Wednesday Webcomics: Let “Witchy” Measure the Worth of Your Magic

Witchy by Ariel Ries
Witchy by Ariel Ries

Witchy by Ariel Ries, a Queer fantasy webcomic, sweeps through a world where hair measures the strength of someone’s magic. However, anyone who has too long hair is marked as an enemy and burned. The webcomic follows familiar high fantasy tropes, particularly the reluctant hero, but Ries orchestrates the story to her own symphony, constructing a gorgeous narrative about agency and self-worth.

Like her late father, Nyneve’s hair reaches past the kingdom Hyalin’s limits. Years ago, the Guard, protectors of the kingdom’s peace, burned him. Longer hair means you’re an enemy. She magically shortens and ties her hair every day. The day of conscription approaches, where students with above average magic get selected for the Guard. For Nyneve, being accepted to the Guard means complicity with the ones who burned her father. When her secret unwillingly escapes, her mother urges her to run away.

Left alone in a strange place, Nyneve encounters a talking Raven named Banana, meets an old friend, and tries to figure out her reason for living. She doesn’t want to become part of the resistance, she puts herself down, and she gets called selfish for cutting her hair and running away.

Witchy by Ariel Ries
Witchy

Witchy questions the choices people make to survive and keep the peace, even at the expense of other groups or populations. Nyneve’s mother copes with the grief from losing her husband. Nyneve’s friends Batu and Prill (the latter a trans woman) join the Guard after conscription, although the two have ulterior motives. The worldbuilding, besides the hair being a determiner of magical abilities, impresses me. People offer rice to the spirits in thanks. Brooms, once a major mode of transportation in Hyalin, are crafted with wood and magic. The webcomic also contains quiet and atmospheric moments that gorgeously show actions and gestures.

Witchy by Ariel Ries
Witchy

Ries has mentioned her two-year hiatus in her latest update. I’m eager to read more after the last chapter, but I know it will be worth the wait. Nyneve’s character development is one to watch.

 

Witchy is available to read online. You can purchase a print version (chapters 1-4) here.

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. They’re a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine. Their various areas of interest include intersectionality in apocalyptic and disaster films, Artificial Intelligence, writing for animation, YA SFF, and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

Pronouns: he/they
Location: DC Metro area

Twitter: @brahidaliz


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