By: Dani Kessel
As much as I love comic books from Marvel and DC, I’ve increasingly become interested in reading webcomics off the app Webtoon. These comics aren’t as mainstream but have been growing in popularity over time. They are some of the most interesting and developed indie comics I’ve read. I love that there’s such a wide variety of options and genres. Even friends of mine, who have never enjoyed comic books, have found stories they enjoy and follow.
If you are interested in delving into the world of webcomics (which I recommend!), here are some of my favorite webcomics I’m reading right now:
House of Stars
This story tells a tale of Lily, a young woman who dreams of adventure, who gets pulled into a world where all kinds of fantasy creatures exist. Inspired by Ghibli, the art style almost looks like that of a hand-drawn movie. It’s utterly magical! More so, the story incorporates aspects of different fairytales from around the world. The protagonist is strong, interesting, stubborn, and also imperfect in the best way. And the antagonist is flawed, rather than being the stereotypical “evil” archetype.
No, this is not about snails. Drawn and written by a creator who uses the name Snailords, Snailogy is a slice of life that follows a genderfluid bigender character named Aidan (man), Domina (woman), or Aidyn (a combo of both). (Snailords uses snails as a simile for being genderfluid because snails change sex throughout their life.) They describe their comic as “fantasies inspired by reality” and discuss topics like gender dysphoria, anxiety, depression, and being awkward. It also is filled with dark comedy and really terrible jokes.
Wow. Truly and fully, wow. I am completely smitten with this comic. Ari, the artist and story writer, created a world that simultaneously feels very real and also very fantasy. Wisteria, a dyslexic witch in training, takes on an apprenticeship with Magister Cicily Moon at a broomstick fixing shop. Over 2 seasons, we are introduced to vivid, well-developed, diverse characters. The drawing style feels dreamy in a watercolor style. Furthermore, Ari composed music for each and every episode; it enhances the experience, making it more immersive.
The Kiss Bet
If you love screwball rom-coms, The Kiss Bet is for you. Sara Lin just turned 18 and hasn’t had her first kiss. A bet gone-wrong with her best friend, Patrick, set in motion a zany and fast-paced set of events. Will she fall for Oliver, the mysterious new guy/the person who called her a freak for asking him to kiss her, who is now her Calculus tutor? Or does her closeness with Patrick turn into something more? I find this comic adorable. To be fair, I love rom-coms and took an in-depth class on them in college. It’s well-drawn, interesting, and binge-able. Plus, new episodes come out every Saturday.
Ever heard the myth of Persephone and Hades? Often, this story is told as a manipulative relationship driven by control and power. Lore Olympus takes a different perspective. It tells a humanistic and romantic approach to one of the greatest Ancient Greek stories, “The Taking of Persephone.” Hades and Persephone fall in love over time while navigating friendships, parties, and a load of conflicts. This is probably one of the most popular webcomics out there right now, with good reason. The art is beautiful. The storytelling is top-notch and fast-paced. Every Sunday, new installments are released. But, there are 134 episodes to catch up on, so don’t worry about waiting!
This cult-classic, Korean webcomic is now being translated for English-speaking readers. The English-version is only a few episodes into the first season; though the original has 43 episodes and is ongoing. Hayan, a college student with a buried secret, lives in a world where Vampires have taken over. Try though she may, she’s deprived of the ability to lead the normal life she wants. So, she dedicates herself to ridding the world of the creatures that stalk the night. I’m absolutely hooked. Released every Monday and Thursday, I’ll be following Unholy Blood as more episodes come out.
Everything considered, these webcomics are worth your time. I’m thoroughly impressed by what the artists and writers have created. They’ve mastered the art of fusing visuals and words to make them all the more immersive. Each comic is well-developed and compelling. Every element adds something unique to the reading experience. Plus, most have so many episodes that you’ll be entertained for days.
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