A fandom comprises a group of people who enjoy getting together to geek out over a shared media interest. Although the public woefully misunderstands the furry animal community (as the fandom was known before the term “furry” took hold), it’s a thriving and inclusive fandom celebrating anything to do with anthropomorphized animals.
As positive depictions of the furry community increase in popular media, the fandom has had more opportunities to grow through connecting with thousands of like-minded people.
According to the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, a.k.a. FurScience, more than 75 percent of furries are under 25, with many people who self-identify as furry coming from communities that are marginalized in mainstream culture.
Furries are five times more likely to identify as queer than the general population, and 12.2 percent of the furry population identifies as transgender (much higher than the national average). Importantly for these communities, many queer furries report that their participation in the fandom improved their self-esteem, mental health and sense of identity.
With the community’s diversity in mind, WandaPup is here to share a few reading recommendations to celebrate furry pride, whether you’re looking for something that’s all ages or for something that’s not safe for work. Don’t worry, all of these webcomics are queer tested!
But I’m A Cat Person
What it’s about: Running from 2011 to 2020, But I’m A Cat Person by Erin Ptah (writer’s note: because this is important, the creator is a cat person and the proud mom of Marshmallow Fluff) delves into the lives of two ordinary broke millennials, Bianca and Sparrow, who have adopted a strange puppy that’s an immortal shapeshifting battle monster (known as a Being), who’s named Patrick.
Now bonded, the trio is in a soul-binding contract that requires them to travel out of this world for dangerous extra-dimensional battles, despite still not finding any work to pay the bills.
Why should you read it: Are you a Pokémon fan? Then, BICP is for you. To keep Patrick safe from his mysterious ex-Master, Patrick the Being must fight alongside Bianca, his current Master, in an extra-dimensional battle known as “The Game.”
Some of the characters are Pokémon fans themselves, modeling their lives after Ash Ketchum, the main character of the Pokémon anime series. Additionally, BICP covers many topics important to queer readers, such as found family, patriarchal power dynamics, mysticism and queer life.
Where to find it: You can find the completed series online at But I’m A Cat Person, and the creator is currently doing annotated reruns as well. However, Ptah is also now running a Kickstarter campaign for a printed omnibus edition of the series.
What it’s about: Skin Deep by Kory Bing started in 2006, and it’s about monster people in Liverpool, England, who are just trying to get by in a society that doesn’t accept them. Mainly, it follows Michelle Jocasta, a character who picks up a magical amulet that causes people to transform into mythical creatures!
Michelle and her friends must navigate the unexpected life changes that go along with transforming into a part-human/part-mythical creature — all while trying to get through school.
Why should you read it: Skin Deep is for anyone that loves (or even just likes) either mythology, folklore, epic world-building or the idea that things are regularly more than they seem. Plus, the artwork is exceptional.
In fact, Bing won the 2013 Stumptown Comics Award for Best Colorist and Best New Talent for her work on this comic. In a recent update to the series, readers were introduced to Amabie, a yokai symbol for COVID-19 in Skin Deep because she prophesies about epidemics.
Where to find it: Skin Deep has been ongoing for over a decade and is over 500 pages long, but new readers can see the entire series online at Bing’s website. Bing also published the webcomic, which you can purchase through her webstore before buying the CATS Zine, a cat bonanza about the Jellicle cats from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 stage musical, Cats, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
What it’s about: Eth’s Skin is written and drawn by Sfé R. Monster, with Skin Deep’s Bing on inks. It’s a weekly genderqueer fantasy adventure about selkies, queer kids, salty mermaids and socially awkward moss-mages living in a “barnacle-punk” society.
In this world, the selkies and sea monsters swim through kelp forests to avoid strange masked land-dwellers, known as the Beachwalkers. The story follows Eth, a genderqueer fisher who lives on the British Columbia coast, and Miira, a salty mermaid who loves showing off her mer-tits.
Also along for the kayak ride, their pet pygmy harbor seal, Goblin (fun fact: pygmy seals are the least endangered seal species because of their high tolerance of artificial pollution).
Why should you read it: Eth’s Skin is unquestionably queer: the story follows an all-queer cast who are out, open, accepted and incredibly confident with themselves and each other. The story is a genderqueer fantasy told in an alternate world where monsters and mythological creatures exist, and people can keep cute pygmy harbor seals as pets.
In Monster’s words, the “comics explore the width and breadth of gender identity, and showcase and celebrate the diversity of queerness,” allowing readers to escape to a world that accepts individual differences.
Where to find it: The webcomic has been updated most Wednesdays since January 1, 2014, and you can read it online at Eth’s Skin. You can also sign up for Monster’s Patreon page for exclusive Patreon-only content, as well as early previews of the creator’s upcoming projects.
What it’s about: CROSSED WIRES by Iris Jay is a free webcomic (updated twice a week) about queer hackers who take on corporate conspiracies using virtual reality rigs and knowledge of cyberspace. The story focuses on Alan, a.k.a. Ultra Drakken, a novice hacker who has more experience engaging in queer Kingdom Hearts roleplay than taking down corporate conspiracies until he meets an actual world-class hacker Theresa, a.k.a. Vrrmn, and her posse.
Why should you read it: Many of the main characters are queer/trans, and they explore their sexuality and gender using online avatars, a storyline that may be relatable to many closeted queer people.
Additionally, CROSSED WIRES is an excellent introduction to Jay’s furry artwork. They have published multiple works, including DOUBLE BLIND, an explicit serialized online zine, and Book of Shadows: Buffomet, co-edited with Nero O’Reilly and Hye M. for Fortune Media, to name a couple.
My Husband’s a Werewolf
What it’s about: My Husband’s a Werewolf by Ko&Atari is a new slice-of-life webcomic about the daily happenings of a human named Jay and his werewolf husband, Lake. It follows the couple as they navigate the world of human/werewolf relationships.
Unfortunately, the gay couple must deal with family members who think their relationship is weird just because it’s different. In this case, the werewolf has cats for parents, and they can’t wrap their heads around his lycanthropy. However, the context clues make it clear that they are trying, and I love that!
Why should you read it: It’s exciting to discover an up-and-coming artist, and it’s worth checking out Ko&Atari’s work for that reason alone. The new artist came up with the idea for the comic out of his desire to tell a werewolf story that would be the most cringy (and cutest, in my opinion) werewolf content on the Internet, and it delivers.
The series is perfect for other furries who, like me, are married to, dating or crushing on a human. Plus, it taps into my favorite part of lycanthropy lore, which is that many werewolves can change into multiple forms; however, as the comic points out, we just don’t talk about it much!
Where to find it: You can currently read the new series on Tapas. However, if you have the money to support a new queer artist, the series recently launched a Kickstarter campaign so that readers can get a printed version of MHAW, including corrected pages to show the artist’s developing style.
What it’s about: When the world entered lockdown in March 2020, acclaimed New York Times Best-Selling cartoonist Simon Hanselmann started one of the most incredible webcomics ever created, Crisis Zone, using his familiar cast of characters. There’s Megg the witch, Mogg, her cat boyfriend, and their roommates, Owl and Werewolf Jones, all of whom spend most of their time on the couch smoking pot to forget their pandemic woes (and they have a lot of them).
The Instagram comic was updated almost every day for 285 days during the lockdown, offering a daily chronicle of the first nine months of the pandemic that shares many themes with the rest of Hanselmann’s work: anthropomorphic animals, terminal unemployment, drug-fueled escapades and violence done to and by undergarments.
Why should you read it: Hanselmann has been nominated four times for an Ignatz Award, twice for an Eisner Award and won Best Series at the Angouleme International Comics Festival in 2018. However, Crisis Zone is some of the best work from the artist yet. Not only is it incredibly queer, but it also helped get me through the difficult months at the height of the pandemic.
Therefore, if you can relate to the hardships of pandemic life, and you probably can, then laughing at Megg and Mogg as they bury themselves in a world of digital escapism and online conspiracy theories is the perfect story for you. Besides, I’m sure that Megg isn’t the only witch who doesn’t remember a lot of last year because cute animals on Animal Crossing: New Horizons took up most of their time.
Where to find it: Vote Werewolf Jones 2021 by reading all of the previously published panels on Hanselmann’s Instagram account by scrolling to the date that Crisis Zone started, March 13, 2020. However, the comic will also be adapted into a graphic novel by Fantagraphics, arriving on August 17, 2021.
Virtual Pet Planet
What it’s about: Virtual Pet Planet is by Snailienz. It’s about a group of queer virtual pets who struggle with regular teen drama, such as auditioning for a part in a school event or coming out to friends and family, except that they’re also dealing with dangerous magical foes and sinister supernatural events threatening the fate of the universe.
Why should you read it: If watching Toy Story makes you wonder about your virtual pets’ lives once you’ve turned off your Tamagotchi or logged off of your Animal Crossing town, this webcomic will interest you. Not only does Virtual Pet Planet feature many queer and trans characters, but it also showcases beautiful art and a fun story that delves into the occult. Plus, after reading the series, you’ll forever go around saying, “Fluff that!”
The Wolves Outside
What it’s about: The Wolves Outside, also known as Outsidewolves online, by Jesse England, is a collection of funny animal comics depicting changing media trends and consumer culture as society progresses from analog to digital. The short webcomics explore technological mediation, semiotics and gay sexuality through the lens of “anthropomorphic ligne-claire creatures.”
In addition to the main wolf characters, furry friends, like Chuck E. Rat, make semi-regular appearances to tell the reader troubling facts about things like what goes into making a hot dog.
Why should you read it: If you like Netflix’s BoJack Horseman or Adult Swim’s Tuca & Bertie, then you’ll love England’s ongoing webcomic (and his other projects). In The Wolves Outside, he explores challenging issues surrounding consumer culture with a massive serving of humor.
Unfortunately, sometimes straitlaced people can’t handle reading important notes from counter culture unless cute animals deliver the message. In 2018, England was nominated for an Ignatz Award in the Outstanding Online comic category for his work on the Outsidewolves series.
What it’s about: Paw Prints by Sarah McSquish follows the adventures of two shapeshifter siblings, Mae and Dante Rojas, as they go on a cross-country trip with new friends, Bear and Asuka. The webcomic has only been around since June 2020, but the creator’s art style has already developed, and it’s adorable. Plus, Dante is based on the creator’s former pet dog, a wolf/malamute mix, and Mae, who can morph into a feisty platinum fox, is based on the creator herself.
Why should you read it: Paw Prints not only includes a strong, fat female lead, it also has a disabled character dealing with chronic pain, and as a chronic pain sufferer myself, that alone is worthy of significant props. According to FurScience, about 50 percent of furries identify as being disabled.
Among that subsect, the most popular fursona functions are as a means of forgetting one’s condition and as a means of hiding one’s condition when interacting with others. In this webcomic, we see this idea play out when an anxiety attack causes Bear to morph into a literal bear! However, once Mae can calm her friend down, Bear can go back to her human form.
Where to find it: You can read Paw Prints by subscribing to the series on Tapas.
Foxes in Love
What it’s about: Foxes in Love by Toivo Kaartinen is “a simple comic about simple foxes” based on the creator’s own heartwarming and humorous life experiences. The slice-of-life comic follows two queer male foxes (and according to the creator, only one is cis) sharing their lives and navigating the ups and downs of love. Although the two foxes don’t know much, they know that love is love.
Why should you read it: Move over, Garfield, there’s a new funny coming to town, and they are loving, funny and relatable vulpine characters. Trust me, a story about two gay foxes is the perfect comic for the queer furry fandom. Foxes are one of the most popular phenotypes in furry fandom.
According to WikiFur, this is because of the frequent anthropomorphism of foxes in media — think Robin Hood and Zootopia — and their association with gender mutability. For example, in Foxes in Love, one of the foxes is trans and neither fox identifies as straight, making it a great example of a queer furry love story.
Where to find it: You can read Foxes in Love on Tumblr or you can purchase the printed edition through most major online book retailers.
What are your favorite queer furry comics? Sound off in the comments below!
Article written by Rebecca Kaplan
This article was originally published on 7/2/21
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