Yesterday, I returned from a two week "staycation" at my parent's lake front house in downstate New York state. Technically, I guess it was a "working vacation," as there is no rest for the freelance writer, but a vacation, none the less. This return, of course, means not only that I'm tan, well rested and feeling rather zen about life: But, also that today was my first full day back on the 9-to-5 grind. (Actually it's more like the noon-to-8 pm grind – that, you see, is the beauty of working for yourself, you don't have to come in ass-early in the morning and you can work in your pajamas/from your bed if you want to… like I am doing right now. You have to make up for the low salary and lack of benefits somehow, right?)
Believe it or not, working from home isn't that dramatically different from working in an office. You still have deadlines to meet, meetings to attend (on Go-to-Meeting or Skype), annoying co-workers trying to distract you from getting work done (my dog and my flat mate's cats) and a commute (from your bedroom to your home office, except on the days you "telecommute" from your bedroom because you don't want to get out of your cozy bed.)
This includes finding ways to slack off and waste time on the Internet. Aside from browsing Craigslist looking for free stuff to use in my apartment, IM'ing with my friends who also WFH (work-from-home), playing online chess, consulting a Magic 8 Ball to determine if my crush of the day likes me back, and -of course- Facebooking/Twittering, one of my favorite ways to waste time is to read webcomics.
Weekly, sometimes daily sequential serials, webcomics are the comic strips of the new millennium having replaced the funny pages in your daily newspaper. It's another example of the trending towards complete use of digital media vs. analog media, and while I do miss my daily tactile dose of Calvin & Hobbes (which you can actually read online now via GoComics), Doonesbury (also online at The Slate) and other fine comics – there really are some great webcomics being produced these days. These are my favorites:
- Battle Pug by Mike Norton – I really like Mike Norton's work, in general, but I especially have stupid love for his Battle Pug webcomic. It is funny, fun and Norton's subtle acerbic humor often causes me to raise an eyebrow or snort hot coffee out my nose.
- xkcd by Randall Munroe – "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language," xkcd is the go-to comic for geeks everywhere. Simply drawn, simply hilarious – if you haven't been reading it since 2005, you're not really a geek.
- Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield – Technically, this is a cartoon, not a webcomic – but, as it's being produced much in the same way as many webcomics (simply drawn and animated, presented almost exclusively online) I count it as a webcomic anyhow… Simon's Cat is just dreadfully cute and clearly illustrates how funny and evil the kittehs can be… As I happen to live with the king of all evil kittehs, I appreciate Simon's Cat quite a bit.
- Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto – The ongoing adventures of Hazel Tellington, Thea, Clarice, Candy, McPedro the Irish Cactus, Jamie "The Rack" McJack and Sprinkles the Ghost Kitteh – in this comic Corsetto touches on the issues of love, hate, roommates, booze, porn, trying to find a job in a crappy economy and being a dominatrix – you know, the issues that really matter. Read it. Read it NOW!
So those are my favorite webcomics. What are YOURS?
Kate Kotler is the founding editor of Geek Girl on the Street.com and a freelance writer/editor/marketing hack and full time geek girl who lives in Chicago. She loves Doctor Who, Frank Miller, Wonder Woman, knitting, puppetry and she used to be a professional fire eater. See her full resume on katekotler.com. You can Tweet at her @adorkablegrrl on the Twitters.