Ryder tells the story of a music sensation in L.A. whose life is changed completely after an encounter with a woman named Blithe in a coffee shop.
Ryder is a webcomic by illustrator Austen Marie which she described as a “Bisexual Rock N Roll Supernatural Romance.” Ryder “Ry”, the comic’s protagonist, is confident in herself. An aspiring musician who likes a musician named Landon Moon, she wants to become a pop star. Five years later Ry is barely making rent, but everything is set to change for her in a big way.
As a warning, this review discusses some spoilers for Ryder.
Ry is about to go to a concert honoring Landon Moon when she meets a woman named Blithe, who crushes on her. When she goes to her open mic that night, she sings a song of Landon’s, drawing in Blithe. She goes to a costume party, breaks up with Dean, kisses Blithe, and accidentally enters a whole different world.
Ryder has a compelling storyline and characters, especially Ryder and Blithe. The webcomic’s artistry, done with Clip Studio EX and apple pencil according to Marie, is impressive and amazing, which makes a clear impression on the reader. This is coupled with its themes of self-worth, acceptance, and romance. While the characters in this comic, especially after the fourth issue, remind me a little of Vivienne Medrano’s ZooPhobia and Caytlin Vilbrandt’s Tamberlane, they are unique in their own way and jump out of the screen. The comic becomes even more interesting with the mystery of what is going behind in this alternate world that Ryder stumbles into, and what role Blithe has in this world, making that much more intriguing.
The six-episode webcomic is written and illustrated by Austen Marie. She is also known for her webcomic, Soul on Hold. By the end of the last posted episode, I had a lot of questions, not only about Landon being a werewolf but about Blithe. I’d love to see more of this webcomic, and hope that it continues in the future.
Ryder has an openly bisexual protagonist, with Ryder showing attraction to Landon and Blithe, with both comfortable with this, fine that she is attracted to both of them. So, that in and of itself makes it unique. There are other webcomics which focus on music, like the mature comic The Rock Cocks and the coming of age teen comic Radio Silence, to name two LGBTQ comics which have music as a major theme, among the many webcomics out there.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Burkely Hermann
Burkely is an indexer of declassified documents by day and a fan fic writer by night. He recently earned a MLIS with a concentration in Digital Curation from the University of Maryland. He currently voraciously watches animated series and reads too many webcomics to count on Webtoon. He loves swimming, hiking, and searching his family roots in his spare time.
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