2021 December Webcomic Roundup: Found Families, Part 2
Here’s my final webcomic roundup for 2021. Part 2 of my found family compilation serves stories about belonging, the different kinds of distances, close friendships, and more. Webcomics featured in this roundup are from WebToon, Tapas, Hiveworks, and other sites or platforms.*
For me, found family involves more than a group of unrelated people finding solidarity and kinship among each other. It’s about transcending time and distances. It’s about standing against the effects of political actions and decisions. It’s about belonging’s embrace when you discover another world. It’s about finding refuge from the literal and figurative demons that have plagued you.
The forty webcomics featured below explore these various definitions of found family. To the LGBTQ+ readers struggling in a toxic environment during the holidays, this is for you. You deserve to escape in these stories. You deserve a family of your own and more. Please take care of yourselves.
It’s been a pleasure to do these monthly roundups, and I can’t wait to discover and read more webcomics for next year’s roundups.
So here we go!
Willow Seong can understand the thoughts of animals, including dinosaurs. When she encounters a wounded baby Acrocanthosaurus, she takes in it and names it Haze. But Haze, an apex predator, presents a danger. Willow has no choice but to let the government take Haze. Years later, Haze returns to her wounded. Little does Willow know that the scientists have eventually decided to spy on her and Haze.
When I was younger, I dreamed of worlds where humans and dinosaurs live together (albeit modern or futuristic, unlike The Flintstones). So, this webcomic might as well be a delightful manifestation of that dream.
The Unlucky Ones and the Edge of Nowhere by Nicky Rodriguez
College graduates Lúcio and Sonia encounter each other at a diner. Both are running away from their lives. The two have gained extraordinary powers that are difficult to control and, after finding each other, decide to embark on a road trip across Western America. A gorgeously constructed story about overcoming challenges with the people you care about.
Found Family by PeachTeaLen (Creator’s website is unavailable)
After her family kicks her out for being a non-binary lesbian, Fiorenza finds comfort and support in her friends. Turns out that her friends are the family she needed. A story that demonstrates the importance of compassion and seeking help.
Volantes: The Color of Your Soul by Briarpatchpumpkin
Four travelers in a fantastical world eventually work their way together through time-shifting cities, airships, and more. A comical Queer fantasy.
The Anaether by Lizbeth (18+)
A sci-fi graphic novel in progress that personally reminds me of Saga. I admire the quiet but effective moments.
The Night Belongs to Us by LR Hale (16+)
Hank gets bitten by a werewolf, and of course, she becomes one herself. After meeting Ada, a vampire, Hank discovers the paranormal side of the world. Her life becomes complicated as she adjusts to her new normal and falls for Ada. The centered romance in this webcomic shines in its complexity. Hank and Ada grow to care for and support each other.
A vampire and a werewolf in love and living together. A slice of life comic, but the creator’s superb worldbuilding (sharing details between episodes!) is impressive.
Sk8rboi by peachkiwicomics (16+)
A romance between a teen skater boy and a preppy boy slowly blossoms, complicating the different social circles they’re involved in. A high school drama that navigates relationships among friends and family.
A webcomic featuring the interconnected stories of Odette and Milo, two cousins living in the Philippines. The two realize their sexual orientation and deal with the queerphobia in their school and family.
The first four episodes are available to read for free on Tapas.
I’ve been granted free access to Kids Being Kids from Tapas Media. All opinions are my own.
Rami’s bus ride to University takes an unexpected turn after he encounters Malik, the man stowed away inside a coffin. Taking place in Western Asia (Arabia), this webcomic impresses me with its character dynamics.
Check out the creator’s other webcomics, Beyond the Sight of You and Release Me.
Lupe finds herself in an alternate world where she meets with her friend Lina, who reveals that she’s a witch. This is a story of family, both blood related and not, and the truth behind what we see before us.
Circuits and Veins by Jem Yoshioka (Completed)
Androids in this future have finally gained their independence. Ai, an outdated personal care android, moves into her new apartment and works at the bookstore. She meets her neighbor Aki, a creator of virtual pets (companions), and the two eventually fall in love with each other. I admire the worldbuilding and perspective on AI (and how it intersects with ability) in this webcomic.
Check out the creator’s other webcomic, Folk Remedy.
City of Blank by 66
Rex searches for his brother’s killer and ends up in a place teeming with secrets. In this world, everyone must wear a mask lest the blanks roaming around steal their face and identity. The sequential art, characterization, and action sequences are impressive. A shonen inspired webcomic that navigates personhood and identity.
Kelley Russo helps a homeless winged girl named Scarlet. This act of kindness soon leads to Kelley discovering the existence of cryptids. But these beings aren’t as welcoming… Fascinating lore and compelling character dynamics.
The first four astronauts to go to Mars have to keep their romantic relationships a secret due to the space program’s company policy. It’s a rough space mission, but it also comes with joyful and endearing moments.
Check out the creator’s other webcomics, He’s My Celebrity Crush and What-Sexual??
Us Right Now by yurineseventeen
After seven years, Noa and Rina’s relationship is put into question. A fight leads to Noa leaving, but not before writing a note to Rina. Now Rina, struggling with a dead end job, has to find her girlfriend and iron out the wrinkles in their relationship.
I admire and adore the creator’s short webcomic, How to Take Care of Your Human (featured in last month’s roundup.) Us Right Now gracefully tackles the reality of being in a relationship and what it takes to confront misunderstandings and faults. Patching up and making things better takes time, but Noa and Rina are willing to do it.
Mica, left on the streets after being kicked out, denies that she’s cursed when a stranger tells her so. But then she realizes the truth: a demon is trailing after her, taunting and threatening her. A riveting supernatural webcomic about confronting and reining in your demons (literally and figuratively.)
Tasha – abducted by aliens and then rescued by other aliens – deals with the fact that she can never return to her home on Earth. Interstellar General Tourmaline eventually takes a liking to Tasha and showers her with gifts and provides care for her. Unfortunately, Tasha’s special treatment has to come to an end as she’s required to settle into her new home on another planet. But Tasha wants to be with Tourmaline. I admire the character dynamics and worldbuilding.
Read more webcomics by Black creators here.
Black Sunshine by Jasmine Simone (14+)
Instead of continuing with his college career, Indimaru Della Posta decides to join Black Sunshine, a Special Forces Organization. He’s then placed under the Investigation Branch, Palette. What follows is an unraveling of the workplace abuse enacted by the private military company, Penumbra Alabaster. An exciting webcomic that navigates corruption and unethical practices within military spaces.
Read more webcomics by Black creators here.
Facing the Sun by ArtbyTesslyn
An android well past her expiration date finds love and companionship among humans and other androids. A gorgeous and thought provoking narrative that explores complex emotions (i.e., grief, fear.)
The story of six characters who are more personally connected than they think. I admire the creator’s seamless transition between point of views/perspectives.
An exciting Queer sci-fi webcomic. Lucky, a shapeshifter, wants to belong somewhere. However, he harbors the burden of past secrets as well. He meets a human named Francis, and Lucky feels that he’s finally found the family he wanted. But is it too good to be true?
Tristan Clay crash lands on Earth and experiences amnesia. A family takes him in. Tristan has to deal with his extraordinary abilities and disturbing past memories. Maybe Tristan shouldn’t try to figure out what happened before he became stranded here. This webcomic contains a great balance between drama, suspense, and endearing moments.
A group of teens deals with the emotional milestone that is high school graduation. Tulip and Sydney are eager to get their final exams over with and move on. Their best friend Camilia, however, wants to make their final months memorable. The creator does an excellent job of portraying the highs and lows of finishing high school and facing the future.
Samantha experiences internal and external changes as she navigates a world populated with people who possess extraordinary powers. Awesome worldbuilding and character dynamics.
Sparrow and Crow by Filipa Estrela (Completed)
An Aesop’s Fable retelling. Two harpies at first misunderstand each other but then eventually become friends. A short but subtle webcomic.
Read more comics by the creator here.
Read more webcomics by Black creators here.
On a fictional island in 1974, an amnesiac witch washes up on the shore. Jo and Atlas rescue him. Turns out that the witch can control the weather, and life isn’t the same since. An imaginative and compelling narrative.
Dicebox by Jenn Manley Lee (18+)
An interstellar romance that explores trauma, interpersonal relationships, and the personal effects of political events and decisions. The story starts with Molly and Griffin managing their financial situation. Griffin stumbles into her former underling.
The creator describes this webcomic as a “story about lousy guards kidnapping a goddess,” but it’s so much more than that. It’s an imaginative science fantasy tale about the personal journey and the evolution of religion over time.
Goodbye to Halos by Valerie Halla (14+)
A gorgeously constructed narrative that explores complex themes and issues like what it means to belong. The dynamic art style meshes well with the storytelling.
Best friends Princess Sapphia and Prince August are closeted gays. The two decide to evade their parents’ efforts to get them married to the opposite gender by fake dating. A hilarious and endearing read.
A mysterious alien grants six people extraordinary powers to fight against corruption on Earth. Celia, Siddiqah, Madhubala, Tani, Chloë, and Phailin learn to work together and trust each other as they embrace their new roles as crime fighters. An intersectional take on the superhero genre.
Sound of Stars by SL Black (Completed)
Seren, a sound analyzer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), thinks she might have discovered intelligent life. However, the wavelength that has caught her ears might just be cosmic background noise. The story packs a lot of emotions in a short amount of time. A gorgeous portrayal of the desire to establish a personal connection with someone across time.
Check out the creator’s other webcomics, Phantom F****R and Until Observed.
Read more webcomics by Black creators here.
Phobos and Deimos by lostcitycomics
Maida adjusts to life on Earth. A refugee from Mars, Earth is literally another planet for Maida. She needs to learn the culture, language, and class system as she settles in her new home. And all that is heavier than the difference in gravity. This spectacular sci-fi webcomic explores how culture and language can interact with relationships, hierarchies, and more.
An equilibrist believes that life has always been about not falling. After six years of traveling with the circus, she performs for her hometown again. On that day, a girl receives an unexpected invitation that brings up the past. A gorgeous short webcomic set in Bahia, Brazil.
The webcomic is also available to read in Portuguese.
A Glance Away by Clara Cortés (Completed)
A short webcomic about the courage it takes to cross the distance, both literally and figuratively. I admire the attention to detail and expressions in this one.
Check out the creator’s other webcomics here.
Hashima encounters her best friend, Afiq, after cutting contact with him eight years ago. Afiq is a trans man, but Hashima uses the wrong pronouns and deadnames him out of ignorance. Later on, she learns to hold herself accountable for her actions and better herself. I appreciate the messaging behind this well constructed narrative.
Content Warning: transphobia (misgendering and deadnaming)
White Noise by Adrien Lee (16+)
In an alternate early 1990s, humans have made contact with another dimension called Aetheri. However, the encounter leads to racism and interpersonal and state violence. A family of half-siblings has split apart, and two of the siblings, Hawk and Liya, travel alone. This astonishingly gorgeous webcomic contains a sexually and gender diverse cast of characters (trans monsters!), along with a powerful found family narrative.
Always Human by Ari North (Completed)
A narrative that demonstrates how advanced technology doesn’t mean personal connections and the human condition will die off. In the future, nanobots and genetic engineering have allowed humans to alter their appearance (i.e., hair and eyes; skin color not included.) Sunati meets Austen, a young woman who doesn’t alter her appearance because of her immune system. The two grow closer over time and work to make things right in their relationship.
Always Human is also available in print.
Check out the creator’s other webcomic, Aerial Magic.
How To Be a Werewolf by Shawn Lenore
Malaya Walters has managed to stay “out of trouble” working at her family’s coffee shop and staying at home during the full moon. She’s a werewolf, and it seems like she’s the only one in her small town. But then a stranger catches whiff (literally) of her, which leads her to meet and befriend a group of other werewolves.
One scene that still stands out to me is the part where Malaya’s mom tells the story of when she immigrated from the Philippines. Then a teen studying in the States, Malaya’s mom adapted to her new circumstances along the way. I admire the parallels between this and Malaya’s experience of being a werewolf. Plus, the creator does a fantastic job of showing that you can have a supportive biological and unrelated family.
Webcomics I’ve Reviewed This Month:
Slice of Life Webcomics (Part 3)
Tapas Premium Webtoons Recs for 2021
Webcomic Reviews by Burkely Hermann (October – December; as of this posting):
Everywhere and Nowhere by Merryweather
Not So Shoujo Love Story by Curryuku
Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner & April Pierce
Is there a webcomic with found family themes that you’d like to recommend? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Check out the first part of the found families roundup here.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives! Check out previous roundups here.
*My mentioning of any platforms on this post is unsponsored.
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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