Why You Should be Reading Girls With Slingshots

Girls with Slingshots is the greatest webcomic in the history of webcomics.


Let me explain.

Girls With Slingshots is written by Danielle Corsetto, who before writing GWS full time wrote and drew The New Adventures of Batboy for the infamous (and now defunct in its paper form) Weekly World News magazine. GWS follows the adventures of Hazel Tellington and her circle of friends as they navigate the problems of young adulthood. It even has its own TV Tropes page.

Hazel is the proverbial straight-(wo)man, in more ways than one. She’s largely unlikeable due to having commitment issues, communication issues, Peter Pan syndrome, and unacknowledged issues with drinking so much alcohol her pet cactus speaks to her in a Scottish-Irish accent. The most striking thing about her character, however, is that she is woefully ignorant of anything but straight sexuality. In her longest-lasting relationship, Corsetto gave Hazel the traditionally masculine stereotype of using the relationship for sex, communicating through sex, while her boyfriend wanted to talk about “feelings” and their long-term plans.

But Hazel’s long-suffering friends are what keep people coming back to the strip. Her best friend Jamie experiences a crisis of sexual identity, identifying as straight, then a lesbian, then bisexual, then rejecting the idea of labels all together (after coming to the conclusion of being a bisexual, romantic lesbian). Notably, Corsetto explores the many definitions of virginity by having Jamie cling to the “technical virgin” definition. Jamie’s girlfriend Erin is asexual. Maureen and Jameson meet online and get married. Maureen’s sister Melody is deaf, which presents its own set of issues when she begins dating a hearing man. Hazel’s good friend Darren is a gay drag queen. Clarice works at a “bookstore” (read: porn store), moonlights as a dominatrix, and dreams of becoming a librarian. Hazel’s boss Thea (who is black) is a lesbian and contracts an STD.

Corsetto does her research to ensure that many of her characters are as fair as possible to their diverse backgrounds. At the same time, she plays with stereotypes, at times embracing them for comedic effect, while at other times allowing her characters to be deeply flawed (causing general uproar in the comment section). I highly recommend you check it out.