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Rad Queer Webcomics You Can Read Right Now!

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Ah, the comic. Glorious blend of image and word, sweet storytelling in neat little boxes. Many underestimate the comic form, considering it ‘lesser’ than literature or painting because of its blending of word and text. This assumption has given comics the feel of a subculture, a form admired by those whose tastes often lie outside of the mainstream. This is why comics can have such a natural fit for queer artists and readers alike. Queer cartoonists have long been changing the world one panel at a time, like Alison Bechdel, who inadvertently created ‘The Bechdel Test’ (a means of testing a film’s representation of gender) in her highly influential comic, ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’.

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Today, many artists are bringing their work directly to the people with the help of the internet. Here are some of our favourite queer webcomics that you can read right now!

  • Girls With Slingshots: ‘Girls With Slingshots’ is an ongoing comic strip by Danielle Corsetto. It begins with the story of Hazel, a struggling writer, and her best friend Jamie, and expands to chronicle the relationships and foibles of a number of their friends. The characters possess a number of different sexualities, some of which evolve and grow as they discover themselves as time goes by. This comic will soon be celebrating its ten year anniversary, and is currently comprised of seven volumes of short comics. ‘Girls With Slingshots’ is an epic, so embark with an awareness that it’ll easily chew up a number of hours. It is easy to read however, given not only how funny and charming its multitude of characters are but also because the site allows you to read the comic through either the different story arcs or the chronological order in which the comics are published. It’s pretty astounding how Corsetto manages to portray such emotionally complex parts of the human experience in only a few panels at a time. There’s also a really interesting portrayal of asexuality in a relationship, which isn’t often discussed.

Girls With Slingshots 2

  • Kate or Die:‘Kate or Die’ is the brainchild of Kate Leth, who has been posting comics online since 2010. She’s also worked on a number of Adventure Time Comics, as a writer, designing characters and drawing variant covers. Leth works at the comic shop ‘Strange Adventures’ in Halifax and is passionate about the inclusion of women in the comic community. Her ‘Kate or Die’ comics are usually short, humorous pieces detailing anything from the struggles of clothes shopping to her love of Neil Gaiman, but she’s also created some really informative longer pieces about more serious issues like mental illness, self harm and bisexuality. Kate Leth is one clever, hilarious lady who you should check out.

PeelersUnite060812

  • As the Crow Flies:
    ‘As the Crow Flies’ is a story about a queer 13 year old girl named Charlie, who finds herself being the only African-American girl at an otherwise all-white Christian camp. This comic is created by Melanie Gillman, who also created the lesbian vampire comic ‘Smbitten’. This coming of age story beautifully captures the angst of adolescence and feeling overwhelmingly unable to fit in. Also, it’s all beautifully done in coloured pencil, which means it’s really, really pretty.

As the Crow Flies

  • The Amazing Adventures of Bill:
    ‘The Amazing Adventures of Bill’ is a fairly self-explanatory comic by Brooklyn artist Bill Roundy, who draws the bar review comic ‘Bar Scrawl’ for the Brooklyn Paper. He’s also contributed to the gay romance anthologies ‘Young Bottoms in Love’ and ‘The Book of Boy Trouble 2’. Roundy’s comics are hilarious and insightful. His romance comic ‘Yes Master’, is about a typical hunchbacked sidekick for a made scientist, except with an unexpected twist. He’s particularly known for his piece ‘Orientation Police’, in which he explores the way his gay identity has been scrutinized since he started dating trans men.

Orientation Police

  • Nimona:
    ‘Nimona’ isn’t strictly a queer comic (although I am sensing some mad homoerotic sexual tension between two of its main characters and I’m sure it’ll eventuate any day now), it had to be included in this list because it is just so good it defies sexual orientation. It’s about a boisterous, shapeshifting girl called Nimona who, through considerable persistence becomes sidekick to renouned villain Ballister Blackheart. Together they rebel against the Institution and its champion Ambrosius Goldenloin, Blackheart’s longtime nemesis. Good and evil isn’t as simple as it first seems to be, and artist Noelle Stevenson never fails to stay one step ahead of the reader. This comic is a really clever and addictive blend of fantasy and science fiction that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. While it isn’t explicitly clear, it has definite themes of being misunderstood due to your identity and feeling isolated by society that are very relatable. Plus it’s title character is totally rocking an alternative lifestyle haircut, so.

nimona

  • DAR!
    ‘DAR!’ is an autobigraphical comic by cartoonist Erika Moen, spanning six years of her life as she goes through various developments in her career, love life, sexual identity and artistic style. It’s really funny and clever, brutally honest and emotional. Moen explores sexual fluidity and the difficulties of struggling to identify with a particular label with aplomb. She is currently working on ‘Oh Joy Sex Toy’, a sex toy review comic that comes out every Tuesday. That’s also worth checking out but do be aware that it’s not remotely safe for work. Unless you work in a place that sells sex toys, in which case it’s probably great research.

DAR! Erika Moen

  • Chaoslife:
    Chaoslife is a nifty short humorous comic by A. Stiffler and K. Copeland. Stiffler is an agender individual, meaning in this case that they’re female bodied but don’t identify as either male or female. Stiffler and Copeland are a couple, and with their powers combined make comics that are hilarious, informative and eye opening. Topic including such pressing issues as Batman, the foibles of cat ownership and navigating gender identity.

Chaos life Bat beauty

Did we miss any important queer webcomics? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

Sophie Joske

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