Websites I Love

Internet aficionado Nick Martens shares a few of his favorite links.

Although the U.S.-based Bureau staff is busy slacking off in honor of our national heroes, I didn’t want to leave our thousands of loyal readers completely hanging. In the absence of a full article, I’ll show you a few of my favorite sites so you can read them instead of us. These aren’t thematically related to the Bureau per se, but they all inspire the direction of our site in one way or another.


The Comics Curmudgeon

Given a scientific laugh-per-post calculation, I think the Comics Curmudgeon would be at the top of my charts. In a nutshell, freelance writer Josh Fruhlinger levels his sights on the most mockable form of American culture, the daily newspaper cartoon, and pummels it with impeccable wit. His main punching bags are the hilariously dated “soap” strips, whose storylines are unrealistic, insipid, slow, and just plain stupid. You’ll never look at Mary Worth the same way after you read this blog. Fruhlinger also writes a column focused on political cartoons for Wonkette called Cartoon Violence, which is similarly excellent.

Samples:
Ziggy Learns of his “far right” ancestors and his unique evolutionary heritage
Floating, severed limbs hold phones in Gil Thorp
NEXT! More of Trudi’s ass!


Skull-a-Day

This is probably the best name of any blog on the entire internet. Not only does it roll off the tongue, it’s also a perfect description of the site’s content. Having begun in June, graphic designer Noah Scalin is making a skull every day for a year. His media range from charcol to toast, and, conveniently, he’s incredibly talented. I love having this blog pop up every day in my RSS reader (oh, we have one of those RSS things too).

Samples:
Drizzled Skull
Papercraft Skull (make your own!)
Sparkler Skull
Watermelon Skull
Rat Skull Print
Introducing the Skoon
Pile O’Books Skull


Sinfest

I mentioned this webcomic briefly in my article on Sam & Fuzzy, but I think it deserves a little more attention. Written and Drawn by Tatsuya Ishida, Sinfest not only showcases excellent art and distinctive humor, but it also updates every day, with a huge, badass, full-color strip on sundays. And, since it appears every day, it’s able to build up the comforting reader-author rapport familiar to newspaper dailies. Sinfest’s humor mostly derives from the struggles stemming from human vice, topics such as sex, drugs, and religion. Ishida’s commentary is always sharp and never heavy-handed, and when he rarely strays from the realm of comedy, the comic can be touching. Sinfest reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes in all the right ways, which I think is the biggest compliment I can possibly give to a comic strip.

Samples:
Today’s Special
Resist All Temptation
Sextron Needs Nerds


Monoscope

I just started reading Monoscope, but its already my favorite link blog and design site. Normally, when I read boingboing or Swiss Miss, I’ll skim through the posts quickly, clicking on maybe one link in ten. With Monoscope, I hit practically every site they post. I don’t know how they do it, because I’m always vaguely dissatisfied with the content of other design-based link blogs, but they consistently post awesome shit that I rarely see elsewhere. If the Bureau were heavily trafficked, I would hesitate to give Monoscope publicity because it feels like such a delicious little secret. I can’t find any info about the creators online, but I guess that jibes pretty well with the staunch minimalism in their design and in their posts. I could gush more about Monoscope, but you probably just want some links.

Samples:
(Best. Blog post. Ever.) Warner bro cartoon title card gallery
Chip Kidd: Divided Kingdom
1968 Hermes 3000 typewriter
Survival in the City, Anthony Greenbank, 1974
(I own one of these!) Go Go Pogo!!
Eine Goes Big in London
Bureau LImprimante
(For my fellow English majors) Modernism/Postmodernism
Liten Ljus Lager
Modern Printed Matter

Nick Martens is a founding editor of The Bygone Bureau. You can email him, if you like.