posted by Matt Ward on Sep 23, 2009.
Long hours spent designing can get tiresome. Sometimes we need to put the stylus down and walk away, take a breather, get our heads cleared before coming back. Sometimes, though, we just need a giggle! In this post, I highlight 4 design related comics that you can check out and read, and hopefully indulge yourself in for a bit of well deserved entertainment!
Any experienced designer would probably tell you that, though they love their job, it can sometimes become tiresome. Long hours spent starting at a screen, wielding a stylus and/or converting files can leave you in a very fragile state – physically, mentally and sometimes even emotionally! Sometimes we need to put the stylus down and walk away, take a breather, get our heads cleared before coming back.
Sometimes, though, we just need a giggle!
Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to get a quick fix of humour. One of my favorites is web comics. Today, I am bringing you 4 design related comics that you can check out and read, and hopefully indulge yourself in that greatest of medicines – fits of uncontrollable laughter! Or at least a smile or a chuckle.
Drawn and written by Brad Colbow, “The Brads” is my personal favorite at the moment. It’s about two designers, both named Brad, working hard to build their own web design company. The strip also involves their pet pig and focuses on their adventures as designers, often making light of some of the many challenges that designers face.
The humour is often derived from one of the Brads responding to some unreasonable or uninformed client, though there is also humour in their own interactions and use of various technologies.
I also love the art in this one. It’s really simple, but the characters are well designed and have a lot of…well…character! I really enjoy this strip, and if you’re at all involved with web design, you probably will too.
This strip appears on the Freelance Switch site, and deals with a main character who is a freelance designer. The different comics chronicle the freelancer’s various interactions with clients, friends and associates, and really tends to glorify the freelancer’s life, though it does also outline some of the issues that arise from time to time.
There are two things I love about the art in this comic. First, I think it’s really cool the way Winters always chooses a single colour for each individual strip. This particular example is done in orangish-yellow, but others are blue, purple, green red and so on. It’s a really cool colouring technique that I don’t remember seeing before. I also love the way he build halftones into his backgrounds. I’m a pretty big fan of well used halftones to begin with, but their use here is also great tribute to traditional, old school printed comics!
Kopozky is a highly caricatured strip about a small web design firm. Each character represents one of the stereotypes that you might expect to find in such a firm. There is the Designer, the Developer, the Copywriter and, of course Mr. Kopozky himself. This crazy cast of characters gets into all sorts of comedic misadventures, such as this one, featuring the Designer and the Copywriter:
As I already mentioned, the artwork is really caricatured and exaggerated, with the character designs really emphasizing the comedic stereotypes. There is not a huge archive on this one, but the quality of the strips that do exist are really quite good, so I was pretty stoked when I came across this one.
Yet another strip dealing with web design, though this one tends to focus a little more on the application side than plain old websites. Much like Kopozky, the characters here all work for the same firm, and much of the humour comes from their seemingly inability to work together. The other half of the humour seems to come from the various and ridiculous schemes and ideas of iVan, featured below (the dude with neon glasses).
The creators of this strip insist that it’s not dead, despite having posted only one new entry in the past two years. They seem to be on something of a hiatus as they work on their own projects. Still, there’s a good sized archive dating back to ’03, so you should have plenty to read.
Okay, so there are some great design related comics out there. But, what if you need a real break, where you don’t want anything to do with any sort of design at all? Period. Well there are some other awesome strips out there, too. Here is one of my favorites:
Okay guys, it’s time to be honest. A lot of us designers are also geeks of some sort (openly or in the closet). We dig things like comic books and video games. Well here’s a strip that deals primary with the later. Ctrl+Alt+Del has been running since 2002, focusing on two video game playing roommates and their various and sometimes hilarious antics.
In my view, this is probably one of the greatest web comics in existence. It has been hugely successful, running consistently for the better part of 7 years. There is all kinds of merchandise and even an animated series! The art is really great too, with consistently well drawn characters. Also, it’s really, really easy to get immersed in this strip, since it actually follows some pretty long story arcs. This is really great stuff, humour wise, but don’t show it to your kids. There’s definitely some adult oriented content in the dialogue – though I’ve never seen an in the pictures themselves.
There are a ton of other comics out there to read too, like Penny Arcade, 8-Bit Theater and the aptly named Questionable Content. These are just some of the ones that I have really enjoyed. Be warned though, while these comics can provide a welcome break for taxed and overworked designers, they can also become extremely addictive sources of extreme procrastination. As evidence, note that this post took me hours to actually write, because I kept reading strip after strip after strip. It’s incredible how time can just evaporate as you read!
I hope you enjoy these comics! What about you guys? What are some of your favorite web comics? Know of any design-related strips that I haven’t mentioned here?Post A Comment
Also from Echo Enduring Media: