Tag Archives: Hazel

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Webcomics: The beginning

IAMSOHAPPY

Webcomics, aside from being a whole lot of fun to read, allow comic creators almost unfettered access to an audience, free from the restraints that more traditional publishing would impose. Because of this, they’ve become a platform for a diversity of experiences and stories, and offer an almost shockingly woman-friendly community for those who find mainstream comics, like the big two, a little stifling.

I’ve been reading webcomics for a good few years now, so to kick the new year off well, I thought I’d provide some recommendations to anyone who might be looking for a new series to obsess over. Without any further ado, here are the comics that started it all:

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Questionable  Content, by Jeph Jacques

Now over 10 years old, Questionable Content began as a story about a boy, Marten, his roommate, Faye, and his filthy, anthropomorphized computer, Pintsize. The comic has since expanded to feature several more characters (both human and robotic) and tell wonderful stories about how hard it sometimes is to figure life out. It’s kind of a staple.

Status: Ongoing, updates Monday-Friday

Read if you like: Indie music, foul-mouthed robots, queer love!

resolutionsarefortheweak

Girls with Slingshots, by Danielle Corsetto

You know that friend who is your polar opposite? The one with whom you have nothing in common and there’s no way you should even be able to tolerate each other but somehow you’re inseparable? That’s Hazel and Jamie. The backbone of a huge ensemble cast, Jamie and Hazel’s friendship is truly wonderful to behold as they take on careers, relationships, and talking cacti.

Status: Ongoing, updates Monday-Friday

Read if you like: BFFs, ghost cats, and about as much relationship diversity as you could possibly ask for.

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YU+ME: dream, Megan Rose Gedris

You think you’re reading a comic about two classmates who fall in love, but then surprise! You’re actually in the middle of a daring rescue in Dream World, and things only get better from there. Full of lush art styles, YU+ME: dream is a winding trip of a love story that follows Fiona’s quest to win back Lia and, you know, maybe save the world in the process.

Status: Finished, ran from 2004-2010.

Read if you like: Epic love that spans worlds, dreams, redheads.

GROWEDUP

xkcd, by Randall Munroe

A collection of one-shot comics, xkcd deals with everything from physics to love to sarcasm, and does it magnificently. Whether it’s a minimalistic single panel with only a talking stick figure, or a sprawling silhouetted landscape ready for exploration, there’s something for everyone. Despite the simplicity of the art, there’s a very good reason Munroe was nominated for a Hugo.

Status: Ongoing, updates Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Read if you like: Science, infographics, stick figures.

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With this ring: Why I love Saga so much

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All it takes is a quick perusal of this blog to know that I want more diversity in the relationships that play out in our books and on our screens. I want queer relationships, ace relationships, poly relationships, strong and long-lasting friendships, family relationships, and all the different and wonderful permutations in between.

I want more than just your typical boy-meets-girl love story, both because there’s so much more out there, and because, honestly, heterosexual romantic relationships are kind of old hat by now. I know a love story is supposed to be eternal, but at some point, haven’t we explored all the nuances and subtleties of this particular kind of interaction? What’s left to talk about?

But here’s the thing: We actually do need to see more romantic, hetero love stories, because whenever I see one that’s totally equitable, I’m still surprised. We need love where the woman is an active participant, where the man isn’t automatically the decision-maker, where both partners have personalities outside of their relationship, and tired, gendered stereotypes aren’t played out ad nauseum. And that’s where Saga comes in.

The story, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples for Image Comics, is as strange as it is delightful. To wit: There are outsourced wars, ghost babysitters, television sex scenes (that’s sex between televisions), a wooden spaceship, an infant narrator, and Lying Cat, my new favourite sidekick. But what really sets it apart is the relationship between protagonists Alana and Marko.

Their relationship is one of complete equals. She’s the one who broke him out of jail. He’s the pacifist. They’re both ex-military on the run from their home worlds, trying to start a family. They’re both incredibly capable, and bring tangible assets to the relationship. A relationship that, let’s be honest, needs all the help it can get.

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Normally I wouldn’t spend time championing a relationship that fits so nicely into the conservative, domestic idea of wedding-and-a-baby, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with it, but because there are more than enough people placing tremendous value on those particular milestones already. But when I try to think of straight couples who are evenly matched in terms of their usefulness to the story, the list is awfully short (in fact, off the top of my head, it’s basically just Zoe and Wash). We need more power couples challenging our preconceived ideas about heterosexual relationships. We need more Alanas and Markos.

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