by Nicholas Gurewich, whose bright candy-colored world is severely twisted and strange. Apart from his brilliantly dark imagination, Gurewich is also a very talented illustrator.



Anonymous Adam:

Re: XKCD - not only late to the party, but late to the backlash. My gripe where XKCD is concerned is the mismatch between its aims and its medium. Why pick a visual medium when you can't draw? Why not a "geek joke o' the day" blog?

Others have made the same sort of observation. John Allison, creator of Scary Go Round:


Stephen Bond is more venomous:


Blogger Anas Demens Purpurea:

I was so excited when I read the title of this post. Scrolling down with anticipation i was so sad when all of the posted comics were ones I've already read. The internet seems to be getting smaller by the day :)
PS: Your website remains awesome!

Blogger bluewyvern:

Bah. I'm late to every party!

Sorry, guys...

Anonymous jasmine:

Hey blue wyvern, you've got a great list here, especially xkcd, always witty, often winsome, invariably mindblowingly absract.

You might like



Perhaps also



Blogger bluewyvern:


Thanks for the suggestions! I'm really loving that second one.


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