From Screen To Page: 11 Books That Started As Webcomics
Webcomics are one of the joys of social media: in fact, I would go as far as to say that, in the wild and sometimes confusing World Wide Web, they are a ray of sunshine allowing us to disconnect from our troubles.
Webcomics that feature daily struggles truly speak to my heart, and they have even become something to share and talk about with friends, because they hit the nail on the head and so often come close to home.
Of course, if you follow webcomics online, there is a whole world beyond what we get to see on our little Instagram squares, but I do have a tendency to search for, and engage with, the more light and fun ones. Especially because, sometimes, they have depth — they are good at making light of heavy issues, without really denying or overlooking their seriousness. They use humour as a way to cope with life.
In a way, webcomics do make me feel like I am closer to so many other people I don’t even know. They make me feel seen.
In this list, you’ll find a few published books which have their genesis in webcomics. They’re proof of how so many things that start as something small can really grow beyond the creator’s best expectations, which is a win for readers!
Sarah’s Scribbles by Sarah Andersen
Sarah’s Scribbles is Andersen’s semi-autobiographical comic, in which she allows us glimpses into her own life.
At the moment she has four published “Sarah’s Scribbles” collections: Adulthood Is A Myth, Big Mushy Happy Lump, Herding Cats, and Oddball. She is also the author of Fangs and Cryptid Club, two other comics series also available in book form.
Much of the merch of a uterus you see bouncing around the internet stems from these comics.
Yes, I Am Hot In This by Huda Fahmy
Huda writes with wit and humour, even when talking about issues like discrimination and prejudice.
In her autobiographical comics, she recounts encounters she has with strangers and with work colleagues. She also shares about her relationship with her family, especially her husband and her mother.
She currently has three books out: Yes I am Hot In This, That Can Be Arranged, and Huda F Are You. They’re all equally hilarious.
Phoebe And Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
This is the story of a 9-year-old named Phoebe who skipped a rock across a pond and hit a unicorn in the face. She got granted a wish, so she wished for said unicorn to become her best friend. The comics are a journal of what shenanigans they get themselves into. Which is a lot. In a good way.
Although Simpson is probably best known for Phoebe And Her Unicorn, her first comic strip was the webcomic Ozzy And Millie, and the second was I Drew This, both of which are also fantastic.
Catana Comics by Catana Chetwynd
These are one of my favourite webcomics, mostly because they are absolutely sweet.
Catana Chetwynd started drawing the comics in 2016, after her boyfriend John suggested that she should make a comic about their relationship. The loving comics, portraying moments between the couple, seem to have struck a chord with readers, and they became super popular.
At the moment Chetwynd has published three books: Little Moments Of Love, Snug, and In Love & Pajamas. A fourth book is set to come out in October 2022, titled You Are Home.
Magical Boy by The Kao
The illustrations of Magical Boy are seriously out of this world, and it’s a gift for humanity that it is also now available in print.
The main character, Max, is a trans boy. But when his mother reveals he’s part of a lineage of Magical Girls, and that the destiny of the world is now in Max’s hands, things become a bit trickier.
Kao is also known for his fun web series, Mondo Mango, which are well worth getting to know as well.
Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu
For Bitty, being a Freshman at Samwell University AND being part of the university’s hockey team are certainly proving to be new challenges for him.
For those who love a good comic about sports, Check, Please is a coming-of-age story, and it’s super fun!
The printing campaign for this webcomic is still one of the most funded webcomics Kickstarters ever.
Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O’Neill
This webcomic was first published on Tumblr as “Princess Princess,” and is now an acclaimed graphic novel.
Princess Amira rescues Princess Sadie from her tower prison, and as they take on a quest together, they realise that their differences are actually what makes them stronger together.
Amongst O’Neill’s works, you can find the well-known The Tea Dragon Society, which is also a gem.
Living Heroes by Stephanie Williams
This is a fan comic that features several Black girls from the Marvel universe who live together in a 90s sitcom. It is super fun to read, and the book came to light thanks to a Kickstarter project.
Williams is also known for her webcomics Parenthood Activate!, and But What If Though. This last one was what actually propelled Living Heroes to come to life.
Unfortunately, the book is only available to purchase in digital format.
The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings
The Sad Ghost Club is a club for anyone who has ever felt sad and lost.
If you take a look at the comics available online, you’ll find more than just relatable pieces: you’ll find wisdom, and ways to deal with the little bumps on this road of life, especially those related to mental health.
I have a weird obsession with ghosts, so this is definitely one of my favourites, and I am so glad they are available in print form too.
There are two volumes out at the moment, but there’s a new one projected to come out next year.
One Of Those Days by Maya and Yehuda DeVir
I stumbled upon these comics on Facebook, and it’s been very interesting to see how the comic has developed across the years, alongside the real-life relationship between the two writers.
A bit like Catana Comics mentioned above, this webcomic depicts the daily life of a couple, Maya and Yehuda. Since its start, they have published 5 volumes. With the birth of their two kids, they now also feature them in the stories.
Volwassen Worden Is Optioneel by Marloes de Vries
I had to sneak in a comic which is very dear to my heart, but which unfortunately isn’t translated into English: Volwassen Worden Is Optioneel, which translates to Becoming An Adult Is Optional.
If you are lucky enough to be able to read Dutch, you’ll see how the book follows the lines of its title: it talks about those little things we encounter as adults, with the conclusion that no one really knows what they’re doing, and we’re all learning as we go (and that’s okay).
The good news is: Marloes has a whole IG page almost entirely in English, including her comics. And on her website you can find a couple of very cool travel journals she has written and illustrated about Scotland and Cornwall, both in English.
Marloes talks a lot about life-work balance, and about following your heart, so it’s definitely worth following her comics and her newsletter.
Of course, the world of webcomics is an expansive one. Reading this post, you will find several well-known webcomics turned books missing, but this list contains just a selection of some of my favourites.
If you’d like to read more about (web)comics, we have a whole archive waiting for you.