It’s the middle of Disability Pride Month, but that doesn’t mean there should stop the focus on characters with disabilities. The eight webcomics featured in this month’s roundup celebrate various relationships, and stories, of characters with physical and mental disabilities. Webcomics featured are mainly from WebToon* and elsewhere.
In June, I reviewed animated characters with trauma and previously examined socially awkward characters in anime. This post is an extension of those articles but only focuses on webcomics. You may remember that I reviewed 16 webcomics for the “Wednesday Webcomics” segment from October 2021 to February of this year.
This month I’m covering for
This interactive fan comic ran from February 2014 to May 2015, for a total of 1000 images. Based on the RoosterTeeth series, RWBY, it was a hit in the fandom at the time. The comic, which is for mature audiences and themes, features the show’s characters like Ruby Rose, Lie Ren, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. The latter has a prosthetic arm.
This is also shown in the animated series which features Neopolitan, a mute antagonist, and Professor Ozpin, who often uses a cane. These characters, and others appeared in the anime spin-off, RWBY: Ice Queendom, which began airing earlier this month.
This webcomic, by Sophie Labelle, a trans woman and cartoonist, features Stephanie “Stephie” Bondu. She is an 11-year-old trans girl, with the comic showing her exploration of this identity. She is autistic and later comes out as bisexual. This webcomic was originally posted on Tumblr, then re-posted under a new title, Serious Trans Vibes, by Labelle on Line Webtoon.
Originally a webcomic, and later printed as a graphic novel, this fantasy webcomic is by ND Stevenson, who recently came out as Nate. He is known for his role as showrunner of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This webcomic follows the story of a shapeshifter named Nimona who joins Ballister Blackheart, with both working to destroy an over-controlling institution. Ballister has a prosthetic hand throughout the comic, which mixed technology and magic. The comic was recently adapted as an animated film that will premiere next year on Netflix.
Adventure Time: Princess Robot
While there are various Adventure Time fan comics online like ones on Simon Abadeer, one sticks out: Adventure Time: Princess Robot. By Hierogriff and posted on Line Webtoon in 2017, it follows the story of Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum as they go to a kingdom run by a robot despot. At the end of the comic, Finn is shown without an arm and a flower growing out of it.
This is consistent with the series which showed him with a grass sword growing out of his arm, then a robotic prosthetic arm later in the series. It is similar to the fan comics for series like Final Space, which show Gary with a prosthetic arm like in the series.
In searching for comics to add to this post, I came across an article about an autistic artist named AspiGurl illustrating her daily reality in 50 comics. What she draws is very relatable to people who are autistic.
AspiGurl’s official website describes the comic as expressing the voice of autistic people through “anecdotes or reflections from everyday life”, with suggestions from autistic readers for future comics. She also has a Patreon to fund the webcomic.
In this fantasy webcomic by Cynthia J. Schmitz on Line Webtoon features a cyborg named Cora. Also, the protagonist, Skye, has clear mental strife, as the equivalent of an evil demon is living inside of her. Cora becomes good friends with Skye and seems to have a crush on her, with their closeness growing over the course of the webcomic. Characters who are visually impaired also appear.
Da Yomanville Gang
In this fantasy webcomic by Jason King on Line Webtoon, Layla makes new friends and deals with old ones as she goes through family and interpersonal conflict inside and outside the schoolyard. She has a scar over her left eye, covered by hair at the beginning of the series, which has the effect of impairing her sight out of that eye. It is later uncovered as she becomes more sure of herself.
Vivienne Medrano’s indie animated smash hit, Hazbin Hotel, currently in development for a full animated series, is mostly known for its animated pilot. There is also an accompanying webcomic. In the webcomic entitled “Chapter 1: Dirty Healings”, (presumably written by Medrano) Charlie and her girlfriend Vaggie are able to convince a pornstar named Angel Dust to stay at their hotel, which attempts to redeem those who’ve sinned.
Like in the pilot, Vaggie has no eye and it is replaced by an eyepatch, which is reflected in the new designs for the series. Some have also guessed that the pilot has autistic characters, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Do you know of any webcomics which feature characters with physical or mental disabilities that you’d like to recommend? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
*My mentionings of any platforms on this post are unsponsored.
Author: Burkely Hermann
Burkely is an indexer of declassified documents by day and a fan fic writer by night. He recently earned a MLIS with a concentration in Digital Curation from the University of Maryland. He currently voraciously watches animated series and reads too many webcomics to count on Webtoon. He loves swimming, hiking, and searching his family roots in his spare time.
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