Some webcomics I enjoy

What media do you turn to for immersive unwinding? For many people I know, serial TV shows and movies are their chosen forms; for my partner, music is very important.

When I answer this question for myself, I tend to say “books,” whether novels or poetry. But another form that I love but rarely talk about is the narrative webcomic. I know very little about comics in their traditional paper form, especially the expansive superhero universes of Marvel and DC. Probably the series I am most familiar with is Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which is now two decades old. But I’ve been reading webcomics since university. I’m especially attracted to long-running secondary-world fantasy and vibrant, colorful art.

So I’ve decided to make a list of five webcomics I’ve been enjoying recently! Some of these comics are completed, while others are ongoing; some I’ve been reading for years, others I’ve discovered in the last month.

  1. Rice Boy: Completed. An ethereal, imaginative quest-fantasy that takes place in an expansive and brightly-colored world called “Overside.” The narrative is highly figurative, and moves almost by dream-logic. The artist, Evan Dahm, has subsequently set two more long webcomics in this world: one completed, one ongoing.
  2. Gunnerkrigg Court: Ongoing. An epic, myth-heavy spin on the magic boarding-school genre set in a steampunkish alternative mid-20th-century Britain. The comic is sprawling but still carefully-plotted, with thoughtful worldbuilding and well-rounded characters whose adolescence proceeds believably.
  3. Mare Internum: Ongoing. I’ve been following Der-Shing Helmer’s gorgeous secondary-world fantasy The Meek for years. Mare Internum is her newer effort. It follows the first scientists to colonize Mars. It’s intricate hard sci-fi whose characters are researched and written with the same care as its science (Helmer is trained in biology and loves reptiles and it shows). CW for sexual abuse.
  4. Stand Still, Stay Silent: Ongoing. A post-apocalyptic plague story set in Scandinavia. The artist, Minna Sundberg, is Finnish-Swedish, and one of the most talented landscape artists working in webcomics: her backgrounds, whether industrial or natural, are eerie and breathtaking. This comic also updates three times a week to compensate for the slow (but earned and luxurious) unfolding of its story.
  5. The Glass Scientists: Ongoing. The Jekyll and Hyde story rewritten as a queer steampunk romance. The artist is a storyboarder by trade, and it shows in the crisp professionalism of her panels. Also everything about it is goddamn adorable.