by Laura Scott
If you are a comic book fan but you aren’t familiar with webcomics, you may be missing out on some great reads!
Webcomics are comic strips or pages that have been published online. They are usually produced independently, by either a single person or a small team. Both professional and amateur creators of every age have contributed to this vibrant medium.
I recommend that webcomic newcomers start off by reading one of the outstanding series listed below:
1. The Adventures of Dr. McNinja (Grade 9+) by Christopher Hastings: www.drmcninja.com
This satirical take on superheroes follows a medically-trained ninja as he tries to fight evil and cure all manner of unusual maladies. The series ended recently on January 19th, but it is still available to read online for free.
2. Atomic Robo (Grade 5+) by Brian Clevinger: www.atomic-robo.com
The story of Atomic Robo takes place in an action-heavy, retro-styled science fiction setting. The series’ protagonist is a wise-cracking robot who recounts the dangers he has faced throughout his exceptionally long life.
3. Digger (Grade 9+) by Ursula Vernon: www.diggercomic.com
This completed Hugo award-winning comic about a levelheaded wombat draws upon several global folktale traditions to weave a complex fantasy world.
4. Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell (Grade 7+): www.gunnerkrigg.com
Once recommended by author Neil Gaiman, this fantasy tale takes place in a technological advanced boarding school and the magical forest that grows along its borders. Fans of the Harry Potter series may enjoy this comic’s young protagonist, Antimony, and the colorful assortment of classmates, teachers, and creatures she meets on her adventures.
5. xkcd by Randall Monroe (Grade 10+): www.xkcd.com
This humorous series of strips is one of the most popular comics on the web and addresses a wide variety of scientific, mathematic, and other “geeky” topics.
Additional webcomic recommendations for children and teens can be found here on the Library School Journal’s website. The parents of minors should take caution when allowing their child to read comics on social media and other online platforms, since many of these do not reliably screen out age-inappropriate content.
Laura Scott is an adult and teen Outreach Librarian at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.