Penn and ink

By Phil Plait | September 29, 2008 10:37 am

Frazz, a web comic with a panel about Penn JilletteWeb comics are cool. I sometimes pick up a newspaper and read the comic strips, and it’s been like six years since I’ve even been tempted to smirk, let alone smile, let alone LOL.

Web comics are the same way, in general, but there are so many, and you can pick and choose which ones to read. The odds of finding the funny are much higher. I didn’t know about Frazz, but Penn mentioned it on Twitter (click the picture on the left to read the whole strip). I like this strip: it’s skeptical (even metaskeptical, like this particular strip), and funny, and mentions a guy I know. Too bad there’s no specific RSS feed for it; it’s worthy of me losing another 20 seconds each day to it.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Skepticism

Comments (40)

  1. Of course that wasn’t Penn. There was no “F@#$ing”, and other colourful additions to the quote. ;) Good find, another tab to open every morning it seems.

  2. Bobcloclimar

    Clearly you haven’t been reading enough Frank and Ernest, which specializes in Really Bad Puns (TM).

  3. Kathy A.

    Frazz is one of my favorite comics in the paper each day.

  4. Nentuaby

    You know Frazz is a print strip, right? For years it’s been one of the few bright spots in the “funny” pages.

  5. Adrian Lopez

    Newspaper comics haven’t been the same since Watterson stopped making Calvin and Hobbes.

  6. Brian T.

    Huh. I’m surprised you brought up web comics and didn’t mention today’s XKCD, especially since it’s astronomy-related.

    http://xkcd.com/482/

  7. Jim

    The character in the last panel looks almost exactly like you would expect Calvin to look like when older.

  8. Quiet Desperation

    Pearls Before Swine. Get Fuzzy and Lio are about all I read in the paper anymore. I really miss Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County some days.

    There’s too many safe comics. And then there’s all the zombie comics: strips where the original creator died long ago and it’s being done by a staff, or they are simply rerunning old strips from the past rather than giving new talent a chance. For Better Or For Worse just entered zombiedom. “Classic” strips like Peanuts, Ziggy, Hagar, Wizard Of Id, Dennis The Menace… all horrible now.

    Was Dennis *ever* truly a menace?

  9. kuhnigget

    Frazz. Eww. Blatant rip-off of Calvin & Hobbes. The artist even joked about stealing Bill Waterson’s style in one of the early strips.

  10. Quiet Desperation

    Best web comic: Girl Genius. Nothing else even comes close. Butt kicking levels of steampunkage going on there. My other favorites are Kevin & Kell and Pibgorn.

  11. Adrian Lopez speaks the truth! I STILL have every single Calvin and Hobbes book published in the US. My daughter loves them too!

  12. Fizzle

    I’m not a big fan of Frazz, It strikes me as being a copy of Calvin and Hobbes with a grown up Calvin, Its not as bad as it used to be however. Just out of curiosity do you read Pearls Before Swine? It had a storyline making fun of the “Buy a Star” groups. I must use this to recommend Lio it’s more quite funny as well., b

  13. Quiet Desperation

    Larian: you know there’s a massive three book set with EVERY Calvin & Hobbes strip, right?

    I got it last Christmas. I’m 43 years old. I *asked* for it. :)

    Behold the awesome:

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes/dp/0740748475/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222709649&sr=8-1

    I have the Far Side complete set as well.

  14. madge

    Bring back Cheech Wizard!
    :)

  15. Law Mom

    WOW. That xkcd strip needs to be available in a poster.

  16. Law Mom
  17. MattGS

    @Quiet Desperation: I salute you, Sir. The complete Calvin & Hobbes AND the complete Far Side? That shows amazingly good taste.

  18. drksky

    Peanuts is zombified because Charles Schulz is dead. United Features is just re-running old comics to suck more money out of his work port mortem. Email them and tell them to stop it.

  19. Mike O'Connell

    Haha, I get Frazz in the local newspaper (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  20. drksky

    “WOW. That xkcd strip needs to be available in a poster.”

    It is. Look at the link at the top of the page.

  21. Sili

    Arlo and Janis (Jimmy Johnson even has a blog.)

    In all likelihood you’ll like Evil Inc. and Arthur, King of Time and Space. They’re most punny.

    Sheldon is fun for the whole family (with plenty of sci-fi references: Tuvak, Vulcan party planner; What Would a Klingon Do?).

    And I don’t see the C&H ripoffness. Perhaps Frazz does look like a grownup Calvin, but they’re not a bit alike.

  22. @Madge:
    Speaking of comics, do they still have Dandy and Beano comics in the UK? I loved those as a kid!

  23. QD, got them both. I’m 42. :) Also got a Bloom County collection (Pre-Opus only stuff).

    XKCD stuff is always funny/quirky.

  24. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Girl Genius, of course. Pibgorn could have been something, but became satisfied with being a one-trick pony. (See GG for how to do character and plot evolution.)

    I’ve also started to exploit “pure” web comics, but I guess I don’t have any real finds yet.

    Oh, except maybe for Schlock Mercenaries (later also printable AFAIU), which is often as zany as I want them. Replace steampunkage with hardscifiing (except when it’s soft, of course).

    And I do like the promising format of the Dark Horse Comics quickies on MySpace.

  25. Davidlpf

    The xkcd cartoon can not be right there is not mention of plasma so therefore the do not know what they are talking about.

  26. Thanny

    In case anyone’s wondering, it’s from Lincoln.

  27. Todd W.

    No one’s mentioned Sluggy Freelance yet? For shame. A very good comic. Check out the niftiness. http://www.sluggy.com

  28. rdriley

    @Quiet Desperation: I also asked for and got said C&H box set for Christmas, two years ago. I was 37. :P

    Also, for webcomics, I’ve found nothing even close to the honest to god laff out loudness of Overcompensating. Two nights ago I spent five minutes nearly hacking my lungs up after a good three minutes of breathless laughing at one of the strips there.

  29. Donnie B.

    Thanny, if you grew up in or near Cleveland in the 1960s you might have gotten a different impression.

    Captain Penny, who hosted an after-school kids’ show (cartoons, Stooges, Little Rascals), used to sign off his show this way:

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time… but you can’t fool Mom!”

    I was actually surprised to learn about Abe’s version. It just didn’t seem to scan right.

  30. yumenoko

    Frazz was a true blessing when he started up in the LA Times years ago. I could only ever describe it as “Calvin and Hobbes all grown up, except that Calvin stays the same young kid — in the guise of all the wily kids in that school — but the objective Hobbs is now a bike ride loving janitor. ^__^Y

  31. Adrian Lopez

    The only thing that bugs me about the Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection is that two of the strips have been edited for content [1]. The unedited strips are available as part of the individual collections [2], but unfortunately the first seven books have black and white Sunday strips while the Complete C&H has them in color. I don’t know which choice is best: a) all the strips in a single volume, with Sundays in color but two of the strips edited for content, or b) individual collections featuring the unedited strips but with black and white Sundays.

    [1] http://books-worlds.blogspot.com/2008/01/complete-calvin-and-hobbes-calvin.html
    [2] http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Calvin-and-Hobbes/lm/83RA10R4NUMT/

  32. John

    Another vote for Sluggy Freelance here, as well as Girl Genius.

  33. Calli Arcale

    That’s a pretty good description, yumenoko. I love Frazz too. And I love Calvin & Hobbes. Frazz is not a ripoff of C&H, and anyone who’s read more than a couple of strips knows that. One especially needs to know that Frazz himself is nothing like Calvin. The closest equivalent to Calvin is probably the black kid (can’t remember his name at the moment), though he’s not as hyper and distractable as Calvin. It’s an awesome strip, and somewhat in the same vein as C&H, only it lacks the fantastical elements that came up so often in C&H. There’s no Spaceman Spiff equivalent, and no transmogrifier either. ;-)

  34. Tim

    Frazz also has a good following in the bike racing/riding community since there are usually lots of good refernces to cycling and bike racing.

  35. Mike

    Another (usually) good comic is F Minus, though you probably already know about it.

    Here is a recent Astronomical-themed strip:
    http://www.comics.com/comics/fminus/archive/fminus-20080921.html

  36. Scotty B

    Anybody know of an RSS feed for pearls before swine? Or Dr. McNinja for that matter?

  37. Scotty B
  38. Jaku

    Frazz is so rip offed of Calvin and Hobbes. I like bridget over troubled waters. Is good and funny.
    http://www.bridgetovertroubledwaters.com

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