5 New or Lesser-Known Webtoons

Looking for a simple and accessible way to get into comics? Already a Webtoon regular and searching for more captivating and binge-worthy series that aren't True Beauty or Lore Olympus? Here are my suggestions on where to begin your journey.

For those of you who may not know, Webtoon is a free-to-read digital comic app home to thousands of stories with a wide variety of stories and styles across 23 genres. Each “strip" is composed  of episodes formatted into one long, vertical script for reading on a computer or smartphone. All of the stories listed can be found on the Webtoon app and website. Hope you enjoy!

Cursed Princess Club (heartwarming, every Monday) 

“You never read about the princesses whose curses don’t get mended completely. Or when there are no known remedies for their curses,” says Prez, president of the titular Cursed Princess Club, a place for cursed princesses (and a singular prince) to find support and belonging away from a society that rejects them for not meeting up to its impossible standards.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lambcat (@iamlambcat) on May 25, 2020 at 6:28am PDT

 

Currently the most popular series on this list, Cursed Princess Club stars Gwendolyn, a kind and introverted princess who isn’t conventionally attractive or gifted like her three gorgeous siblings. As far as she knows, Gwen isn’t actually cursed. Her family members treat her no differently, despite what society might think of her appearance, and her similarly-sheltered sisters and sparkly brother would readily fight for her happiness and shun anyone who disapproves of her.

It’s loving dynamics such as these that make this series so refreshing. Even with their support, however, Gwen is shattered when she overhears her suitor declaring her “really ugly,” marking the first time she has to grapple with her self-image. The club ultimately becomes a place for Gwen to cope and find herself as she begins to navigate society from a different perspective .

CPC features a black market for curses, a prince who can discern people’s emotions by tasting their cooking, a celebrity llama who requires an insecure prince to carry her around, and a lobster princess who was cursed to become human. It also has familial and friendship dynamics, comedic misunderstandings that are resolved with just a little communication and introspection, and helpful messages about self-love and healing. 

While the series is fairly comedic as a fairy tale subversion, it’s also genuinely helpful and touching. This series is one you’ll walk away from with valuable life lessons and positive vibes is worth checking out.

Danny’s Melody (GL, bi-weekly)

“Until for the first time in my life, my thoughts of running faded away… when I heard your melody.” So ends the first chapter of Danny’s Melody, where after cracking under the relentless bullying of a schoolmate, cooking-enthusiast Sadie comes across the titular guitar player performing a melody for no one but herself.

While as of now, there aren’t many chapters published, Sadie as a character feels fairly developed: from her home life, to her budding dynamic with Danny, to  a side chapter about her bully’s history with her. The art itself is also very well drawn, being aesthetically pleasing to look at.

If you crave soft, pretty W/W stories as much as I do, then this series is worth checking out.

American Road Trip (drama, every sunday)

An adaptation of Flores-Scott's novel by the same name, An American Roadtrip follows the family drama of Teodoro “T” Avila, a high school student who’s been living “in the pits” ever since his brother Manny left.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by teo ★ little corvus (@little_corvus) on Sep 19, 2020 at 7:04pm PDT

While I have never read the book, the art style is definitely well-suited to the more down-to-earth narrative it's trying to tell. The smooth, rounded line art, limited color palette, and flat colors and shading lend it a sterile and sophisticated yet simplistic tone, reflective of the inner gloom of a protagonist who’s trying to take some responsibility in his empty life while dearly missing his brother. 

I admittedly have a personal soft spot for this series, as it is the only other webtoon I’ve come across aside from HoverGirls which featured a central cast of Latines. However, it must be noted that this webtoon is still in the early stages. But while the basic premise has yet to fully unfold, what has been put out so far looks fairly promising.

HoverGirls (action-comedy, completed)

Created by popular web artist GDBee, HoverGirls follows cousins Jalissa and Kim Vasquez as they try to balance a magical side gig with their day job as baristas to support themselves in the big city.

While the cast of characters is fairly small, the closeness of the two cousins is a huge part of the comic’s charm. Kim’s immature optimism and daydreaming plays off well with Jalissa’s deadpan snarkiness and responsible nature.

GDBee’s gorgeous style of portraiture, self-described as “[whimsical] with a touch of realism and calm,” translates surprisingly well into an action-comedy comic. Through the use of sketchier lines and blocks of color, rendering special effects like rain in chalk/pastels and sticking to a pallet of neon blues, reds, and russet, GDBee's art has been simplified enough for a comic while still maintaining its iconic painterly look.

This comic is a must-read if you’re a fan of magical girl anime, especially if you’re looking for a unique spin on the genre.

House of Stars (fantasy, completed)

House of Stars is the high fantasy movie you repeatedly watched and stayed captivated by as a child. It’s a yellowed library book you flip through for illustrations of fairy tales you’ve never known, yet still feel wistful for.

The story begins with Laura, a young girl who is “special in a very normal fairy-tale-character way,” and dreams of adventure. Laura’s dream is granted when she meets a noble knight, one of many “green people” enslaved by an evil queen who kidnaps innocent girls. She is then whisked outside of her hometown, a vague and quaint setting akin to the work of Miyazaki, and transported to a cold and surreal fantasy world of eternal night. She bids with the mysteriously-veiled queen to release the girls and the green people, beginning the heroic quest she’s always dreamed of.

The art is pleasingly familiar, yet distinctly fantastical and difficult to attribute to any particular influence; I found it reminiscent of Ghibli’s fantasy works, Ivan Bilibin’s fairy tale illustrations, and art nouveau posters. Fans of Ghibli films or Legend of Zelda will surely find this an entrancing read.