Always Human by walkingnorth: possibly the sweetest webcomic around

Now, how to do justice to the absolute beauty that is walkingnorth’s Always Human using only mostly words?

Here is Sunati, our narrator (most of the time). Sunati has blue hair, mad coding skills (she works as a virtual reality environment designer), a sliiiight obsession with outer space, excellent fashion sense (think stars and blue, okay?), a lowered sense of her own courage, and a huge crush on a girl she hasn’t spoken to yet.

That girl would be Austen. Chemistry student at the local university, prone to stress, extremely determined, and… maybe not quite who Sunati thinks she is.

Austen has Egan’s Syndrome, which means that her immune system can’t accept the nanobots that deliver mods. Unlike Sunati and just about everyone else on the planet, Austen can’t boost her memory with a pill, do away with hayfever, or change her entire appearance every week.

 They are possibly the cutest couple to ever try dating. And I do mean try, because there are a few immediate problems. Like Sunati’s well-meaning but insensitive attitude toward Austen’s disability.

  • Sunati thinks Austen is the bravest girl ever for sticking with a natural look for so long.
  • Austen is kind of ticked off that Sunati insists she’s being brave when, in fact, Austen doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

While Austen and Sunati are strong contenders for The World’s Cutest Couple award, they do have a lot of figuring out and growing up to do. And as adorable as these two women falling in love are, believe it or not, the comic gets better. Enter Rae.

Rae is sensible, wise, compassionate, and has an alarming degree of confidence and pose, which is to say that Rae is practically perfect in every way, and she knows it. Also, she has even better fashion sense than Sunati (sorry, Sunati!), which whom she is the very best of best friends.

Here! More Rae! Because she is just that awesome!

Austen has friends too, Cayli and Tanos. But it’s her younger and mischievous sibling, Yasel, who steals the show. (I mean, briefly. Yasel only appears in a few episodes *so far* but wow do they ever steal the limelight.) They are definitely the trickster type, even if they do give good advice.

Then again, at least they come by it honestly: Yasel and Austen’s dads are total sweethearts and definitely trouble.

The dialogue is funny, sweet, deep. The character arcs are satisfying. The visuals are entrancing. Oh yeah, and the setting is 23rd or 24th century Australia. Everything about this comic will have you going eeeeee! with delight, okay? Including the music. Yup! The author-artist ALSO created a soundtrack for each episode, which she has made available on soundcloud.

If you like really cute romance! F/F romance! POC romance! Best friends! Annoying younger siblings of the #wowIamsogladtheyarenotmysibling #eveniftheywouldbeextremelyentertainingto hangoutwith variety! Aro-ace characters! Classmates! Feathers! Nonbinary characters! Diverse worldbuilding! Australia! Wallabies! Birds! Space! Stars! Couples who learn from their mistakes and grow up! Anti-inspiration porn! Anti-fatphobia! Pretty clothes! Relaxing music! Landscapes! Hilarious dads! Glimpses of mods and 24th century fashion!

… then this is the comic for you. You can start here with episode 1.

(THANK YOU YASH for getting me to read Always Human!)

Actually space (or, rambles about Ken Oppel’s Airborn trilogy and Starclimber in particular)

Actually space (or, rambles about Ken Oppel’s Airborn trilogy and Starclimber in particular)

Ever have a disappointing run of books? You come home from the library and delve in to your pile of loot, only to find that in one or more stories: the plot is lacking the characters are flat the illustrations are clumsy the word choice is bland the treatment of [race/gender/sexuality/ethnic group/religious group/age group/insert-group-here] is off? Not outright […]

Patrick Ness at Kidsbooks, October 14, 2015

Patrick Ness at Kidsbooks, October 14, 2015

Your Roving Reporter was delighted to have the excuse last week to be able to quote shamelessly (and endlessly – I have four pages of scrawled notes to be deciphered for this post) from the fabulous author Patrick Ness, who spoke last week at Kidsbooks about his newest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here. […]

Dreaming Big in Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell)

Dreaming Big in Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell)

Hardcover, 336 pages Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) Source: Publisher Dream a Little Dream is the latest offering from Kerstin Gier who is a German author best known for her Ruby Red trilogy which has been translated into twenty-five languages including English. The translator of this book, as well […]

Scary Stories For Children: A Genre Studies Course Rationale

Scary Stories For Children: A Genre Studies Course Rationale

The upcoming 2015 Children’s Literature Association Conference is one that has caught my attention – “The High Stakes and Dark Sides of Children’s Literature,” an open-ended call for panels on horror, death, violence, trauma, and anything else dealing with the darker, more subversive elements that thread through so much of children’s literature and YA. As […]