I’ve always loved comic strips. When I was young it was Garfield, the Peanuts, and whatever else was in the newspaper. Then I graduated to some more mature humor in the Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, and televisions The Simpsons (which is not a strip, but is very much in that vein.) I discovered Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks in college and was blown away by what the medium could accomplish. When I met my wife, she was working for a comic strip publishing agency, which I took to be just about the coolest possible place that existed to work.

In a world where print media has been in decline for a full decade (and in rough shape well before then), there was the fear that we would lose things like comic strips. They are such a slight form of narrative and humor that they don’t seem built to last. Where other forms of art aim to elicit pathos or joy or belly laughs or intense tears, a comic strip is looking for “heh.” Just a little chuckle. It’s a small thing, but it’s also a lot to lose.

And yet, around a decade ago, a wonderful thing happened that often does when we fear we are losing something precious from the world: it shows up again where you didn’t expect it. In this case, the form came to live on the internet in a new way with fresh perspectives and altogether new life. Now there was xkcd, hyperbole and a half, and, weirdly, Calvin and Hobbes (again).

I was reflecting on all of this because, there’s this great new web comic by artist Nathan Pyle. In it, a group of either aliens or some kind of featureless post-humans dialogue in extremely literal terms about ordinary life like getting tanned when the weather changes:

This comic seemed particularly appropriate to Unitarian Universalists who, of necessity, spend a lot of time around candles and other flames.

If you have a love for comic strips, but don’t know much about web comics, there’s much out there to discover. On top of the ones I mentioned above, take a look at everything by Sarah Andersen, Awkward Yeti (especially Heart and Brain), and the Oatmeal. Or you can explore. There’s so much out there to find!

Dr. Georgia is the D.R.E. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, OH.