Newman: Monster-Killing Gnome Webcomic with 50% More BDSM

Newman: Monster-Killing Gnome Webcomic with 50% More BDSM

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I hadn’t been reading webcomics for a bit, so I went back to Webtoons.com and skimmed through their fantasy section. I had previously enjoyed (and blogged about them here) Elf and Warrior and Cyko-KO. This time, I ran across Newman and immediately loved it.

[Click the images for monster-sized versions.]

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Briefly, Newman is a sword-wielding professional monster hunter working for the Creature Removal Department. His new partner is Gwen, a Drow sorceress and archer, and it’s pretty clear that she’s boyfriend hunting and he’s the prey. It mixes comedy, fantasy, action, and romance really well under the hand of cartoonist Josh Ulrich.

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I hadn’t given any thought to drow since playing AD&D in high school literal eons ago, but I dimly remember that it was a matriarchal society and that they were evil and sadistic.

So in the second or third episode of the webcomic, when Newman’s buddy Chet says to look out, because a drow girlfriend will turn you into a love slave, I started remembering more of my D&D lore and my Vault of the Drow module, with amazing Bill Willingham interior art, which I’m sure I still have in a box somewhere. Ah, memories…

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Vault of the Drow interior

Newman and Gwen get closer without him totally realizing it, because he’s rebounding, and they continue to kill monsters together.

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And as Newman and Gwen I started getting closer, I got to laughing not just at the angle that Ulrich was taking for the drow, but at the way power dynamics in a relationship get set up.

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And even the innocent cutesy early relationship stuff all had the undertones of a dominant-submissive relationship. This is in part the reason Gwen lets on that she hasn’t had any relationships, because she’s worried she’s too complicated.

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And when we get to see the drow city in the Underdark, the full revelations of the ways women and men drow interact is hilarious. We meet Gwen’s extended family, including her little brother, who is the love slave of Gwen’s high school enemy. But the kid brother becomes friends with Newman and discovers D&D!

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Webtoons.com has 140 or so episodes of Newman to read for free right here. The way Webtoons works is the more likes and reads a webcomic gets, the more of the collective Patreon subscription money gets shunted to a creator, so check it out. Great phone-reading for your commute. Or, if you prefer a collected comic edition, I believe that Ulrich ran a successful Kickstarter for that, so it should be on Comixology.com.

It’s light D&D fantasy fun. Great read. Recommended.


Derek writes science fiction and fantasy in Gatineau, Qu├ębec. He tweets from @derekkunsken and his first novel, a hard scifi heist called The Quantum Magician will be out in October from Solaris Books.

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