4 Fantasy Webcomics that will Rock Your World

Author Thumbnail Caitlin Donovan December 17, 2015 21:12 PM

#3- Shootaround

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Shootaround is the newest webcomic on this list. This ongoing comedy webcomic by suspu launched in March of 2015.  The comic is about a girls’ basketball team and their coach dealing with the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

Most zombie comedies deliver endless gore and gallows humor, but Shootaround goes a different route. Its humor is mainly sweet, gentle and character based, and while there are plenty of zombie fights, gore is kept to a minimum. The comic therefore has a unique take on the whole zombie thing. Rather than glorying in the grotesque, it instead shows the lighter side of the struggle to get by in an end of the world situation. There’s pop culture references and dorkiness galore.

The cast of the comic is adorable. The girls and the coach very instantly and authentically come off as a tight knit group of friends who would do anything for each other and their interactions are both cute and funny.

The initial concept of the comic is that the girls end up being a lot better at handling this new horrifying state of affairs than their coach (though he isn’t really super bad at coping himself), and seeing the badass way they plow through zombies while still retaining a desire to raid the mall for Pokemon cards and cute clothes is a treat. All of the gang has very defined personalities and they all have different struggles in coping with their new zombified world.

In addition to being a lot of fun, the cast is refreshingly diverse. The characters come from all different backgrounds and there’s a ton of LGBT characters, and the comic never makes an issue about this. It just is, which is nice to see.

Though still retaining a lot of lightheartedness, the story of Shootaround starts dealing with the more tragic side of the end of the world as it goes on and there’s lots of tasty drama to be had. We see the characters struggle with the deaths of families and friends, make tough choices while trying to survive and deal with paranoia, suspicion and really cute (but sometimes heartwrenching) romance.  There’s lots of action to be had as well!

So, even if you don’t usually like zombies, you might find Shootaround to be your style thanks to the strength of its characters and the unique way the story balances humor and post-apocalyptic terror! Give it a shot!

#4- Namesake

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Namesake is an ongoing webcomic by Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon that launched in 2010. The story of the webcomic is focused on a young woman names Emma Crewe, who after a mysterious encounter in a library, suddenly finds herself dropped down into the world of The Wizard of Oz. Emma learns that many of the famous fictional stories she’s read about are real, alternate dimensions. There is an organizations of people called “Namesakes”, who have the power to enter these worlds and reenact the classic stories thanks to the fact they share a name with the various protagonists. In fact, they must, reinact these stories, or there will be dire consequences.

But weirdly enough, Emma is sent to Oz even though her name isn’t “Dorothy”. She’s a Namesake who doesn’t belong in this story, yet she’s here anyway. Now she has to figure out what’s going on and how to get home.

Namesake is like delicious candy for any fantasy literature geek and especially to anyone who spends a lot of time considering the nature of storytelling and alternate universes. The series is chock full of clever references to and exciting exploration of multiple fairy tales, most notably The Wizard of Oz. This isn’t the movie version of Oz either (though that’s the one our protagonist of our story is familiar with, so she’s pretty confused) but the Oz books. So if you’re an Oz geek, you’ll especially find a ton to enjoy here. But if you aren’t, you can still follow the story with no problem!

The plot of Namesake is a complicated one, much like a sprawling epic in style. The story is dense and most of the pages are chock full of dialogue. But the content is worth it and how packed the story is simply means you get more back on your investment.

Isabelle’s art is beautiful and detailed, and so is the world the story creates as well as the huge cast of characters. Emma is a great lead, tough and clever and doing her best to cope with all the weirdness that gets thrown her way. Among this cast we’ve also got a woman who was raised by the Cheshire Cat, a boy who is without a heart, a talking pair of shoes and Emma’s sister, who has magical writing powers.

There are also antagonists- a disgruntled band of former Namesakes who have given up their names and go by the “Rippers”. A member of the group, “Nose”, seems to have a personal connection to Emma. They are led by a mysterious figure called “One”.

I love super metatextual “stories about stories” and Namesake is that sort of fiction at its finest. So don’t hesitate to go down the rabbit hole and dig deep into this complex and multilayered tale of myth and magic.

 

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Caitlin Donovan is a long-time nerd with a passion for superheroes and epic fantasy. She lives in North Carolina with her cat and wrestles with writing novels and doing editorial work when she's not ranting about pop culture online. She runs a blog at ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com
@Caitlin Donovan | caitlin@epicstream.com