Thanks to the recession, newspapers are slimming down their funny pages just when people most need the distraction. Fortunately, more and more Web comics are springing up to take their place, and there are plenty of guides to help you find your new virtual Snoopy. Actually, with these comics, you’re more likely to find your new virtual, geeky 20-something with relationship issues. Especially if you check out our personal favorite, the popular xkcd (don’t forget to roll your mouse over each strip for an extra punch line). The following links recommend tons of comics for every sense of humor, and with the extensive archives often available online, your cartoon fix will never have to wait for Sunday again.
Mashable’s “20 of the Best Web Comics” and NPR’s “Annotated Guide for the Understandably Perplexed” are two great introductions to the overwhelming range of comics out there. Although Mashable covers the most popular strips for every taste, NPR’s Glen Weldon simply lists his favorites, encompassing comics such as "surreal crypto-neo-ur-Victorian gags" (Wondermark) to a "breathtaking chronicle of New Orleans before, during and after Katrina" (AD: After the Deluge). Weldon also provides tips and warnings for the uninitiated: He offers advice on navigating the sites, and warns you about strips devoted to “in-jokes pertaining to matters geeky: video games, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, scantily clad kitten-women.”
Speaking of scantily clad kitten-women, those who find Garfield a bit tame might want to check out Patrick Orndorff’s “10 Great Webcomics You Should Not Share With Your Kids” on Wired.com. If his “adult/bizarre/sophomoric streak” turns you off, then look at Wired's sheepish follow-up post, "Five Webcomics You Can Share With Your Kids."
Finally, if you love illustrated humor but long for the days when Boss Tweed, not Steve Jobs, reigned, the Library of Congress has a fantastic exhibition of cartoon art. Built around the donated personal collection of cartoonist James Arthur Wood, Jr., the site includes everything from 19th-century political cartoons by Thomas Nast to 1980s comic strips.