Mainstream comics’ plight; webcomics’ delight


Sometimes I get so wrapped up in complaining about how DC is mishandling my favorite characters that I forget that I actually like comics. It’s a cyclical thing: a big event happens, it does something stupid across all the titles, I ragequit reading comics for a while. However, I miss it and inevitably return just to start all over again. Right now I’m in a weird in-between spot, still not quite ready to return to Batgirl and Titans but missing the visual storytelling and weekly excitement of an addition to the story. So, I’ve turned to webcomics. 

I’ve talked about webcomics before, because they are fantastic and so clever; with inventive original stories and unique art styles, there’s literally something for everyone. What’s even more impressive is that almost all of them are free. Artists and writers may ask for donations or support on Patreon in return for extras, but the comics themselves are available to read online. They’re shared in the hopes that other people might enjoy them. 

They are fantastic and so clever; with inventive original stories and unique art styles, there’s literally something for everyone.

I like fantasy stories, especially those based on fairy tales, folklore or myths, and two webcomics that I’ve been reading lately are just that. 

The Fisherman’s Favour by Laura Simons and Débora Carbal is a fairy tale that follows what happens when a fisherman from a small village who loves the sea catches a merman in his net and sets him free. It’s based heavily on tales like The Little Mermaid and The Fisherlad and the Mermaid’s Ring where there is a romance between a fisherman and a mermaid, though the author wanted to write something that is more of a true love story than the traditional folklore. 

This webcomic is currently ongoing and updates every Monday. The art style is soft and very cute with sepia-like coloring and so far the story has been very sweet, giving background on the main character and recently getting to the favor mentioned in the title. I’ve always loved Ariel and The Little Mermaid, so I’m excited to see how this turns out. Hopefully the creators hold true to their allusions and no one turns to seafoam in the end.

I’ve also been reading Granted by Sam on — previously Taptastic — a webcomic hosting site. Granted follows the adventures of Lee, who finds a genie in an app on her phone. When the genie takes some liberties interpreting her wish, Lee winds up playing the hero in a fantasy quest. The comic plays with tropes and the idea of what would happen if you were suddenly thrown into the type of adventures found in books, but without any of the knowledge or skills that the hero normally gets. 

The art is bold and bright with unique and distinct character designs. While it hasn’t been updated in about a year, there are 88 segments and a couple of mini story arcs. Unfortunately, the last update ends on a cliffhanger — almost literally. However, it’s still worth the read; Lee the main character is extremely relatable, and the genie she deals with is kind of a jerk but makes things interesting. 

There are so many more webcomics out there hosted on sites like Tapas, Tumblr and Deviantart — yes, it’s still kicking — you’ve just got to look for them, but there’s bound to be one that you’ll love. 

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Melissa writes and reports for News and the OpEd column Graphic Opinions. A senior majoring in political science; when not in class you can find her working in the College's Special Collections and Archives or on her independent study on music education advocacy.


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