Look, I wasn't always a webcomic geek. It was Avlbane's fault, really.
I've never been much of a comic book person. Nope. The closest I got to comics were manga, generally shojo. Fluffy, formulaic shojo manga that had repetitive plots, brainless heroines, and attractive love interests. Easy to get into, easy to get out of. Not to say that there isn't manga out there that is deep and thought provoking. I haveoften been verypleasantly surprised by the depths of certain storylines. But I didn't actively seek it out inmy manga. I was okay with shelving my feminist principles and enjoying brain fluff.
I think the reason I never became a comic book geek is thatevery time I enter a comic book store, I feel like I need to have a PHD in comics to be able to join any fandom. The history of each consecutive comic book 'verse, story, is just so lengthy and complex, I'm completely out of my depth. I didn't read anything beyond Archie comics when I was younger, so I have no past experience whatsoever. Comic books intimidate me.
Now this is a different story for Avblane. She is what I like to term, a total comic geek. She knows the difference between Marvel and DC and Darkhorse, she can and has give me the complete backstories and conceptual ideas of Iron Man, the X-Men, while I stare at her glassy-eyed. I'd make fun of her for it, but she brings up my Labyrinth obsession and then I shut up.
Now webcomics. Like I said, I lived a blissfully free webcomic-existence before I met Avlbane. Then she sent me a link to one. And then another. And then amonster was created. I now LOVE webcomics--I love that talented artists and storytellers have a medium in which to convey their creativity without a publishing house telling them what to do.
Avlbane has a crap ton of webcomics she keeps up with, and sadly, has gotten me addicted to a few of them. I also have found several I adore on my own. Either way, she's a bitch for dragging me into another way of being a geek. But here are a few of my favorite webcomics for your enjoyment.
1. Girls With Slingshots
I found this on feministing--they were interviewing the artist and I was intrigued. This comic is just pure fun.
Premise: It's about an English major, her friends, and her pet talking cactus. Don't ask. Just trust me. The main character, Hazel, is strangely unlikable for the longest time--but she sort of grows on you and grows as a person. This strip deals with friendship, partying, love, sex, cats, ghost cats, and it never takes itself too seriously. I highly recommend it--just be warned, it straddles the lines between PG13 and R, meaning it can get pretty raunchy.
Art style: Light and fun, just your basic cartoony sorta style.
Update Status: About once every two or three days.
Ahem. If you don't like yaoi or gratuitous sex comics, I'd skip this one. Cuz this is kind of nothing but a beautifully drawn yaoi-fest. But if you're like me, and like a comic for more than just SEXYTIMES!!! then you might enjoy the interesting characters, the convoluted relationships, and the intriguing motivations of each one.
Premise: A brothel, its patrons, and the various interactions of each. I promise it's deeper than that, though. Just be warned, this is a graphic comic. Avlbane warned me, and I was like, 'Yeah, haha, whatever,' and started reading this at my university's library, which was not a smart idea. Pretty sure the librarians now think I'm a porn freak. Also, if you buy the printed version, that is WAY WAY WAY more graphic but also way way way more infinitely awesome.
Art style: Manga undertones, but it has a lovely romantic, almost victorian painting kind of style. Its attention to detail is magnificent--the backgrounds and settings are just as elaborate and beautiful as the characters themselves.
Update status: Every Wednesday!
3. Marry Me
Strangely enough, my older brother introduced me to this bit of fluffy cuteness.
Premise: A famous popstar decides to marry a fan holding a 'Marry Me' sign on a whim, and all the crazy hijinks that follow. Better than it sounds, I promise.
Art style: Kinda manga-y but with definite western overtones. Very bright, very fun sort of style.
Update Status: Technically complete. However, it is in the midst of a rather entertaining bonus story. The only downside to this is it doesn't update regularly--practically once every six months, I'm not even joking. Still, it's good enough to be worth the wait.
The very first webcomic I found all on my own! *is proud* I love the quirkiness of this one--any girl who is a part of a male-dominated fandom can really relate to the main character.
Premise: An attractive geeky comic book fangirl falls for a guy who works at a comic store, so she opens her own comic shop to get close to him.
Art style--Pretty much pure manga, with a touch of western, especially when doing parodies of other famous comics.
Update status--Completely sporadic. But worth the
These are possibly my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE webcomics EVER!!! I put them both together because GND is a spin-off of Roommates--and it's honestly really difficult to pick between the two. The styles are very different. Roommates has a slightly more epic storyline, with a more serious overarching plot than GND, but I prefer the art style of GND and the very dry yet slapsticky humor of GND, very reminiscent of Bill Watterson.
Premise: Jareth of "Labyrinth" and Erik of "Phantom of the Opera" are roommates in a very strange apartment complex. Just upstairs, Sarah of "Labyrinth" roommates with Christine of "Phantom of the Opera". Across the hall, Javert of "Les Miserables" and Commodore Norrington of "Pirates of the Caribbean" are also roommates. Fourth walls are broken, hilarity ensues, mischief is caused as Jareth and Erik try and reconcile being the proverbial losers of their various fandoms while still hoping to get the girl. Sarah and Christine just want a little peace from their stalkers. Also traipses into the fandoms of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Pan's Labyrinth, Sweeney Todd, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Legend, and much, much, MUCH more. I haven't even scratched the surface of the fandoms they honor!
Art style: Roommates art style has greatly matured from where it started. It's gotten a lot crisper and neater, although I've never had a complaint about how she drew Jareth and Erik. How Sarah looks now is a good example though. I would say the entirety of Roommates is pretty much manga inspired, but obviously she has her own taste to it. Pika's (of GND) art style is very professional (I believe she IS a professional artist as a matter of fact) and varies between this great cartoony style that's kinda manga-y but not totally, to a realistic beautiful style (for serious moments and hardcore fluff!). It's generally absolutely fabulous, and her style has developed a little too, though on a much more subtle level.
Update status: Roommates updates I believe every weekend, and generally GND updates every Wednesday, usually first thing in the morning. I must say, Teahouse and GND just MAKE Wednesday the best days of my week...
So there you have it! These are my favorite webcomics, the ones I have bookmarked and check constantly for updates. I hope you enjoyed, and tune in next time for my spiel on how I reconciled my feminism with shojo manga!