Want to start an online comic but you don’t know how to draw? No problem! You can always use real-life photography to make your comic-creating dreams a reality! Photo comics, as they are called, can run the gamut from hilarious and absurd to beautiful and gripping. All you need is a bunch of friends who don’t mind you constantly taking pictures of them (and barring that, a set of easily posable action figures), and you’re ready to go. For some inspiration, check out these already successful photo comics after the jump!
Everybody likes to joke about the idea of putting two unlikely rivals together as roommates in a New York City apartment, but only Bernie Hou actually did it. He doesn’t have time to update the comic anymore, but the archives are always there for your perusal. You’ll especially enjoy the inside jokes if you’ve ever lived in Manhattan.
A groundbreaking series of photo comics dealing with the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse in Seattle, Night Zero is amazing in its scope. Sometimes it really feels like you’re looking at screenshots from a movie! Props to Anthony van Winkle and all his actors (models?) for creating a great story.
As in ALP, Triston A. Farnon uses toys as the main characters for his surreal series of comic strips. In 1997 he gained notoriety for replacing dialogue in already existing Dilbert strips so that they were racist, sexist, and generally offensive, but he has since discontinued that project at the behest of Dilbert’s legal team. These kind of antics, though, are what’s given Farnon’s work a massive cult following; he even won a Webby a few years ago.
This gorgeous, color-enhanced webcomic tells the wonderfully supernatural, fantastical story of Sarah McAllister, a blind woman who has the power to see demons. The comic was nominated for a 2008 Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards in the category of Outstanding Photographic Comic, and it definitely deserves the recognition.
Another WCCA nominee and one of the longest-running webcomics in existance, Twisted Kaiju Theater is the brainchild of Sean McGuinness, who poses his bizarre collection of figurines to tell the story of a gang of monsters called the “Toxic Pirates.” Naturally, hilarity can only ensue from there.
Unlike the other comics on this list, Dead on Arrival (by Michael Gibson and Geoff Gaviria) is completely interactive. It tells the tale of a man in a film noir setting who is poisoned by a radioactive drink and must solve the mystery of who did it to him. Even cooler, you get to help!
What began as a small series of independent comics by Charlie Beck became a moderate success in the photo comic world when it was relaunched by an artist collective known as Under Toad. Despite its tumultuous history, the comic is certainly one of the first of its kind and paved the way for future photo comics like it.
This comic by Arne Schulenberg and Jens Sundheim is about a group of people who realize that they have superpowers! The novelty is that it’s set in Germany, which generally isn’t as enamored with the superhero genre as America is. Still, the comic’s been up and running since 2008, so surely it must be doing something right!
Our favorite of the bunch, A Softer World is created by Joey Comeau and Emily Horne and is gorgeous, haunting, and oftentimes darkly hilarious. It’s also spawned about a billion imitation comics that incorporate scenes from television shows and movies into the three-panel-with-typewriter-font style. There’s only one Softer World, though!