It's a truism that writers love to read, and I'm no exception. These are other writers, bloggers, and artists that make me love the internet. (NB: This list isn't definitive; I'll be adding to it as I discover cool new things.)
Burning Building, Warm Bodies, The Hungry Mouth
There's a reason this guy is first, and it's not because I'm bad at alphabetizing. Isaac Marion writes stories that talk to you like you're best friends, and out of nowhere they punch you in the kidneys. His prose is sparse and poetic, without any wasted words or sentiments. Everything does its job, and its job is to make you look up from the page and say, "This is life. I'm actually living right now and anything could happen." He has some short stories and flash fiction over at Burning Building; he self-published The Hungry Mouth, a collection of short stories; and Warm Bodies is his first novel to be picked up by a major publisher. The movie version of Warm Bodies is filming now.
Recommended: I Am a Zombie Filled With Love, Four Families, A Small Wedding
Hyperbole and a Half
When I think of something funny, I have to translate it from head speak to human words. This process doesn't always go so well, leading to blank stares, lack of comments, and the occasional reprimand. Meanwhile, Allie Brosh's conversion rate is at or approaching 100% success. She's found a way to hook the half crazed pictures in her head directly to her fingers, and uncontrollable laughter is the result. All of her posts will have you trying to hold back laughter at work, but the "Best Of" list will make you lose the fight for decorum.
Recommended: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, Sneaky Hate Spiral
Ichor Falls sprang from the mind of Kris Straub, but after reading a few of the stories, you'll swear you've driven through or by it on a road trip. We've all felt that small town panic, the itching sensation that something isn't right and we should get our gas and go. Maybe the gas station attendant didn't smile quite right, and maybe you thought one of his hands had more fingers than it should. But that's crazy, right? That's not what you saw. You were looking quickly, and it was a loose band-aid or something. Later it will occur to you how hard you are hoping that the man who handled your credit card had an open wound, and you won't sleep well. You'll just use cash until the bank sends you a new one.
Recommended: The Hirsch Camera, Curious Little Thing, Candle Cove
Putting a link to Penny Arcade on this page is a little bit like putting a pamplet explaining how light works or a scale map of the solar system on a pair of sunglasses. "What strange new devilry is this?" you wouldn't cry, because everyone already knows what sunglasses and Penny Arcade are for. That said, I've been reading their site since the days when Y2K fear was an honest to God epidemic. Tycho's style - in the strip, but mainly in his news posts - has been a huge influence on me. Check out a merchandise announcement he made. He was just trying to say something about shirts, and that happened; how could I not love his writing?
World's Best Writer Ever, You Will Behave
If it's not apparent from what I write, I like bizarre, abstract, and absurd concepts treated as if they were no more unusual than a packet of Saltines; more or less, the sine qua non of magical realism. Matt Getty's work falls into this oeuvre, making him a new favorite. He has the unique ability so necessary to this genre to decribe implausible things with great plausibility. He cancontinually up the uncanny elements in a story, without losing the central narrative or the emotional force of what's happening.
Recommended: When My Girlfriend Lost the Weight
Long before the era of a tumblr devoted to every idea you could imagine, including the same picture of Dave Coulier everyday, Steve Sneeds was doing offbeat things on the internet. Billed as "Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions." he forgot to account for the half hilarious surreality that suffuses nearly everything on the site, whether it's cooking and eating a fungus that grew on the tree in his front yard or decoding the bizarre face his father drew on his birthday cake each year. He's everywhere and anywhere, making a reliable description nearly impossible. Go. Go and watch this man punish himself for your amusement.
Recommended: How to Draw a Face, Steve Don't Eat It!
Do you want to write? Act? Produce? Do stand up comedy? If so, that's too many things unless your name is Eliza Skinner. Best known for her comedy, Eliza has been on TV multiple times and all the humor websites you like. I think of her as a nerdier, funnier Sarah Silverman. She has some great videos on her site, as well as some short humor pieces. If you like what you see, look her up on YouTube.
Recommended: Desert Island Picks, Dance Vampires
All Hallow's Eve, Catacombs
I met Todd Goodman at a convention and was amazed by his ten second pitch for All Hallow's Eve - Dracula is fed up with the fact that he and all the other Universal monsters are relegated to being costumes for children, so he decides to lead them all in a quest to take back Halloween. It's not meta, it's not a deconstruction, it's a simple yet brilliant premise played for all the fun it's worth. If you like villains as protagonists and have a fondness for the monsters of days past, check out All Hallow's Eve. He also has a webcomic, Catacombs, about the adventures of an Indiana Jones-esque professor and his assistant in the 1930's.
Jared von Hindman
Head Injury Theater
Everyone wants to be Mystery Science Theater 3000, including the guys who were originally behind Mystery Science Theater 3000. One of the many things you'll find on Head Injury Theater are recaps of movies, mostly horror, that manage to somewhat bottle the lightning of MST3K. However, Jared von Hindman is too eclectic to stop there. He does webcomics in a variety of formats, funny yet sincere reviews of opera, various illustrated alphabets, and more stuff than I could hope to list about my favorite holiday, Halloween.
Recommended: Abe Lincoln is Special, Dinosaurs Attack, Stupid D&D Monsters
Sentient colors. Forgotten numbers. Ominous shapes both large and small. This site is home to them all and more nightmares besides. The SCP Foundation is the case files of a secret, extra-governmental organization charged with keeping all the weirdness in the world safely out of reach. They're like Planetary, only clinical, less character driven, and with a complete disregard for human life. The descriptions never break the conceit that they're based on truth. A constantly updated group edited wiki, there are enough entries to keep you busy for days. Lucky for you, it will also keep you awake for days, so you'll have all the time you need to discover your next phobia.
Recommended: The Missing Number, Knowledge, The Flesh That Hates
There's a soft spot in the mechanized black spider I call a heart for this place. Progressive Boink was founded to be, in their own words, "the Calvinball of webpages." Started in 2003, the site hosts almost a dozen writers who cover topics that range from professional wrestling to personal essays to the Food Network. The humor comes from all angles - I'm as likely to laugh at a low-brow dig as I am clever social satire. The writers swing for the fences with every article, list, and review. For all the cynicism and "Can you believe this bullshit?", there's real feeling under the surface. Maybe that's what appeals to me, as I can only approximate human emotions by taking candid Polaroids of strangers and mimicking their expressions.
Recommended: Why Sarah McLachlan Makes Me Cry, Ready.gov Kid's Korner, Two Days with Glee
The Caliban Tales
The fact that the Caliban Tales hasn't been updated since November of 2009 only adds to the appeal of the creepy stories found therein. A derelict blog containing only a few pieces of short fiction, its mix of high concept and the viscerally disturbing is almost scientifically formulated to make your skin crawl. The highest compliment I can give The Caliban Tales is that sometimes l still think of the stories when I try to fall asleep.
Recommended: Stranger on a Train