Now that the school year is almost over, it’s time to make your plans for summer! Going on trips, hanging with friends, finally writing that novel… no, let’s face it, you’ll probably still be on the computer most of the time. The Sheaf fully endorses your indoor summer; in fact, here are some of the best online comics for your reading pleasure.
(All titles link to the author’s website)
Created by Canada’s own Kate Beaton, Hark, a Vagrant! takes history and makes it entertaining. The art is simple but engaging, and her use of more contemporary dialogue makes the history-and literature-based jokes easier to understand.
Eli’s had a rough day. He’s having trouble at school, his father is in critical condition after a car accident, he found an ancient religious text in a jar and he met a jerk of a god who’s lost his powers and works in retail. You know, typical teen stuff. Epiphany is a usually humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching and always thought-provoking look at religion and faith — a difficult topic that’s handled well here.
Ava has struggled with depression and isolation her entire life, brought on by the spirit that shares her body and seems intent on making her miserable. A crisis causes the two to start connecting and understanding what brought them together. This all happens as they struggle to find a new life and defeat a mysterious force called Titan. With each page a single illustration, Ava’s Demon is a quick read with good pacing and top-notch art.
In case you’ve forgotten since reading some of its strips in the Sheaf or you didn’t know, here’s another reminder: SMBC in the first place is an actual web comic, and a darn good one. The daily updates look at life, love and the sciences in a way that is both amusing and insightful. There are also website exclusives, so you really should go check it out.
Dreamed up by another Canadian artist, Kelly Turnbull, this comic asks one question: What happens when ludicrously macho video games characters have to exist in the real world and find regular jobs? They go to a rehabilitation and job-finding agency run by Commander Badass, a time-travelling soldier from a nondescript future, of course. While most enjoyable for video game fans, the jokes are accessible to everyone and the writing is of a consistently high quality — plus, there’s a giant sea monster named “Mr. Fish.” If that doesn’t sell you I don’t know what will.
Eve and Hanna are old classmates — they took kindergarten together — who find themselves sharing an apartment in Brooklyn after nearly a lifetime apart. With the help of their friends and family, the pair slowly try to navigate work, romance, relationships, the search for self-esteem and being adults in general. Octopus Pie is a slice-of-life series that sometimes takes a turn for the bizarre, but always stays grounded in the main characters and their struggles.
Graphic: Cody Schumacher