Web Crush Wednesdays: Les Normaux

webcrush picSomething about the holidays always makes me want to watch a romcom, but unfortunately, almost all of today’s romcoms feature two cishet white characters falling in love, and after years of suffering through these plots, they’re just not appealing to me anymore. Fortunately, in today’s world, there are more and more romcoms featuring queer characters—just not on the silver screen. Today’s web crush is a cute, fluffy webcomic that needs a little bit more worldbuilding but still showcases some fun slice-of-life queer love stories.

Les Normaux is set in a supernatural version of Paris, France, and is about a group of friends as much as it’s about anything. All the characters narrate their own stories as they go along, so we get to hear about each character’s plotline and their sides of the romantic conflicts. Our main pairing is Sebastien and Elia, two young men who meet at a party and later find out they live in the same apartment complex. Sebastian is a human wizard who’s moved to Paris to study magic, and Elia is a vampire who’s a student and sometime actor. As their relationship progresses, Seb gets to know all of Elia’s friends and Elia gets to know Seb’s Filipino family (and megalomaniacal pet bunny, Pierre).

The happy couple (and bunny). (pic via the Les Normaux twitter)

The happy couple (and bunny). (pic via the Les Normaux Twitter)

The title of this comic means “the normals” in French, and as that would imply, the story focuses on the normal parts of life rather than the different magics and species involved. Most of the cast are queer characters of color, and the comic is entirely told in slice-of-life “journal entries” from each character. We learn about werewolf Ronnie’s new relationship with zombie Drew, we’re excited for Pam when she gets up the courage to talk to Radha, and we’re nervous for Seb when Elia takes him home to meet his family. Despite much of the cast being supernatural, it is entirely focused on real issues that everyone in a relationship can relate to.

There’s no Edward Cullen-like angst over being vampires and werewolves in this story, and on the one hand, that’s something I appreciate, because Twilight was terrible. But on the other hand, the one drawback of Les Normaux is that it seems to have put little real time or effort into its worldbuilding. Even though it’s a slice-of-life format, I’d love to have Seb talk about coming to live in the supernatural part of Paris, or if Elia talked about what it’s like being a vampire or part of a vampire family. It would especially be interesting to hear more about Drew’s backstory—he’s mute and communicates with Ronnie through sign language and writing, but knowing why he can’t speak would help us understand him rather than feeling like the author put in a disability for funsies.

These minor issues aside, Les Normaux is an extremely diverse and cute comic; definitely give it a look if you’re into slice-of-life stuff and not real plot! You can find it on its site, Tumblr, or Twitter!

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