Okay, let's go.
Pickles by Brian Crane features clean and fluid linework, and follows an elderly couple who get on each other's nerves but you can tell love each other to pieces. The animals also have personalities. It's cute and adorable.
Pearls Before Swine
According to some newspaper polls, I'm weird for liking both Pickles and Pearls, because their demographics are very different. Stephan Pastis' strip is the first one on this list that I fell in love with, with me reading it every day on the way to work on the Washington DC Metro. Featuring a bunch of anthropomorphic animals simply named "Rat," "Pig," "Goat," and "Zebra," the strip simply clashes their personalities and makes for humorous observations and insights. Pastis is also fond of puns, which I love, so I'm an easy mark.
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan is a crazy ride. It follows the adventures of a dog named Poncho, who lives with his master and his girlfriend who happens to be a cat person. The animals in this strip are half-anthropomorphic, which is to say that they have human qualities and their own animal qualities, and Gilligan just so happens to find the balance. Poncho is intelligent and can walk on two legs, but he still needs to be taken out for a walk if he has to go potty, on a leash, and he's still scared of the retractable leash handle hitting him if it breaks free (see the strip above). He hangs out with other dogs and has to spray deodorant on his butt so that it doesn't get embarrassing. For fun, he'll walk outside on a sunny day and just bark at a squirrel. It's the right mix, it's crazy, and it's really entertaining.
9 Chickweed Lane
I've talked about 9 Chickweed Lane before, but at the time, Brooke McEldowney was in the middle of a World War II storyline. As of this writing, he's been having fun playing with panels. 9 Chickweed Lane goes in all directions. It's funny, it's naughty, it's exciting — and sometimes it's downright boring. But it's always pretty. So it's always a treat.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn
I've heard Dana Simpson's strip described before as "Calvin and Hobbes, but with a girl and a unicorn," and while I see it, I don't know if I'd agree with it just yet. But it is fun. Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils (that's her unicorn) go through life together and share adventures, like being on the internet (where Phoebe's BFF is her bullying classmate in real life) or doing schoolwork (Marigold has to write a paper on the differences between glimmering and shimmering) or just learning about each other (Marigold has a large invisible thing. She doesn't know what it is.). The art is clean and full of character.
This isn't on GoComics, but I figured I'd include it anyway since I do find Grant Snider's work inspiring, to the point that I've used some of it in team building sessions. Snider always finds a way to look at something differently, and he presents it with such visual acuity that the words and pictures stick with you.
Reading all these every day in your email won't take you more than a couple of minutes. It'll be an enjoyable time, and just a little something to look forward to. If you do subscribe to GoComics, let us know in the comments what you decided to add to your comics page, and maybe we'll give those a try as well!