Webcomics Recs: Hugo Nomination Edition!

For the use of anyone who's still putting together their Hugo nominations -- or for folks who are generally interested in more Science Fiction and Fantasy comics to read -- a list!

All of these comics are eligible for this year's Hugo's in the category of "Best Graphic Story," and all of them are excellent! (And all of them available to read in their entirety online for free.)

O Human Star - The about page actually provides an excellent summary of the plot! More thematically: this is a queer SF family drama that largely centers around individual struggles with identity, questions of the nature of synthetic life, and how the two push and pull against each other. I always have a hard time summing up my thoughts on O Human Star because it's complex and multi-layered and delightful and interesting, and I never quite feel like I'm doing it justice. It's one of my favorite recent works of science fiction in any medium and worth a read, absolutely.
By Blue Delliquanti, first page here.

Unsounded - If you're interested in epic fantasy stories with sprawling settings, large casts of characters, international intrigue, mysterious and disturbing backstories, plucky young antihero heroines, unsettling magic systems or gorgeous GORGEOUS artwork, then you should probably be reading this comic! Also notable for containing one of the only two zombie/undead characters that I've ever cared about in fiction.
By Ashley Cope, first page here.

The Last Halloween - Starts out as a sort of black comedy romp through the horrific landscape of a monster apocalypse and gradually reveals itself to be something much larger and more complex -- both smart and thoughtful, and utterly absorbing for me despite the fact that I normally don't care about so many of its individual elements. Featuring the second of two zombie characters I actually care about! I'd say it's Burton-esque but it's more interesting than anything Burton has done in a long while.
By Abby Howard, first page here.

Relativity - A hard SF story about an astronaut on a difficult mission, one which will take six months from her perspective but leave her wife alone on Earth for three entire years. So far only the first chapter has been posted, but in a way that chapter works as its own self-contained SF short, ending on a note that brings us full circle while promising a great many complications in the pages to come. "Relativity" is exactly what I mean when I talk about how excited I am about the future of SF comics.
By Beck Kramer, first page here.

Boozle - This comic is completely different than anything else I've mentioned above: an all-ages fantasy story inspired by classic video game RPGs, about a grumpy but penitent wizard and his (over??)enthusiastic cyclops traveling companion. It's so charming and so genuinely funny, drawn with intelligence and affection and a great deal of skill. She makes it all look effortless! A joy to read.
By Sara Goetter, first page here

when the darkness presses - I've seen Emily Carrol's book "Through the Woods" show up in some Hugo conversations, but her work from last year that really struck me was this short. In addition to being the sort of excellent psychological horror that Carrol is known for, this piece also plays with the form and format of webcomics in ways I found extremely interesting and rewarding and great. This comic is GREAT.
By Emily Carrol


That's it for now! Although I may very well come back and add to this list later on.

This entry is also posted at http://aliwilgus.dreamwidth.org/862.html. You can comment there with your Dreamwidth account, if you prefer.
Tags: , , ,
Ooh, awesome recs! Doh, I didn't even think of Unsounded (maybe because I tend to catch up every few months rather than update by update, it being both intense and complicated). Relativity and Boozle I hadn't heard of, yay new things to read! The Last Halloween I checked out very recently after Abby Howard did a guest comic for Oh Joy Sex Toy, and I gave up around page 5. I am pretty strongly not into horror, do you think it's worth pushing through to the point where you start to see this larger plot? Can you say offhand whether the horror visuals get worse or not? I know not every thing is for every reader but Junior Scientist Power Hour is excellent and smart SFF comics are of great interest to me and... yeah.
Yeeeeeeah, as much as I enjoy a lot of things about TLH, the gore is pretty constant. If dismemberment and disembowlings aren't things you want to be looking at in a comic, then this is definitely not the comic for you. (To be fair, I don't think it's as bad as the most horrific bits of "Unsounded," but I think that those elements make up a much larger percentage of the visuals overall, if that makes any sense!

Hope some of the other comics end up working for you! <3
I appreciate your advice, thanks! Honestly I'm still a little undecided on Unsounded, although not so much about whether the gore is worth it but rather whether all the plot threads are going to pay off and resolve in any way I'd find satisfying. (Just tried to catch up but I've totally forgotten who the uniforms are and what their plot is.) At least Girl Genius has cheesecake instead of gore for similar levels of who the fuck are all these people. (I feel ancient, I remember when Girl Genius had a coherent storyline.)