Updated: Jul 21
Looking for something new to read this week? This genre-jumping list features insane desert chases, zodiac themed magic, dead brides, haunted hotels, way too many spiders, and the scariest thing of all, the first day of high school.
1. Realta by Rachel Eaton (@rayleearts) on WEBTOON
This WEBTOON Canvas turned WEBTOON Original series by Rachel Eaton officially dropped this past Wednesday with its first three episodes (with another three available on Fast Pass). This zodiac-focused story feels like a fairytale saturated in gorgeous color palettes and intriguing mystery. We meet Elowen, a member of the Virgo clan and the magic filled world they live in with their kind grandfather, Henry, as they await the return of Elowen's parents in their isolated home surrounded by a dangerous mist.
As time quickly passes them by, Elowen learns ancient spells and dreams of one day becoming a great mage. When they reach adulthood, the opportunity to step foot outside of their homestead arises alongside their first encounter with grief. A ghostly visage of a creature and a vision, one that tells them to seek out the Realta, beckons them out beyond the world they know into one of danger and unknowns unfathomable.
Backed by an incredible soundtrack, Realta offers up a whimsical yet dangerous story filled with spell casting, evil fae, and a beautifully illustrated setting rife with legends and lore. The series has started immensely strong with well paced world building, great character introductions, and just enough hints at something powerful on the horizon to capture your attention. This is a series to watch.
2. Ten Earth Shattering Blows by NuclearPasta (@Nuclearpasta1) on Ten Earth Shattering Blows
I once described the series as "a horrible love child of Mad Max Fury Road, Borderlands, and high powered drugs", which is only scratching the surface of WTF levels this webcomic offers. It is mass chaos bundled up into a colorful, trippy experience and I cannot recommend it enough.
Noble lady Landa heads to the Desert in search of brave warriors to help her vanquish an evil witch that has terrorized her family and she is 100% sure she's going to succeed. When Don Caronja (the Lord of the Well) oh so rudely mocks her, makes her remove her mask, and acts like a massive jerk, Landa realizes she may have bitten off more than she can chew. After being sort of kidnapped by a buff lady named Joy, Landa is drug off into the harsh wilderness and becomes the reason hordes of weirdos give chase across the unforgiving landscape. Worst of all, her dress is totally ruined.
Though chapter three wrapped up back in April, the Kickstarter for Tome One went live this week so it's the perfect time to dive into this series, get addicted, and go support the campaign. The series is lengthy and offers plenty of action, insanity, and trippy moments. It will easily become your new favorite obsession.
3. Bone's Tarot by Sera Swati (@sera_swati) on Tapas and WEBTOON
Did you know Sera Swati's incredible boys' love urban fantasy series Bone's Tarot is almost wrapped up on Tapas? Ch.30, pt.10 and 11 were released for public viewing on Tuesday (though the last few episodes are available for early access for those who are interested in finishing it up in one sitting) and you know it'll be a good update when they start with a trigger warning for spiders!
Bone's Tarot follows Markus Bone, a Mage and US Marshall, as he desperately tries to retrieve his magical deck after it was stolen from him. Joined by his friend and magic tracker, Phelix King (who is head over heels in love with Markus), the duo find themselves thrust into the world of illegal underground mage fights run by Markus' ex-boyfriend and wanted criminal, Thaddeus. You can read my review of part one here.
Chapter 30, titled Found, follows Markus and Phelix as they recuperate at the Bone family home, as well as Thaddeus and Davis as they lay low after the non-stop chaos that hounded them over the last few chapters. When Thad's brother comes crashing into their safe house, all hell breaks loose and forces the mages to unleash every spell in their arsenal. This is a fantastic series and I highly recommend picking it up as we wait for Sera's next series to come out!
4. Love Me to Death by Toonimated (@Toonimated) on WEBTOON
Love Me To Death is a wickedly fun new series from the creator of Room of Swords that debuted this past Monday. The series is rife with necromancy, Frankenstein vibes, and Spanish influence, creating an enchanting cocktail of macabre and magic. The first three episodes are free to read with another three available on Fast Pass.
In the town of San Guadario, magic and necromancy have been forbidden with the penalty of death lingering over those who dare to defy the church's ban. A "pure blood" law was enacted, requiring a drop of blood for all purchases to check for magic, leaving Victor - a hungry, desperate necromancer - down on his luck and living in fear for his life.
When he's contracted by the son of a wealthy family to raise his recently deceased bride-to-be named Mercedes from the dead, he bites off more than he can chew as a strange connection to his new "monster" develops. This dark tale is immediately captivating and immensely charming, and there's a mischievous one-eyed cat so what more could you ask for?
5. Hotel Pharus by BINGO (@habanera3) on TappyToon
One of my personal favorite new webtoon* series of 2022, Hotel Pharus is a unique mystery that continues to up the ante with each new update. The series features a Mature version for those who want some extra spice in their story (and, if you're 18+, I highly recommend it), and updates on Sundays. It features a period piece style and setting, eerie themes, and a unique and memorable illustration style.
Hotel Pharus follows down-on-his luck Daniel after he gets brutally dumped by his super-straight lover AND loses his job in the span of a day. When a letter arrives stating his father has died and he's inherited his hotel, he decides to pack up everything and take over proprietorship of Hotel Pharus. Clueless about the business and realizing the hotel is struggling (and possibly haunted), he's offered a peculiar reservation for a man named Alexander Creston on the condition he provide updates to the mysterious stranger who reserved the room when requested. Little does Daniel know, Alexander's ties to the hotel's hushed past, and the mysteries that come to light during the duration of his stay, may end up being more than he bargained for.
Ep. 18 released this week and we catch back up with Daniel as he listens in on a conversation between Alexander and the new gardener, Liam. It seems the two men are acquainted and Alexander's true motives of manipulation are brought to light. Daniel, unable to believe he fell for someone who isn't truly interested in him a second time, decides to step away from the toxic situation before he gets hurt. When the prospect of a night market visit arises, Daniel finds himself eager to get out of the hotel and take his mind off of the chaos. But nothing is ever that simple, is it? The update is a relatively simple one, but the moments that led up to it make it a truly heartbreaking and intriguing episode.
BONUS: Sugar High by regentzilla (@regentzilla) on Sugar High
A newer webcomic series by regentzilla, Sugar High's first page of chapter one dropped on Wednesday after a well developed prologue. This colorful, sweet slice-of-life story about a homeschooler stepping into the world of public education after moving across Canada is wholesome and honest and a breath of fresh air.
This week's update shows our reluctant protagonist, Daisuke, as he steps foot into the halls of high school for the first time and it is super relatable. If you're looking for a new lighthearted read to add to your line-up, I can't recommend this series enough.
*webtoon is the term used for scrolling digital comics from South Korea, not to be confused with WEBTOON, the app.
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