QUEEN'S ROAD: Webcomics, a great way to idle away time on the vast swathes of the Internet, also offer insightful glimpses into lives and tell stories diverse and distant from our own realities. For this Women’s Day, we draw up a short list of some of the best feminist webcomics you can find. Take a look.
Giving voice to contemporary social angst, Bengaluru-based filmmaker Aarthi Parthsarathy has created the web-comic series, The Royal Existentials. For the series, Parthasarathy picks up real miniature paintings and inserts contemporary dialogues into them, lending them strong sociopolitical and feminist dimensions. With tongue firmly in cheek, this humourous comic discusses class division, patriarchy, urban angst, and existential questions through young princes and princesses who gravely contemplate their complex lives. Releasing a new comic every Friday, the website now showcases 28 strips. royalexistentials.com
Strong Female Protagonist
Strong Female Protagonist, created by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag, follows the life of a college student and ex-superhero, Allison. Her powers? Super-strength, invincibility, and a crippling sense of social injustice. Allison just wants to live her life and help people however she can, but after revealing her secret identity on national TV when she is just 17, she unwittingly turns into an overnight celebrity. The comic is a dissection of superheroic narrative, activism, and what it means to do good in the world. The webcomic updates every Tuesday and Thursday.
As the Crow Flies
Charlie, a queer 13-year-old girl, finds herself stranded in a 'dangerous' place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp. Aware of her identity as a girl of colour, Charlie is acutely self-conscious, but tries to stand up for what she thinks is right. The webcomic has been nominated for the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize (2013) and an Eisner Award (2014). Updates arrive on Monday and Friday.
Stop Paying Attention
Lucy Knisley’s autobiographical webcomics are very easy to relate to. She effortlessly manages to capture complex emotions and puts them across in a humorous manner. She takes topics like body image, fear, and bullying and turns them into stories of empowerment. She updates the comic on her own time, and sometimes it’s months before she publishes anything at all. But there’s a huge archive filled with comics for newcomers. Website:
Girls with Slingshots
Danielle Corsetto’s comics tell the story of Jaime and Hazel, best friends surrounded by an ensemble cast of interesting friends all trying to get through life. There’s also a talking cactus. Over the years, Corsetto’s narratives have matured and offer interesting glimpses into the lives of the often troubled girls. Corsetto has announced plans to end the strip sometime this year, so you may want to get in on the action now. Website: girlswithslingshots.com