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5 Webcomics That Provide More Than a Chuckle

1. Questionable Content

This unique webcomic focuses on the people at the fringes of mainstream society. While there are some science-fiction elements in the world created by Jeph Jacques, the story is mostly a comedy/drama centered on the life of Marten, a social awkward 20-something-year-old hipster trying to navigate a world of coffee shops and indie music. At the same time, Marten is seeking to find the perfect girlfriend. The story is relatable and entertaining. As good hipsters should, the cast of characters peppers their dialogue with references to pop culture, history, politics and more.

2. Godseeker

A long-running weekly webcomic set in ancient times. The world created by Lee and Lisa Blauersouth is one where hunters search for food and Gods still walk the earth. The story focuses on the woman Myna, an outcast who is responsible for invoking the wrath of a fertility goddess, resulting in an epidemic of infertility. Myna and her friends must find a way to restore the balance of power between gods and humans. The black-and-white panels show an impressive realism of a detailed prehistoric world. The research of myths and ancient cultures makes for an enlightening read.

3. Oyster War

The vibrant colors make this historical-fiction webcomic Oyster War an absolute delight to read. Ben Towle recreates the real life struggle between fishermen of the Chesapeake Bay and pirates intent on stealing the valuable oysters. The 19th-century “oyster wars” come to life with a wide array of characters—from scallywags to prostitutes to messenger seagulls. The story focuses on when the fishermen and local politicians decide to join forces in order to thwart the relentless pirates in their attempts at thievery.

4. She Always Looked Good in Hats

A young woman and her friends explore their newfound adulthood with refreshing honesty in this artistic webcomic. The protagonist, Alice, is a quintessential PhD graduate—highly educated and unemployed. What starts as a temporary job at a boutique hat shop soon becomes a passion for millinery, and she begins to see the world through hat designs. The comic touches on a surprising array of topics such as gender, race, and body image. The art design is a light gray scale with creative interpretations of what the real world looks like.

5. Institute of Marine Research

Set on an isolated British islet, this mystery story follows newcomer Alexander Scott as he becomes acquainted with the bizarre island and its eccentric residents. A short time before the start of the comic, a security guard goes missing from a marine research lab. Alexander seeks to find out just what happened to the guard before it happens to him. The deep contrast of the artwork adds to a mood of increasing unease. The author, Stephen Goodall, does an expert job balancing the natural beauty of the shoreline with the subtle dread of isolation.