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Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics

Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics published on No Comments on Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics

Doing a short-and-sweet post this month!

No long-running plots to keep track of. No deep character struggles to worry about. Just some fun comics where you can order them on Bookshop, pick them up, read a few strips at a time, then put them down and go to the beach.

A Man And His Cat: Sweet old widower is the only person who wants to adopt the ugliest kitten at the pet shop.

Originally published as a webcomic, before getting so wildly popular that it got licensed by a manga publisher. And it was a good deal.

Hark! A Vagrant: Snappy jokes on whatever topics the artist is into this week, from historical weirdos to Victorian literature.

Even if you’ve never read the comic iself, you’ve almost definitely seen it memed somewhere. Do the phrases “I had fun once. It was awful” or “Ooh, Mr. Darcy” ring a bell? Yeah, that’s this.

Sarah’s Scribbles: Pure unfiltered essence of #relatable.

Cute one-off gags about little everyday moments, like playing with your pets, being on the internet too much, and lying awake thinking about a dumb thing you said in middle school.

Hyperbole and a Half: Another book about relatable slice-of-life millennial struggles. Part of this is personal essays (the funny kind), but it has enough comics that I’m including it anyway.

It’s also another series that you’ve probably seen in memes, even if you’ve never read the original. “Clean ALL THE THINGS” is from this one.

Oglaf: A sequence of mostly-unrelated absurdist gags in an over-the-top fantasy world.

…they are mostly sex gags. Don’t buy this as a gift for a small child. But as long as “a lot of cartoon nudity” doesn’t put you off, you’ll have fun with it.

(And I’ll do “appropriate comics to buy as gifts for a small child” next month.)

A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

Have a favorite gag-a-day webcomic that isn’t on this list? Drop a comment and share!

Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings published on 10 Comments on Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

It’s Pride Month, which sounds like the perfect time to do a reclist of LGBT+ webcomics, the only problem is…most of the comics I like have LGBT+ characters! It doesn’t exactly narrow things down.

Take this list. All five of these comics have some gay stuff going on, and it’s not even the theme. I just wanted to rec some books about “superhero-type settings, but make them deconstructions.”

Empowered: Sexy superhero sendup. Emp wants to join the Superhomeys, but they won’t vote her in because her powerset is too embarrassing. It’s an almost-invincible alien super-suit! Its one weakness is…bondage.

There’s already canon F/F in the secondary cast, and I’m pretty sure the main characters (our heroine, her supervillain-grunt-for-hire boyfriend, and her hard-drinking ninja BFF) are headed for an M/F/F Emp Has Two Hands situation.

Sleepless Domain: In this city, magical girls are a known thing, with all the worldbuilding (good and bad) that implies.

Teams get merchandise and sponsorship deals! There’s a school with special hours to account for how they’re up all night fighting monsters! Adult ex-magical-girls can become therapists for the next generation! And boy, are they going to need it.

Telling you “which girls start dating” or “which girl is trans” would be spoilery, so let me just say that they’re in there.

Order of the Stick: Adventuring party of stick figures is out to kill the lich, gets wrapped up in a world-saving quest against a monster drawn only as a scribble. They fight with magic, teamwork (sort of), and jabs at D&D’s sillier mechanics. Or, well, jabs at most of D&D’s mechanics.

Main cast mostly gets M/F romances, but the background couples have a good mix. And there’s a whole population of gender-ambiguous elves with gender-ambiguous spouses who have a hard time IDing any other species by gender, which is fun.

Homestuck: Four online friends from around the world log in to play a new game. Turns out it warps reality. Then, after we’re done sending up all kinds of weird and over-complicated video-game mechanics, it destroys the Earth, and the only way for the kids to get a new home planet is to win the game.

Also, the alien troll kids who lost the previous session are alternately helping, pestering, and hate-flirting with them. Awkward.

Strong Female Protagonist: Another superhero send-up, this time with a super-strong invulnerable ex-hero. She’s trying to have a normal college life without being overwhelmed by the lingering trauma of teenage heroics. You can guess how that goes.

The artist is married to ND Stevenson, showrunner of the She-Ra reboot…and if you’ve watched that, let’s just say some of this will hit awfully familiar. (In a good way.) Especially if you’re a Catra fan.

A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

Have a favorite parody/deconstruction webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for themes I should rec in future months? Drop a comment and share!

Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding

Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding published on 3 Comments on Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding

Since webcomics aren’t limited by traditional genre categories, marketing demands, or editorial feedback, you can do all kinds of wild things with the worldbuilding. (The only catch is, you have to be able to draw it.)

Here are some comics that take full advantage.

Kill 6 Billion Demons: Sorority sister fights through the demon realm(s) to rescue her boyfriend. She’s not actually that into the boyfriend — in fact, she’ll hook up with a quirky, pointy demon lady along the way — but she’s the only human who even knows where she is, so it’s up to her.

Weird and involved monster/creature designs, absolutely amazing settings. I’ve saved so many pages because things like “long shot of a marketplace built in the stone head of a petrified dead god” make great inspiration.

The Hazards of Love: Queer teen who obviously never watched Madoka Magica makes a deal with a talking cat, gets stuck in a monster dimension, but this one doesn’t fight battles so much as “do housework for an evil shadow deer.” Their girlfriend starts to suspect something is up, but the only other beings in Queens who know what really happened are ghosts, so that’s going to be tough.

Bright World’s aesthetic comes from the Mexican ephemera the artist grew up with, which isn’t a flavor you see in a lot of webcomic settings. The online version is black-and-white — pick up the books to see it in color.

Devil’s Candy: Cute imp student makes a Frankenstein girl for a science project. Hijinks ensue.

No alternate human dimension in this one — it’s just a monster school, with cool goth architecture, fun culture clashes, and cute kids dealing with struggles like “as a mixed-species monster, how do I balance the expectations from both sides of my family?” and “how do I get my designs through this fashion show alive?”

Girl Genius: In a steampunk alternate Europe governed by mad scientists, Agatha learns she has massive talents as the heir to a brilliant family’s legacy, all suppressed for her protection. Until now.

An amazing study in payoffs for long-term setup — someone tries to invite Agatha to England around book 2 or 3, she accepts the invitation around book 20. (Which is when we find out London is a network of submarine domes, run by a giant shapeshifter.)

The Last Halloween: Trick-or-treating is canceled, the monsters are invading. To find out what’s going on (and, hopefully, how to fix it), Mona teams up with some other kids she assumes are just in their costumes already…

Only comic on this list that’s fully set in the Real World, since it explores how that world gets permanently changed. Always suspenseful, sometimes pretty gruesome, usually funny anyway.

A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

This list was made for a request — got any suggestions for more themes I should do in the future? Or recs of your own, for a comic with cool worldbuilding that didn’t show up here? Drop a comment and share!

Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s

Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s published on 3 Comments on Five Recs: Throwback Webcomics of the 2000s

More Bookshop recs! This time, for webcomics I started reading more than a decade ago…and that have stood the test of time enough for me to keep recommending you buy the books.

It’s still a little dicey doing older recs, because time and social standards keep marching on. Sometimes you’ll get a joke about gender roles that wasn’t even malicious at the time, it just feels hopelessly backward a decade or two later. Other times you’ll get a Windows 95 reference. Those used to be funny, I promise.

I enjoyed these comics anyway! Here’s hoping some of you will too.

Webcomics I Read In The 2000s And Still Like

Bruno the Bandit: Sword and sorcery (and cell phones…and social satire) with a selfish mercenary and his put-upon microdragon sidekick. Their struggles include Lovecraftian horrors, fame vampires, and losing the TV remote.

Honestly, this is the series that most inspired the “off-color jokes that seem very dated” warning. But they usually come from characters that aren’t supposed to be guiding lights of moral clarity, and the comic’s best moments are timelessly on-point.

…it also has some surprisingly-direct inspiration for things I ended up putting in Leif & Thorn.

Dreamless: A romantic drama about two people on opposite sides of the world — he’s in Japan, she’s in the US — who see each other’s waking lives while they’re asleep. Then WWII breaks out.

The art in this one might not stand out in the modern-day webcomic scene, but when it launched? This level of painterly, realistic style — for an internet comic! — was kind of mind-blowing.

User Friendly: Misadventures of a bunch of geeks employed by a programming company. Like Dilbert, but in the good ways, not the “weird authorial MRA spiral” ways.

Honestly, I have no idea if this will be funny or relatable to new readers who weren’t around for the era of nerd culture it’s riffing on. But maybe it will! Give it a try, let me know.

Ozy and Millie: Two best friends, an introspective wolf and an energetic chaos-agent fox, have cute adventures. Some philosophy, some politics, one excellent dragon dad.

The artist got wildly popular later on for Phoebe And Her Unicorn. I wish that translated into more appreciation for her early work! It’s not like her skills were undercooked back when she drew this series — it absolutely shines.

Suburban Jungle: Furry sitcom adventures (with a dash of sci-fi) of model and would-be actress Tiffany Tiger, and her friends and colleagues around LA.

If you click with it, check out the sequel series too. (Maybe even check out the sequel if you don’t click with it! Same universe, but the artist tries new things.)

Reminder: A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

Have a favorite classic webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for a rec theme I should do next month? Drop a comment and share!

The paywalled content is not a glitch, I am trying to sell you things on purpose!

The paywalled content is not a glitch, I am trying to sell you things on purpose! published on 3 Comments on The paywalled content is not a glitch, I am trying to sell you things on purpose!

A belated FAQ for the Leif & Thorn: Off-Shoots bonus comics.

The current bonus arc involves paint swatches, overzealous fans, and a couple of familiar-looking home-wreckers. The next one will explore modified magic Roombas and the perils of United Islands ice cream sales.

After that? Haven’t decided yet. But I’m going to have fun with it.

Q. Why does Leif & Thorn have bonus comics that are only for paying supporters?

A. Capitalism.

Seriously, your artist has to cover the bills. That’s why I have ads on the site, why I sell books and other merchandise, and why I post exclusive content for supporters on Patreon.

None of these make a ton of profit! Which is why I’m always working on new things to sell, hoping to tempt readers who haven’t bought anything before, but who are interested in the new thing.

Leif & Thorn: Off-Shoots is the latest New Thing.

Q. Are you paywalling the entire comic/site/archive?

A. No. The only paywalled comics are the bonus comics that were exclusive when I posted them.

The main Leif & Thorn comic is still completely free to read, and I don’t plan on ever changing that.

Q. When do the Off-Shoots comics get posted?

A. Every other Wednesday! Since the start of 2022.

…I might change the update schedule to “every Wednesday” at some point. Seriously, that’s how much I’m enjoying making these.

Off-Shoots comics are scheduled to go up at 10 PM (US Eastern time), which puts them on the front page of the site for 2 hours, before getting replaced by the regular Thursday comic.

Q. So the bonus comics are supposed to show up on the front page?

A. Well, yeah.

Look, I want readers to be excited and intrigued by the Off-Shoots comics. Kinda defeats the purpose if I don’t show you that they exist, you know?

Q. When a bonus comic is up, how do I find the regular comics?

A. Every Off-Shoots comic has links for “First in Regular Archives” and “Latest in Regular Archives” in the navigation!

You can also browse the main (free) comic archives on the Storyline Archive page, which is always linked in the main menu.

Q. If I only read regular Leif & Thorn, am I going to be missing essential plot stuff in the Off-Shoots comics?

A. No. I wouldn’t be that mean.

You’re going to be missing fun bonus storylines, with a spotlight on characters and settings that I don’t get to showcase in the main comic as much as I’d like to.

They have more of the same humor, worldbuilding, and fun character moments you already like in the regular Leif & Thorn comics! But they’re not plot-essential.

Q. What if I don’t pay to see the bonus comics online…but I do pay to get the Leif & Thorn books?

A. The Off-Shoots comics will be collected in the print volumes!

You’ll have to be patient, though. They won’t start appearing until at least Volume 6, and we haven’t even crowdfunded Volume 5 yet.

If you don’t want to wait, $5-and-up Patreon supporters get immediate access to the full archive of bonus comics, including the new ones as soon as they get posted.

The Brandon Sanderson crowdfunding campaign…

The Brandon Sanderson crowdfunding campaign… published on 6 Comments on The Brandon Sanderson crowdfunding campaign…

…is bringing the wildest takes out of the woodwork, I swear.

“Why does he need a million dollars?” Buddy, making each book costs money, and he knew a lot of people like his books. If one book is $10 to print and ship, and his readers preorder 100,000, there’s $1 million already. That’s just math.

As of this writing, he has almost 150,000 backers. Lots of them are getting multiple books! Some are getting merch! All of that has production costs.

“Why doesn’t he use a publishing company?” He’s been using publishing companies for 20 years. Now he OWNS a publishing company. That’s…probably how he knows how much books cost.

Continue reading The Brandon Sanderson crowdfunding campaign…

Find Your Heartsword Type: the official quiz!

Find Your Heartsword Type: the official quiz! published on 23 Comments on Find Your Heartsword Type: the official quiz!

If you lived in the Leif & Thorn universe, what kind of heartsword would your soul manifest as?

Take this extremely scientific quiz and find out!

Then come back and share your results. Let’s see if my worldbuilding about “which types are common” and “which types are possible but rare” pans out IRL.

Five Recs: Webcomic Omnibuses (Omnibi?) with Female Protagonists

Five Recs: Webcomic Omnibuses (Omnibi?) with Female Protagonists published on No Comments on Five Recs: Webcomic Omnibuses (Omnibi?) with Female Protagonists

Check it out, it’s a new front for my “encouraging people to read more webcomics” campaign: I signed up as an affiliate with Bookshop.org!

One of my curated lists of webcomic print collections is supposed to be featured on their front page this month. There’s also a “storefront” where you can see all my reclists, any time, as I make them.

A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too. And none of the money goes through Amazon. It’s a win-win-win.

I’m going to try to post a handful of recs here every month. Since this is Women’s History Month, let’s go with:

Complete Collections of Webcomics Starring Women

Continue reading Five Recs: Webcomic Omnibuses (Omnibi?) with Female Protagonists

Wordpress Child Themes, Made Simple

Wordpress Child Themes, Made Simple published on No Comments on Wordpress Child Themes, Made Simple

A guide for how to turn your WP site layout from “bland default” to “branded va-va-voom.”

(This is technically part of the “how do I webcomic?” series, but it’s not a webcomic-specific walkthrough! The same process works for any kind of Wordpress site.)

Note: I won’t go into detail about writing and editing CSS code, but it’s a skill you’ll need in the Making A Child Theme process. If you’re already familiar with it, awesome. If not, check out last week’s intro post about basic CSS troubleshooting and editing.

Continue reading Wordpress Child Themes, Made Simple

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