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Angel’s Bits – Web Comics

Questionable ContentI debated a long time this week over what to post. In the end, it felt better to share something from the community rather than try to express things that others in the community have said in more powerful ways. Signal boosting those folks instead.

So, in the spirit of sharing something good. We talk about fiction, online, ebook and print, and about graphic novels here at Queer Sci Fi, but we don’t often talk about an interesting phenomenon from queer artists – the web comic.

Web comics are an intimate contract between artist and audience. The creators are beholden to no one, often say whatever they please, and can be engagingly subversive. For me, old luddite that I am, it’s like having the comics pages back from when I was little. Real comics pages where you had the funny ones, the satirical ones, the serials soap operas and the adventure ones all spread out in front of you.

I miss reading Conan the Barbarian and The Phantom and Pogo every Sunday. Anyway…

Most of the ones I read regularly fall into the spec fic realm, (I know, shocking) and many do in surprising ways. I’m just going to list a few without saying things like these are the best or these are the must read ones. These are simply some web comics I enjoy following. (I do read XKCD, Hark! A Vagrant, Oglaf, and Humon comics, of course, which have various degrees of spec fic and/or queer content, but I wanted to focus on story/serial comics here.)

Questionable Content: with a cast of dozens, QC has grown both writing wise and art wise over the years. Seriously, look at those first comics an look at what Jeph is drawing now. It looks like simple contemporary stuff with wide-ranging queer representation, expect for the AI’s living among us component.

Monsterkind: quirky and often cheerful comic that nevertheless has some dark undertones. Characters of all orientations featured.

Demon of the Underground: beautiful artwork and engaging worldbuilding and storytelling. And Pogo, the MC, is cheerfully pansexual.

Young Protectors: Gorgeous superhero comics style work with great young adult characters, Alex Woolson and Adam DeKraker make an incredible team for this one. I was so pleased when I brought YP up on a panel in Toronto and the audience reacted with enthusiastic recognition. There are queer characters among both the heroes and the villains.

Hotblood!: About centaurs in the Old West. Really, do I have to say anything more? There’s an entire, complete story waiting for you online.

Victim: Gate of Spirits: The translations can get a little stilted, but in general a fascinating fantasy world.

Tripping Over You: OK, this one’s not spec fic, but I was so charmed by it (Jenna Hale’s fault for suggesting it) that I wanted to include it. Great characters, good writing and I like the art.

So – what are you guys reading? What comics would you suggest for my addiction…er, reading?

5 thoughts on “Angel’s Bits – Web Comics”

  1. I just finished reading ‘Homestuck’, which has been compared to James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ in how long, complicated, and difficult it is to follow, but once you involved, it’s really hard not get uninvolved! :) I did get seriously fangirly over it, since there was both m/m and f/f, of all varieties of subtlety, along with het and more complicated varieties involved. Also, the alien ‘trolls’ had the interesting system of ‘quadrants’ as opposed to sexual orientation; a flushed love (closest to our idea of love), a hate love or black quadrant (which reminded me irresistibly of Batman and the Joker, Sherlock and Moriarty, and countless other examples where your arch enemy becomes your whole life and emotional center), pale love (very close to plutonic friendship, or a best friend), and ashen (where you ‘auspice’ between two people to keep their love/hate from reeling out of control). The quadrants were represented by each suit of a card deck; hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. It’s very tempting to try to put all kinds of relationships into this kind of a context, once you start playing with the idea of the quadrants! :)

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  2. I adore Avialea (http://www.misslucidcomics.com/avialae/) which is about a boy who suddenly grows wings and is understandably concerned about it.

    Also Sfeer Theory (http://sfeertheory.littlefoolery.com/index.html) which is gorgeous (I have the print books and treasure them) and focuses on a university of magic theory.

    Not quite spec fic, but still adorable is Tied in Red (http://tied-in-red.smackjeeves.com/) where two men find themselves literally tied together by the red string of fate and then coping with what it means to be destined to be with someone you never expected.

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