If you’re a fan of comic strips, you may want to check out Alex Schumacher’s Mr. Butterchips. It’s a free-to-read webcomic you can check out right now, which features a smarmy talking monkey named Mr. Butterchips who lives in a surreal fictional west coast town. It’s a cartoon world with talking cellphones, giant viruses, and talking pills who walk around town generally annoying Mr. Butterchips.
There are currently 23 comic strips available to read right now, which are full-page comics featuring around five panels of the story each. If you have a morose sense of humor, generally lean liberal, and understand the awfulness of society and how leaving the house can be a whole catastrophe in waiting you’ll likely dig this webcomic. Each story has a message about something which allows Schumacher to reflect on society or give a comedic opinion on something.
The comic truly shines as far as artistry, with a good sense of storytelling from panel to panel and a great level of detail. Mr. Butterchips is rendered with texture and detail, not unlike something you’d see in Garfield. Zooming out a bit, the world around Mr. Butterchips is always well-rendered, be it a taco truck selling ferret tacos, or little bits of dirt and grime covering walls and floors. Often with black and white comics like this, there’s a lack of depth and detail, but Schumacher brings out the world well with finer details that give everything a bit more life. It’s not quite as weird as Jim Woodring’s work, but the visual style is reminiscent of his incredible comics with a vibe similar to Maakies.
Launched in May, the comic strip is modern and reflects things going on in our lives today. If you’re up for a comic that’s a bit cynical, sometimes angry, and generally silly in its depictions, you’ve come to the right place. I wouldn’t say it’s laugh-out-loud funny, but it’ll put a grin on your face.
Like with any webcomic, part of the joy in reading it is seeing how the artist develops their style, their sense of humor, and how the story plays out over time. So far this comic has been mostly episodic without much carryover, but given the quality of art and clever ideas at work, it’s bound to take off in some interesting directions.
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