Wednesday Webcomics: It’s Time to Investigate “The Croaking”

The Croaking

Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I posted a Wednesday Webcomics, hasn’t it? Well, I just couldn’t resist recommending this particular Webtoon, which I discovered at San Diego Comic-Con based on purely shallow aesthetic reasons. Thanks to the cover looking spectacularly gay, I picked up the first volume of The Croaking when I was buying the latest volume of Let’s Play. Once I finished the volume, I immediately picked up my tablet and binged the rest of the comic.

The Croaking, by echorise, is set in kind of a post-apocalyptic alternate world where the characters are all modeled after various species of birds. One-third of our main trio is Scra, a Crow. Crows – all Corvids, actually – are shunned from all polite society and must eke out an existence in the criminal underbelly. But Scra has always resisted that life… until he finds himself in over his head trying to spy for the government.

Joining Scra in his sad attempts to be a double agent are his roommate Ky, an Osprey, and their friend Ree, a Kestrel. Ky supports Scra as best he can with alibis and post-fight bandagings, but he’s definitely hiding something in his past. And Ree has never quite gotten over the disappearance of her best friend the year before. All three of them are absolutely useless at this espionage lark, but they get a gold star for trying their best.

I love the dynamic between the three of them, because they are all queer disasters, but for different reasons. I’m fairly positive that they all share the same braincell, and it’s a coin toss as to which one of them usually has it. There is a lot of humor in their relationship, but also a lot of love, which is amazing because they all know so little about each other. And despite the fact that Ky and Scra are clearly moving towards something, it honestly never feels like Ree is the third wheel. Ky and Scra might leave her out sometimes, but they clearly are thinking about her safety, and not purposely trying to exclude her.

The Croaking
Art by echorise

Oh, Ky and Scra. I love them so much, these big dumb idiots. Why, yes, it’s super common to offer to platonically sleep with your totally platonic bro because he gets nightmares otherwise. That is absolutely a normal thing that people do. I love a good slow burn, but the problem with a lot of these ongoing webcomics is that the slow burn is, well, slow. I need things to happen now.

As for the rest of the plot, there is a reason I devoured this comic, and not just because I wanted to see Ky and Scra do more than blush prettily at each other. The overarching drama of an unjust society charging towards upheaval is just so fascinating. It’s hard to know who to trust, or which answers we’ve been given are correct. Scra has been biased against Crows for most of his life, but when he learns that his memories aren’t what he thought, it turns his entire world upside down.

There is a lot of mystery in this comic, primarily centered around its title: The Croaking. No one really seems to know what it is, but everyone wants to find out, and they don’t care who they step on in the process. Preconceptions will be shattered, world views will be altered… I cannot wait to find out the truth of what’s going on (assuming we ever do).

I really love the art and how each character truly manages to resemble the bird on which they’re based. Things like hair, eye, and skin color, or something as small as having freckles can really call to mind a character’s inspiration. Also, I’ve got to give mad props to echorise for having the most detailed background characters I think I’ve ever seen (it is a Patreon perk). Although sometimes that draws my attention away from the main action. Luckily it’s a comic and easy to go back.

The Croaking by echorise is hosted by Webtoon and updates on Saturdays.

For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomic archives!

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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