Many web designers are also closet comic-book nerds.
Andy Clarke came out of the closet at Web Directions South earlier this year when he spoke about finding inspiration for web design in comic book art.
I’ve noticed that a lot of other geeks have not only been embracing their love for comics, but writing their own. In fact, when a web designer or developer with a creative streak turns his or her hand to drawing comics, it can produce very interesting results. More than just a lunchtime distraction, comic strips about our profession can lead to insights about how and why we do what we do. Plus, keeping oneself abreast of what is happening in our industry includes not only knowing what people are talking about, but what they’re laughing about.
Seeing as a Google search for the terms “web design comic” or “tech comic” either throws up nothing or just a bunch of rubbish, I thought I’d post my favourite comics about web design. I don’t pretend it’s an exhaustive list — I’m hoping you’ll help me out by listing your own favourite geeky comics in the comments.
First up, and my hands-down favourite, is Kopozky (http://kopozky.net). This is really the only comic that I know of that is strictly about web design. It’s beautifully drawn with polish and finesse, and the characters are all wonderful, real personalities that you can immediately identify with. Oh, and they’re a good laugh as well.
Next is OK/Cancel (http://ok-cancel.com/). These guys have been churning out strips about interface design for years now, and I am continuously astounded at how they manage to keep disciplined about coming up with new material. Again, great drawings and very professionally done.
Lastly there’s Bug Bash (http://bugbash.net/). While more about software development than web design per se, the strips comment on lots of issues that web designers face relating to teams, technology and management.
They’re my picks. I thought about including the likes of BearSkinRug, Tao of Geek, Joy of Tech, Gaping Void and the original geek comic, Dilbert, but we’d be veering into a much wider genre if including any comic that is just tech-related.
Anyway, I’m sure there are some others out there that I have missed. What are your favourites?
Matthew Magain is a UX designer with over 15 years of experience creating exceptional digital experiences for companies such as IBM, Australia Post, and sitepoint.com. He is currently the Chief Doodler at Sketch Group, Co-founder of UX Mastery, and recently co-authored Everyday UX, an inspiring collection of interviews with some of the best UX Designers in the world. Matthew is also the creator of Charlie Weatherburn and the Flying Machine.