The Funniest Comics I’ve Ever Read
Humor and comics go hand-in-hand, with major titles such as Hawkeye and She-Hulk blending superhero action and comedy in a witty way. And while I could easily name some bigger/mainstream titles right off the bat that may already be known to feature jokes and one-liners, I’m not going to do that.
Instead, here’s a list of the funniest alternative comic books I’ve ever read, mostly outrageous from the plot alone. Keep in mind these are solely from what I’ve read and humor is a totally critically subjective topic, but I still expect some disagreements.
Hit the jump for some comedic comic recommendations.
The Scott Pilgrim Series
Okay, I know a bunch of people have read this series and it’s pretty widely known that Bryan Lee O’Malley is a hilarious guy, but there’s no way in Hell I can just not include it on this list. The Scott Pilgrim series is one of the funniest comic books ever created, hands down. It revolves around an awesome 23-year-old dude, Scott Pilgrim, who falls for fashionable girl named Ramona Flowers and ends up having to defeat her seven evil exes to be happily bonded together.
It’s got some amazing style and humor. It’s almost disguised as a manga, with black and white (color editions are out now from Oni Press) coloring and huge panels, similar to comics done on the east side of the world. It’s also got great wit throughout and a ton of homages to numerous video game series and heavily relates with awkward nerdy kids. Surely one of the funniest comics to ever hit store shelves.
Hark! A Vagrant
New Yorker cartoonist, Kate Beaton, has created one of the funniest webcomics created, Hark! A Vagrant. This terrific comic literally teases every era of western civilization through humorous historical parodies with the wittiest jokes ever placed inside of a panel.
The comic has given Beaton four Harvey awards in the past, including wins in the “Humor,” “Best Cartoonist,” and “Online Work,” categories. Famous characters and events in both history and literature are parodied and poked fun at, providing some hard laugh-out-loud moments. I haven’t read much funnier than Hark! A Vagrant.
Bighead is a parody of superhero comic books and characters, created by comic author, Jeffrey Brown. Unlike most of Brown’s early autobiographical work, this is a narrative revolving around a superhero who simply has a huge head and strong emotions.
It’s full of clever cliches and hilariously weird villains, such as Bullman, a villain with a bull’s head and a wrestler’s outfit who is an “icon of senseless male aggression,” and Tsunami, a fat man who controls water who Bighead eventually defeats by literally soaking him up with a sponge. It’s a super fun read and has some of the best one-liners I’ve read in any comic book, providing some clever social commentary and superb retro superhero action.
Brandon Graham’s King City is everything Scott Pilgrim could have been had Bryan Lee O’Malley decided to expand his universe into every which way possible. It’s super wonky and futuristic, giving an alternative feeling of punk-rock style visuals and a super cartoon-feel.
Absolutely nothing short of fantastic, King City is also one of the most amusing comics I’ve ever had a chance to come across. The story revolves around a thief named Joe who’s also a cat master, which is a being who could control the power of cats, injecting it with different needles in order to get specific tasks done. It’s insane.
Joe and his cat, Earthling, live in a city similar to New York or Tokyo, entirely populated by ninjas, spies, thieves, ghettoes, weird drugs and crazy hideouts. There’s also a guaranteed pun on every single page of this book. King City is a reflection of literally everything Graham can associate his art with, so it’s totally bananas and seriously hilarious.
The Amazing Screw-On Head
Between B.P.R.D. and the Hellboy series, Mike Mignola did a one-shot comic book called The Amazing Screw-On Head in 2002. The idea of the character was based off of Batman action figures, and how each figure seemingly was the exact same, except with different paint jobs. Mignola thought, why not create a hero that can screw-on his head onto different bodies to fit the occasion?
So he made The Amazing Screw-On Head, a short black comedy comic book revolving around a character called Screw-On Head, who is an undercover agent for president Abraham Lincoln, who must track down the evil Emperor Zombie in search of a stolen manuscript with the help of his two sidekicks, Mr. Groin and Mr. Dog (a dog).
Believe it or not, it’s more ridiculous than it sounds, and it’s super hilarious, full of imagination and weird occult stuff. There’s also an animated version of the comic book that aired on the Syfy channel, with Paul Giamatti voicing Screw-Head himself.
Eat More Bikes
Nathan Bulmer has created a masterpiece of comic comedy with his debut comic book, Eat More Bikes. I’ve read Eat More Bikes numerous times this year and have recommended this title to anyone wanting a great laugh since it’s so accessible and easy-to-read.
Bulmer draws hilarious short comics with ridiculous situations and the most absurd punchlines you’ll ever get a chance to read, hands down. 36 pages, but totally 100% worth any price for the amount of laughs Bulmer tosses at readers.
This comic was published by small pubs favorite of mine, Koyama Press.
The Perry Bible Fellowship
Before I even started this list, I had the idea of only limiting comics to those with a narrative. But I honestly cannot justify creating a funniest comics list and not including the greatest webcomic ever created: The Perry Bible Fellowship.
I’ve never seen sharper humor in my entire life and it honestly may never be topped. Not on the internet, not in a book — no where can PBF really be topped in terms of humor and substantial greatness.