Fans of the critically acclaimed television series, Heartstopper, may not know that the story originally started as a webcomic that can be accessed on a major webcomic platform, Webtoon. Although named after the genre of comics categorizing digital Korean graphic stories, Webtoon’s comic collection ranges from across the globe and includes a vast array of graphic novel genres and styles.
Although Heartstopper is Webtoon’s most notable LGBTQ+ title to date, the platform has plenty of amazing webcomics with equally amazing LGBTQ+ representation that features a wide scope of identities and countless ways of showcasing them. Here are ten comics to get readers started.
10 Always Human
This incredibly wholesome and naturalistic science fiction webcomic follows two women, Sunati and Austen, as they meet and begin dating. The couple juggles both the challenges of a new relationship and their own ongoing journeys of self-identity, all against a gorgeous watercolor-esque, futuristic backdrop.
In contrast to science fiction stories that wrestle technology with humanity, the webcomic’s creator sums up the story’s approach to the future of tech as “No matter how much technology changes us, we’ll always be human.” Always Human is completed and completely available to binge.
9 Winter Moon
Primarily set within an eponymous fantasy MMORG, Winter Moon kicks off with the leads’ special take on a meet-cute. Risa, a healer who advances through the game by seducing male players into giving her their gold, attempts to use her wiles against Florence, an extremely powerful fire sorcerer, only to learn he doesn’t swing in her favor. Begin the antics.
Despite being integral in his meeting with Risa, Florence’s sexuality tends to take a backseat in the story. His sexual orientation refreshingly is not what defines him. His pyromaniac tendencies are. Winter Moon iscurrently ongoing.
This witchy fantasy revolves around Camille Severin, the orphaned daughter of a distinguished witch clan. Already the black sheep of the family, Camille realizes the roots of her “otherness” go much deeper than she ever imagined when an important coming-of-age ritual goes wrong.
Much of the enchantingly drawn series follows Camille’s struggle to keep the truth of who she is hidden, in fear of the repercussions in response to the nature of her magic and (in an apt metaphor) her sexuality. Muted is completed so readers can binge this magical tale right away.
7 Phantom Paradise
Taking place in literal Hell, this dark fantasy is riddled with violence, trauma, and tyranny, wrapped up in beautiful, ancient Chinese painting-inspired artwork. The story follows Hayate, a young man with a dark past, who enters Phantom Paradise as a concubine hoping to get close to Phantom Paradise’s empress. In a subversion of ancient China, the afterlife enables women to wield magical powers which in turn has dropped the men of their world to the bottom of their caste system.
Hayate’s motivation is to save the soul of Lucius, the person he cares about more than anyone else in the world, living or dead. Phantom Paradise is currently completed, and the creator has future plans for a reboot.
As colorful as the rainbow and just about as inclusive, Acception prides itself on featuring an immense variety of sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as other unrepresented groups and touching on various issues. Set in the Netherlands, this webcomic highlights the journey of self-identity and discovery that many teens set upon in high school, though perhaps Acception’s characters are just a tad more fashionable than the average teenager.
Acception is still ongoing but currently on hiatus so readers can use this time to catch up on the series.
A vampire tale unlike any other, Savior centers on three women. Wohan, a timid vampire who requires blood to survive but hates harming people, Seyeon, Wohan’s companion who is willing to do anything to protect Wohan and keep her close, and Juyi, a kindhearted upperclassman who unknowingly shares a dark past with Wohan.
Lovers of lesbian love triangles be warned, this is no wholesome story. It’s (intentionally) pulsating with manipulation, codependency, obsessiveness, and toxic relationships. But if readers enjoy a taste of the dark side, and want to see how the creator blends together these all too real issues with the supernatural, bite into Savior. Savior is currently ongoing.
4 The Four of Them
Many have experienced the pain of having a crush stolen away by another. Far less have had the girl of their dreams swept off her feet by their sister. This is sadly the case for the webcomic’s primary protagonist, Johnny, who in an effort to get over his heartbreak leans on the friendships around him and pushes himself to try new things.
He’s not the only one exploring himself though. His friends, including the girl who unknowingly broke his heart, struggle alongside Johnny as they navigate who they are and who (and what) they like. The Four of Them is currently ongoing.
This rom-com webcomic is proof that meeting a significant other on a dating app can actually make for a great story. Frustrated with her love, protagonist Joanna downloads a dating app and accidentally swipes right on a group of gods and goddesses who inform her that matching with them has bound her into an unbreakable contract, the details of which were inconveniently listed in the Terms of Service.
As Joanna goes on dates with the gods, she learns more about the prophecy she has become a part of and how to find a way out for them all. #Blessed is currently ongoing.
2 Brimstone and Roses
Bea gets more than she bargained for when she makes a deal with a handsome demon to come as her date to her sister’s wedding, lest Bea’s ex-girlfriend realizes she’s still single. Lazareth, the aforementioned handsome demon, is in no rush to return to the underworld, forcing Bea to be stuck with a literal roommate from Hell.
Besides demons and pentagrams, the webcomic features an emphasis on mental illness and showcases multiple sexual orientations with Bea’s bisexuality and Lazareth’s demisexuality at the forefront. Brimstone and Roses is currently on hiatus.
1 Forever After
Fairy tale-obsessed Robin nearly gets her wish to become a princess granted in this portal fantasy when she gets stuck in the realm of “Forever After” where all fairy tales exist. Unfortunately for Robin, she’s not the princess, she’s Prince Charming and it’s up to her to ensure all the stories get their happy endings.
The magical world is composed of a diverse collection of fairy tales, from classic Grimm stories to lesser-known folk tales such as the “Melon Princess”. Forever After puts its own twist on the fairy tales, with many characters being genderbent and/or having a different sexual orientation. Forever After is currently ongoing.
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