It's easy to look at cute animals and think they're just as pure and lovely on the inside as well. But are they really? For all that we know, they might have the same pessimistic thoughts as us. What if all those fascinating noises they make aren't so poetic and translate into nothing more than the same mundane conversations we have? We may never know for sure, but thanks to Joshua Barkman and his webcomic False Knees, we can at least imagine the answers.

The series takes a wild turn from conventional online animal stories, depicting woodland creatures caught up in various existential crises. Barkman found his angle and has the skills to work it, and his Instagram follower count is now creeping above 590,000. A resident of Kitchener, Ontario, he often draws animals native to the area in his frames, including the Canada goose and the red-breasted nuthatch.

More info: False KneesFacebookInstagramTumblr

#1

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Hans
Community Member
7 months ago

Relatable.

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"I've always enjoyed drawing, and though I didn't have access to much art education, I was fortunate to have a lot of encouragement from friends and family," Joshua told Bored Panda. "I first started drawing with pencils, then felt-tip pens and watercolor. Now, I mostly paint with gouache and ink."

Joshua's comics are incredibly beautiful. The strokes, the colors... His carefully crafted frames are like windows into nature. Juxtapose that with the gritty, nuanced characters and you've got yourself a really unique series.

#2

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Hans
Community Member
7 months ago

Lovely!

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The stars of the show are birds, although Joshua is still working on making some actual bird friends. "The neighborhood crows are not interested in the giant bag of peanuts I bought specifically for them. A few black-capped chickadees visit my bird feeder out of pity. It's not going great," he said.

#3

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Jaana Kaurisalo
Community Member
7 months ago

Some birds eat fermented berries for fun, get drunk, and pass out somewhere by the dozens. :D

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#4

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bookshellf
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

We time :)

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While Joshua's path to such a concept wasn't a straight one, you could say it was intuitive. "There are a few reasons why I ended up creating bird comics. I was spending a lot more time outside in 2015 when I was training to be an arborist and I was becoming more interested in the natural world around me. Until that point, my comics were a sort of pseudo-reality of my life, and I was ready for a change. It also didn't escape my attention that my animal comics were far more popular than my autobio ones. But above all else, I wanted to make beautiful comics (and still do) and I think birds lend themselves to that goal particularly well," the artist explained.

#5

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Combine Elite Soldier
Community Member
7 months ago

I trip over my carpet and then I wanna throw it away. Who knew these comics would be so relatable.

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#6

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
7 months ago

"It's funny because it's true."

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Whether we're talking about the loud-beak crow or the easy-going pigeon, Barkman not only recreates the way the animals look but their behavior as well. No wonder—he does his research. "I'm spending more time going out with my camera to get better acquainted with wild birds. I also read about them regularly," Joshua said. "I get a lot of inspiration from other artists, and some of my favorites also paint birds. I follow and learn a lot from many bird scientists and photographers online. I find them endlessly fascinating!"

#7

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bookshellf
Community Member
7 months ago

Hahah the look on that fish face xD lol I can tell he won't though :(

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#8

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Hans
Community Member
7 months ago

deep one!

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#9

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Luna
Community Member
7 months ago

so... close...

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#10

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Tri Wahyu Yulianto
Community Member
7 months ago

The meme

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#11

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DDmaybeandor
Community Member
7 months ago

Poor Mr. Howard, teaching these bird brains.

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#12

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Julia Atkinson
Community Member
7 months ago

The new spokesbird for Fox News

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#13

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Layla Corman
Community Member
7 months ago

There is nothing like your own!

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#14

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Malachi Brill-Koza
Community Member
7 months ago

wow that beer must be strong!!!

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#15

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afoben
Community Member
7 months ago

Wise bird

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#16

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DDmaybeandor
Community Member
7 months ago

aww 💔

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#17

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Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
7 months ago

Absolutly NO!!

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#18

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Paul K. Johnson
Community Member
7 months ago

Jonathan? Is that you?

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#19

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Malachi Brill-Koza
Community Member
7 months ago

grgralaerga he say's

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#20

It’s Migration Season Once Again For A Lot Of Birds, So Be Nice To Them As They Fly Overhead! No Shouting Obscenities Or Chatting Them Up About The Weather—they’re Busy! #oldknees #easternbluebird

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Shelp
Community Member
7 months ago

The meme part two

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#21

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Paul K. Johnson
Community Member
7 months ago

I've played games that were less fun.

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#22

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Shelp
Community Member
7 months ago

The meme returns! Seriously, this artist is a real meme mine!

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#23

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Kate Yeti
Community Member
7 months ago

Same, goose. Same.

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#24

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DDmaybeandor
Community Member
7 months ago

I like your style goose #2.

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#25

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cybermerlin2000
Community Member
7 months ago

Lemon Juice

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#26

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Hans
Community Member
7 months ago

An ant relative to the garden compared to a human relative to the world (or the universe?)...yes, the ant is a big deal.

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#27

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Cynthia Bonville
Community Member
7 months ago

Okay, I have never ever met a jay who did not have something to say *constantly*. Are blue jays quieter then stellar and scrub jays?

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#28

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Bacony Cakes
Community Member
7 months ago

Step 4: Pure evil.

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#29

Hop Hop Hop

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littlesaresare
Community Member
7 months ago

I see he went to the Prometheus School of Running Away From Things

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#30

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Iapetos
Community Member
7 months ago

Unless you spend your half-life in a factory farm.

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