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The 13 Best Webcomics of 2013

December 19, 2013  |  11:20am
The 13 Best Webcomics of 2013
7. Oyster War
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By Ben Towle
Updates every other Wednesday
Between an Eisner Award nomination and the tale’s plot kicking into high gear, 2013 was a high note for Oyster War. The webcomic follows Commander Davidson Bulloch and his quirky crew as they attempt to capture a band of oyster pirates. A combination of historical fiction (the comic is set in Virginia after the Civil War) and mythology (think sea monsters, ghosts and selkies), Oyster War and its old-school art will appeal to comics fans of all ages. (FJ)


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6. xkcd
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Randall Munroe
Updates every M-W-F
This webcomic has only grown wittier since its inception in 2005. A self-proclaimed “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language,” xkcd has somehow found a way to make us laugh while also increasing our IQs. Whether you’re a science genius or a liberal-arts nerd, you’ll be entertained by Munroe’s genre-defying comic. (FJ)


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5. Hobo Lobo of Hamelin
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By Stevan Živadinović
Updates sporadically
The most uniquely constructed webcomic Paste has come across by far, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin reads like a mash-up of The Pied Piper and 1984. The comic consists of side-scrolling, multi-dimensional illustrations rather than panels, making it a tale you’ll want to scroll through again and again to catch its whimsical details. The story follows the tense relationship between Hobo Lobo, a renaissance journeyman, and Mayor Dick, who looks like an ugly twin of Carl from Up. Let’s hope they don’t resolve their conflicts anytime soon, because you’ll want to follow this clever webcomic for years to come. (FJ)


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4. The Abominable Charles Christopher
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By Karl Kerschl
Updates every Wednesday
It’s no secret we’re fans of this webcomic at Paste. The childlike sasquatch Charles Christopher and a host of forest creatures, both mythical and mundane, have enchanted web audiences since 2007. More than a charming, woodland tale, The Abominable Charles Christopher explores the virtues and vices of humanity without passing judgment. Both the hilarity and the heartache present in Charles’ world are well worth experiencing. (FJ)


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3. Battlepug
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By Mike Norton
Updates every Monday
There’s a giant, warrior pug in this webcomic. That should be enough to get you hooked right now. If you’re an unimpressed skeptic/pug-hater, you should know that Battlepug won an Eisner Award in 2012 and a Harvey Award in 2013. Wins aside, this webcomic has matured over the past year from a selfish warrior’s quest for vengeance into his crew’s sacrificial journey to save their world. Big stakes and an even bigger pug give Battlepug the perfect combination of adventure and heart. (FJ)


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2. Ava’s Demon
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By Michelle Czajkowski
Updates every Thursday
Ava’s Demon is an artistic gem. Written and illustrated by a former employee of Pixar and Dreamworks, it defies the visual norms of webcomics by including only one panel on each page and adding musically-scored, animated clips at key plot points. Its Kickstarter campaign in June was so successful that Czajkowski plans to work on the webcomic full time beginning in January. Ava and Wrathia, the demon who has tormented Ava since birth, are the central characters of the large-scale narrative, which takes place across multiple planets dominated by a maniacal overlord. With a fantastical story and gorgeous panels, Ava’s Demon will enthrall new and seasoned webcomics fans alike. (FJ)


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1. Nimona
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By Noelle Stevenson
Updates every Tuesday and Thursday
Noelle Stevenson’s narrative webcomic has only gotten better over the past year, examining morally complex questions that have to do, more than anything, with the rules of war. Okay, so there are also jokes about being able to turn into a shark and about a supervillain ordering pizza to keep his teenage sidekick happy. It’s an awesome combination. The plot is tight, the art is a joy to look at, and the comments underneath the comic by its crew of fans are almost as much fun as the story itself. Spider-man might have coined the cliche about great power and great responsibility, but Nimona is pulling that phrase apart and looking at it seriously. (HB)


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