WHERE SHOULD YOU BEGIN READING?
Hi there! I’m Alex Woolfson, the writer and publisher of the stories on this site. Welcome!
There are over 800 pages of full-color comics with queer heroes you can read for free here. That’s a lot!
So, where should you begin?
Start with my first comic, Artifice!
I recommend starting with with my science-fiction romance-thriller comic, Artifice, the first graphic novel I ever created. It’s a complete story, a quick read at 88 pages, and is very well-reviewed. Even folks who aren’t huge sci-fi fans seem to like it. In my opinion, it’s the best introduction to my work.
What’s it about?
Artifice is a sci-fi romance-thriller about a prototype android soldier, Deacon, and the 19-year-old human outcast, Jeff, he was supposed to kill, but didn’t. Now the evil Corporation who built him wants answers and they have employed the brilliant and ruthless robopsychologist Clarice Maven to get them.
Deacon seems desperate to conceal the shocking events that took place between him and Jeff on Da Vinci 4, but what chance does he have fighting an adversary who can control his every move?
Artifice was listed as one of the Top 5 LGBT Graphic Novels of 2013 by The Advocate and was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist of 2014.
(Oh, and it’s a trade paperback, too! You can buy the book here.)
Then continue with my superhero story, The Young Protectors, beginning with the “Engaging the Enemy” arc!
What’s it about?
The first arc of The Young Protectors is a coming-of-age superhero story featuring young fire-bending hero Kyle—a member of the independent Young Protectors superhero team—who falls into the power of a handsome and dangerous older super-villain.
Unlike Artifice, this one isn’t a romance—although there are certainly strong romantic themes!—and things aren’t what they seem in the beginning. It’s not actually older-supervillain/young- superhero chika chika bow wow. (And if that trope concerns you, check out this comment from returning reader, Kaden R.. Some spoilers.)
If you stick with it, you’ll get to enjoy the story of a young, gay superhero overcoming impossible odds and becoming the most powerful superhero alive with the help of his friends. (With lots of fun superhero action, humor, the “feels,” and fantastic art along the way!)
The Young Protectors: “Engaging the Enemy” is a complete story. 5 chapters and over 500 pages of free full-color comics. Lots of feels, lots of twists and turns, and lots of epic superhero action in this one.
Here are just a few of the comments posted on the last page of “Engaging the Enemy”:
I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented here before, but I just wanted to say how much I’ve loved Engaging the Enemy, how much I am looking forward to the future of the Young Protectors, but mostly how this comic has made me feel as a gay guy who never had heroes like this growing up, I really, really appreciate it and it makes me feel so normal and a part of something… Much love!
– Xavier M.
A heartfelt thank you Alex (and very much Adam and Vero) for giving us a truly great story. A tale about the growth of a truly appealing character. The surmounting of huge challenges, all of which give us hope. And the creation of a world of characters, all of whom I desperately want to learn more about. In a world of disposable “entertainment” THE YOUNG PROTECTORS is a huge present. You gave me the book I desperately wanted as a closeted 15 year-old gay boy.
– Christopher D.
I’ve loved every bit of this story….all the feels…the twists and turns no one saw coming no matter how hard we watched out for them…the wonderful artwork and the realism of the characters. Can’t wait for the next arc 🙂
After “Engaging the Enemy,” our main linework artist took a
break, so I worked with guest artists to create our first
exclusive comic for our $5+ Patrons — Legendary!
I’m only able to create these comics because of the support of our readers on Patreon so, after many requests, I created this 76-page, Patreon-exclusive, romantic bonus arc of The Young Protectors.
It takes place right before the next arc, “Spooky Jones: Past Sins”, and you don’t need to read this arc to enjoy the rest of The Young Protectors.
But if you like romance stories, and want to support my work, this arc is here for you to enjoy. You can find it here.
(And if you’re curious what other benefits Patrons get, you can check out my Patreon Rewards page.)
Our main artists returned with the next
The Young Protectors arc, “Spooky Jones: Past Sins”!
This is the second main arc of The Young Protectors. The comic is 76 pages, and it’s a supernatural thriller. Also complete.
Spooky Jones must face his greatest fears when he is dragged back to Hell by a lost love. Will the secrets he is forced to reveal save him or damn him forever?
(This mini-arc begins with a summary of the events of Legendary, just so non-Patrons won’t miss out on any plot stuff.)
Our currently updating The Young Protectors
arc is called “Double-Cross!”
This is the 3rd story arc of the The Young Protectors comic and it focuses on Flyboy (the youngest member of The Young Protectors team) and Spooky Jones.
Here’s the summary:
Our heroes are back to doing what they do best: being superheroes, but this time they’ve bitten off way more than they can chew when they tangle with an old enemy trying to perform a dark ritual in the woods.
It’s a superhero-noir story with time-travel and a slow-burn gay romance subplot. We have posted three full chapters — 233 pages in all — and we are currently posting two new pages twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday. You can read this comic for free starting here.
And waiting in the wings is a
superhero-romance arc called Fallen!
Fallen is a side arc in The Young Protectors universe created with guest artist, Gabriel Mayorga.
It takes place after Chapter One of “Double-Cross” and features Flyboy’s telekinetic friend, Cory Alvarado, as he tries to survive in a bizarre and dangerous new world.
Like Artifice, this story is a gay romance first (with an action subplot). We have recently finished Chapter 1 and will be posting new pages once Chapter 4 of Double Cross is complete!
So, that’s everything Young Protectors!
Ultimately, that’s going to be a really satisfying binge-read. Lots of new readers have dived right in this way, and have become life-long fans.
But what if 800+ pages of comics feels overwhelming? What if you want to skip “Engaging the Enemy” altogether?
Is there a way to just start with the current “Double-Cross” arc with its completely age-appropriate romance?
Yes, there is!
Here is the fastest way to get up to speed for the currently
posting Young Protectors arc, “Double-Cross”
I’ve been posting Young Protectors comic pages twice a week since 2012. There are now over 800 pages to The Young Protectors story. And that might feel overwhelming to some folks.
If that’s the case, I’d recommend jumping in with our currently updating story arc, The Young Protectors: “Double-Cross.”
My artists and I have learned a lot over the past decade and this new arc really is our best work. And we’re just in the third chapter, so you can get caught up quickly.
To jump into the current story arc of The Young Protectors, I’d recommend you read:
The Young Protectors Volume One Character Cheat Sheet — It gives you a quick overview of the heroes and villains
“The Flyboy Bonus Comic” — It’s a standalone, 50-page story that introduces two of the three main characters of “Double-Cross” (Flyboy and Cory) and it’s a lot of fun.
You can then continue by reading the short “Spooky Jones: Past Sins” mini-arc.
It’s just 76 pages, is full of magic, adventure, and drama, and starts with a quick summary of all the important TYP plot stuff up to that point. It will also introduce you to the other hero of “Double-Cross”: fan-favorite character, Spooky Jones.
Read those, and you’ll have everything you need to enjoy our current arc, “Double-Cross” which updates every Wednesday and Saturday.
So, you’ve got a choice! Full binge-read of hundreds of high-quality comic pages with gay heroes OR just get started with our current story in no time so you’ll be able to join your fellow readers reading and commenting on the new comic pages that update twice a week.
Both work equally well! 😀
HOW TO READ
Reading a webcomic is easy!
You’ll find the navigation links under every comic page. (Click Next to go to the next page. You can also just click on the comic page itself to get to the next page!)
There are also keyboard commands:
- Left Arrow: Previous Page
- Right Arrow: Next Page
- Shift + Left Arrow: First Page
- Shift + Right Arrow: Last Page
- Shift + Down Arrow: Random Page
Finally, if you just want an easy way to go to the most current page of “Double-Cross,” you can create a bookmark with this link:
(PRO TIP: Don’t create a bookmark of where that link takes you—you’ll lose the special code! Instead, you need to copy-paste the text of the link above manually into a placeholder bookmark you’ve already created. See the FAQ for more information on how to do that.)
be sure to comment!
If you scroll to the very bottom of each comic page (under my notes!), you’ll find a place to share your thoughts and interact with your fellow readers via Disqus.
And, on more recent pages, you’ll also be able to leave comments for each page at The Young Protectors Community site, a fully interactive forum. (And those comments will also cross-post onto the webcomic site!)
The community that has grown around these stories is one of the best things about these comics, in my opinion. So don’t be shy, share your thoughts and make some new friends!
Explore the Archives
If you’re looking for a specific page or story, or just want to see the full extent of all our comics here, you can take a look at the Archives.
Check out the FAQ
If you have any questions I haven’t answered here, chances are that I’ve answered it in my FAQs.
And if not, you can ask me directly.
WHO AM I?
I’m Alex Woolfson and I’m the writer and publisher of these comics. As a gay kid growing up, I never got to see what I wanted to see, and that was science-fiction and action stories with heroes, real heroes, who just happened to like other guys.
So, after a successful career as a filmmaker, that’s why I started making these comics. In particular, I wanted to make comics that were just as good as what the straight boys get, but for us. And now, with the support of readers like you on Patreon, it’s my full-time job!
WHAT DO I DO?
I write the scripts and art direct all the stories, and I keep the lights on around here.
And I’ve hired some of the best artists in the industry to create these pages.
I work with amazingly talented artists to create these stories, and it’s a true collaboration. Winona and I worked on Artifice together. Adam DeKraker and Veronica Gandini are the main artists for The Young Protectors.
Here’s a little bit about them:
Winona Nelson, artist for the graphic novel Artifice, has worked in comics, video games, and illustration for over ten years. She trained in classical realism applied to entertainment art in San Francisco and worked in video game studios before going freelance. She now focuses on comics, fantasy and science fiction book covers, and card game art.
Adam DeKraker is an illustrator and comic book artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Throughout his career, he’s had the opportunity to draw lots of stories starring his childhood heroes like Superman, Spider-Man, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and The Teen Titans.
He creates all the gorgeous linework for the main arcs of The Young Protectors.
Veronica Gandini is a comic book colorist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Colorist in 2011, she has colored series such as Spider-Man and X-Men for Marvel and, most recently, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Batman and the Outsiders for DC Comics and Captain Ginger for Ahoy Comics.
She creates all the stunning colors for the main arcs of The Young Protectors.
I hope you enjoy these comics that my artists and I have created. If you get a chance, please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Welcome aboard! I can’t wait to have you with us!