Screen Daze: Kids’ Webcomics to Binge On
The kids are home for the summer, and the amazing Kids Read Comics Convention has ended. The long days of boredom stretch ahead of them, and not everyday can be spent at the library or bookstore. Luckily, there’s a fix for that. Webcomics are great for everyone, kids included, and this month we’ve rounded up our all ages favorites!
In case you missed it, this month:
- Christa turned our attention to Peritale
- Kate knitted an amazing hat inspired by Nimona
- Al interviewed the creator of American Spirits
- Jennifer told us about depression and Mushrooms
Now, for the kids:
Breaking Cat News
If you live with cats, this comic is at once hilarious and marvelously familiar. The concept is simple—a bunch of cats running a news-report style program about the stuff in their lives, often to do with the ridiculous things their humans do, from their perspective. The cats all have their own personalities and obsessions, some longer story arcs build up over time, and the art gets better as the comic goes on.
My one complaint is that the “past reports” section is by subject, so it’s kind of difficult to just jump back to the first comic, as you’d normally want to do with a webcomic. A really cute, fun series, though, that’s entertaining enough for both kids and adults.
– Jen Grogan
Twice a Week
This comic is soooo cute! Do you like superheroes? Think they look adorable as children? Well, they do. And their interactions are precious as elementary school kids. Stewart has taken some of our favorite Justice League characters (Wonder Woman, J’onn, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Power Girl, Batman) plus some of our favorite villains and love interests (ie: Lex Luther and Lois Lane) and boiled them down to their essential, childlike parts. The true gem is Bruce Wayne. He’s such a moody, strange child and I love it so much.
The art is great and true to DC’s characters, Stewart is very talented. And he has edited the panels to look like they are from a newspaper.
I don’t read JL8 on Stewart’s tumblr site. I read it on Axel Samuelsson’s Limbero site. Samuelsson uploads the comic as it comes out to a streamlined, easy-to-navigate site (linked in the title above).
It’s only in Chapter 2 at the moment, but I’m quickly falling in love with Solstoria. The story centres around a young girl named Samantha and follows her on her adventure to becoming a knight. What I love in this world is that becoming a knight as a woman is not abnormal and thus her gender is not the crux of her problems—she’s in fact joining an all-female Princess Guard. We learn early on that Samantha had an older brother, Lawrence, whom has since gone missing. While she had originally looked at becoming a knight, she is more determined now than ever in order to be able to find him. The overall setting of the story is intriguing—it’s a magical land, but has its own unique nuances about it. I’m really in love with the art style. It’s colourful and bold, but still friendly and just cartoon-y enough. I find that it has a nice aesthetic balance to it.
— Lindsey David
The Smile More webcomic archives back to January 2012. So why haven’t I seen this comic before? I wasn’t looking for it. Smile More is my first webcomic ever (I know, I live under a rock) and I found it through an Internet search looking specifically for kid friendly webcomics. For me, kid-friendly means the kind I can open on my computer while the kids are sitting beside me. The comic follows main character, Smiling Bear, an adorable koala whose mission is to bring a smile to your face. In the latest installment, Smile More on the Inside, he reminds us to stop going through the motions and take the time to engage with the people around us and with ourselves. The colors are bright and attractive and the message simple without being preachy. I can see the kids and I spending some serious time going through the past comics, especially the ones with holiday themes. Be warned, they have a store full of cuteness. This may be safe for kids but not so safe for your wallet.
— Melinda B. Pierce
No Longer Updating
Princess Princess follows the adventures of two princesses struggling to be who they are. Amira has always wanted to be a hero; she struggles with what her family expects of her and decides to ride her pale pink unicorn into the horizon. Sadie was locked away in a tower when she was very young, with only her adorable pet dragon to keep her company. Drawn to the tower by the sounds of Sadie’s wailing, Amira rescues her and their journey begins.
This comic is a beautiful illustration of the power of drawing unique well-rounded characters. Each princess is strong in her own way, working hard to embrace her weaknesses. I loved watching them grow together.
The art is the perfect complement to the magical story. I’m a huge fan of StrangelyKatie, so I’m probably biased, but really, the art is so great. This comic is perfect for kids who love reading stories about princesses, dragons, and some great adventures (and… you know… adults who love those things, too).
— Jennifer Gonzalez
Count Your Sheep
Updates MWF, and sometimes Sunday
I’m pretty sure everyone, at some point in their life, was told to count sheep to help them sleep. This comic tells the story of what happens when you never get past “one.” In Count Your Sheep, we are introduced to Katie, a kid who seems to have a lot of trouble getting to sleep. While counting sheep, she makes a new friend, Ship (sheep #1). This comic details their nightly adventures of eating cookies, knitting sweaters, and greeting the moon (which never seems to reply… RUDE). Katie is at the age where she is still discovering things about the world around her; Ship is there to help her out, no matter how “out there” her ideas may be.
The comic is colored almost exclusively in various shades of blue and white, really enhancing that dreamy nighttime feeling. Something about seeing both Katie and Ship in these tones makes me feel like I’m reading about a dream Katie is having, and I love it.
This webcomic has been running since 2003, so there’s plenty for you to binge read! I’m still reading through the earlier updates and I’m looking forward to catching up.
— Jennifer Gonzalez
Usually Fridays, currently on hiatus
Jen has already recommended Breaking Cat News, so if you’re looking for more cat-related cuteness then this comic is for you. Doctor Cat is exactly what it sounds like: a comic about a cat who is also a doctor! Early strips are bite-size adventures in the daily life of a cat-doctor: diagnosing patients, performing surgery, and being cute. In the first major plotline, Doctor Cat is faced with a malpractice lawsuit, somehow for the first time. With the help of his friends Human Nurse and Lawyer Cat, Doctor Cat might just practice medicine again. The latest collection of comics is called Professional Cats and explores what might have been if Doctor Cat had instead become an artist, firefighter, or secretary. There are four major stories that make up the comic, so there’s plenty of cuteness to read!
Updates Tuesdays & Fridays
Paranatural is one of my favorite webcomics. It’s funny, got great art, and updates regularly! This comic begins with Max, a middle-school kid who has just moved with his family to Mayview. And as if being the new kid at school wasn’t bad enough, he has also started seeing ghosts around town. He soon discovers he’s not the only one when he is drafted into his school’s Paranatural Activity Club. His new friends Isabel, Isaac, and Ed fill him in on the ghost situation, and together they investigate the supernatural happenings of their school.
Morrison’s paranormal school drama is hilarious and perfect for middle-grade readers and up. And don’t let the early pages of this comic fool you, Morrison’s art is bright, expressive, and full of movement. Fans of Gravity Falls should check it out, and with five chapters, there is plenty to binge on.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl
Faith Erin Hicks
Superhero Girl is just trying to make a living protecting her city. Unfortunately, being a hero is not as glamorous as one might think, and Superhero Girl has larger ambitions than her small town can match. Living in the shadow of her successful superhero brother, Kevin, she struggles with the day-to-day of hero-ing: mask lines, uniform laundering, and finding a nemesis. Superhero Girl uses her super strength to battle space monsters, ninjas, and even a version of herself from the future.
This 100-page story ran online from 2010 to 2013. Originally illustrated in black and white, all of Hicks’ strips are now collected in a full color volume. This light-hearted comic is great for casual superhero fans of all ages!