As a kid, I adored comics, but never collected comic books. The occasional Archie comic digest that found its way into my hands was read and re-read until the cover fell off. I developed a strong taste for Mad magazine’s Don Martin and the Funky Winkerbean strip (being a saxophone player in a marching band), and once I started reading a daily newspaper I got into Calvin and Hobbes and Doonesbury.

Today I’ll admit to having a few anthologies and very few single books — mostly Cory Doctorow short story based comics published by IDW.. My comic reading now happens online, which is good because no trees are killed, but bad because I’m always finding new strips to follow (and much time is killed).

The current cast of characters that I follow with the ferver once reserved for “LA Law” and “Third Watch” includes:

  • xkcd. Math, Unix, engineering and romance all in one. Love the strip, have the t-shirts.

  • Diesel Sweeties. A most definitely R-rated strip, although there’s a PG version in print syndication now (including the Newark Star Ledger). Imagine a comic about some starving artists, one of whom is in love with a robot, displayed on your Atari game console (the comic, not the robot, except where the robot is in the comic). It’s great stuff, and the title puns are worth going through almost 1,000 strips in the backlog.

  • Questionable Content, a recent addition to my daily reading list. Took me 10 days to get through the entire history of the strip, but worth every minute. Another not quite safe for work comic, but (if possible) full of more obscure music references, quantum physics jokes, and well-drawn thong underwear. Seriously. If you’ve ever spent time in the 413 area code, you’ll understand this strip very well.

  • Octopus Pie. Funny, edgy, very subtle and well-drawn, and somehow captures life in Brooklyn the same way Avenue Q captured life as an English major.

    One of these days, I’ll start drawing my own comic based on our beer league hockey team. I think we’re funny, sometimes unintentionally, but I’m not sure I have more than a dozen strip ideas.