Have you ever seen a Garfield comic and thought, you know what would make this interesting? Garfield not being here. Welcome to the strange angst of Garfield Minus Garfield.
What does theGarfield comic even look like without Garfield, you might ask?
Sure, there are some panels without any text, but the emptiness is kind of the point. Is he just… waiting for wisdom to come? I have no idea, but it makes you think.
I have to confess, I never read Garfield much, though there was a period when I was a child when I really would read comics from the newspaper. I know, when did I grow up, 1920? I’m sure Garfield must have been there. But it was this, later, that really caught my attention. It’s bizarre and relatable. I mean, just look at this.
How did they get this footage of me? I honestly feel attacked. I have no idea what Garfield was doing in this strip, but did he need to be in it? This is a cutting edge meme just like it is. The empty panel. the confusion. Whatever sense of humor this is, I support it.
When you stopped after the first step of the instructions. Also, me when I somehow didn’t do my course work or get any sleep. Why does everything go wrong, John Arbuckle asks? Right, my incredibly poor choices. Called all the way out.
I’m not really here to make a value judgement, but the truth is, “I stan.” You can get the book here.
Like comics? Like queer stuff? Like awesome, beautiful, and well plotted stories? Here are some fantastic web comics featuring gay, lesbian, asexual, and trans characters. Weather you’re reading for the representation or because you just like good comics, jump in and enjoy.
It’s your favorite girl gang, coming at you from the Louisiana swamp. We’ve got parties. We’ve got blood magic. We’ve got developing lesbianism. We’ve got cute animals. Powerful witch families play off each other in this lush, grounded fantasy.
Oh my god, they’re roommates. They meet over the summer, and then find out on their first day of special agent academy that they’re roommates. Feuds, favoritism, and friendships, plus uneasy edging into trust. Not to miss.
We’ve got witches again, but who’s mad? The Mars colony wants to start growing plants, so a team is recruited to get water and trees going. A family that thinks it would be crazy to leave the forest is actually… all pretty into the idea. Space witches!
Do you love space? Do you love necromancy? The two meet in this story about a gay astronomy student and a gay ace necromancer. Gorgeously illustrated and gorgeously soft, this period piece is a must read for anyone who wants a feel-good story.
Dylan’s got a new name, a supportive family, and a new school, plus a cute new classmate. It’s adorable stuff, and aside from a bureaucratic mess up, there’s no fuss about him being trans. Plus he has an adorable baby sister, and the sibling dynamics are on point.
This is a little more emo. Something bad happens, and the character’s mother makes a support robot for her that she gets quite attached to. The robot starts glitching, or maybe just evolving? Deeply interesting art and moody pacing make this an engrossing ride.
After knowing each other their whole lives, these two stop seeing each other in college. When the younger one graduates, he goes to stay with his ‘big brother’. Talk about the friend zone. But don’t worry, they’ll see sense.
We’re living in a golden age of graphic novels, and serials give you your comic fix while also taking you back to the days when you had to wait a month betweenFull Metal Alchemist chapters. Dark times. There are plenty of great platforms for web comics nowadays, but here are a few that are doing it on their own.
Sci-fi, ghosts, and a whole lot of fire – this comic has it all! Ava Ire, haunted by a malicious ghost all her life, lives on a boarding school planet for the god-emperor TITAN, until raiders attack and she’s forced to flee. When her escape goes wrong, she’s forced to make a pact with the very entity she’s been trying to resist all her life, but that’s just the beginning. Ava is a flawed character you’ll still adore, and the blend of science fiction and fantasy is seamlessly elegant. Plus the art is outrageously beautiful.
This is the story of Vattu, a small creature from a tribe of nomadic musicians, who are given to a colonizing empire as tribute. A servant in the palace, Vattu gets into more than she expects to when she stumbles across secret plots, cults, and strange magics. This is high fantasy at it’s best, original, high stakes, and immersive, in a world that’s not really like anything you’ve seen. The art is simple and evocative, and the plot steady and surprising.
This urban fantasy centers around Persephone, a young woman who can’t control her magic. Considered a liability, she’s unemployed and couch surfing, until an attempted act of kindness and a chance encounter lead to a job that prizes her for her unruly magic and difficult personality. The world is sparse and believable, the art is stylized, and the color manages to convey urban blight without actually being monochrome. Persephone is instantly likable, and her world is seamlessly supernatural.
If you haven’t heard yet, WebToon is a platform for serialized graphic novels. Yeah, these are comics, and some are gorgeously drawn and deeply potted narratives that you don’t want to miss. Here’s our guide on how to get on board, starting by genre.
Webtoon has a website, if you want to see the art blown up, but it’s most alive on the app.
This comic tops the overall WebToon list with extreme regularity, and for good reason. The art is outrageously beautiful, the characters are complex and compulsively likable (or outrageously easy to hate), and the plotting is gorgeous. Persephone has left the mortal world to go to university on Olympus, but things get complicated almost immediately. This is a must read if you have any interest in myth, fantasy, or just really like fantastic graphic novels.
Alice Kruger has been through a lot. No spoilers, but she’s had a bit of a bad year, and now, her cat knocks a pot off a windowsill and hits her on the head. This gives her the power to see supernatural beings, including the monster in her closet? Most people would be understandably put off, but Faust’s alright, and he certainly has problems of his own. Read this if you like a quality combination of paranormal silliness and dire peril.
This comic has everything – an optimistic rookie paired with a cantankerous vet, a supernatural plague that erases your memories and makes you hard to kill, vaguely sketchy military organizations. The magic is seamlessly embedded in the world, the characters are compelling, and there’s plenty of running around stabbing and shooting people. It’s a classic model done in a very new and interesting way. And it has journalistic integrity.
Mei is pretty normal. She’s been selling her family’s apples since her brother died in the Blood King’s army. Then she accidentally saves the life of the new Blood King’s young brother, and gets taken to the capital. It turns out her family is more connected to the capital than she thinks, and she’s suddenly on the radar of the Blood King, his chief generals, foreign royalty, and the most fearsome criminal in the empire. Mei is smart and tough and way out of her depth (or anyone’s).
After being bullied in middle school, Jugyeong decides she’ll learn how to do ‘beauty’ and become popular at her new school, which kind of works. It’s an interesting examination of the weird contradictions of beauty standards, without getting too philosophical or stepping on the story. This comic is funny, heartfelt, and relatable, but watch out for the cliffhangers! This also regularly tops WebToon lists, which it deserves.
Camille’s whole family died in a fire when she was young, and she had to live with her very severe aunt, now head of the Severin witch family. Everything goes (more) wrong when she tries to summon a demon for a rite of passage, and can’t summon a bird like she should. The art is beautiful, and the setting, a manor house in Louisiana, is elegant and immersive. Alligators, gal pals, and family secrets make this a must read.
This is not your standard romance. Cati Abbott is the orphaned daughter of idealists who died in ‘Amazonia’. Taken home to some more industrialized country by her anthropologist mentor, she’s considered charmingly eccentric, at best. Enter the town’s tight laced doctor. Chaos ensues, and they realize all this petty conflict might be something else.
Lauren has always been able to tell when people are lying to her. After losing someone close to her, she becomes a police officer, but never stops trying to find out what happened. Her power makes her an effective officer, but when an assassin offers her information and help in stopping his boss, and maybe even with her mystery, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to save lives and find answers.
Gwendolyn is a bit of an ugly duckling compared to her anime eyed sisters, but this doesn’t bother her or her family. Her very caring father decides that his three daughters will marry his BFF’s three sons, easy as it gets. The only problem is that Gwendolyn’s suitor is terrified of her. Running into the forest so her sisters don’t see her crying and boycott the whole thing, Gwendolyn meets a bunch of other princesses under strange curses.
WebToon also publishes foreign language stories translated by fans. Flawless is a strange, philosophical examination of relationships, blindness, and how we treat others. Mostly it’s just fun though. Elios grows up in an orphanage, and when his foster sister gets in trouble, he ropes in Sarah, a local girl who gets into a ton of fights, in order to retrieve his sister. They somehow become friends, and end up going to the same high school. A fun read. (originally published in Indonesian)