Comics aren’t just for children, as some people might think. There are many comics written with adults in mind, and this is reflected in the depth and scope of the artwork. Comic strips are widely read around the world in newspapers, magazines, books and the internet. Some are created simply to make people laugh, some are made to entertain (often with storylines worthy of a novel) and there are some that make political or social commentary.
Comic strips have a surprisingly long and interesting history. For instance, there’s evidence of comics in China from as long ago as the 11th century BC! Comics have evolved over the years with advances in technology and the changing styles of art and graphic design, and are often at the cutting edge of design.
The culture of an artist’s country is often a big influence on their work, and consequently comic styles are different around the world. We present you over 50 examples of beautiful comic strip artwork, from places as diverse as America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Some interesting articles and resources are listed at the bottom of the post.
Further Reading on SmashingMag:
- Drawing A Cartoon In Illustrator
- Beautiful Handwriting, Lettering and Calligraphy
- Tribute To Graffiti: 50 Beautiful Graffiti Artworks
- Beautiful Examples Of Moleskine Art
50 Beautiful Examples of Comic Strip Art
United States Comic Strip Art
Dilbert Dilbert is known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the title character. Written and drawn by Scott Adams.
Calvin and Hobbes Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson, following the humorous antics of Calvin, an imaginative six-year old boy, and Hobbes, his energetic tiger.
Garfield A classic by Jim Davis. Published since June 19, 1978. As of 2007, it is syndicated in roughly 2,580 newspapers and journals and currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip.
Imaginary Daughter Imaginary Daughter is the story of a guy who we’ll be calling Father, and the kid that suddenly appears one day in his life, and who is a figment of his imagination. Created by Karchesky.
Yo & Dude A web comic strip about a cat, a dog and a bipolar conversation. What makes this comic strip really different is the way it is designed. Very unusual forms and colors for a traditional comic strip. Created by Eric Hews.
Sourly Sweet A serie comics that captured our attention with the way it is presented. A photo comic strip, created by [sdfv].
Emily the Strange Fictional alternative culture character created by Rob Reger.
X-Men A team of superheroes from Marvel Comics.
Hellboy Created by Mike Mignola.
The Order of the Stick Rich Burlew’s comic satirises role-playing games and the surrounding culture.
Penny Arcade Written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik, Penny Arcade satirises video game playing culture.
Dresden Codak In the words of the author Aaron Diaz - ‘An illustrated celebration of science, death and human folly’.
Girl Genius Ongoing comic book series turned webcomic telling the story of Agatha Hetrodyne, a student at Transylvania Polygnostic University, in an alternate history Victorian setting., Written and drawn by Phil and Kaja Foglio.
Family Man A graphic novel by Dylan Meconcis, about a confused young man in the middle of the Enlightenment.
Clan of the Cats The story of Chelsea Chattan who turns out to be a witch and a werepanther. Created by Jamie Robertson.
Rob and Elliot A webcomic drawn by Clay Yount and Hampton Yount. Rob and Elliot are roommates.
European Comic Strip Art
European comic strip art is known for its stylistic richness and diversity.
Olle Berg Olle Berg is a Swedish cartoonist. There are lots of comics on his website.
Gummbah A Dutch comic.
Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan A Dutch humorous fantasy comic.
Adventures of Tintin This famous Belgian comic book, by Herge, has been around for nearly 80 years.
Asterix the Gaul French comic books written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Uderzo continued the series after Goscinny’s death in 1977).
Heinz The famous Dutch comic book cat created by Rene Windig and Eddie de Jong.
Serpieri Clone Created by Italian Comic Strip Artist Paolo Serpieri.
Milo Manara Italian Comic Strip Artist Maurilio Manara uses the psuedonym Milo Manara and is best known for the erotic nature of his work.
The Metabarons French comic book illustrated by Argentinian artist Juan Gimenez.
Andrea Bruno Italian Comic Strip Artist known for his dark, apocalyptic style.
Persepolis A French comic book written by Iranian Marjane Satrapi.
Les Innommables (The Unspeakables) Created by Didier Conrad, a young cartoonist who help revolutionise Belgian comic book Spirou in the eighties.
Not Funny (Nichtlustig) Webcomic from Germany by Joscha Sauer.
British Comic Strip Art
Strontium Dog Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra and published in 2000AD, a famous weekly British science-fiction comic book.
Sinister Dexter Created by Dan Abnett and Paul Johnson and also published in 2000AD.
Monster Club Created by Richard Emms and Theo Bain.
Dennis the Menace Cult comic book character from British comic The Beano, drawn by various artists since 1951.
Scary Go Round The bizarre escapades of Shelley Winters, by John Allison.
Gunnerkrigg Court Strange happenings at a school called Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell.
Russian Comic Strip Art
Krokodil The Soviet comic from 1965.
Masjanja The legendary Russian comic, created by Oleg Kuvaev.
How The Very First Medicines Were Invented From comic book magazine Arbuz.
Where’s Daddy? Also from comic book magazine Arbuz.
Neo Ark Created by a Russian Comic Strip Artist known as GrimJim.
Pixon and Gigo Also created by the Russian Comic Strip Artist known as GrimJim.
Dark Warrior A Russian comic book for adults.
Milky Girl The protagonists in Milky Girl are always women.
Chinese Comic Strip Art
Chinese Hero Created by Hong Kong artist Ma Wing Shing, the artistic style of this comic book led to the modern day look of Manhua - the name for Comic Strip Art produced in China. The earliest known Manhua drawings date from the 11th century BC in the form of stone reliefs.
DevaShard Written by a Chinese artist known as Zen, DevaShard is inspired by an Indian mythological text called the Mahabharata.
The Ravages of Time An on-going Chinese manhua series re-telling the events in the Three Kingdoms Period of Chinese history.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Created by Andy Sett and based on the film of the same name.
Latin American Comic Strip Art
Gaturro Argentine comic strip created by cartoonist Cristian Dzwonik.
Mafalda Famous Argentina comic strip by Argentina Comic Strip Artist Joaquin Salvador Lavado. The first comic strips appeared in 1962 in Argentine newspaper Clarin.
La Cucaracha Created by Mexican-American artist Lalo Alcaraz and focuses on Latino culture and politics.
Clemente Created by Carlos Loiseau and published in Argentine newspaper Clarin.
Ariel Olivetti Argentina artist Ariel Olivetti created comic strips in Argentina such as El Cazador de Aventuras (The Adventure Hunter) and went on to become an illustrator for Marvel comics.
Japanese Comic Strip Art
Japanese Comic Strip Art, also known as Manga (the Japenese work for comics and print cartoons), has a long and complex history. The modern version of the art form emerged after World War II.
Naruto Written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto.
Bleach A Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo.
One Piece Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D Luffy and his ragtag crew of heroic pirates.
Kekkaishi Created by Yellow Tanabe, the story of teenagers Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura who defend their school from spirits drawn to the sacred land it’s built on.
Atashi no Sentaku A cheezy love story from Dream Manga Group.
Sinfest A more conventional comic strip, created by Tatsuya Ishida/Museworks.
Megatokyo A popular online webcomic (manga), created by Fred Gallagher.
PC Weenies A comic strip about computers, technology and design. Krishna M. Sadasivam (pronounced Sah-DAS-eh-VHAM) is the creator of The PC Weenies.
ExtraLife The comic is updated three days a week and continues to this day. The comic itself sometimes features regular characters, but often is more about the subject matter and less about who is there to portray the subject. A comic strip created by Scott Johnson.
SMBC Comics A comic about life and relationships, by Zach Weiner.
OK/Cancel OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. The subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc.
xkcd A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Created by Randall Munroe.
Gaping Void “Cartoons drawn on the back of business cards”. A very minimalistic, yet beautiful comic strip that always gives you something to think about. Created by Hugh MacLeod.
The Joy Of Tech The Joy of Tech is a comic about technology and pop culture. The comic focuses on Apple-related news and recent developments in technology. Created by Nitrozac and Snaggy.
Geek & Poke A comic about technology, created by Oliver Widder from Hamburg, Germany.
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats comic, regularly created by Ape Lad.
Comics have been a large part of popular culture for generations. Growing over the ages through contributions to the genre from Christophe Chabouté, Angelo Agostini and, of course, Richard Outcault, this then-revolutionary new way for artists to create and deliver a narrative exploded throughout the art world, leaving a lasting mark that would mature over the years, morphing into a mainstream artistic medium. Today, with a more stylized focus on heroic tales and dark worlds beyond the imagination, this genre continuously churns out amazing artwork from some extremely talented artists.