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.
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.
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.
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 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.