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Best Webcomics Ever (This Week) 2.5.12

Since this week’s round-up is being posted on Superbowl Sunday, there’s a good chance you’re reading this on Monday. Unless you’re a nerd, in which case I say to you, “NEEeeEeeeerrRRRDdDD!!1″ [Editor's Note: The writer is currently throwing a Superbowl party that claims to celebrate an "episode of football," so take that with a grain of salt.]

Nah, I’m kidding. We’re all friends here. There are some fantastic webcomics worth reading this week, so don’t plan on getting any work done. Don’t worry, I talked to your boss. He totally doesn’t mind.Before jumping into this week’s choices, I want to correct a mistake in last week’s post. In both cases when talking about the comic, I referred to The First Word as The First World. You would think I would have noticed the error since I uploaded a graphic with the title in big, bold letters. But, you would be wrong. I am not a bright man, as you will soon see if you keep reading.

Thanks to Ron Chan from Roy’s Boys for pointing it out, and apologies to Mr. Farely for improperly attributing his work. If you haven’t read The First Word, do it. Now!

In other news, the Dungeons & Dragons inspired online series Order of the Stick has raised almost half-a-million yankee dollars from a Kickstarter campaign. Holy $%*&! That is a lot of monies.

I know many of you had recommended the series when this column started, and I foolishly thought it was too dense for casual readers to pick-up without some basic knowledge of the D&D game. Well, apparently I’m too thick to realize how hardcore the fans of this series really are, because almost seven thousand people have contributed to Rich Burlew’s clever series, now on its way to hitting nine-hundred updates. ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims breaks down why the webcomic is so great.

In case you missed Lauren Davis’s interview with the creators on this site a couple days, the incredible webcomic Bucko by Jeff Parker and Erica Moen has come to an end. Bucko was going to be my top pick this week, but instead of reading my brief praise, you’re better off hearing from the people who actually created the work.

Before getting to this week’s suggestions, I have a couple more items of note. Sorry. I’ll make it brief. (That’s what he said.)

Congratulations to Mike Norton. His hilarious Battle Pug series will soon become a printed collection from Dark Horse Comics. Also, Achewood creator Chris Onstad has been named as the new food critic for the Portland alternative weekly The Mercury. Kudos, sir.

Two webcomics I’ve praised before in this column were particularly standout lately. Douglas Wolk commented that perhaps the best 24 hour comic ever has been created over on The Bouletcorp. And finally, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a great strip about how recent bills like SOPA assume the rights of citizens magically cease once they enter the online realm.

(Oh God, one more tangent and then I swear I’ll post recommendations. The same provisions that were trying to be pushed into law under bills like SOPA and PIPA are back again, and from the same people. Texas Representative Lamar Smith, the same person who introduced SOPA, has another bill in Congress dubiously called “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011″ that seeks to force IPs to keep logs of all users activity for at least a year. Read why the bill is harmful, and if you have the means – consider donating to organizations like the EFF who work to bring awareness about these issues.)

Ok. Recommendations!

The premise of Cura Te Ipsum (a Latin phrase urging physicians to first heal themselves before helping patients – thanks Wikipedia!) is so brilliant that it touches on the level of Carla Speed McNeil’s epic series Finder.

Without giving too much away, the webcomic is about a man named Charlie Everett who is about to end his life when an alternate-dimension version of himself stops him and reveals that a team of different versions of him have been traveling through the multiverse to ensure that he stays alive. And then things start to get weird.

Also, there are some naked bits, so the series can be NSFW. But hey, when I was asking your boss about you slacking off this week to read webcomics, he also mentioned he didn’t care one way or the other if you looked at naked drawings of fictional characters. Bonus!

Eric Cochrane recently posted about his new webcomic over on Reddit to get feedback, and probably a little publicity, from the online community. It worked.

If you couldn’t tell from the titles, Frankenstein Superstar is a very tongue-in-cheek sort of webcomic. And by that I mean it seems like Frankenstein is going to lick Captain America’s butt. Think about that for a moment. Moving on, the series is pretty funny if you’re into that sort of humor. If not, then I dunno, man. You probably don’t like being on the Internet very much. Poop.

At first glance, Punching the Clock is a lot like Clerks. It’s black and white about two twenty-something males who work at unfulfilling jobs selling stupid crap to stupid people. But past the initial comparision, Punching the Clock is an acurate depiction of the soul-crushing consumer hell that has swept across America like a plague of plastic locus disrupting local businesses and driving down wages. Plus, it’s funny.

Remember when I said reading Questionable Content was like watching a mid-seventh-season episode of Friends and a bunch of people were all like, “Meh, no it’s not. You’re a jerk.” But, then I was all like, “Whoa, chill out dude.” Remember that? Anyway, Stale Bacon is the Family Guy of webcomics.

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