What’s a webcomic? Well, you can probably guess from its name, but I’ll say it anyway: a webcomic is a comic that’s published on the Internet. Webcomics usually follow the traditional 3-4 panel format, but lots of webcomics these days take advantage of being on the Internet, and can include animation and other graphics.
I like to compare webcomics to indie music; they’re usually under the radar, self-promoted and seldom published in book form. Even so, there are many webcomics out there that are creative, funny and mind-opening, as long as you take the time to search them out.
Here are several of my favorite webcomics for you to try. Let me know what you think about them and please leave a comment if you have other recommendations!
Gunnerkrigg Court is probably my favorite webcomic: after picking up volume one and loving it, I spent a reading marathon on the website catching up! GC follows young Antimony and her adventures at Gunnerkrigg Court, a mysterious boarding school that looks more like a power plant. Antimony makes new friends, discovers her own magical abilities, and seeks to understand the role of Gunnerkrigg Court, its surrounding power stations, and the wild forest beyond.
Siddell has a great sense of humor, and his story is an interesting mix of magic, fantasy, and even Native American mythology. Reynardine, a fox who has taken the body of Antimony’s plush toy (long story) as well as hugely smiling Coyote, are my two favorite characters. Gunnerkrigg Court is an especially good fit for those who enjoy dark fantasy, like Neil Gaiman’s work.
If you’d like to read online, Gunnerkrigg Court updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but be sure to start from the very beginning! Or, read GC in print– See here for the first volume, Orientation.
“Inverloch centers around a young man named Acheron, from a horned wolf-like race called the da’kor. After a chance encounter with an elf, he finds himself setting out on a seemingly innocent mission – finding Kayn’dar, another elf who has been missing for the past twelve years. Meeting up with new friends and companions along the way, he quickly begins to learn that the world is not quite the peaceful place he believed it to be…and the truth behind Kayn’dar’s disappearance is something none of the party would ever expect.”
Inverloch is a fun, charming and easy read; after picking up the first volume at the library by chance, I finished it in once sitting! Inverloch depends more on fantasy troupes, and has more of a manga style, so it may seem more commonplace. However, Ellerton created her own species, the da’kor, and creates a world of prejudice and distrust is both realistic and powerful without being preachy. The characters are very endearing and it’s easy to get attached to them quickly. Plus, the magic is pretty cool too.
An oldie but goodie! Rebus follows Rick, Emily and Roy, who all signed up for the Rebus Mercenarial Service very different reasons (Rick by accident, Emily out of punishment, and Roy just likes to punch things). As the three travel through space taking on dangerous and outrageous missions, hilarity and adventure ensue.
Rebus a bit different from the traditional webcomic: instead of static pages, Hess uses Flash animation and a small but talented voice cast. Each page is animated, and you click through the twenty or so pages in each chapter. The comic has a wonderful sense of humor; it’s an imaginative and funny science fiction ride that ended all too soon. Even though it’s Hess’ oldest work it’s also my favorite, and I keep hoping that it will return and no longer be on hiatus :(
If that doesn’t float your boat, try Hess’ newest comic Weesh, about a cute animal that grants wishes to three siblings.