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Best Webcomics Ever (This Week) 3.11.12

After highlighting so many incredible webcomics in this column, I was starting to wonder if I’d still be able to find new material that would surprise and impress me on a regular basis. But thankfully, the Internet is still a vast space of potential creativity, and this week’s choices prove that there are still fantastic titles waiting to be found.

Find out which titles made the cut for Best Webcomics Ever (This Week) after the jump.Last week a commenter by the name Paul noted that any “best of” feature that excluded Liz Suburbia was of questionable validity, and after checking out the website, I tend to agree. The series Sacred Heart has a bit of the Hernandez Brothers in style, with teen angst at its core. I’m not sure about the standing of the series, but it would be great to read in a physical book form. I’m looking at you, independent publishers.

Before we get to this week’s picks, if you missed Lauren Davis’s review of Family Man from earlier this week, it’s definitely worth checking out.

And finally, some unfortunate news. Sadly, just as I was writing this column, word of Moebius’s death began to spread around the web. Boulet Corp had a nice tribute, and I expect more will follow. The 73-year-old Jean Giraud was an inspiration to thousands around the world. His art didn’t revolutionize the industry simply because so few artists reach his extraordinary level of talent; instead, Moebius showed us the incredible potential comics can have when crafted so expertly. He will forever be one of the pillars of the comics community, alongside legends like Winsor McCay and Jack Kirby.

Erin Mehols’s Next Town Over is easily the best webcomics to come out in the last five years. From the story to the pencils to the lavish colors, Next Town Over is flat out jaw-dropping. The series has been updating on a steady basis, although new strips tend to take at least a couple weeks to finish. If you haven’t read Next Town Over before, then you may have just found your new favorite webcomic.

Mallville Rules is juvenile, but what else would one expect from a webcomic about a high school full of super-powered adolescents? In its defense, Mallville Rules seems to be acutely aware of the teenage humor it creates, and sometimes that’s just enough to make an entertaining series. I look forward to the relatively young series growing-up, but hopefully not too much.

Twice Blessed is a fantasy comedy that combines relatively worn jokes and a fairly standard cast into something that’s magically greater than the sum of its parts. The characters are not all that original, and the story is too often interrupted by one-off updates, but somehow I couldn’t stop reading. Well done.

This is sort of a bonus pick because the artist Karen Howard, a.k.a KEZ, works on both titles and manages to update each on a regular basis. She’s a doctoral student at SUNY, and even wrote her undergraduate thesis on webcomics as an art form. Personally, I enjoy the post-apocalyptic What It Takes a little more than the epic fantasy The War of Winds, but the later is probably the better work.

If you’re looking for a webcomic that’s like Penny Arcade, but not as good as Penny Arcade, then you’ll enjoy Three Dollar Bill. Look, it’s not a slam to be less funny than Penny Arcade, it’s just something that happens because those guys have been working for years. Three Dollar Bill isn’t going to change your perception of webcomics or have you doubled over your keyboard with each update, but it will make you laugh and fit right at home in your weekly reading feed.

Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next week.

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