Instagram is not just about selfies and showing people what you’re about to eat. It’s also home to a thriving webcomics community, who have embraced it as their social media platform of choice. If you know where to looks, you’ll find a treasure trove of comics from a diverse range of creators, telling all kinds of stories.
Up until late 2018, Tumblr was the place to be for webcomics. It had all the right tools for creators to publish their webcomics – whether they were one-off strips or serialised stories – and fans could effortlessly discover, follow, and share them. But then came the Tumblocalypse. Tumblr lost a lot of users going into 2019. By late 2019, many webcomic creators relocated to Instagram and started sharing their work there instead.
Why Instagram? For starters, Instagram has more than a billion users. With that many people on Instagram, a webcomic creator can carve out an audience for themselves – even if their work is considered niche.
The other reason for Instagram is the tools it offers creators. For many webcomic makers, the gallery feature is a godsend, allowing for each image of it to be a panel of a comic. As you swipe through the gallery, you get a new panel that progresses the comic further until you get to the end.
Here’s an example…
Publishing comics as a single image is also popular, especially when he comic is four or less panels. Here’s an example of that.
So what kinds of webcomics can I find on Instagram? Because it is so easy for creators to share their comics on the platform, the comics that can be found often explore so many more perspectives and topics than a traditional comic or graphic novel would. If there’s a topic, I am sure you can find it. Heck, I even found an account that does comics about web design!
Humour is by far the most popular the most kind of comics on the platform. There are gag comics to cater for any sense of humour, whether it be observational, topical/political, dark, or a just plain weird.
Another kind that’s common on Instagram is what I call feel-good comics. These are made to make you go “awwww” and are designed to be cute or just generally nice.
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It’s quite common to find autobiographical comics on Instagram. These are short stories based on the cartoonist’s experiences and can explore a wide range of topics from social issues, mental health, childhood experiences, diary comics, and more. There’s often a raw honesty to these comics and they can be a window into the lives of other people on a platform that can often be superficial.
Finally, you can find plenty of cool science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories too. They can often lean into the esoteric, experimenting with style and interesting ideas.
That being said, not every webcomic is suited to Instagram. Creators are restrained to Instagram’s features, so don’t expect to see infinite canvas like Webtoon. Additionally, in my opinion, serialised stories (that go over multiple posts) are not the best suited to the platform. That being said, there are plenty of creators who find success in doing it.
So how do you discover webcomics on Insta? Hashtags are your friend. Explore tags such as #webcomic, #instacomics, #comic, and #comicstrip. When you find a comic that you like, check out the profile to see what other comics that creator has. If you dig what you see then give them a follow and perhaps even a nice comment too.
With no signs of its popularity waning, Instagram is not going anywhere. Expect to see all kinds of exciting, funny, and heart-warming comics on the platform for many years to come.
Have Your Say!
What are your favourite accounts that share original webcomics? Feel free to share them in the comments below!