A Year of Free Comics: KYOKO follows one girl’s rebellion in the face of incredible odds

In the LGBTQ-themed sci-fi comic Kyoko, our eponymous, 6 year-old hero rebels against the fascist regime controlling her home planet. She resists in small ways, every day, but when the safety of her friend and mentor is at risk, she tries to physically take on the system itself — and then she flees into the desert, without any idea of what has happened to her family. From there, things only get more complicated.

Kyoko is written by Jess Dotson and illustrated by Phebs. Here’s the full synopsis:

Kyoko often looks up at the stars, wishing she could see what else is out there. Her wish is granted when she is suddenly taken off her home planet and pushed further and further out to the edges of the universe.

Beyond the barren walls of her home, Kyoko discovers that the universe is far more massive than she ever could have known. After she’s captured by poachers and nearly sold into slavery, she’s informally adopted by Ranuc, who shows her that kindness can be as effective as punishment. In fact, it’s often a better approach to conflict, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Together, the pair do what they can to search for news of Kyoko’s family, but it’s tough going — especially since she has no idea how far she is from home.

Kyoko is an action-packed, emotional story about rebellion and bravery, but it’s also about found family and trust. In between main story chapters, Dotson and Phebs feature mini-comics that are equally wonderful. Chapter 5 just wrapped; until March, mini-comics will constitute the team’s updates, and then the next arc will begin in March with Chapter 6. That makes this the perfect time to catch up, let yourself get attached to these characters, and keep up with their antics before the next part of the story begins.

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You can read Kyoko at or on Webtoon.


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