I like the following TV shows. Please recommend some comics and webcomics.
December 1, 2010 1:47 PM   Subscribe

If I like the ensemble comedy shows like Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, Community, Party Down, and Archer, what comics/webcomics would I enjoy?

I used to read Sluggy Freelance with a fair amount of enthusiasm back in the day, although stopped around 2002. I never really got into Ctrl+Alt+Del, PvP, or Penny Aracde.
posted by Busoni to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I think I also like the fact that the shows I've mentioned have developed their characters over time.
posted by Busoni at 1:51 PM on December 1, 2010

The thing that strikes me about the first four shows you mention is that they're ensemble pieces where everyone's personalities are sort of single-mindedly obsessive about the things they enjoy, often to the point of absurdity. Bearing that in mind, you might like Achewood, which follows the interactions between a bunch of similarly obsessive characters -- Roast Beef is self-loathing, Ray is devil-may-care and hedonistic, Pat is holier-than-thou, Philippe is an innocent little kid, etc.

The personalities start off, in the early strips, being a bit one-dimensional (Roast Beef as eternal loser), but as they go on, they get more fleshed out (Roast Beef as check to Ray's ego).
posted by Greg Nog at 2:00 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Achewood is sharply written, devastatingly funny, and the spare, lonely artwork lends it the dark/melancholy tinge you might be looking for. Plunder the archives for character development galore.

Honorable mention to Perry Bible Fellowship, gone but not forgotten.
posted by superfluousm at 2:00 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]

Jinx, Greg Nog!
posted by superfluousm at 2:00 PM on December 1, 2010

Questionable Content is the ensemble sitcom of webcomics. You can start at the beginning.
posted by amethysts at 2:02 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Questionable Content? Start at the beginning - the storyline is much too soap opera-ish at this point and there are too many secondary characters who sort of look the same until you get to know them. But in the beginning there was a dude and his talking computer. Then there was a dude, a talking computer, and a dude friend. Then there was a dude, a talking computer, a dude friend, and a possible love interest. You get where I'm going with this.

And of course the incomparable xkcd, which is not installment-based. There are some recurring characters, but it took me forever to realize that his stock stick figure guy, ponytailed stick figure girl, etc. were meant to be specific characters and not just ND stick figure humans. Cory Doctorow was the only one I recognized as recurring, and that's because he wears a cape and introduces himself by name.
posted by Sara C. at 2:03 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Nthing Questionable Content. Girls with Slingshots is good too, and similar in theme.
posted by elendil71 at 3:12 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Something Positive is the first one that sprang to mind for me. I like "Questionable Content", but "Something Positive" is has more of the same gleefully misanthropic tinge that's common to the sitcoms you listed. Again, though, you'll probably have to start at the beginning; the cast is large.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:29 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm seconding Something Positive, because it's got the same kind of sarcastic humor as the shows you've mentioned, and because it does have character development. It also has the same kind of "crosses the line twice" humor that Archer has.
posted by Katrel at 3:56 PM on December 1, 2010

Nthing QC and Girls with Slingshots. If you like fantasy, Order of the Stick might be up your alley. Scary-Go-Round is over but the creator has moved onto a new comic called Bad Machinery, which is fun. They're both sort of based on horror tropes, at least at first, but mostly it's just silly fun.

If you don't like the beginning of Questionable Content, I'd recommend skipping to comic 500 and starting from there. It's super melodramatic but it calms down a fair amount and goes back to fun and games eventually.

Wigu might also be up your alley. It is very silly.

A lot of these comics-- Questionable Content, Girls with Slingshots, Scary-Go-Round, Something Positive, and and quite a few others-- are sort of in the same community, so if you end up liking one of them, check the ones they link to and have crossovers with.
posted by NoraReed at 4:02 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bad Machinery, previously known as Scary Go Round.
posted by RobotHero at 4:18 PM on December 1, 2010

Octopus Pie. Start at the start.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:44 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you enjoy the smart-ass deconstruction of the spy-game as shown on Archer then you will probably enjoy the smart-ass deconstruction of the superhero-game as shown on The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
posted by nightchrome at 5:26 PM on December 1, 2010

If you like the geek humor of Community in particular (esp the "Rocket Science" episode), you might like Brewster Rockit. It also has Community's meta-humor in common. It's not for everyone, but I think it's got a hilarious mix of smart and dumb humor. See if your local library or bookstore has the first book collection.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:00 PM on December 1, 2010

Married to the Sea
Amazing Superpowers
posted by fozzie33 at 5:45 AM on December 2, 2010

Kevin Church bills The Rack as "WKRP set in a comics shop," and it has a very strong ensemble-comedy flavor.

My own strip Nowhere Band is an ongoing character-driven ensemble about guys in a dead-end rock band, and I've definitely internalized the sensibilities of some of the shows you like...
posted by COBRA! at 7:14 AM on December 2, 2010

nthing Questionable Content. I started reading from the beginning based on the suggestions here, and now I'm completely hooked (I've read something like 600 of them in the past couple days). It totally fits your bill, and is awesome!
posted by King Bee at 5:09 AM on December 3, 2010

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