Friday, 5 January 2018

Comic Roundup

Last year (2017), Ben Orlin of "Math with Bad Drawings" did a reader survey. One of the questions he asked was “What other web site do you consider most similar to ‘Math with Bad Drawings’”. You can find the results of that question posted at his site. Anything that got less then three mentions was relegated to itemized lists at the bottom, which is where this post of mine comes in.

After 6+ years of personifying mathematics, first as a serial ("light novel"), then as a webcomic, it's felt like an uphill battle to find any sort of audience at all. To the point where I've given up multiple times. Only to return.

Thing is, I'm sure I'm not the only one fighting to be seen by anyone, ANYONE at all. So, I figured, to start 2018, I'd offer a window into some of the other people out there trying to make a go of funny "educational-style" webcomics. Maybe you'll find something you like out of the following list.

Of course, if you're inclined to stick around after, I've also got a huge backlog of talking parabola bunnies here.


Here's the websites that were directly compared to Ben Orlin's blog (and had two or less mentions), which he listed under the category "webcomics". There's some I already knew about, but some I didn't, so you get the full set. Items in quotation marks were taken from the websites' own "about" page. Almost all of them are drawn in single panel or 4-panel style.

1. Indexed
“A little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others.” Currently running (since 2006). Left handed artist. Math related.

“A comic drawn by Courtney Gibbons ... updated for 3 or so years before fizzling out. The archives remain for your viewing pleasure.” Began 2006, and despite ending in 2012, it has a few 2017 updates. Math related.

“A webcomic ... that is all.” alternately described as “Strip cartoon about math, science, and geek culture.” Nebulous beginnings. Existed in 2010, it stopped updating in 2014.

“A webcomic focusing on all shades of life, from science to literature, politics to sports, romance to religion, and everything else in between.” Currently running daily (since 2008).

By Matthew Inman, with a Facebook page having 4 million likes. Doesn't really need the publicity, but it was listed. Currently running (since 2009).

“A philosophy comic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also jokes.” Also pretty popular, Facebook page has 375k likes. Currently running (since 2013).

Book compilation is described as “an illustrated exploration of creativity”. Facebook page has 588k likes. Currently running (since 2009).

“Began as an illustrated travel blog, a way to record my global bicycle adventures in comic form.” Currently running (since 2014, began on blog).

“I teach history and when I teach I like to doodle on the whiteboard.” Currently running (since 2013).

“Cartoons and illustrations on wild animals; wildlife, environment and nature conservation.” Currently running (since 2009).

“Comic strip about a guy who lives on a bicycle and works at the Kickstand Cyclery.” Sporadic updates since 2012 after starting (daily) in 2008.


Those above websites themselves had some links going out, which seemed to match the tone of "comics that educate". Plus there's a few I know of that haven't been mentioned yet. So here's a section for those one degree separated from Ben Orlin.

12. 909Sickle.

“My hub for things intended to entertain, inspire, or possibly even induce laughter.” Tech/Science related. Currently running (since 2008).

13. (x, why?).
“A webcomic of math humour, school life and general geekiness.” Math related, with puns. Some anthropomorphizing of numbers/shapes. Currently running (since 2006).

“A webcomic focusing on a group of physics graduate students in a fictional version of Oklahoma.” Has time travel. Pretty sure it’s currently running (since 2012).

“Cultivating curiosity and appreciation for science and nature one giggle at a time.” Currently running (since 2009).

History comics. Started around 2007, seemed to go on hiatus last year as the author does other projects.

Science and nature cartoons. Currently running (existed in 2013, not sure as to start).

A comic about Li and her cat Shoelace. Currently running (since 2009).

Also, Joseph Nebus reads the comics (as in ones you'd see in newspapers) and highlights neat math details on a regular basis. Check that out too.


And then, of course, there's this site. Any ~Qs, formerly Taylor's Polynomials. Began in July 2011, now at entry #325. Facebook page with 33 likes. My comic from October has 8 page views total. My pinned Twitter page from April has 0 retweets. This post may not be much of a signal boost for anyone. ^^;

My comics are returning next week. Because even though others have managed a much greater reception in less time, there's also others who have been at this much longer than I have, who are still at it. Might as well keep falling forwards.

Know of a great hidden gem out there that I missed? Feel free to mention it in the comments, someone may thank you for it. As always, thank you for reading.

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