Hey guys Fenrir here with a pretty darn-late addition of Food for Thought, but sometimes things happen. And a very important thing that just happened recently was International Women’s Day, this last Friday the 8th! And amidst all the accolades for women writers, scientists, musicians, etc. I believe that we might have forgotten a few important female contributors to our society…
I’m talking about female webcomickers! If you haven’t heard me gush on and on about webcomics before, well here it is again: webcomics are a pretty unique playing field for the independent artist, and especially for webcomickers out trying to get their start or in a field that may not be catering towards female artists (But that’s another issue for another time). So without further ado, here is a selection of some pretty unique webcomics by or involving some pretty creative ladies!
Strays is the joint webcomic project of Samantha Whitten and Stacey Pefferkorn. (You may recognize Samantha Whitten’s artstyle (She goes by Celesse) and her banner-art work for Gaia Online) Together they are the duo behind Strays, a fantasy web-comic following the adventures of Meela a young, spunky lupian (A race of wolf-shifters) and Feral a skilled lupian mercenary. They take the uncanny-duo trope by storm and must team up to confront all sorts of dangerous obstacles ranging from errant princes, tricksters, and perhaps a dark secret that may shatter their growing bond.
Strays is a fun webcomic, with solid character designs that are a bit of a nod to action-adventure manga conventions — and it certainly does not disappoint in the cute character design department either!
Looking for a Prohibition Era story and adorable cats? Lackadaisy does not disappoint in offering a compelling look into the cut-throat workings of a St. Louis speakeasy — as well as offering feline protagonists (And antagonists) that fit quite purr-fectly into the era. Lackadaisy is the brain child of Tracy J. Butler, and she is not only a master of character design and expression, but also has her history chops; Lackadaisy is a fun experience for its nods towards history as well. (And I suppose I do have a weakness for period stories)
Lackadaisy follows a rag-tag gang trying to eke out a living smuggling in booze — with plenty of dark comedy, action, and abject nonsense to move the story along.
And if you’re wondering “Why cats?” – Butler weighs down on the issue with a poignant remark on character design:
When dealing in sociopathic criminalism and gratuitous violence, how could it not be cats? Don’t take it too literally, though. It’s mostly just a device I like to use for characterization. The mobile ears, tails, and big eyes help me emphasize gesture and expression more than I could with human characters, they allow me to be as ridiculous as I like, and, well, they’re just plain fun to draw.
Ah Sakana — I feel as we go down this list we’re branching off into several different kinds of style! Not that that’s a bad thing — because Sakana certainly delivers when it comes to a neat, stylized piece that is a delight to the eyes. With bold brush-strokes and a unique style, Madeline Rupert delivers a fun, quirky comic inspired by her own experiences visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market.
Sakana is very much a slice-of-life based on the lives of a “couple of losers”, specifically two socially dysfunctional brothers working hard at a sushi-ya located around the corner of Tsukiji. Girl problems, fish guts, and all sorts of shenanigans — plus neat brush-strokes and character designs makes Sakana a webcomic definitely worth a look!
Perhaps one of the most beautiful webcomics I’ve encountered, The Meek by Der-shing Helmer is simply brilliant. The Meek follows a diverse cast of characters with multiple POVs ranging from the young heroine Angora, Luca the Emperor of the Northern Territories, and Soli – a mercenary on the hunt for her ex-boyfriend. All three are tangled within a world that is on the verge of war, and it is up to Angora to use her inexplicable powers to experience and judge the world to decide if it is ultimately worth saving.
Der-shing Helmer has an eye for color and composition, and the movement between her panels and even story arcs are a treat. (Hint, scene changes are accompanied by well-timed color-scheme passages) Not to mention the fact that she handles a multiple POV story like a master, subsequently making one laugh, cry, and eager to see what is next in store for these characters tangled in a crumbling world.
Okay, if you’ve been on the Internet long enough, you’ve probably come across Kate Beaton in some way, shape, or form, at some point. Her delightfully clever Hark a Vagrant definitely has something for everyone, offering frank and funny strips based on history, literature, current events, issues in the comic industry — you name it, Miss Beaton has probably parodied it.
There’s not much I can say about Hark a Vagrant without gushing over it — from its style to its content it is a webcomic definitely worth checking out and there is an archive chock-full of all sorts of categories that ensures there will be something that piques your interest. Seriously, just go check it out — but for all you literature buffs I highly recommend her Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, and Pride and Prejudice series (And her entire archive, seriously).
They’re a riot.
Of course this list can go on and on (
But hey, I need to save some material for future webcomic reviews) — but definitely give these works a try first and foremost; so remember to support these webcomic writers-and-artists and who knows, you might just find a new favorite to watch out for!