I’m sure that if you browse around the Internet you’ll find comic strips and other short funny pictures within minutes… Or seconds. There are the famous troll faces for example that became the expressive tools of the Internet era, and generation. I’m not going to talk about those right here and now, I have ambivalent feelings to those comics, so I would not be able to judge them correctly. They are part of the Internet, let’s just leave it there.
But you can find a lot of short comic strips all around, for example there’s Cyanide & Happiness, a famous short, usually 3 part comic that has a particular kind of humour – a bit of dark humour. It’s interesting to see how these comics evolve and how they became famous, infamous, or simply successful. For example the above mentioned comic does not have some dramatically great design or characters – they are almost basic stick-men, but they have some plus. They were definitely drawn by people who know how to draw, you can see that from some of the expressions. They portray a dark humour and they are really expressive, so you can enjoy them. It’s not amateur work.
An other comic strip has become my favourite lately. There’s a website, called Freelance Switch, which I sometimes read – but mostly just quickly click through the articles in my RSS feed. But it has a comic strip from week to week, called Freelance Freedom. This is a brilliant little comic, but it’s highly specialized. You probably won’t understand, or appreciate it if you are not a freelancer, and not a designer. These two factors are very important, because a freelance designer draws them, portraying his own life, and the characteristic moments of it – moments that other designers can relate to.
On an other note I’d just like to mention that these are great marketing tools. If you can create a successful comic that many people can relate to (something like cyanide and happiness, but it can be more localized as well), and you can distribute these comics for free, it can be a great tool in your hand. It’s hard to come up with new ideas from week to week (or day to day), but if the drawing is right and you catch people on forums and other sites they’ll always come back to read the next issue.
A good comic strip provides continuity, aesthetic pleasure and fun (above all), which can be used to your advantage, and of course to your pleasure as well.