Humor is my go-to form of self care.
I’m always trying to find more ways to inject some laughter into my life, through bad puns or scrolling through memes after a difficult day. And while I follow many serious accounts that challenge systemic issues, discuss the harsh truths of climate change, and shine light on the injustices in the fashion industry, I need a little breather sometimes.
So, instead of following a corporately-sponsored meme account, I turn to independent comic artists. I keep an eye out for diverse perspectives, styles, and tastes, so that I have a little something to turn to no matter what mood I’m in. Here are 11 of my favorite comic illustrators on Instagram—feel free to share yours in the comments below!
1. Huda F | @yesimhotinthis
Huda chronicles her life as a Muslim-American woman through cheeky and relatable comics. I love reading about her adventures with her husband Gehad and her well-meaning, ill-informed friend “Susan.” Her book, Yes I’m Hot In This, came out in 2018 and is about the “hilarious truth about life in a hijab.” Follow along for laughs and insight into Muslim-American culture.
2. Lucy Knisely | @lucyknisley
If you’re a cat-lover, Lucy Knisely is a must-follow. Her hilarious take on what her cat, Linney, thinks about day-to-day life with a three year-old toddler will brighten your feed. She also draws sweet comics about her son, nicknamed Palindrome, that will melt your heart. Her most recent graphic novel, Kid Gloves, explores the highs and lows of an ultra-challenging pregnancy and all the emotions that come with.
3. Alex Norris | @webcomic_name
Alex’s brilliantly-colored comics follow the adventures (and misadventures) of a sweet blob that will make you feel all the feelings. I love Alex’s consistency and imaginative approaches to the running gags in their comics. If you’re looking for a reliably funny, heartwarming follow that encourages you to be unapologetically yourself—this is it. Don’t forget to check out Alex’s book Oh No as well.
4. Christine Rai | @yeahitschill
If you need a kind reminder to take up the space you deserve, Christine Rai is the storyteller you’re looking for. From navigating crushes to cultural critique, Christine’s work will entertain and educate you along the way. I especially love her pie charts that sum up thoughts I didn’t even know I had—like this one about thoughts during baths. She also has a shop, where you can download her comics digitally, and get custom pet portraits, apparel, and more.
5. Julie Houts | @jooleeloren
Julie Houts’s feed is all of our sarcasm dreams come true. Her striking drawings are paired with sharp and witty bits of critique that keep the world in perspective, as she challenges the idea of the “lifestyle” blogger and influencer. She’s been dubbed “Instagram’s favorite illustrator,” and her book, Literally Me explores life and all its absurdities in the age of social media.
6. Dre | @randomninjakitty
Dre’s comics vary in visual and thematic concepts, but all hit the comedic mark. From her conversations with her (rather unhelpful at times) brain, to a very relatable possum, to her beautiful digital artwork, her images are guaranteed to add more color to your feed. For early access to her comics, you can support her on Patreon or consider reaching out for a custom commission.
7. Samantha Rothenberg | @violetclair
The woes of modern dating can be so absurd that they border on the comical—and that’s what I love most about Samantha’s work. She brings real life stories and personal observations to light in honest detail (see her “Screenshot Stories” saved in her highlights; she’s a great IG Stories follow as well). I mean, if we’re not laughing about the horrors of social media, we’re crying about it, right? See more of her work (and some great gifs) on her website.
8. Beth Evans | @bethdrawsthings
If you’re feeling tender and looking for an account that gives you a soft place to land, Beth’s work will be there for you. The recurring Self Confidence Monster is one of the most encouraging characters you’ll ever meet, and her portrayals of struggles with perfectionism and self-doubt will make you feel less alone. Her work is simple, sweet, and magical. She also has a book in case you want to experience her comics IRL.
9. Shelby Lorman | @awardsforgoodboys
This scathing account is binge-worthy. The “good boys” are based on experiences from Shelby and her fans, and they have a very frustrating (and very real) lack of self awareness. She’s also an A+ Instagram Stories follow, from sharing ghost stories (of all the absurd ways people get ghosted), more amazing comics, and pictures of her dog Clem, the best doggo in the world. She just released a book, too!
10. Aminder Dhaliwal | @aminder_d
If you’re into longer narratives, Aminder’s comic account features lengthy series that are easy to invest yourself in. Woman World follows a community of women after men become extinct, and her current storyline, Cyclopedia Exotica, follows the daily lives of cyclopes as they navigate the world and find love. Prefer to follow along on paper? Aminder has also published a graphic novel of her Woman World series.
11. Meichi | @barelyfunctionaladult
How many different ways can I possibly say “this is relatable content?” Meichi’s work is simple and cuts to the core of what it’s like to be a young adult these days. Her comics serve as a reminder for self-love, self-care, and to stay gentle with yourself when times are tough. And on a platform like Instagram that can make us feel inadequate and like we’re “falling behind,” that’s a breath of fresh air. Her book comes out in 2020, but she has an Etsy shop if you want to further support her work right now.
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio. Say hi on Instagram!