I have always been a huge lover of stories. It doesn’t matter if those stories are in movies and television shows, novels, short stories, or comics. So, it won’t be surprising to anyone reading this that I am a HUGE fan of Webtoon. If you’ve never heard of it, Webtoon is a mobile and online platform for reading web comics of all different genres. Romance, comedy, action, horror – you name it! There is a web comic for everyone on Webtoon!
What I especially love about web comics is the huge diversity of characters there are. There is a comic for just about any challenge someone might be going through, and there is usually a character that you can relate to in one way or another. Which is nice to have when you are going through a mental health challenge! Whether it be depression, self-esteem issues, or anything else… there is a character that you can relate to so you don’t feel so alone in your challenge. For this week’s blog, I compiled a list of 5 relatable web comics for going through mental health challenges!
#1 – “My Giant Nerd Boyfriend”
This fun and goofy comic from Malaysia follows the shenanigans of FishBall and her “freakishly tall boyfriend.” A lot of the episodes are great comedy fillers for when you need a good laugh, but this comic also touches on some deep mental health topics like depression, anxiety, and fear of rejection.
Both of the protagonists in “My Giant Nerd Boyfriend” have their own past struggles that they are still dealing with, but I love how they work through those challenges together. Whether it be dealing with the loss of a loved one, the fear of failure, or bouts of depression, these two work through it together.
#2 – “True Beauty”
Every Wednesday, I can’t wait to open up the Webtoon app and read the latest episode of “True Beauty,” a Webcomic from Korea. This comic follows the life of Jugyeong, a young woman navigating the ups and downs of growing up – school, dating, social media, choosing a career path – all while struggling with her self-image.
I love this comic because I see myself in the main character, as I imagine a lot of teen and young adult women do. She gets acne breakouts like anyone else does, likes to geek out about horror comics and scary movies, and tries her best to be a good person. And just like anyone else, she worries about how others perceive her and has crafted a social identity that is very different from her actual self. She also struggles with being “too nice” in the pursuit of making others like her.
So, if you are looking for a comic with a main character that is also struggling to express her true self, then “True Beauty” is a good one to read.
#3 – “The Weight of Our Sky”
Out of all the Webtoon series, this one is one of my top favorites. It follows the story of a Malay teen girl who struggles with OCD, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Her OCD comes to life as a monster called the Djinn, which helps show how hard it is for her to deal with at times.
As someone with OCD, I very much loved finally having a character show what it is like to be controlled by the overwhelming need to tap something a certain amount of times. Or what it is like to be overwhelmed with the fear that everyone you love will get hurt if you don’t do a certain ritual. So if you are like me in that way, You will relate to Melati in “The Weight of Our Sky.”
**Trigger Warning: This comic is set during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and deals with/portrays topics relating to racism, violence, and death. Please read with discretion if these topics are triggering for you.**
#4 – “Lore Olympus”
Okay, so even if you haven’t been on Webtoon before, you have might have still seen or heard something about “Lore Olympus.” It has become SO POPULAR that it now has a print version available and even Netflix and The Jim Henson Company are developing a young adult animated series based on the comic.
“Lore Olympus” is a modern retelling of the famous Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. In this telling, the gods are just like us – they use cell phones, have jobs or are in colllege, etc. And several struggle with mental health challenges. Some struggle with wanting something different from what their parents want for their futures. Some are dealing with a dysfunctional relationship or heartfreak. And several are dealing with the challenges that come with trauma.
There are characters you’ll either love or hate. Some you might identify with as they work through a challenge similar to yours. Personally, I think there is a character for anyone to relate to in “Lore Olympus,” because there are so many complex characters with very relatable challenges.
**Trigger Warning: This comic deals with uncomfortable topics such as sexual abuse, emotional manipulation and abuse, trauma, and depression / anxiety. Please read with discretion if these topics are triggering for you.**
#5 – “Cursed Princess Club”
This comic is typically very comedic and cutesy from episode to episode. But as the series progresses, you get to see into the lives of several characters that deal with things like loss, anger, and self-esteem.
“Cursed Princess Club” follows the life of Princess Gwen, who is the youngest of three princess sisters. Her sisters are pretty typical princesses with sparkly eyes, shining hair, and can summon forest animals when they sing in the typical princess-fashion. But Gwen looks very different from her traditionally “pretty” sisters, and can even appear scary to some despite her kind and adorable personality (it doesn’t help that her woodland creatures are opossums, raccoons, and rats, rather than little bluebirds and baby deer).
I love how this story is a fun and light-hearted read that ALSO touches on the impact of how we view ourselves when someone says something hurtful about our appearances. I know some of the comics I recommended in this blog are a little emotionally heavy, so if you are looking for a less heavy read, this is a good one for you!
It’s nice to have a relatable web comic when you are going through a mental health challenge, because following someone else’s story can help us understand our own and learn grow from it.
I hope you like one or several of these web comics if you check them out! Let us know which ones you liked by commenting on this blog or by sending us a message over social media – we love hearing back from you all!
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