Pixels to Print
When I heard that Lore Olympus was to be collected in a print offering, I wondered what other webcomics have made it to the printing press. As it turns out, quite a few webcomic artists have used traditional publishing to expand their audience and give existing fans their art in a tangible form. DC Public Library holds several of these books, from comics that first appeared online to entirely original collections created for print publication.
Note: All titles are linked to their physical copies unless otherwise noted, and many are available as library e-books and/or e-audiobooks with OverDrive.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (xkcd)
XKCD creator Randall Munroe takes his skills of explaining complex things simply to the realm of science, focusing on ridiculous questions like “How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?” Munroe includes his signature stick figure drawings alongside short chapters that answer some of life’s most burning questions in this fun, unusual nonfiction book.
Cyanide & Happiness: A Guide to Parenting by Three Guys with No Kids by Kris, Rob, and Dave with advice from Dave McElfatrick (Cyanide & Happiness)
A hilarious take on the finer points of child-rearing from the creators of Cyanide & Happiness, this book walks readers through important lessons such as how to draw the perfect hand turkey and telling your kids you don’t love them anymore. Written in Cyanide & Happiness’s usual off-color style, this guide makes for hours of laughter.
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung (Where’s My Bubble?)
Where’s My Bubble? artist Debbie Tung celebrates the quiet moments and the life of a typical introvert in this adorable and inky collection of short comics. Readers who enjoyed Susan Cain’s Quiet will find a common friend in Quiet Girl, which feels like a series of cozy, inviting hugs and warrants regular revisiting to favorite comic panels.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half)
Perhaps one of the most famous webcomics on the Internet, Hyperbole and a Half comes to shelves in print with more autobiographical anecdotes from creator Allie Brosh. Hilarious, heartfelt, and honest, the collection discusses awkward moments, dealing with depression, and the strange existence that is childhood.
Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal)
From the creator of The Oatmeal comes this uproarious collection of comics including helpful how-tos such as “10 Ways to Befriend a Misanthropic Cat” and “A Dog’s Guide to Walking a Human Being.” Inman applies his usual indecent style while educating the reader on these most important topics and giving them a good laugh, too.
Poorly Drawn Lines: Good Ideas and Amazing Stories by Reza Farazmand (Poorly Drawn Lines)
Drawing from the internet collection by the same name, Poorly Drawn Lines explores the nature of reality as experienced by humans with a twisted perspective. From a hamster in need of a mental health intervention to a garden snake running into trouble with the law, these comics will induce the giggles while simultaneously inspiring thoughtful musings on what it means to be human.
Herding Cats: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen (Sarah’s Scribbles)
Sarah’s Scribbles comes to the page with Herding Cats, addressing everything from how to get over the meanies on the Internet to the endless nature of keeping your space de-cluttered. This collection of comics ends with an illustrated essay on creativity, in which Andersen gently mentors the reader on how to keep on keeping on in the face of creator’s block and criticism.