Women are doing amazing work in comics, and they have been for years. You may have heard of comic writer/artists like Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh, Noelle Stevenson and Raina Telgemeier, but there are many more out there you should have your eye on. Webcomics, in particular, are a great source for creators that might not be known by mainstream comics audiences, but are doing incredible work. I think you should keep an eye on these 9 women; you’ll be hearing about them in the near future.
The creator of the hit (and now-completed) webcomic Snarlbear, Natalie Riess is a comic creator you should have your eye on. She’s currently writing and drawing Space Battle Lunchtime, a colorful, fun and inclusive comic about a pastry chef named Peony who ends up participating in a galactic cooking competition—think the Great British Bake-off in space. It’s delectable and interesting, and the focus on food preparation is not something you see in most comics today. I can't wait to see what Riess tackles next.
Agents of the Realm is an incredibly popular webcomic, but many who don’t venture into the online arena of comics aren’t familiar with Mildred Louis, to their detriment. Last year, Louis launched a Kickstarter that raised over $30,000 to bring her webcomic, about a group of young women who, upon arriving at college, learn that they are tasked with protecting the Earth and a magical realm. The comic is still ongoing, and Louis has had limited other projects, but I’d love to see a major comics publisher grab her (can you imagine Mildred Louis writing a Storm ongoing?)
Want to read a queer comic about robots? Of course you do—who wouldn’t? It’s surprising that Blue Delliquanti hasn’t become a household name for comics lovers, but it’s not too late. Her webcomic O Human Star is set in a future where robots live and work alongside humans. Their inventor, Alistair Sterling, never got to see his creations achieve such great heights because of his early death. But when he awakens 16 years after his death in a robot body and goes looking for his partner, he finds things he could never have dreamed of—including his partner’s live-in robot, who looks like Alistair. Delliquanti has done Kickstarters for two volumes of O Human Star—but what's next?
If you read webcomics, you’re probably laughing out loud at Ukazu’s inclusion on this list. After all, Check, Please! just raised almost $400,000 (yes, you read that right) on Kickstarter. But believe it or not, most traditional comics fans don’t read webcomics and haven’t even heard of this hit webcomic that has taken the Internet by storm. It features a young gay hockey player named Bitty trying to fit in as the smallest guy on his college team. Ukazu is doing amazing things with her webcomic, and whether she sees fit to stay there or to expand to different types of comics, I want everyone to know who about this amazing comics creator.
Oh Joy, Sex Toy! is a sex- and body-positive comic that reviews sex toys. It also provides great and valuable information on sexual health, all from the mind of Erika Moen. You can pick up printed volumes of the comic from Limerence Press, or read it online, and you can also check out Moen’s other comics. I’d love to see her do a printed sex-positive fictional story comic for a publisher. (A warning: Oh Joy, Sex Toy! is so unsafe for work it’s not even funny, so don’t click through from your work computer.)
Pandya is a South Asian comics writer/artist who focuses on world and story building for fantasy worlds. She’s currently writing and drawing an ongoing fantasy webcomic called Travelogue, but I’d love to see Pandya working on a creator-owned fantasy graphic novel for a comics publisher. Sci fi and fantasy are insanely popular in comics right now, especially when they feature women’s stories, and Pandya is so great at storytelling and world building.
You’re probably familiar with Allie Brosh (if you haven’t read her Hyperbole and a Half, you are missing out); if you love her, then you need to check out Sarah Andersen’s amazing comics. She draws real-life comics about, basically, how adulting sucks. She writes and draws at Sarah’s Scribbles (she has two collections out—Adulthood Is a Myth and Big Mushy Happy Lump). If you’ve ever felt like you are in over your head, or life is too real, Sarah’s comics are what you need. Let’s hope she keeps doing them for a long time to come.
If you love witches and you love gorgeous art, then you need to be reading Ariel Ries’ webcomic Witchy. Her vibrant colors and precise lettering (seriously, it does matter) are what will jump out at you first, but this story will quickly grab your heart. I’d love to see Ries collect this webcomic into a print edition (whether supported by a publisher or through crowdfunding) and work on an ongoing graphic novel series.
Henchgirl started out as a webcomic (and you can still read the first few chapters online), but it’s been collected into a print volume by Dark Horse Comics. It follows Mary Posa, who despises her job, not the least of which because her boss is a supervillain. It’s funny, appealing—and supposedly in talks to be developed into a movie or TV show. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing Gudsnuk’s name again very soon.