SLIDESHOW

12 Terrific Tech Cartoons

We've collected a dozen of the best tech-related cartoons the Web has to offer. Ready for a good laugh?

Step Inside the Funny Pages

Sometimes, I wish life were more like a cartoon strip. Everyone speaks in punchlines; you get a cool name like Ziggy or Lemont or Dilbert; and when you get mad, you just bug out your eyes and yell "Aack!" Plus, crocodiles talk, ties curl, and jokes that were never funny (a circuitous path in Family Circus; an "I hate Mondays" gag in Garfield; Dagwood crashes into the mailman in Blondie; the bathing suit does not fit in Cathy; etc.) get laughs year after year.

Even better, the authors of those magical little comic boxes fearlessly call out the silliness of our often unduly serious tech world. Whether they're poking fun at Google's privacy practices or taking a jab at Apple's fiercely devoted fan base, online cartoonists find plenty of fodder for a funny scenario.

We scoured the Web in search of great tech-related cartoons. It would take hours to list all the top-notch illustrations around, but the dozen presented here struck us as particularly terrific. We hope that you'll agree.

Next: Google's Data Collectors

1. Google's Data Collectors

What better place to start a cartoon tour than with the always-popular topic of Google's data collection methods? The company has come under fire for practically every privacy-related concern imaginable. Phil Johnson, the cartoonist behind the IT Underworld comic blog, checks in with this take on the situation.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Fanboy Fantasies

2. Fanboy Fantasies

The Apple fan community is richly imaginative, to say the least. A day scarcely ever goes by without some new Apple rumor surfacing in the blogosphere; and when it comes to hot topics such as the (thus far mythical) tablet, the speculation never ceases. The gang at The Joy of Tech probes the thought process behind the obsession.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Microsoft's Name Game

3. Microsoft's Name Game

Microsoft has, at best, an uneven record with product names, which is why "Windows 7" sounds uncharacteristically concise. But maybe there's a deeper story here--something involving that disaster known as Vista. Here's Computerworld cartoonist John Klossner's interpretation.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Apple Explosion

4. Apple Explosion

Sensationalist headlines practically wrote themselves when users around the world started complaining about exploding iPhones. Widely published cartoonist John Pritchett anticipates a short-lived vogue for such a product.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Related Relations

5. Related Relations

Lists of related stories are practically mandatory on blogs these days: They're an easy way to point readers to more content they might like, and they keep precious eyeballs on-site. So what if that same concept entered more-intimate domains of life? Rob Cottingham, who authors the Noise to Signal cartoon at SocialSignal.com, suggests one possibility.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Back It Up

6. Back It Up

Unemployment is no cause for chortling, but poking fun at the company responsible for the downsizing seems perfectly permissible. Mark Stivers, whose work has been published everywhere from Harper's to the Funny Times, offers this tech-tinged take on Microsoft's layoffs earlier this year.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: The iPod Army

7. The iPod Army

Apple and digital rights share a long and controversial history. Consider the ins and outs of iTunes DRM and the company's close control over its media-playing products. Syndicated cartoonist Karl F. Wimer, who works with the Denver Business Journal and other publications, sums things up.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Search Struggles

8. Search Struggles

Search engine success can make or break a company these days. So could poor placement put you out on the street? Creators Syndicate cartoonist Bob Gorrell takes that idea to its logical conclusion. Google Bob to see some of his other work (lucky for him, he's not tough to find).

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Sizing Things Up

9. Sizing Things Up

How much does size really matter? According to Kansas City Star cartoonist Robert Unell, the answer is "a lot." Unell's satirical take on Apple's famous pink event invitations imagines an iPod so small that even the Shuffle would look like gigantic. When you're talking about numbers that you can count using just one thumb, every inch is crucial.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Search Sentiments

10. Search Sentiments

The Microsoft-Yahoo search deal showed signs of becoming a never-ending tech soap opera. But this year, after what seemed like an eternity of will-they, won't-they intrigue, the two companies finally agreed to join forces. For an average user, the merger means...well, probably nothing. Cartoonists Nitrozac and Snaggy seem to have reached that conclusion, anyway, in their GeekCulture.com cartoon.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Service Denied

11. Service Denied

When Twitter suffered a denial-of-service attack this summer, the news made plenty of headlines. After all, it left countless users dazed and confused when they couldn't reach the site for hours. But if the hackers can deny service so easily online, what's stopping the rest of us from doing it offline? Phil Johnson of IT Underworld may be onto something here.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: File-Sharing Sins

12. File-Sharing Sins

Some people seem to think that file sharing is one of the seven deadly sins. Not that we would endorse doing anything illegal, but a recent award of $1.92 million in damages to the RIAA imposed against a private individual for sharing 24 songs online raised more than a few eyebrows this past summer. This cartoon by the award-winning John Pritchett pretty much says it all.

Note: These images cannot be reproduced without explicit permission of the author.

Next: Eight Bonus Cartoons

Eight Bonus Cartoons

But wait--there's more! Check out these eight bonus cartoons for some extra chuckles on us.

The Truth About Tweeting

Sometimes, fewer people are listening than you think.

The Apple Hype

What would it take for any Apple product to live up to its prelaunch hype?

Prying Eyes

All of these online privacy violations are stealing the government's thunder.

Battle of the Giants

Google and Microsoft face off to decide which monopoly is worse.

Social Networking Shift

Boy, has social networking evolved over the years.

Microsoft's Multitasking

A comment on Microsoft's imperfect multitasking abilities.

Driving Dangers

You can outlaw cell phones on the road, but you can't outlaw idiots behind the wheel.

The Life of a Programmer

Leave it to Dilbert to capture the essence of a programmer's life.

When not reading the funny pages, Contributing Editor JR Raphael cracks wise at eSarcasm, his new geek humor site. You can keep up with him on Twitter: @jr_raphael.