Webcomics are usually thought of as a free medium. Fans get to enjoy them as long as they have access to the internet. It’s also a medium that doesn’t have a lot of the same gatekeeping that traditional printed comics have. Because of that, webcomics are more diverse, more groundbreaking and more radical. I love webcomics. I read around thirty of them on a regular basis and then catch up on some others every now and then. They’re the best and they have some of the most talented and creative comics makers in the world behind them.
The proliferation of webcomics recently has allowed for an explosion of terrific comics by and about women of color, queer people, trans people, people with disabilities and people who live at the intersections of those identities. And because, like I said, they’re free, people belonging to those groups who previously didn’t have a chance to see themselves in any media at all, are now able to see themselves represented for the first time. This leads to an excellent increase in positive representation, but also it leads to a problem on the creator side of things.
This spread of free webcomics has also lead to, unfortunately, that reading these comics for free is an inalienable right. Many writers and artists who belong to those marginalized identities find freedom in webcomics; often, they also often find themselves not being able to make money from all the hours and hours of difficult work they put in. That’s where Patreon comes in — one of my favorite things on the internet right now.
Patreon is sort of like a virtual tip jar, or a Kickstarter that keeps on going each month. Instead of paying five dollars for stickers, $15 for a digital version of a book or $25 for a physical copy, you pay a few dollars each month, and even usually get some bonus content. Patreon isn’t only for comics creators, but that’s what I use it for. I like to support the people who make comics that make my life better, and to let them know that I value their work.
Even if you don’t make a lot of money, you can still support your favorite creators. You can pay as little as $1 a month to help make your favorite comics happen and help show your favorite creators that you appreciate the hard work they do. We really need to put our money where our mouths are if we want to support comics by trans people, queer people, women, poc and people other marginalized identities.
Here are all the people who I support and links to their Patreon pages — if you support other people or have your own page, feel free to please put them in the comments!
+ Melanie Gillman is the absolutely amazing artist who works with colored pencils to make the stunning and terrific comic As the Crow Flies about a queer Black girl and the trans girl she befriends at a very white Christian girl’s camp.
+ Mildred Louis is one of my favorite artists, and makes the stupendous and absolutely beautiful webcomic Agents of the Realm, about a bunch of girls (most of whom are woc and queer) who become magical girls in college.
+ Wendy Xu is the artist for another of my favorite webcomics, Mooncakes, which is written by Suzanne Walker. Mooncakes is about two Asian-American young adults, one a witch and one a non-binary werewolf. It’s great.
+ Mari Costa is the person behind not just one but two webcomics I love. She recently started the fun cat-starring fantasy quest comic Roji, and has been making Peritale, a fun, funny and cute fairy tale comic for a while now.
+ Kylie Wu makes my all-time favorite webcomic about being trans, Trans Girl Next Door. She’s hilarious and sparkly and amazing. This one comic in particular is a little NSFW, but it’s, in my opinion, the pinnacle of trans comicdom.
+ Marguerite Bennett is my current favorite writer in all of comics. She writes terrific and brilliant characters (including trans women like Alysia Yeoh and Sera) in books like DC Comics Bombshells, Angela: Queen of Hel, InSEXts, and Red Sonja.
New Releases (May 4)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.