Found family, defying traditional gender roles, solving murder mysteries, a magical hotel. Besides mermaid webcomics for MerMay and Queer fantasy, I’ve discovered gems and new stories. The works listed in this roundup are from WebToon, Tapas, Manta, Flowfo, Hiveworks, and TappyToon.*
After reviewing the webcomics I’ve read this month, it seems like it’s mostly about mermaids and paranormal mysteries (murder, missing person cases) this month. Sure, there are zombies, vampires, a demon king, and more…but really, this month is about mermaids and mysteries. I present to you 18 webcomics to check out and enjoy. So here we go!
I’ve read this for Free Comic Day on Tapas and enjoyed it so much. Mel Song uses her psychic abilities to solve cases. When she takes on a missing persons case that becomes a potential murder mystery, she finds herself getting into rival gangs and complicated family dynamics.
Another webcomic I’ve read for Free Comic Day on Tapas. Like Magical Boy and Acception, this webcomic deconstructs gender assumptions and performativity. Marie, having gone through a breakup with an abusive girlfriend, meets and falls for Anthony, a gender nonconforming cross dresser. Gender Roles tackles queerphobia, biphobia (internalized, in Marie’s case), and heteronormativity.
The first three episodes are available to read for free on Tapas.
A con artist, a pirate, and a psion have to work together to reclaim the castle town of Oganthir. A Dungeons and Dragons inspired fantasy about found family and coping with trauma.
A short comic about two Queer boys getting through life in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. It’s a gorgeous and endearing story about finding a home after a disaster.
A slice of life webcomic about a young Japanese gay man discovering and figuring out his attraction to other men. An evocative story.
Find more slice of life webcomics here.
Two women meet and set off on a journey through the world of Sorcelia. A lovely high fantasy tale. I admire the character dynamics between the two leads.
The Golden Forest by Gyeonji, Ryuhwa, & Yoon So-Rie (Creators’ sites are unavailable)
Reniae is blessed with the ability to charm men, but she’s right to call it a curse. Her extrasensory senses have proven to be dangerous. Branded as a slave in the Golden Forest, she disguises herself as a boy and flees. She encounters a northerner named Kun and rescues him from starvation and the cold. The northerners are her people’s enemy, but she decides to spare his life as long as he doesn’t take off his blindfold.
Most of this webcomic is difficult to read because Reniae blames herself for being violated and raped in the past. However, it’s handled with sensitivity. The use of folklore gracefully shows how stories can shift when told by someone from a different culture or region.
Content Warning: sexual assault, rape, and self shaming
The first four episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
Bloody Sweet by Lee Narae (Completed) (Creator’s site is unavailable)
Shin Naerim, daughter of a moodang (Korean shaman), encounters and accidentally binds herself to the 500+ year old vampire Vlad Fetechou (half Korean, born in Western Europe). As if she doesn’t have enough issues to handle already! Some of her peers at school bully and harass her because of her appearance and her mom. Although Fetechou isn’t from her era, his past life somewhat mirrors with hers. Naerim’s story eventually becomes one about self-confidence, self-worth, and how we should be better than the people who hurt us.
Please do not judge this as yet another vampire story. It’s a provocative narrative about revenge and agency.
Content Warning: suicide attempt
The first four episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
Hadam needs a letter of recommendation from her professor, but she has to mentor and host an exchange student first. When the exchange student arrives, it’s a young French man named René (half Korean). As the two navigate cultural and language barriers while living under the same roof, they also learn about boundaries and how words don’t always match up with body language and intentions.
The first seven episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
An all ages webcomic featuring a girl detective and a young paranormal investigator. They trek through the woods and encounter monsters and ghosts while solving murder mysteries. The art style and storytelling are fascinating, and it’s definitely a story that reminds me of shows like Gravity Falls and The Owl House.
A poignant story that challenges whether it’s possible to entirely move on from the past. It’s also a story about found family and the ones there for us even when we don’t realize it. I especially admire the concept of the Nightmare tower, a place where you can’t leave without consequences.
Satan’s Bride by Huyusora (Creator’s site is unavailable)
Rupia, along with hundreds of other young women from noble families, is sent to the underworld against her will to fulfill a prophecy. What’s even worse is that she’s chosen to become the Demon King’s bride.
This webcomic surprises me, and I don’t even know where to start. The complex relationships between the women characters, the intriguing worldbuiding, the consistent tension — trust me, it’s worth checking out.
The first three episodes are available to read for free on TappyToon.
Cassie, a vampire, searches for ghosts and puts them to rest. When a strange case appears before her, she sets out to help the family and hunt the ghost haunting the local school. A promising Queer paranormal webcomic!
A corgi and a munchkin cat live together. Sweet moments and wholesome stories are included.
Half-shark, half-human Umi befriends Gale, the new student at her high school. Unlike Umi, Gale isn’t up for an active social life, but her optimistic outlook and enthusiasm surprisingly uplifts him over time. A comical and endearing episodic webcomic.
A prince and a traveler finding each other. The former having been kidnapped, the latter harboring a secret. The lore and character dynamics are impressive.
A zombie and a vampire eventually team up to solve a missing persons case. This is another new webcomic, and I know this is going to be a fantastic one.
Two guys, raised in a factory, decide to make their dream of escaping a reality. I’m truly looking forward to where the creator takes this story.
Webcomics I’ve Reviewed This Month:
Do you have a webcomic you want to recommend? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
*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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