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I Can’t Believe This Beloved Webcomic Is Almost Over

Milo and Liam have a moment.

I don’t exactly remember how I got into Tripping Over You, but I’m pretty sure there was some gender envy involved. Although I am now comfortable identifying as a cis woman, things were definitely touch and go in my teens, and I have a vague memory of seeing Liam—the mop-top brunette protagonist—and thinking, “Man, I could look like that if my boobs were flatter. Rip.”

What followed was a love-affair between me and this webcomic that lasted throughout my high school years. To quietly rebel against the tight constraints of catholic school, I’d read this comic in class, doing my best to pretend I was following along with the course material while I was secretly engrossed in an endearing saga of Boys Kissing. I was never really into “boy’s love” or yaoi type content as I found a lot of it to be exploitative, but I was starved for good queer media , and TOY was exactly what I was looking for. I think it helps that the comic was written by a lesbian couple, who knew what tropes and stereotypes to avoid.

Tripping Over You is a story about two young men in the U.K. who’ve more or less grown up together in boarding school. Milo Dunstan is outgoing and well-liked, while Liam Schwartz is high-strung and easily bothered. They’ve always got on well, but after five years, Milo finally gets a chance to act on his feelings. Liam reciprocates, but it’s difficult for him, as he’s the only son of a conservative, widowed father who hounds his every step. Watching the two of them grow together and eventually leave the relative safety of boarding school was a journey that perfectly combined heartwarming and painfully real moments. From their first sexual escapades to bigger, more stressful life changes, TOY has always treated Milo and Liam’s stories with care and love.

However, it’s been a little over ten years since the comic began, and all good things must come to an end. We’re finally approaching the end of this beloved webcomic, which is still dutifully updating (as it has been for all these years!) but is now reaching the conclusion of its epilogue. That makes—prologue and epilogue included—twenty-two chapters of these boys and their journey together. We’ve seen them grow up, and it’s almost bittersweet to have to say goodbye.

But hey, it’s been a good run, and I can safely say that this is a comic that only gets better with each reread. I’ve also found that I almost relate to it more the older I get. When I was younger, I used to think that Liam and Milo’s relationship wasn’t realistic because it “was too happy,” but I’ve since learned that theirs is a pretty realistic portrayal of what happens when you and your partner put in the work to effectively communicate. Liam used to be unnecessarily mean because of his baggage, while Milo had a tendency to be a little self-indulgent. Now, as we come to the conclusion of their stories, we find them much more settled in their lives, both as individuals and as partners. It’s great!

So, whether you’re also a queer nerd, or you just need a good comic to read, I can’t recommend Tripping Over You enough. It’s sincere, the art is delightful, and the story sticks with you, even as “mundane” as it may seem on the surface. And to Suzana and Owena, congrats on 10 fantastic years with this comic—I can’t wait to see what comes next!

(featured image: Toybox Comics)

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Madeline (she/her) is a writer and dog mom. She aims to use her writing to positively represent mixed-race people like herself, and is currently working on a novel. However, when she isn't writing, she's either battling insomnia or taking too many naps. You can read her stuff at https://madelinecwrites.com/