White Ninja Comics

At some point, a cartoonist’s inability to draw stops being funny and starts being tedious. Fortunately for White Ninja Comics, the novelty of its bad art lasts for a good couple dozen strips, or about five minutes browsing the archives, which is all the time you should ever spend on a single site anyway. For those five minutes, the ninja applies a few good comedic jabs to all your humour pressure points. I like it best when white ninja goes on a date while wearing a crown, then tells his girl that if she’s wondering if he’s a king, he’s not, he’s just a normal guy. End of strip. The minimalist body language and facial expression in that final panel, I’ll admit, are accomplished, in their offhand way. Or! Or! the one where white ninja is an artist whose paintings all picture Spider-Man eating corn on the cob – it’s an hilarious, inspired visual. A lot of the strips do fall flat, but that’s just the way online comics work. It’s obvious, it’s schtick – and it’s often funny. This is silly, non sequitur, no-punchline humour, with strong and absurd ties to our everyday reality, in the same vein as Sam Henderson’s or Johnny Ryan’s stuff, but hardly as consummate. And if you’re only visiting the site for its weekly update, so much the better. That way, you don’t revisit the same formula strip after strip, and the jokes land harder, faster, funnier – ninja-like, the comic is able to complete its mission in a matter of seconds, not to be seen again. (Sean Rogers)