One of the beautiful things about the internet is how it has allowed creators of all kinds to find their audiences and then provide those audiences with the content they desire. When it comes to the world of comics, the internet has allowed creators who might not have built a platform, or who have outright been silenced and excluded from mainstream comics, to tell their stories in their full glory through the medium of webcomics. (That makes it all sound a lot easier than it is in practice, I realize.)
If you’re new to webcomics, they’re fantastic for many reasons. They’re often serialized, so you can read along as the creator is telling (and perhaps creating) the story. They often allow creators to tell original, and even risky, stories. And, they give creators the chance to play with the margins of a panel and take the story where it needs to go, without being limited by the traditional comic book format.
Add to that amazing, transgressive format the narratives of queer and trans characters and you’ve got an incredible capacity for storytelling.
So open a new tab and get ready to bookmark six incredible queer webcomics that you need to read right now.
Tea Dragon Society
If your life has been missing mystical dragons and sweet children learning secret arts, then you need to read Tea Dragon Society. Greta, the daughter and apprentice of a half-goblin blacksmith, finds a magical, tiny dragon and protects it from hungry animals. Upon returning the dragon to its caretaker, Hesekiel, she learns of a great secret: the best tea is made from tea dragons. The process is slow and hard, though, so few want to study the quickly dying art of harvesting the leaves off the dragons and brewing tea. This webcomic is about the changing of the times, the advent of technology, and the slow pace of creation for artists. If you’re in the mood for something dreamy, beautiful, inclusive, and oh-so-queer, then Tea Dragon Society is for you.
Unlike most webcomics on this list, Tea Dragon Society is already complete and has been collected into a children’s book, so if you don’t feel like enjoying it online, you can pick up a hard copy.
O Human Star
In O Human Star, Alastair Sterling and Brendan Pinksy created artificial intelligence, in addition to having a fairly secret romantic relationship. However, Alastair died before he could see the fruits of their labor. Sixteen years later, Brendan creates a new body for Alastair and uploads his consciousness. When Alastair wakes to a brave new world, he finds that Brendan’s android-daughter looks conspicuously like himself. As Alastair and Brendan rekindle their romance, Alastair tries to figure out what it means to him to be an android, while their daughter explores what it might feel like to be human. Queer and trans elements abound in this beautiful story about love, family, technology, and what happens when what you’re supposed to be isn’t who you are.
O Human Star has been collected into two volumes for those who are interested in picking up a copy.
The Blue Valkyrie
Chloe and her girlfriend Alice are just trying to make the best of their often lackluster life in Cream City. But when a rich developer wants to gentrify their neighborhood, Alice is drawn into a political battle. Meanwhile, in a blistering bit of commentary, Chloe fights off an old friend who tries to rape her and in the process, she discovers her superpowers. And while coming out and transitioning have never put a damper on Chloe and Alice’s relationship, superpowers might just be the thing that breaks them. The Blue Valkyrie is a stunning webcomic that contains powerful representations of trans and queer characters who are fighting to make the world a better place.
Farah, a lowly human, has been stuck working in a factory in space, but she has bigger dreams and stows away on a random spaceship. When the crew debates whether or not to return her to her prison, ahem, factory, she proves herself useful by fixing a crewmember’s watch. From there, she sets off on an epic space fantasy adventure and finds her queer family—entirely by accident. There is so much to love about Galanthus, but Farah is definitely a highlight. She’s a person of size, she’s a woman of color, and she wears a headscarf. In a world that would rather not see someone like Farah (both the world within the narrative and our own world), she’s a righteous reminder of what we could be.
In the delightful, dessert-infused world of Cucumber Quest, a young scholar bunny named Cucumber is called to become a legendary hero. The only problem is that Cucumber doesn’t know a thing about fighting or heroics. Luckily his fearless little sister, Almond, knows her way around a sword. Despite the protestations of adults that a little sister cannot be a legendary hero, Almond proves that being a hero is in the choices you make. Oh, and if you’re lucky, you just might meet a cute girl who is a villain and also maybe the love of your life.
Check out this amazing webcomic that is appropriate for all ages and filled with hilarious jokes about how children sometimes really are more mature than adults.
In Eth’s Skin, Eth is a nonbinary person who lives in a fictionalized, mystical British Columbia that has never been touched by colonialism. Their life is filled with magic, friendship, nature, and a society that considers asking for someone’s pronouns as a given. When Eth meets a selkie, a mystical creature who has both a seal and humanoid form, they accidentally steal the selkie’s skin. As is true in much of the mythology around selkies, doing so prevents her from returning to the water and imprisons her in a human body. It turns out she’s a rather salty selkie who, understandably, wants her skin back. But, because of the way her magic works, Eth cannot give it back, but they still have to find a way to correct the harm they’ve done to her. There is so much to love about this queer, gentle, black-and-white webcomic—not the least of which is Eth’s determined and loving spirit.