In the past three years, online literature has seen an influx in a previously nonexistent medium: webcomics.
Initially, there was little buzz over this new genre, with only a few comics available in English. However, within the past year, there has been an explosion in content and platforms, with some webcomic series like “God of Highschool” gaining enough recognition to get turned into anime. In fact, the most downloaded English webcomic app, WebToon, has several series with over 4 million subscribers.
If you’re looking for your next binge-able obsession but don’t know where to start, have no fear. Here are my favorite series on the app:
- ‘Lore Olympus’
While this pick is a tad basic considering it’s been the number one series on the app for quite some time, it’s a great jumping-off point. In this series, illustrator Rachel Smythe retells the story of Hades and Persephone with a modern twist. The series tastefully covers issues such as familial and romantic relationships, duty, sexual assault, consent, class and misogyny. Readers who grew up loving Greek mythology and “Percy Jackson” may find interest in this series that appeals to a more adult audience.
- ‘Mage & Demon Queen’
Every video game adventurer wants to beat the final boss, but what if you got to the top of the final tower and fell in love? For NPC (non-player character) Malori, destroying the evil demon queen has never been the goal. In fact, she became the most accomplished student at her academy exclusively because of her desire to marry the beautiful and misunderstood Queen Velvarosa. While this series is built around the romance between Malori and Vel, there are still points of interest for readers with an aversion to romance. Issues covered in this series include duty to one’s country versus duty to one’s friends, discrimination based on class and ethnic background and what it takes to be an honorable leader. There are other LGBT characters besides Malori and Vel, including a trans princess, and Vel and Malori’s relationship is seen as abnormal because of the feud between demons and humans, not because they’re gay.
At her coming-of-age ceremony, Camille must summon a demon to prove her prowess as a blood witch. However, when an unexpected entity appears, she is forced to accept the fact that she comes from two different witch bloodlines, a sin worthy of being “muted.” In order to protect herself and the ones she loves, Camille aligns herself with a demon and witches of other factions in order to take down her power-hungry aunt and avenge the death of her family. In the process, Camille is left torn between her love for a demoness named Dendro and her best friend Nyra. This series is the perfect balance of love, action and magic, combining rich storytelling with a unique art style.
- ‘The Witch and the Bull’
In a faraway kingdom, the fight between humans and witches has ended. As the losers in the war, witches are treated as second-class citizens, unable to own businesses or seek legitimate employment. When Tan, the second-in-command to the royal prince, ransacks a cafe owned by a witch, he unknowingly eats a pastry that contains a zodiac curse that turns him into a bull. Unable to communicate with humans, Tan must rely on a witch for help, learning an important lesson about humility and mercy in the process.
- ‘Suitor Armor’
Lady Lucia is the lady-in-waiting to the next Queen of the empire…and a fairy. As the war between humans and fairies is a bitter stalemate, Lucia must conceal her identity lest she be executed for treason. As her neutrality becomes harder to maintain, Lucia must decide what side she’s on and who she believes. In her quest for self-discovery, Lucia is placed in the care of a magical guardian whose sole purpose is to kill fairies, setting her on an adventure packed with strong social commentary on class, LGBT relationships and defiance of unjust power structures.