For this week’s Wednesday Webcomics, I present to you my first impressions of two new gorgeous fantasy webcomics, Gzhel Guardian and Woven.
Both Gzhel Guardian and Woven explore how people move through their world. The protagonists in these two webcomics set the motion for their personal journeys and the characters they encounter which add to their narrative arc. I’m more than excited to present these two new webcomics that I highly recommend. Here, you’ll find evocative worldbuilding and promising storylines. Both comics have narratives that dive into how characters navigate their environments and respond to situations and events. In other words, don’t sleep on these two webcomics.
Gzhel Guardian by Atla Hrafney & Anya
I’ve had the lovely opportunity to review Atla’s short comic, Wooden Bones, (art by Alexandra Duma-Dancai), which demonstrates Atla’s prowess as a skilled storyteller. Her new long-form webcomic, Gzhel Guardian (art by Anya), further shows her talent. The webcomic, launched in December 2021, already evokes a poetic atmosphere and intriguing internal conflict in its first six pages. Just the beginning is enough to draw you in with its mesmerizing art style and poetic dialogue.
Gzhel Guardian begins with Leo descending to an underground world called the Railway System, a complex network of trains, monsters, and towns. Only a few know of this world, including the Guardians, the chosen who possess extraordinary abilities. Leo, a Guardian themself, is a shadow of their past self. Instead of the kid who uses their powers to help others, they now go through the motion every day, smoking and dealing with depression. But they have one last job to finish.
The story centers on Leo’s past relationship troubles and burn-out from using their powers. The early part of the narrative gives us a sense of how Leo moves through the Railway System. The conflict and stakes, laid out, drive the tension. The art style steers the seamless balance between quiet panels and character interactions. I look forward to where Atla takes this story.
Woven by Lark & Wren
Years after the dragons’ and mages’ disappearance, the world remains in fear of another uprising. Ayşe, a blind young woman, wades through her world differently. She sees the threads that surround her even when she interacts with people. Ayşe wants to learn the illegal art of spell weaving. However, doing so would lead to discoveries about what had happened to the dragons and mages.
First off, this WebToon series includes a great protagonist. Ayşe is a resourceful young woman who does not keep quiet when people try to undermine her or her friends. When a boy, Tolan, accompanies her through the streets of her city and tells her that she’s not like other girls, she argues against his sentiment.
If you’ve read and enjoyed reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s works, particularly her Earthsea series, I’m positively sure that you’ll enjoy this. The fantastic worldbuilding and awesome protagonist will draw you in.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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