Webcomics are a wonderland. There is so much variation and possibility out there. So much to read! So much to keep up with! it can be intimidating. Luckily, we’ve got your back.
First, let me point you to an absolutely amazing comic that hit the internet on April 27th written by Kiva Bay (@kivabay), art by Bay and Sam Slater (@MrMentalism). It’s called Shut Up and Take My Money! A Tale of a Poor Gamer, and it is so incredible. This one-off webcomic is about a homeless gamer and what it means to be a gamer without access to playing those games.
- Last month we told you about Hotblood, Portside Stories, Band Vs Band, Check, Please!, Gunnerkrigg Court, My Kitty and Old Dog, and Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell.
- Eve Golden Woods described the intense joy in the horror of Emily Carroll’s webcomics.
- We all chatted about newspaper comics and whether webcomics will take their place.
- Check, Please! was featured as our Kickstarter of the Week.
- Al Rosenberg got to interview the creator of The Blue Valkyrie, a new webcomic about a trans superhero.
- Alenka Figa wished a fond farewell to Girls With Slingshots.
This month, you should check out:
Scott Bieser and Lea Jean Badelles
Big Head Press
This is a long webcomic. It started in 2012 and is updated with a new strip every weekday. I HIGHLY suggest reading through the whole thing, but they also offer a guide to catch you up to the current arc.
I have been reading this for two years now and I am addicted. It’s a smart space exploration thriller that stars a woman of color scientist, Nicole, and her weird, super-old, super-smart boss, Seamus. There’s action, suspense, crappy ex-boyfriends, betrayal, and superb art (which was in black and white for a while, but is now in color). Each story arc is tightly written and there are so many imaginative characters introduced in the mix. It touches on racism and speciesism with the lovely character Buford, and the meaning of humanity with the introduction of intelligent androids.
Nicole is energetic, brave, hyper-intelligent, and sharp. I love her wit and charm and I always come back for her.
Monday and Friday
I discovered this webcomic through its collected first volume, Clockwork City. I love black and white and monochromatic comics. I find that the limited colours allows the artist and author (who, in this case, is both) to do so much more with the visual medium, telling a powerful story and evoking intense emotions. The cover of this book struck me first. Stark and simple, with the spine-tingly creepiness that comes along with clockwork creatures.
In book one, Orio arrives in the city of Cobble. As with anything clockwork device, it’s imperative that everything in Cobble run like, well, clockwork. Every citizen has a little companion, but when Orio meets the impish Bauble, it’s clear that things aren’t going to run smoothly for her.
There are secrets surrounding both Cobble and Orio, and Bauble seems to be the key to the quiet little mystery that has pulled me into this series.
Agents of the Realm
Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
This comic just nails it all for me. I love bright and colourful teams coming together under adversity. I love seeing personal relationships form all the while monsters and villains plot and attack our daring heroes. I love how this sort of formula, be it tokusatsu or magical girls, can fit so much in terms of themes and mood no matter how ridiculous or silly it gets.
Agents of the Realm is a wonderful coming-of-age story revolving around five young women who have been chosen as mystical guardian warriors to protect our world and very dimension. The cast is filled with diverse women who are strong but relatable in their flaws. Louis goes beyond the sort of tropes and archetypes you’d normally see in these sorts of stories, delving more into the cast’s emotions as well as backgrounds, be it their families or social status. While tears may be shed, confusion felt, or anger thrown around, you still feel the conviction and drive each character feels right down to their core.
As well as that, the plot itself is fascinating. You’re left with question after question with each page, and while the comic always sates you, you’re still left hungering for more. The gorgeous art bolsters this, too. The vivid colours, loveable facial expressions, pacing of the panels, and fantastic background detail all add so many more layers that help strengthen and push the comic forward. It’s also refreshing to see Louis put ample warnings on both the About page and the beginning of each chapter of what we’re to expect with any sensitive topics she’ll be covering. It spoils nothing, but gives readers an extra measure of insurance that I think is sorely needed in all kinds of media.
I urge everyone to give Agents of the Realm a shot. You won’t regret it one bit.