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The funniest comics ever? Two lists everyone can argue about!

07-07-2013 03;42;23PM (2)

A while back, Famed Reviewer Seth T. Hahne and I had a Twitter conversation about the funniest comics we’ve ever read. Well, that’s just a post waiting to happen, so I asked him to send me a list of his five funniest, and I would do my five funniest, and voila! something we can all argue about! Sounds good, don’t it?

One thing Seth and I agreed on was that we’d keep it confined to “narrative” comics, so gag strips were eliminated. We could both easily come up with very funny comic strips, like The Perry Bible Fellowship, Dinosaur Comics, Wondermark, or any number of other ones around the web, or even old favorites like Bloom County (still my favorite newspaper strip ever) and The Far Side. I was already planning on ignoring newspaper strips – yes, some of them have narrative arcs, but to me, they’re a different animal than comic books. You may disagree. But with that caveat in place, we were off! First up: Seth’s choices!

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With the comical subjectiveness by which we judge what is humourous from what is not, it may be best to lead off with some credentials. Not in order to establish me as any kind of authority on what is or isn’t funny. That would be ruinous. More just to give you a metric by which to dismiss my choices from the outset – or just maybe to go, Hey, me and this kid like the same things so maybe his list won’t completely suck.

So then, here are the first ten movies I think of when I think Movies That I Think Are Funny:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Airplane!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A Thousand Clowns
Fantastic Mister Fox
Arsenic and Old Lace
Duck Soup
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Kelly’s Heroes
Delicatessen

These are the kinds of comic stories that make me happy inside, even if they might not make me laugh. That’ll give you a ground floor evaluation of what I find funny. And with that, my own Top 5 Funny Comics:

1. Far Arden/Crater XV by Kevin Cannon

Originally conceived as an experiment expanding on the 24-hour comic concept, Cannon forged Far Arden from a crucible of too, too many 24-hour pulls. At first I thought it possible that the book’s manic rate of production might have been the source of its delightful humour. Then came its sequel, Crater XV, through which Cannon made clear that an actually sensible production schedule would do nothing to diminish the funny in his books.

Both books are haunted by the spectre of doom. From the start, Far Arden delivers its hero and his friends into dire straits and doesn’t let up. Crater XV doesn’t veer from course either, and protagonist Army Shanks is living as much a bummer of a life as he was in the prior volume. And yet for all that, these books are the two funniest narrative comics I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time with. It’s kind of like if you told the story of Logan from the X-Men, but told it in a raucous and hilarious fashion and made everybody say funny things and reveled in the best comicbook onomatopoeias ever conceived.

This page includes representative funniness and a lesser onomatopoeia:

gob_funny_fa

2. The Amazing Screw-On Head by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart

I had an inkling of Mike Mignola’s sense of humour with the release of his delicious Hellboy-as-a-child story about pancakes (my wife and I will still announce to each other in appropriate circumstances, “He has tasted the pancake!”), but I wasn’t remotely prepared for the pure madcap absurdity of The Amazing Screw-On Head. Mignola employs bizarre interactions, wacky characters, and pregnant pauses to brilliant effect. Part of the wonder of the humour is the surprise – and despite the fact that you know you’re reading this zany, zany book, Mignola’s delectable little moments still leap out from behind the curtains, startling in their ingenuity.

And of course, there’s always the combined visual ferocity of of Mignola and Stewart. Which is just a lovely thing.

gob_funny_soh

3. Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Azuma’s follow-up to his popular gag-strip highschool narrative Azumanga Daioh capitalizes on a different kind of humour. Yotsuba&! trades on the comedy of life rather than on wit and slapstick. Yotsuba is a five-year-old girl who finds the complete foreignness of her new environment invigourating.

The humour of the book derives from Yotsuba’s naïveté. Whether encountering air-conditioning or a swingset for the first time, her expression of wonder and mischievous delight are a joy. I began reading the book before I got married (before I’d even met my wife actually) and now that my daughter has just turned four, I’m weekly (if not daily) encountering Yotsuba-esque reactions in her. When I first encountered the book in 2005, I loved it but assumed that Azuma’s depiction of the Yotsuba was just plain madcap. Now I know better and find the book even more endearing. Just as funny, but more endearing.

These two pages read right to left:

gob_funny_yot1

gob_funny_yot2

Oh, and a note: despite the fact that Yen Press’s translations may be more accurate to the source language (and I’m grateful that the publisher took on the series after ADV dropped the ball), ADV’s earlier work translating the first five volumes actually reads more smoothly and is, hence, funnier.

4. Cross Game by Mitsuro Adachi

While not foundationally a comedy, Adachi’s exploration of familial fidelity and camaraderie in the face of jaw-dropping loss counterposes its serious and sentimental moments with a good couple fistfuls of humourous ones. Cross Game didn’t immediately spring to mind when compiling these selections, but at last I remembered sitting in bed night after night reading through these eight volumes while my wife went through her preparatory bed routine in the adjoining bathroom. What struck me most from the memory was her stopping to call out every several minutes to demand, “What’s so funny?” These were books that caused audible outbursts of joy from me. That’s so much a rarity. I think Dinosaur Comics is maybe one of the funniest things ever and it’s entirely possible that I’ve never laughed out loud while reading it. I’m just not a laugh-out-loud kind of person. At best, a single, low “Heh” will be the sign that I find a joke astonishingly funny. And yet Cross Game had me exulting with Hah!s and Eh heh hehehehehs. It might have been the jumps between somber, sweet, and silly that primed me for those reactions – in any case, masterfully done.

While Cross Game does traffic in gags and the repetition of in-jokes (many pitting the creator against his editors), the bits with the best payoff are developed over the course of pages and sometime even across chapters. Adachi pushes his readers to pay attention to what they’re reading and rewards their diligence with both humour and poignance.

This page reads right to left:

gob_funny_cg

5. Never As Bad As You Think by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen

Several years back, an interest in Stuart Immonen turned me on to a side project put together by him and his wife, Kathryn. Never As Bad As You Think developed as a participation in Illustration Friday, an exercise in which a word is proposed and artists created a drawing based on that word (as I write this, the week’s word is Equality). For Never As Bad As You Think, Kathryn Immonen would roll the week’s word around in her head, jot down a script based on the word on a 3″x 5″ post-it, and hand it off to Stuart Immonen, who would then draw a vibrant several panels and the week’s comic would be done. Each week’s comic would flow out of the prior one, and while characters and settings would cycle through with some alacrity, the fifty-two comics really do flow pretty well from start to finish.

Never As Bad As You Think‘s humour is almost entirely reliant on Kathryn Immonen’s verbal wit (while the art is lively and fun, it mostly works to provide a safe harbour for the absurdities of the script). I haven’t read Kathryn Immonen’s superhero books, but a less-zany reflection of the style she uses in Never As Bad As You Think can be found in the funny-though-not-quite-as-funny Moving Pictures, a book that feels kin to the repartee found in 1940s Hollywood comedies. Lots of wordplay, lots of wit, lots of conversations that would probably never unfold between two people who weren’t being mediated by a script: that’s Moving Pictures. Now magnify that by ten and you’ve got a taste for Never As Bad As You Think.

gob_funny_nabayt

It kills me that Never As Bad As You Think is out of print.

Compiling this list was ridiculously difficult. I had two sure entries, Far Arden (and its sequel) and Screw-On Head. Those were unshakable for me. Everything else was up in the air. In my head before I began, Nextwave was a shoo-in. I remembered laughing a lot. Or at least I thought I did. Really, I mostly remembered Stuart Immonen’s fantastic art. So I reread it and found myself completely bowled over (again) by the illustrations but only mildly chuckling (at best) at the funny things that characters did or said. Honestly, it felt like it tried too hard. Like those What The — ?! books I adored back in the ’80s.

A lot of books ended up in this middleground category for me. Books that were definitely funny, but maybe not that funny. Like maybe how I remember The Wedding Singer. Pleasant diversion and good entertainment, but not top-notch funny. I cycled through a lot of books that all ended up in this kind of catch-all. Street Angel, The Goon, Atomic Robo, Chew, The Umbrella Academy. I even pulled out the comedic staple from my youth, seventy-or-so issues of Groo the Wanderer, to see if the Aragonés/Evanier collaboration could make the cut. They were all still completely worthwhile books, but they were also all not quite as funny as I remembered them.

Which is fine. They don’t need to be. I just love them for different reasons now. Comedy is weird. It’s subjective and our experience of it is deeply molded by our current mood, circumstances, and place in life. I’m a bit afraid of rewatching Holy Grail or Airplane! again. After all, it’s been several years and what if, like these books, I only end up finding them merely amusing. That would be as devastating as when I saw Ren & Stimpy again after fifteen years and didn’t laugh. Comedy is serious business.

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Okay, now here’s mine.

1. Scurvy Dogs by Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount

This is the no-brainer. Ever since I first read Scurvy Dogs, back in 2005 or so, it’s been one of my favorite comics and by far the funniest one I’ve ever read. Boyd and Yount’s tale of pirates in the modern day is a bit riddled with pop-culture references, which is probably its only weakness, but the creators hit with them far more than they miss, and their comic timing is superb. The most famous bit is probably the first one, where the captain tells his date a story about his crew coming across a ship full of Portuguese lepers and robbing them blind, which includes the line “Shillings in the belly. The oldest Portuguese leper trick in the book,” but the entire short story is hilarious, especially the “shock” ending. But Boyd and Yount fire on all cylinders in most of the stories – in the second half of issue #1, the pirates have to get jobs, in issue #2 they fight monkeys, in issues #3 and 4 they fight hoboes, and in issue #5 they fight … Twiki from Buck Rogers? Plus, they meet Vampirella. The plots, obviously, don’t really matter – it’s all about the jokes and the way they’re delivered. The Speak-and-Say Lie Detector, the Anson Williams single, the various tribute bands (including Lita Fjord), Rod Stewart in the rocks – I know so many of the jokes by heart (as I’ve read this so often), but I still laugh when they arrive, and I even laugh before they arrive because I know they’re coming! Scurvy Dogs is one of those comics that I recommend to anyone if they ask – I don’t care what kind of comics you usually read or if you even like comics. You’ll like Scurvy Dogs, I swear!

07-07-2013 04;21;51PM
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2. Action Philosophers! by Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

There are a few comics below this that might make me laugh harder, but Action Philosophers! is not only very funny, it’s amazing how van Lente and Dunlavey can squeeze so much information into the comics and still make it funny. Van Lente uses a lot of pop culture and even superhero tropes to boil down philosophers’ teachings into manageable bites, and Dunlavey illustrates it all in a manic, detailed, and fascinating style, as he’s able to do all sorts of things to illustrate some of the more complex philosophical ideas in the universe. Obviously, van Lente and Dunlavey can’t be too in-depth, but you can learn a lot about the basic building blocks of dozens of philosophers from this book, and it’s funny as hell, too. They cover it all, too – ancient philosophy (Greek and Chinese), medieval European philosophy, Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophy, and contemporary philosophy. The creators try a lot of different ways to illuminate all of the philosophers’ ideas, including a parody of “Peanuts” when they do John Stuart Mill and a parody of “The Family Circus” when Michel Foucault shows up. It’s brilliantly done, and it’s very, very funny.

07-07-2013 04;16;37PM
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3. DAR! by Erika Moen

This is very close to breaking the “no gag strip” rule, but as it’s mostly Moen’s autobiography, the gags often do help tell the story of Moen’s life during the time she was doing this strip. I got the two volumes of DAR! at San Diego in 2010, and Moen immediately became one of my two favorite people in comics (Dylan Meconis, Moen’s best pal, is the other one). DAR! is fantastically filthy, full of sex, dick, and fart jokes, and it’s relentlessly hilarious. The great thing about DAR! is that Moen is also navigating the world of new marriage, the world of sexual identity (she called herself a lesbian until she met her husband, and she still likes girls but is in love with a specific person who happens to be a man), and the world of being a comics creator, all of which is fascinating. She weaves these threads together into a terrific and very funny journey, one that might not be what everyone experiences but which is still very relateable. DAR! is also utterly fearless, and it’s impressive that Moen puts so much of herself out there (I’ve spoken to Moen about this, and she has said she doesn’t think she’d be so fearless these days, but it does make DAR! far more intimate than you might expect). Obviously, if you’re offended by sex and fart jokes, you might not like DAR!, but the way Moen tells the story is so charming that you won’t be able to resist!

Yes, technically it's not a super power, but still

Yes, technically it’s not a super power, but still

4. The Middleman by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine

Like Scurvy Dogs, this is another comic that uses pop culture very well so that it strengthens the humor instead of detracting from it. Grillo-Marxuach uses the “secret agent” trope to introduce the Middleman, who fights evil so you don’t have to, and his new protégé, Wendy Watson, who provides the sarcastic take-downs to the Middleman’s rigidly do-gooder demeanor. Grillo-Marxuach’s use of popular clichés of comics fiction (monkeys, Mexican wrestlers) shouldn’t work, but thanks to some razor-sharp dialogue and wonderful timing, he pulls it off. He manages to make the Middleman amusing in his own right even though he often doesn’t understand why he’s the butt of the joke, and the fact that he’s completely decent, great at his job, and sees Wendy as his little sister makes him a great straight man. Wendy and her roommate, Lacey, are wonderful together, dropping amusing bon mots that zip right past you and make you double-take. McClaine’s wonderfully expressive art helps greatly, as Grillo-Marxuach’s humor does often depend on the right body language or facial expression, all of which McClaine exceeds at. The television show based on the comic is very funny, too, and you should check both the comic and the show out, stat!

07-07-2013 03;36;58PM
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5. The Heckler by Keith Giffen, Mary Bierbaum, and Tom Bierbaum

As always with lists, the final spot is the hardest. I really had a bunch of possibilities for a list of 5, and this makes the cut just slightly in front of John Byrne’s She-Hulk and Grumpus McBearderson and Alan Davis’s D.R. and Quinch. The Heckler is just a bit more insane, and I like the comic just a bit better than those others, so while all are very funny, this makes the list by a nose. Giffen and the Bierbaums introduce us to Stu Mosely, who somehow is super-strong and super-tough when he becomes the Heckler. He roams the streets of Delta City doing good, and what makes the book so brilliant is that Delta City is a crazy-quilt of marvelously funny stores (Just Dickies, Styrofoam Emporium, Sproing & Son: Your Trampoline Source since 1989, and The Wonderful World of Runny Cheeses are just a few), street names (Staccato Street and Anthrax Boulevard, among others), and bizarre neighborhoods (Droolers’ Park and Little Phnom Penh, for instance). It also has villains as oddball as the Heckler (Boss Glitter, C’est Hay, the Flying Buttress) whose plans never seem to cause too many problems. What makes The Heckler so wonderful is that Giffen is celebrating the weird, so that the villains who cause the most problems are the ones who make things less weird. Issue #2, of course, is the most famous one, in which John Doe, the Generic Man, threatens to make everything, well, generic. The Bierbaums provide sparkling dialogue, and Giffen’s artwork is full-on craziness. It only lasted 6 issues, but what issues they were!

07-07-2013 04;38;37PM

As Seth mentioned, compiling a list is always hard, especially once you get past the no-brainers (for me, that was the first three). As I mentioned, She-Hulk and D.R. and Quinch could have easily been on here, as well as Nextwave and the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League. There are a lot of funny comics out there!

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So that’s two lists of funny comics. I’d like to thank Seth for joining in, because it was fun to see what he had on his list and how different it was (I’ve read the three non-manga books he has on his list, and while I agree they’re funny, I didn’t immediately think of them when I thought of funny comics). Let us know how much you agree or disagree, and if you want to sound off with your own, feel free! We’re all friends here!

59 Comments

Ambush Bug is first by a mile. Herbie the Fat Freak is a strong second. The only newspaper strip that ever made me laugh out loud was The Far Side, so I give it the bronze.

And if you disagree, I’ll bop you with this lollipop!

“Zaucer of Zilk,” “Tales Designed to Thrizzle” and “Double Fine Action Comics” top my list!

I haven’t read Tales Designed to Thrizzle, but that is the funniest title of a comic ever.

Cory!! Strode

July 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm

No Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD? Really? Not even the special ART Issue with Bill Elder?

Travis Pelkie

July 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I would have punched you if you hadn’t included Heckler.

And I second Seth’s choice of Yotsuba & ! The “Boxerman” bit alone qualifies it for this list.

Hmm, you’ll get me thinking about this, won’t you? Dammit, there goes the next few days!

Mutt: I’ve never read Herbie, so there’s that. I like Ambush Bug, but I think The Heckler is funnier.

Andy: I don’t find Zaucer of Zilk all that funny. It’s a very good comic and it’s a good parody, but I don’t find it that funny. I haven’t read Double Fine Action Comics. I have read one issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle and found it humorous, but not a laugh riot. I know it might be sacrilegious, but Kupperman, while a funny writer, often misses badly, at least for me.

Cory!!: When I was young, I read some MAD stuff and didn’t find it funny. I’ve seen some of the older, “classic” stuff now and then since, and it’s perfectly fine, but not so funny I feel I need to read more of it. Oh well.

Travis: Yeah, I figured you might! :)

This is why I love lists. Humor, especially, is so subjective, so there’s so much room to argue!

“French Ice” is a fairly obscure and funny comic that I like. A cranky little old lady in some short funny stories.
http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?mingr=0&TID=130631

-The first half of Transmetropolitan
-Scott Pilgrim
-Slott’s She-Hulk
-Incredible Hercules
-Tales Designed to Thrizzle

Perry Bible Fellowship (hands down the funniest comic series I’ve ever read)
Rambo 3.5 (short and sweet and hilarious indie comic by Jim Rugg)
Afrodisiac (more Jim Rugg goodness for fans of Black Dynamite)

I also find Ambush Bug funnier than The Heckler, but no humor list is complete without Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn. Hell, throw The Cowboy Wally Show on there too.

Scot Entrican

July 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Herbie! Make way for the Fat Fury!!! Oh yeah, Perry Bible Fellowship is pretty awesome too.

Lisa Hanawalt’s “My Dirty Dumb Eyes.” Anything by Jason. Al Ewing and Henry Flint’s recent run of Zombo in 2000AD has been a riot. I hope it doesn’t sound like damning with faint praise when I say that you’re unlikely to find a funnier take on Jack Kirby in the 70s than Al Ewing’s Zombo.

Groo the wanderer, over 12 years of laughter

Never read Herbie?!? Oh, Greg, you must. You are in for such a treat.

I second Darren, but I’d put The Cowboy Wally Show ahead of Why I Hate Saturn (personal preference).

I’d also stick the first 50-60 issues of Cerebus on there (you know, back when Dave Sim had a funny bone)

Andrew Collins

July 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I’ll second Kevin’s mention of Groo (and pretty much anything Aragones does) and also Elpie’s mention of Incredible Hercules, both of which made me laugh out loud every issue.

I also love:
– Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant
– Richard Moore’s Boneyard- not a full on comedy per se, but Moore is a master of facial expression and subtle gag humor
– BOOM’s Adventure Time comics have been great so far too
– Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs’ Trouble With Girls is a forgotten classic
– Ben Edlund’s original Tick series

Perry Bible Fellowship is pretty awesome too.

Quantum & Woody (the original run, haven’t read the newest stuff)
Milk & Cheese
Seaguy

Amazing Screw-On Head is my nomination for funniest one-shot;

Cowboy Wally Show for funniest graphic novel;

Giffen/DeMatteis JL* for funniest extended run;

Damage Control for funniest (series of) mini-series

They all have the wonderful virtue of not only still being hilariously entertaining on subsequent readings, but can somehow become even funnier the N+1th time you read them

Greg, I’m glad for your choices. I haven’t read any of them save for snatches of Dar over the years. That page or two you include from Scurvy Dogs sold me and I’ll be adding it to the top of my list of Books To Acquire. The three Polaroids at the end sealed my fate on that count.
_____

Travis, I almost included the Boxerman stuff for my Yotsuba&! sample but didn’t want to spoil it for new readers.
_____

Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who looks back fondly on Groo. I had the first seventy or so issues and then came back for #100 and stayed for twenty-five more.

Another great book that’s funny and worthwhile is Johnny Hiro. David Hopkins recommended it to me and it was a great read. Probably around Goon/Atomic Robo levels of funny but throws in a pretty worthwhile narrative technique on top of it.

Oh, and Bone. I always forget how funny Smith’s book is, but whenever I reread it I’m happily surprised.

Pugad Baboy by Pol Medina is as equally funny..

kevin’s agree apparently… I was sad to see no Groo on this list.

Scurvy Dogs is amazing. Tales Designed to Thrizzle would be my top choice, though (provided comic strips are ineligible, of course).

I would probably put Cerebus at # 1. It’s just the whole package – Funny cartooning, funny inking, funny lettering…. Even some of the later, post-Tangent stuff was really funny. “Missy wants Gin!”

Travis Pelkie

July 8, 2013 at 12:24 am

Seth, I like the Yotsuba bit you included because it has a bit of the same feel/rhythm of the Boxerman bit. But yes, everyone should experience that for themselves. I believe it’s in volume 1.

Scurvy Dogs was way funny, although it did seem like the pop culture references overtook things by the end of the collection. Still worthwhile, though.

Ooh, what comic strips would be your top choice(s), Brian?

Later on I thought of what a couple people, Mark Andrew particularly, said, and would put Cerebus at #1. As a huge Cerebus fan, I’m saying duh to myself for not coming up with it right away.

Milk and Cheese is good, although it probably doesn’t quite count under your rules.

Early Mad is very funny stuff. About 15 years ago there were quarterly magazine size reprints of 3 issues at a time, and those 8 issues are some cherished comics.

Cowboy Wally Show, great choice.

I love Kevin’s comment about Groo (over 12 years of laughter), because the series has been around for about 30 years now. It works as a Groo joke! I’m hoping the Groo/Conan crossover comes out before long.

Trouble with Girls and Tick, nice ones, Andrew.

It’s not comedy all the time, but a lot of the Spirit sections have good funny stuff.

Oh, crap, we almost forgot about Little Lulu or Barks’s Duck comics! That’s funny stuff.

And since I’m still thinking of the Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics, the Captain Marvel story in there is pretty funny stuff too.

The recent Deadpool run has been pretty good.

Man, I’m gonna be coming up with more comics all week! Great post!

Yeah, the pop culture jokes were not nearly as funny as the earlier “pirates out of place in our time” jokes. I mean, my god, I still laugh thinking about the Captain’s date and the lepers!

Gotta throw Joe Matt’s name on here.

He strikes an incredibly unique chord uniting comedy and sadness.

I really wish he wasn’t so lazy about making comics, but I guess that’s half of what’s funny about him.

Don’t necessarily agree with you on Action Philosophers. I do agree that it is brilliantly done, and amusing throughout – I just didn’t find it funny, not in the same way as, say, Heckler or D.R. & Quinch, where you find yourself laughing out loud while reading.

Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run is very funny to me. Groo is up there too, will have to check a couple of these out, the Pirates one looks funny.

No Asterix, I therefore throw scorn upon your list. BAH!

Tales from the Bully Pulpit is a personal favorite.

Clearly you guys have never read Sluggy Freelance (www.sluggy.com). Read it. Be awed by it. Worship the comic.

In no particular order…

Giffen’s Justice League
Ambush Bug (particularly Son of Ambush Bug)
Asterix
Viz
Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
Why I Hate Saturn
Preacher
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder
Elektra Assassin
Groo
Anything by Al Jaffee

Oh and Street Angel

[…] cheer up with the funniest comics, EVER. This review made us hope someone gives Age of Ultron the video game review treatment (its the only […]

Ditto on Herbie. Some of the most inspiredly demented and whimsical comics ever. Check if YLCS (Your Local Comic Shop) has some of the Dark Horse three-volume _Herbie Archives_. Just leaf through and see if you like it. (It’s admittedly not for everyone.)

As delightful as hard to find cinnamon.

Captain Haddock

July 8, 2013 at 8:41 am

Greg, you never read Kathryn Immonen’s Journey into Mystery??? For shame! Seriously, highly recommended, great superheroics, great art, sadly cut far too short.

nope all wrong.
its (by a mile) :

ANGRY YOUTH COMIX

Captain Haddock: I’ve been reading Journey into Mystery, and I agree that it’s very good and often funny. But it doesn’t make my top 5!

A lot of good choices on the list – a lot I haven’t read (I can’t read everything!), so it’s possible my list would change if I had read them!

The Crazed Spruce

July 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

Lists like this are a huge part of the reason that Comixology was, like, the fourth app I installed on my tablet. I’ve got a bunch of good comics to look up now.

For the record, my pics would be Giffen and DeMatteis’ “JLI”, “Ambush Bug”, “Damage Control”, “Groo”, and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book”. (A little mainstream, I know, but I’ve never lived anywhere near a comic shop.)

And I feel kinda sorry for Seth. Apparently, he’s never seen “The Blues Brothers”, “Ghostbusters”, “Shawn of the Dead”, or “Blazing Saddles”. A shame, really….

The part that troubles me is the movie list. I agree on almost all of them, but I’m shocked and scandalized to note the utter absence of “The Producers” (original 1968 version.) That scene in Bialystock’s office when he and Bloom first meet is the funniest thing ever put on film.

Went through much the same experience with Yotsuba&: started reading pre-kid, assumed Yotsuba was an interesting fabrication, then started working in a Japanese pre-school and suspecting that Azuma was actually writing a stealth biography.

As an added bonus, the series is remarkably true-to-life regarding Japanese scenery and lifestyle. This guy must have a killer stash of reference photos.

The Crazed Spruce – I actually quite enjoyed each of those movies. I just didn’t think of them before I filled out a list of ten. I used to watch Blues Brothers and Blazing Saddles every time they’d come on tv. Thinking back, I may have only seen the non-television-edits once apiece.

Jim MacQ, apologies! The last time I saw The Producers I was in eighth grade and didn’t really get it. I’m sure I’d love it now, but nowadays I don’t actually have time to watch movies. I’ll put it in queue though for my next season of life, when I’ll hopefully have time to see movies again.

Nicolas – That’s cool. And yeah, I’ve always felt Azuma conveyed a consistent and full sense of place and environment in Yotsuba&! It’s a very well-put-together book.

Side Note: Completely with Seth on the Yotsuba translations. Danbo?! BAH!!

Dougtron 3030

July 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

This list would likely change tomorrow, but top five at the moment (in no order)

Hate- Peter Bagge
Dork!- Evan Dorkin
Eye of Mogombo – Doug Gray
Naughty Bits – Roberta Gregory
Adventures of Captain Jack – Mike Kazeleh

I agree with Dougtron about Hate by Peter Bagge. I haven’t read hardly anything else on either of the two lists or the selections in the comments here, but my “to read” list just got a lot bigger. I find a lot of Garth Ennis’ stuff really funny: DICKS, Hitman, certain parts of Preacher and his Marvel Knights Punisher run and even his first FURY MAX run with Darick Robertson and also Fury Peacemaker. All-Star Western (Palmiotti and Gray) sometimes makes me laugh pretty hard.

Questionable Content is on there for me. Also maybe The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis…that’s about all I can think of.

Yotsuba & the Frog is one of my favorite chapters of anything. Sometimes there’s just nothing funnier than a bunch of people screaming in horror at each other.

Dated, but enjoyable:

Knights of the Dinner Table (if you get the gaming thing; early issues have some fun stuff)
Vext
Quantum and Woody (1st series; never read the 2nd)
Giffen JLI

I did say over 12 years of groo.
As any fool can plainly see.
Which I can plainly see.

I’m not sure if it qualifies but Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History of the Universe series is very funny, and educational to boot!

I’ll give another thumbs up for Peter Bagge’s Hate.

Lobo has it’s moments, as does the Mask.

Looks like a few suggestions to look forward to though :)

Gag Manga Biyori stories are seldom longer than 15 pages, but it might be the funniest comic I’ve read (well, those parts that aren’t just Japanese puns).

I agree with a lot of the other commenters. There’s too many of my personal favorites listed here, so I won’t reiterate, but I’m surprised to see only one person mention “Scott Pilgrim”. That is one of the best works of fiction (comic or otherwise) I’ve ever read, up there with “Bone” in my opinion. Bryan Lee O’Malley has that great ability to pull off drama, action, character study, romance, and about a million other things. All that, and I still laugh out loud at least a dozen times whenever I reread each volume.

“Perry Bible Fellowship” and “Hark! A Vagrant” are both great, as many above said, but they don’t count for the purposes of the list as defined by Greg’s rules.

“Amazing Screw-On Head” is always bittersweet for me because I can’t understand how the pilot for the animated series didn’t get picked up. Not only was it hilarious, but I’ve never seen an animated adaptation that captured the original artist’s style so well. Every frame looked like it was personally drawn by Mike Mignola.

Anyway, I feel like I should add something new to this discussion as well, so I would recommend “Battlepug” by Mike Norton. Technically, as a webcomic, it breaks the same rules as PBF and Hark!, but I originally read it in collected book form at a friend’s house. Norton also did a great one-shot called “The Curse”. Like “Far Arden” on Seth’s list, it was the result of a 24-hour comic event (two events actually: the book collects two stories featuring the same character, from two years of an annual event), which resulted in complete manic lunacy.

Like a lot of the creators we’ve talked about, Norton is a veteran of mainstream comics (Runaways, Shazam, Young Justice, etc.), and his hyper-detailed cartooning makes me incredibly jealous.

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away

lots of funny comics out there…
Cutey Bunny, Spaced, Redfox, the Bogie Man
While I love Yotsubata’s gentle charm I had more laughs from Azumanga Daioh
and then there’s Sgt Frog and Bobobo-bo bo-bobo

Mike Allred’s “Madman” and, more recently, “FF”.

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