Happy April Iggles, and welcome to the second installment of the Webcomic Underground! Since the theme for the month is “Animation,” man, there’s a couple of ways that I could have gone for the animated theme.
There are fanfic comics out there based off of popular TV shows, video games and movies, but with all due respect, I’ve committed to keeping to original content. Then there was the option of doing animated gif comics. Original ones are a little more difficult to find, and also are often fandom-related. I majored in animation back in college, so comics are not that huge of a leap. They are closely related to storyboards, which are part of the animation process. If you look, there are tons of webcomics done by working animators! So what makes a lot of animated stories so great?
For me, the answer always is great characters. Whenever I step away from watching some of my favorite shows or movies, I always go straight to gushing about my love and/or hate for certain characters. [Insert my cries of “TADASHIIII” thanks to Big Hero 6…] Currently I can’t stop gushing over characters I’ve discovered while reading webcomics that are fit to be animated! So this month’s spotlights are comics that piqued my interest whether they make my heart ache, laugh, or wonder what’s motivating them.
HEADS UP: There is at least one comic in this month’s selection that has some ideologically sensitive content (Male/Male relationships & Implied drug use). Reader discretion is advised.
Best Friends Forever – by Mickey Quinn
Rating: Older Teen (Sexual situations / Language / Drug Use / Boy’s Love )
If you like: Dramedy, ‘shipping, and comic to literature format
Best Friends Forever, or BFF as it’s affectionately called, is about two unlikely friends at a wealthy school. Vincent is the star quarterback who is there on scholarship, and he and his best friend Teddy are close- VERY CLOSE. They are such best friends that the other students are questioning if their bonds are friendship or something more. -Which of course leads to meddling, rumors, blackmail, and strains on the relationships of everyone involved.
If you are into ‘shipping – or pairing characters – Mickey Quinn’s cast will take your heart and make it ACHE. Originally, BFF started out as a color comic and has since evolved to prose accompanied by illustrations, which doesn’t bother me at all. Her art style is energetic and easy on the eyes with a fantastic handle on facial expressions that will make you squirm as you read. I caught myself several times wanting to yell at her characters as they make their decisions. It’s an addicting read, so you have been warned.
Sprinkles – by Jennifer
Rating: Teen/13+ (Language / Immature humor)
If you like: Funny reads, slice of life, and beefcake
“What`s this comic about? My VERY entertaining life and it`s all TRUE TRUE TRUE. Mostly.” – Jennifer SPRINKLES is a slice-of-life comic featuring Jennifer, her husband, Brett, and their two cats. To put it simply, it’s just bits of their day-to-day life.
I really don’t question that some of these strips are based on real life. If you’re married to or live with that special person in your life, or wondered what it’s like, Sprinkles is a pretty accurate representation. Some of my favorite strips have been with the cats or when she is pestering her husband. Her setups are funny, clean and concise. Being such great characters as they are, it’s nothing but good, clean fun with a couple of butt jokes that I have no regrets binge-reading multiple times.
Adrast – by Mimi & Jesi
If you like: Full Metal Alchemist, Fantasy, and Action
Adarast is an epic, long-form comic set in a land called Aimus, full of magic and in the grips of war between hunters called “The Council” and “Efahs,” monsters of nightmares. It starts with the story of Jacob who is on a mission to eradicate a Efah named Hollow in a sleepy little town. He comes into a moral dilemma when he finds out that the Efah he has to kill turns out to be his newfound friend and tour guide.
Adrast is a long-form comic that so far is rather interesting and really ambitious story that has potential. The characters are pretty cute, especially “Henry,” who you will get to know a little bit if the story strikes your fancy. It’s a bit slow in its buildup, and on top of its main storyline involving Jacob, there is another storyline intertwined! I’m looking forward to see how this develops.
I hope that some of these characters have the same effect on you as they did on me. For now, I must return to the pages of my own comic, and prepare for Otakon this July! Let me know what you think about the comics featured or throw a tweet in my direction! I’m open to gushing about the comics I spotlight, your thoughts on tropes, character development, and more. Comic suggestions are also welcome if you have one you’re dying to share -I’ll put it into my reading list. See you next month!