Web Comics with a Great Queer Cast, Questionable Content Edition
As promised, here is my next installment of web comics with a great queer cast, this time featuring the wonderful mix of characters on Questionable Content. The cast is a motley crew of queer, queerish, and other characters who show themselves to be surprising, nuanced people. One of the things that drew me to this comic initially, long before there was a visible queer relationship or character, was that the characters seemed very real, complicated, and not tokenized. Hannelore, one of my favorite characters is an excellent example of this. Jeph doesn’t shy away from showing how Hannelore’s anxiety and OCD affect her life in many ways, but she isn’t tokenized in the process, and her storyline arc includes believable (and sometimes comedic) situations where her and her friends must deal with the reality of her anxiety and cleanliness standards.
But on to one of my favorite queer couples of all time! Tai and Dora. Tai is a super heart stoppingly hot lesbian librarian (I know, could she be sexier?), while Dora owns a hipster coffee shop and has hair that gets more awesome with each cut (p.s. she is also a tall drink of water). Dora is bi, and unlike the endless offensive and downright wrong depictions of bi women, her bisexuality isn’t used to give her a hetero-male fantasy edge. She dates the lead character Marten for a while but, then, when they break up she falls for Tai (who is Marten’s boss) and Jeph doesn’t create unnecessary relationship drama. Things are weird when one might expect them to be but Marten and Dora remain friends, as do he and Tai. Another major storyline for Dora is the headache of managing a coffee shop and her contentious relationship with her brother Sven.
Tai has slowly been moving from a secondary character to one of the main characters in the strip because she is Marten’s boss at the library and now she is dating one of the other main characters (Dora). Tai loves her illicit substances and has the hookup for the best queer parties around. Oh, and she has some pretty fancy piercings too – including one on her clit. Girl liked to get down prior to her and Dora’s monogamous relationship.
Marten’s parents are also “unconventional”; his mother and father are divorced because his dad, Henry, is gay, but his dad isn’t shamed for this and in fact both his parents are still friends. Henry owns a nightclub in Miami and over the course of his character arc dates and marries his partner Maurice.
Veronica, Marten’s mother, is a dominatrix and frequently, and hilariously, embarrasses Marten by being much more sexually forward than he would like. She enjoys a number of no strings attached sexual interludes with young men over the course of the strip but in recent months has begun thinking about settling down somewhat with an older man that Dora went on a date with.
A newer character that has become a fan favorite is Claire, the nerdy librarian grad student who works with Marten in the library. As her story develops and she and Marten become friends she shares with him that she is trans. This is treated with respect and no unnecessary transphobic fanfare. In a recent development she and Marten have finally acted on their obvious chemistry and started dating. That moment is easily one of my favorites because it is also a great example of consent and respect between two people romantically interested in each other.
And lastly, I couldn’t include an overview of characters without talking about naughty robot Pintsize, who’s porn predilections are legendary, requiring frequent slaps from Faye (another excellent character that you’ll have to read the strip to learn about!). Pintsize is frequently overloading his mainframe (or whatever, can you tell I’m not a CS or AI expert?) trying to download copious amounts of porn. He also enjoyed a friendly rivalry with another AnthroPC, Winslow (an Apple product obvs.).
There are many other awesome characters in this strip, so check it out for yourself. You may find yourself going back to the very beginning and reading it all the way through. Because, yes, the story lines are that compelling.
I found he comic right around the time Claire came out as trans. I was kinda disappointed that after that she sunk into the background for awhile. So of course I’m glad she’s getting more time front and center, and so far I’m happy about how she’s being handled.
I think one of the signs that QC does it really well is that I had forgotten how many different relationships and individual identities there are in the strip, because it all seems right.