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Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s

Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s published on 3 Comments on Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s

More Bookshop recs! This time, for webcomics I started reading more than a decade ago…and that have stood the test of time enough for me to keep recommending you buy the books.

It’s still a little dicey doing older recs, because time and social standards keep marching on. Sometimes you’ll get a joke about gender roles that wasn’t even malicious at the time, it just feels hopelessly backward a decade or two later. Other times you’ll get a Windows 95 reference. Those used to be funny, I promise.

I enjoyed these comics anyway! Here’s hoping some of you will too.

Webcomics I Read In The 2000s And Still Like

Bruno the Bandit: Sword and sorcery (and cell phones…and social satire) with a selfish mercenary and his put-upon microdragon sidekick. Their struggles include Lovecraftian horrors, fame vampires, and losing the TV remote.

Honestly, this is the series that most inspired the “off-color jokes that seem very dated” warning. But they usually come from characters that aren’t supposed to be guiding lights of moral clarity, and the comic’s best moments are timelessly on-point.

…it also has some surprisingly-direct inspiration for things I ended up putting in Leif & Thorn.

Dreamless: A romantic drama about two people on opposite sides of the world — he’s in Japan, she’s in the US — who see each other’s waking lives while they’re asleep. Then WWII breaks out.

The art in this one might not stand out in the modern-day webcomic scene, but when it launched? This level of painterly, realistic style — for an internet comic! — was kind of mind-blowing.

User Friendly: Misadventures of a bunch of geeks employed by a programming company. Like Dilbert, but in the good ways, not the “weird authorial MRA spiral” ways.

Honestly, I have no idea if this will be funny or relatable to new readers who weren’t around for the era of nerd culture it’s riffing on. But maybe it will! Give it a try, let me know.

Ozy and Millie: Two best friends, an introspective wolf and an energetic chaos-agent fox, have cute adventures. Some philosophy, some politics, one excellent dragon dad.

The artist got wildly popular later on for Phoebe And Her Unicorn. I wish that translated into more appreciation for her early work! It’s not like her skills were undercooked back when she drew this series — it absolutely shines.

Suburban Jungle: Furry sitcom adventures (with a dash of sci-fi) of model and would-be actress Tiffany Tiger, and her friends and colleagues around LA.

If you click with it, check out the sequel series too. (Maybe even check out the sequel if you don’t click with it! Same universe, but the artist tries new things.)

Reminder: A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

Have a favorite classic webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for a rec theme I should do next month? Drop a comment and share!

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3 Comments

The Webcomic Rain just finished, and the ending was just the most beautiful sendoff. It was one of first webcomics about a trans girl, and for so, so many people it was the first case of positive transgender representation in media they found, and has directly inspired many other trans creators to tell their own stories in the decade since. Jocelynn’s not stopping though, she’s starting a new story in the same universe called My Impossible Roommate, about a a girl who’s got a crush on her straight roommate, and it promises to be just as fun with its own ensemble cast of rainbow.

A theme I’d like to see, besides the obvious “give me every queer webcomic you have”, would be comics with fascinating and creative worldbuilding! Demon Eater, Beesbuzz Unity, Freefall, Skin Horse (which is also ending soon! T_T) come to mind.

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