I admit that I have a bit of a thing for comics. Nearly all cultures have strong traditions of linking stories and art, be it for entertainment or transmitting information. The styles differ tremendously, of course; we write legends into constellations and asterisms, illuminate manuscripts, scrawl on alley walls, and fill cathedrals with elaborate tales in colored glass. Rising literacy rates have not decreased our artistic impulses, but it has rather allowed us to more skillfully combine words and images to tell a story.

It isn’t terribly surprising that artists have chosen to throw digital creation and/or distribution of their work into this mix of tools, and there are some interesting philosophical debates about how best to mediate the audience’s interaction with a digital story. One of the beautiful things about presenting art in a digital format is that the creator has somewhat more control over that interaction than with a print comic (which I still greatly enjoy; it’s just that I like trying new things), and some stories work better in one format than another. It’s a fun evolution to watch!

There are some hugely talented authors and artists out there, and many of them offer their work for free online. Of course, the standard cautions about the internet apply here as anywhere, and the excellent content can be drowned out by the din. Depending on my work schedule and level of tolerance of the computer (an inverse relationship), I go through phases of trying out new comics or just keeping up with my favorites. Several cycles of creation have gone into the current collection of links, which now has its own page (check out the tabs up by the Snowday Gallery).

All of these stories are well written, with quality art and solid plots. The styles, genres, and premises are diverse, but all are PG-13 or friendlier, so I hope you find something you enjoy!

Post Script: I have a comparable collection of excellent hardbound books that you can find by visiting my Library Thing page. It isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a decent start.

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