Webcomics I’ve read to completion

I’m really into webcomics.  I like the art, the writing, the humor.  I appreciate the low barrier to entry, which means all the stuff that people complain there isn’t enough of in movies or TV (like queer representation) is available in webcomics in abundance.  And I like how a good webcomic develops its story at a trickle pace over the course of many years.

Of course, the problem is that sometimes a webcomic stops before finishing, or I stop reading before it finishes.  When a webcomic is done well, the journey is worthwhile even if you don’t make it to the end.  But still… it’s nice to make it to the end.

I have a list of webcomics that I read to completion, and I’d like to share them.  Most of these, I read many years ago, so I won’t remember all the details, but the fact that I can say anything is a testament to their value.  And if you’d like to relive the experience of getting webcomic updates at a trickle pace, I recommend Comic Rocket, which keeps bookmarks, and generates customizable rss feeds.

Non-story webcomics

Webcomics with little overarching storyline.  I don’t read too many of these, or maybe it’s just that they tend not to “complete”.

A Lesson Is Learned, But the Damage is Irreversible – This webcomic has a strong focus on art and form.  It repeatedly hits a very particular emotional note: dream-like regret.  One of the creators also made a few comics at The Nerds of Paradise, which is in the same vein.

The Man Who Hates Fun – A comedic webcomic about someone who takes classical stoicism a bit too seriously.  The art is rough, but I was a big fan.  I liked it so much that I purchased and read an unrelated novel by the same author.

Story webcomics

Digger – a little adventure about a wombat.  It has a tendency for (tasteful) philosophizing, taking what I would describe as a secular humanist approach.

One Way / Space Trawler – Two webcomics by Christopher Baldwin, both space adventure comedies with a bit of a serious edge.  He creates interesting characters and bounces them off each other to produce humor and slice of life insights.  If you like these webcomics, he is currently doing a second Space Trawler series.

The Stories of Those Around Me – A slice of life romance.  I don’t read too many of these straight people comics, but someone recommended it to me, and I liked it.  This is a WebToons comic–if you’ve never seen these before, it’s a very different format originating from Korea, with very spacious layouts.

Homestuck – Why yes I am a Homestuck fan.  Well, I never was into the giant fandom that the comic is (in)famous for.  But, it’s really good.  It’s wacky hijinks, a highly dense and interwoven plot, and surprisingly well-developed themes on growing up in the modern age, and being a fan.  There’s also a lot of text, as in, it’s longer than Harry Potter.  Don’t be afraid to look things up in the fan wiki.

Decrypting Rita – I don’t recall all the details, but it’s about some people who exist across several universes, playing a different role in each one.  Sort of like the Cloud Atlas movie I guess.  It’s short, and a bit of a puzzler.

What Birds Know – A coming of age story about three girls in a rural fantasy setting.  I don’t remember this one much because by the time it was ending I had forgotten the beginning.  But that’s a matter of update pacing, which is a non-issue after it’s finished.

Queer webcomics

It’s a bit problematic to classify webcomics as “queer” or not, as if having a single queer character makes the whole thing queer.  But these are webcomics that I personally discovered or read specifically because of their queer (primarily asexual) content.  And I’m putting BL comics in a separate category, since BL is a whole genre unto itself.

14 Nights (NSFW) – That’s my favorite webcomic.  It addresses the issue of having sex as an asexual, which I strongly appreciate because I know how hard it is to address the subject in nonfiction.  It’s really sweet, and cathartic in multiple ways.  The author, kstipetic, is currently making Alethia, which is also my favorite webcomic.

Yu+Me Dream – This is one of the classics of queer webcomicdom.  It starts as a lesbian coming out story, and suddenly turns into a fantasy adventure.  It does have a bit of a “one true love” thing going, which would probably bother me if I read it again.  The art style at the beginning is misleading, the art goes all over the place.

David Doesn’t Get It – It’s a diary comic by someone who happened to be asexual, although obviously that’s not what he talks about most of the time.  It’s a lot of everyday observations and slice of life stuff, and I dig it.

Khaos Komix / Shades of A (NSFW) – Two comics by Tab Kimpton.  Khaos Komix is a handful of queer stories that all occur in parallel so you get to see each side.  Shades of A is partly a 50 Shades of Gray parody, and partly about representing more queer characters, including an ace character, nonbinary character, and crossdressing character.  It’s well done, although I have some mixed feelings about it that are hard to explain.

Ignition Zero – This webcomic features an ace/ace romance, which believe me is unusual to see in fiction.  But it’s not really about that, it’s an urban fantasy with a beautiful watercolor art style.

Heartless – A short Victorian vampire webcomic, with an asexual protagonist.  Asexuality has, let’s call it a mechanical function in this universe, which is cute if you like that sort of thing.

Supernormal Step – The protagonist gets stuck in a parallel world where everything is just a bit different and also there’s magic.  The protagonist is asexual which doesn’t really impact much of anything, it’s just a fun action fantasy with some interesting world-building.  The author is now making another comic, Speak of the Devil.

BL webcomics

BL is short for Boys Love, an M/M romance genre.  BL is extremely common these days, I think because gay guys aren’t the only audience, or even the primary audience.  I’ve read quite a few, as a guilty pleasure.  I tend not to remember these so well–I mean, they’re mostly just standard romances.

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ & Amal – It’s a slice of life road trip romance thing.

Prince of Cats – A teen romance.  It’s been a while, that’s all I remember.

Buying Time (NSFW) – A sci-fi romance, where one of them is significantly wealthier than the other.  Despite the theme of socioeconomic disparity I found it to be fairly light and fluffy.  It has a significant wish fulfillment element, and fan service element.  Unfortunately made use of Flash.

Dragon Husbands (NSFW) – The setting is rather unique, with Chinese mythological elements layered on top of sci-fi elements.  But the focus isn’t on the setting, it’s on the interaction between two characters who come from completely different worlds.

Cans of Beans – A college bromance with some over the top characters.


  1. Owlmirror says

    Always thumbs up for Digger.

    Before Chris Baldwin nade Spacetrawler, he made the very slice-of-life Bruno, which I see now he re-ran from 2010 until August of this year (I read the original 1996-2007 run).

    I burned out on Homestuck. It got just too convoluted, and following it along become more and more of an effort that didn’t feel worth any potential payoff. And I guess that certain chunks of the archive

    I remember getting into “What Birds Know”, but I dropped it at some point, squicked out by body/mind horror.

    I finished “Supernormal Step” as well, and I don’t have anything to add to your assessment.

  2. Jenora Feuer says

    Of those, I’ve only read Digger all the way through. Definitely recommend it; very much a case of a writer who really thought through the implications of the world that had been created. It’s also won a lot of awards from various sources, and the author has written a fair bit of other mostly-prose work.

    I actually ended up chatting with the creator of Heartless at a gaming convention up in Ottawa earlier in the year, at a table that was selling print copies of that comic along with things like postcards of a little figure holding up a sword with wording like “Level up! +1 Wisdom // +2 Expertise // +5 Crushing Student Debt”

    I’ve had Decrypting Rita recommended to me by some friends; should go look at it at some point.

    Of course, print comics sometimes never made it to the end either. (I remember one interesting SF comic called Mi.C.R.A. which only ran about five issues despite having been scheduled for twelve. This was back when the 80s comic boom was finally going bust, and I think their publisher collapsed under them.)

    Anyhow, thanks for the recommendations.

  3. Owlmirror says

    I burned out on Homestuck. It got just too convoluted, and following it along become more and more of an effort that didn’t feel worth any potential payoff. And I guess that certain chunks of the archive

    (incomplete sentence, sorry)
    … will become unavailable as Adobe Flash deprecates into senescence.

  4. says

    I’m sure there were youtube videos made for the Homestuck Flash pages. Might be a different experience from the original Flash of course.

  5. lochaber says

    I started on Homestuck, but never got much past the beginning, it’s one of those things I keep meaning to go back to when I’m bored and looking for something to keep me occupied.

    Similar with Digger, I got quite a bit of the ways through it, before something interrupted me (likely an unplanned drive reformatting and OS reinstallation…), and I also intend to get back to that one.

    Another one I liked, but also failed to keep up with (and also intend to get back to…) is Gunnerkrigg Court: https://www.gunnerkrigg.com/

    I find Questionable Content somewhat amusing, and it’s still running:

    I also really like Pictures of You, but I feel like it’s going to be most appealing to people who went to college in the 90s:

    and then there is oglaf (very NSFW…): https://www.oglaf.com/

  6. says

    I love Gunnerkrigg Court, and also Pictures of You. Pictures of You appeals to me because I really like stories about friendship collapse. That one’s nearly complete!

  7. says

    Oh, i wasn’t expecting the BL section to be mostly western(?) comics, but i get how you decided on the difference. Still, even TJ & Amal?

    And i think you could had the “protagonist can talk with cats” aspect of Prince of Cats. It’s one of the few non-Latin American stories i would 100% accept can be descriped as magic realism, considering that it was never explained if it was actually a supernatural ability of his or if it was, umm, hallucinations or something like that.

    @Owlmirror as far as i can tell, the new site changed short flashes into a format i can play even on my phone, and defaults you to youtube videos for the longer ones.

  8. mynax says

    I’m looking forward to Kerry Callen finishing his Dirtnap story. I loved his Halo And Sprocket physical comics (which are available scanned at Comixology, for pay), about an angel and a robot who live with a woman. Mostly vignettes or short stories, it’s never really explained, but fun.

    And I’m waiting for Strong Female Protagonist to come off hiatus and be finished, by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag. (Molly is married to cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, who has a lot of great work to her credit as well.)

  9. says

    @Chrysocolla Town #7,
    Yeah, I was mostly thinking of the Western BL genre. I know it’s based on a Japanese genre of the same name, but the western version has a slightly different flavor, and I suspect it also borrows a lot from the slash fanfic tradition. Western BL comics are booming right now, you can see this on sites like Tapastic.

    I’m sure I have read some Japanese BL to completion at some point, but apparently I didn’t record it.

    I’m not actually a fan of magical realism in comics. I know it’s not quite the same, but in many comics something like magical realism is often taken as the default. Like when comics just have a talking robot character. That feels a bit tired to me. The talking cat in Prince of Cats was a bit different, but it’s hard to put my finger on why.

  10. says

    @Siggy #9
    Maybe Prince of Cats feels different because it’s deliberately intended to be ambiguous and at least low-key unsettling (for the readers, if not necessarily for the characters)? Which, i think magic realism has to be, since i’m fairly sure the genre’s more directly related to urban legends and folklore than to modern fantasy.

    Also, allow me to rectify: *non-Latin American or Japanese stories (and probably other non-white literary traditions).

  11. Holms says

    Order of the Stick
    Weapon Brown
    Dr. McNinja
    Erfworld – so sad about the recent tragedy
    Table Titans
    Oglaf – up until it changed format, and then sporadically. I preferred the original long-running format over one-offs.

  12. Owlmirror says

    Order of the Stick isn’t completed yet!

    SFAM has always been one-offs, except for that one dungeon diver storyline that never actually completed, a couple of years ago.

    Oglaf started out as one-offs; the storylines came and went at the whim of the creators.

  13. Holms says

    Same with Outsider, Table Titans and Bomango, for that matter… And Oglaf’s early days were dominated by a single storyline, which was excellent.

    Anyway, I came back because I remembered:

    Minus. If you ignore every webcomic but one that I’ve named, make Minus the one you read.

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