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Wondermark: Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death

Webcomics Offline

Which is more mainstream: a book that everyone has read, or a book that you think everyone has read?

There is a tendency in the media and among people who don’t read comics to associate all comics with superheroes and bookshelves, when the internet has been producing endless pages for free. Webcomics enjoy creative freedom, both for their creators and readers, as fans can discover new series or visit established hits and click “Go to page 1” for the complete experience. Given enough popularity, publisher interest, and perhaps some crowdfunding, many webcomics lead to print editions.

What follows is a list of comics that you can jump into with no preparation, save for an open mind and a tendency toward bizarre humor. They feature characters that are not mentioned in most conversations about comics and probably will not see big-budget movie adaptations, but they represent the medium to millions of people anyway.


Amazon Says: “Precise and wryly hilarious...Gauld's both a literature nerd and a science-fiction nerd whose deadpan mashups belong on the same shelf as R. Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman, an more...
Amazon Says: “Precise and wryly hilarious...Gauld's both a literature nerd and a science-fiction nerd whose deadpan mashups belong on the same shelf as R. Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman, and Kate Beaton.”—NPR, Best Books of 2013 A new collection from the Guardian and New York Times Magazine cartoonist The New York Times Magazine cartoonist Tom Gauld follows up his widely praised graphic novel Goliath with You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, a collection of cartoons made for The Guardian. Over the past eight years, Gauld has produced a weekly cartoon for the Saturday Review section of Britain’s best-regarded newspaper. Only a handful of comics from this huge and hilarious body of work have ever been printed in North America—and these have been available exclusively within the pages of the prestigious Believer magazine.      You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack distills perfectly Gauld’s dark humor, impeccable timing, and distinctive style. Arrests by the fiction police and imaginary towns designed by Tom Waits intermingle hilariously with piercing observations about human behavior and whimsical imaginings of the future. Again and again, Gauld reaffirms his position as a first-rank cartoonist, creating work infused with a deep understanding of both literary and cartoon history. less...
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Amazon Says: Dark Horse Comics presents this second hardbound collection of David Malki's nationally syndicated Wondermark, a sarcastic, silly, and razor-sharp gag comic strip created enti more...
Amazon Says: Dark Horse Comics presents this second hardbound collection of David Malki's nationally syndicated Wondermark, a sarcastic, silly, and razor-sharp gag comic strip created entirely from nineteenth century woodcuts and engravings. A follow-up to 2008's critically acclaimed Beards of our Forefathers, Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death contains over one hundred comic strips originally published in The Onion and on Wondermark.com, as well as many pages of additional material - such as Malki's eight-page graphic story "Ransom!" and, as promised, a bevy of techniques intended to help the reader delay the inevitable onset of their own demise - written and designed in Malki's trademark hilarious style. less...
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Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
Amazon Says: FEATURED ON MORE THAN TWENTY BEST-OF LISTS, INCLUDING TIME, AMAZON, E! AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!  Hark! A Vagrant is an uproarious romp through history and literature seen t more...
Amazon Says: FEATURED ON MORE THAN TWENTY BEST-OF LISTS, INCLUDING TIME, AMAZON, E! AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!  Hark! A Vagrant is an uproarious romp through history and literature seen through the sharp, contemporary lens of New Yorker cartoonist and comics sensation Kate Beaton. No era or tome emerges unscasthed as Beaton rightly skewers the Western world's revolutionaries, leaders, sycophants, and suffragists while equally honing her wit on the hapless heroes, heroines, and villains of the best-loved fiction. She deftly points out what really happened when Brahms fell asleep listening to Liszt, that the world's first hipsters were obviously the Incroyables and the Merveilleuses from eighteenth-century France, that Susan B. Anthony is, of course, a "Samantha," and that the polite banality of Canadian culture never gets old. Hark! A Vagrant features sexy Batman, the true stories behind classic Nancy Drew covers, and Queen Elizabeth doing the albatross. As the 500,000 unique monthly visitors to harkavagrant.com already know, no one turns the ironic absurdities of history and literature into comedic fodder as hilariously as Beaton. less...
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Amazon Says: What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Fai more...
Amazon Says: What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, female superhero, battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world. * A lighthearted twist on the superhero genre! less...
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Amazon Says: Shauna. Charlotte. Mildred. Three schoolgirl sleuths. Jack. Linton. Sonny. Three schoolboy investigators. Tackleford. One mid-sized city with a history of countless mysteries. more...
Amazon Says: Shauna. Charlotte. Mildred. Three schoolgirl sleuths. Jack. Linton. Sonny. Three schoolboy investigators. Tackleford. One mid-sized city with a history of countless mysteries. Is there enough room at Griswalds Grammar School for two groups of kid detectives? There better be, because once these kids have set their sights on solving a mystery there's nothing that can derail them. Nothing, except maybe gossip, classwork, new football player cards, torment from siblings, or any number of childhood distractions. less...
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Axe Cop, Vol. 1 by Malachai Nicollle
Amazon Says: Bad guys, beware! Evil aliens, run for your lives! Axe Cop is here, and he's going to chop your head off! We live in a strange world, and our strange problems call for strange more...
Amazon Says: Bad guys, beware! Evil aliens, run for your lives! Axe Cop is here, and he's going to chop your head off! We live in a strange world, and our strange problems call for strange heroes. That's why Axe Cop—along with his partner Flute Cop and their pet T. rex Wexter—is holding tryouts to build the greatest team of heroes ever assembled. Created by five-year-old Malachai Nicolle and illustrated by his older brother, the cartoonist Ethan Nicolle, Axe Cop Volume 1 collects the entire original run of the hit webcomic that has captured the world's attention with its insanely imaginative adventures. Whether he's fighting gun-toting dinosaurs, teaming up with Ninja Moon Warriors, or answering readers' questions via his insightful advice column, "Ask Axe Cop," the adventures of Axe Cop and his incomparable team of crime fighters will delight and perplex even the most stoic of readers. • Axe Cop debuted in January 2010 to glowing reviews from Entertainment Weekly, Wired, and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. • Comics website Newsarama said, "Axe Cop wins the award for best comic ever!" less...
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Amazon Says: What's so funny about a library? Just about everything, as you'll find out in Library Mascot Cage Match, the third Unshelved collection. In addition to a year's worth of comic more...
Amazon Says: What's so funny about a library? Just about everything, as you'll find out in Library Mascot Cage Match, the third Unshelved collection. In addition to a year's worth of comic strips featuring library mascots duking it out and the return of the masked mystery man known only as "the Shusher," LMCM features the all-new full-color graphic novelette Empire County Strikes Back. Can Mallville's librarians defeat the mother of all bookmobiles? less...
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Tails Book 1 by Ethan Young
Amazon Says: At first, Ethan may seem like your typical struggling cartoonist.  He works at a NYC animal shelter, lives with his folks, and fosters a huge amount of cats -- all while tr more...
Amazon Says: At first, Ethan may seem like your typical struggling cartoonist.  He works at a NYC animal shelter, lives with his folks, and fosters a huge amount of cats -- all while trying to successfully publish his comic strip, Crusader Cat. But Ethan's not typical, nor is anything else in his chaotic life. The trouble is, Ethan's just too hapless to realize it yet.  As his life gets weirder in the real world, it also does on the comic page. Before he knows it, Ethan gets in over his head when fantasy and reality combine -- and then things get really weird. Tails: Book One collects Chapters 1 through 9 of the semi-autobiographical webcomic by Ethan Young (Comic Book Tattoo: Tales inspired by Tori Amos, Comeback Kings), and includes all-new, never-before-seen pages.   less...
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Amazon Says: Riding high on the success of The Great Outdoor Fight, Achewood and Dark Horse Comics have compiled an extensively annotated collection of the first few years' worth of Achewo more...
Amazon Says: Riding high on the success of The Great Outdoor Fight, Achewood and Dark Horse Comics have compiled an extensively annotated collection of the first few years' worth of Achewood comics. This is no mere companion volume to the cult-classic online strip: the entire prehistory of Achewood is set forth for the first time, and all of the celebrated alt-texts are included. Additionally, author Chris Onstad has literally littered the book with observations and rudities. TIME magazine named back-to-back Ignatz Award-winner Achewood its 2007 Graphic Novel of the Year, and legions of devoted fans consistently report that it makes them feel the way Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes did when they were young. less...
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Amazon Says: Since 2001, cult comic favorite Achewood has built a six-figure international following. Intelligent, hilarious, and adult (but not filthy), it's the strip you'll wish you'd d more...
Amazon Says: Since 2001, cult comic favorite Achewood has built a six-figure international following. Intelligent, hilarious, and adult (but not filthy), it's the strip you'll wish you'd discovered as an underappreciated fifteen-year-old. Dark Horse presents the hardbound edition of Achewood's The Great Outdoor Fight, the story of "Three Days, Three Acres, Three Thousand Men." less...
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Amazon Says: It’s Garfield–as you’ve never seen him! Come savor the existential adventures of Jon Arbuckle in Garfield Minus Garfield. Based on the phenomenon ignited by Dan Walsh more...
Amazon Says: It’s Garfield–as you’ve never seen him! Come savor the existential adventures of Jon Arbuckle in Garfield Minus Garfield. Based on the phenomenon ignited by Dan Walsh’s hilarious and wildly popular webcomic (beloved by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and hailed as “inspired” by Garfield creator Jim Davis), Garfield Minus Garfield takes everyone’s favorite fat cat out of the picture, leaving us with only the lonely ennui of Jon as he’s left to voice thoughts about his own existence into an empty void. With a Foreword by Dan Walsh, creator of www.garfieldminusgarfield.net less...
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Amazon Says: Lovable ne'er-do-well Delilah Dirk is an Indiana Jones for the 19th century. She has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she's picke more...
Amazon Says: Lovable ne'er-do-well Delilah Dirk is an Indiana Jones for the 19th century. She has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she's picked up on the way, Delilah's adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan's guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life.  A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Tony Cliff's Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine...and globetrotting adventures. A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013 less...
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