Friday, August 14, 2009

Top Ten: Nobody Scores Comics #1-275

If you read this blog regularly, you're no stranger to Nobody Scores. While it's not for everyone, its angry, R-rated tales of protracted failure have their own appeal. You have to be a certain sort of person to appreciate the humor, but when you read a Nobody Scores episode, even the most hardened pessimist can't help but think, "At least my life isn't this bad." Plus, the whole thing is one of the best-drawn comics on the web.

With cartoonist Brandon Bolt preparing to take his traditional "summer vacation," from his comic, Nobody Scores readers will have to make do with the archives for the next month. To sate your thirst, I present the top ten comics of the first two years (#1-275), in ascending order of excellence.

As with our previous top ten list, this list is no mere catalog of personal preferences! Each the excellence of each entry on this list has been confirmed by empirical observation and placed in an ordinal scale among the other entries, through the scientific process known as "archive trawling." The results are absolutely normative and free from bias of any kind, and if you dispute them then you clearly have no understanding of comic science.

No, really.

10. "The Confrontational Dead" (NS!#144)
Even though zombie apocalypses have been done to death (pun intended), Brandon Bolt breathes some life into the subject by tweaking the expected ending. Sara and Raoul's dialogue also keeps the scenario fresh. I particularly like Sara's blatantly indifferent response to Raoul's inquiry about Beans.

9. "The Winkerbeaner" (NS!#107)
Nobody Scores loves to comment on the state of newspaper comics, and when you stop to consider it, the Funkywinkerbeaniverse and the Nobodyscoresiverse are a match made in heaven. The only real difference is that the Nobodyscoresiverse is a little more self-aware about its catastrophes. And a little more over-the-top.
Just a little.

8. "The Duckulator" (NS!#175)
When the situation calls for a duck: there's the Duckulator. Inspired "Doofus Ex Machina" surreality, but the highlight is Raoul's authoritative command of the classroom. Truly, he brooks no dissent!

7. "Cynical Girl" (NS!#258)
Jane burns through fads like they're three-way appetizer samplers on Football Night at Willie's Sports Bar. But what does she do when her "casual cynicism" schtick finally sticks? Just ride it out, breaking hearts and shattering dreams all the way.

6. "The Scott McCloud Injection" (NS!#86)
When Nobody Scores takes on the topic of comics as a medium, self-parody has never been more vicious.

5. "You Just Had to Ask" (NS!#65)
This is your descent into madness. This is your descent into madness on drugs. Any questions?

4. "Meet the New Boss" (NS!#15)
As far as the main cast's interpersonal dynamic goes, this is a textbook Nobody Scores comic. Sara takes over as boss of the apartment, and proceeds to abuse her position. And by "position" I mean "roommates."

3. "Allllnighter" (NS!#61)
High school and college students as well as corporate-minded professionals will identify with this comic--though hopefully not too much. When caffeine proves insufficient to keep her working productively through the night, Sara leverages her resources to create a conducive work environment. The resources are her roommates.

2. "The Trick, Somewhere" (NS!#261)
Even though the official "Nobody Scores with Scoring" 3-strip arc concluded this week, I still consider this to be the quintessential "even when you win, you lose" comic. Everything's going Sara's way--what's responsible for this winning streak? And what will she do with her newfound good fortune? And why doesn't Firefox's onboard dictionary recognize "newfound" or "onboard" as real words?

And my all-time favorite the objectively best Nobody Scores comic of #1-275 is...

1. "Scalia's Gonna Cry" (NS!#116)
Plenty of webcomics mine internet memes as a source of potential comedy, but this is the only comic I've seen to tap into the "diet coke and mentos" trend on Youtube. Brandon Bolt takes a simple prank war between friends and escalates it to cataclysmic proportions, ultimately yielding the most surreal court decision ever to grace a comic page. I'm still waiting for a poster of this one to show up in the Nobody Scores store. Are you reading this, Bolt? I demand posters! Posters!

Totally objective!


Bitter Uncle Cranky said...

Why isn't "The Art of Influence" on there? Comprehensive my ass!

speearr said...

My all-time favourite is "Sofa Snuggles". If you wanted to know Sara and Jane's personalities in the shortest number of panels possible, this is the shit.

Peter said...

thanks for including the PA link, it's among my favorite Penny Arcade strips :)