The Webcomic Revolution

With comic book superheroes becoming more and more entrenched in pop culture, it’s no surprise that comics are getting more focus than ever as both a written and drawn art form. But not every comic or graphic novel has to be printed. A new form of comics has been growing the past few years, both because of its accessibility to readers and its ease of publishing for artists: the ‘web comic’.

As far as comics go, web comics vary as widely (if not more widely) than normal comics. There are serial comics of every genre, comic strips like the ones found in newspapers, comics with animation, one panel comics, even comics that are directly influenced by the readers in a pick-your-own-adventure style. There’s a web comic out there for everyone, but where can you read them?

The good news for readers is that web comics are fairly easy to find if you know where to start looking. Most artists publish their comics independently on sites like Tumblr or DeviantArt, but others use comic hosting websites such as Hiveworks or Smackjeeves to draw in a larger audience and connect to better advertisement and communities.

So you know what a web comic is and where to start reading them. The next step is to find some for yourself! If you like exploring and finding your own, check out some of the resources I mentioned, but if you’re looking for recommendations here are the comics I enjoy reading. Most of them, if not all, can be found on www.thehiveworks.com.

Comedy

Doctor Cat is a cute comic by Sarah Sobole about just that – a cat who is also a doctor! Along with his friends Human Nurse, Lawyer Cat, and Human Paralegal, Doctor Cat does his best to help people, be a doctor, and follow his dreams!

 

Let’s Speak English is a semi-autobiographical web comic written by comic artist Mary Cagle. It chronicles her years in Japan teaching English and the hijinks that she – and her students – experienced, as well as the ins, outs, and quirks of living in a different culture.

Whomp! is a comedy strip written by Ronnie Filyaw in a gag of the week style. The comics range from dark humor to self-deprecating to plain old funny jokes, and have a few recurring characters who show up from time to time.

Fantasy and Supernatural

Daughter of the Lilies is a fabulous fantasy comic written by Meg Syvrud. It follows the adventures of Thistle, a nervous and insecure mage, and her group of adventurers as they defeat monsters and we find out more and more about Thistle’s mysterious past…

 

Cucumber Quest is an adorable comic by Gigi D.G. about some bunnies who go on a magical adventure through the land of Dreamside to stop the end of the world at the hands of the terrifying Nightmare Knight, meeting good friends and quirky enemies all along the way!

 

 

Paranatural, a hilarious yet dramatic romp created by Zack Morrison, brings us back to our middle school days where Max, the new kid in town, discovers that he can see ghosts, and he isn’t the only one in the town who can. What else is being hidden, and who else is involved in the Paranatural Activity Club?

 

 

Sleepless Domain is based on the magical girl genre. Written by Mary Cagle, the same person who wrote Let’s Speak English, we see a slightly darker side to the dangers of being a magical girl as the cute and colorful characters grapple with dangerous monsters, menacing masterminds, and survivor’s guilt.

 

 

Agents of the Realm takes that same magical girl genre and brings it to college! Written by Mildred Lewis, it follows the adventures of five unlikely friends as they learn to use their new powers and try to save the worlds from evil.

 

Weird Sisters – written by recent CMU graduate Nat Roze – is about a sorority of witches and their new members as they learn about themselves, magic, and navigating college while also practicing witchcraft.

 

 

Science Fiction

Trying Human is written by Emy Bitner and tells the story of Rose who, after being abducted by aliens and falling in love with one along the way, is thrust into a wild world of science fiction adventure. It also follows the parallel story of Abigail in the 1950’s, and as the chapters go on they become more and more entwined together.

 

Atomic Robo is a collection of adventures about the robot AtomicRobo and his friends through time. A fun superhero comic created by a whole team of talented writers artists, it’s raunchy and action-packed, and definitely appeals to the traditional comic book reader.

 

 

Awaken is an anime-style comic by Koti Saavedra that follows Piras as he discovers his incredible abilities, a government conspiracy, and the truth about what lies outside the city walls that the government wants to keep hidden from view.

So what are you waiting for? Pick a comic, get reading and welcome to the wonderful world of web comics!