Ryder tells the story of an LA musical sensation whose life changed completely after meeting a woman named Blithe at a coffee shop.
Ryder is a webcomic by illustrator Austen Marie that she describe like a “Bisexual Rock N Roll Supernatural Romance. Ryder “Ry”, the protagonist of the comic, is confident. A budding musician who loves a musician named Landon Moon, she wants to become a pop star. Five years later, Ry is barely earning rent, but everything is about to change drastically for her.
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 has a crush on her. When she goes to her open mic that night, she sings a Landon song, drawing in Blithe. She goes to a costume party, breaks up with Dean, kisses Blithe, and accidentally enters a whole other world.
Ryder has a compelling storyline and characters, especially Ryder and Blithe. The artistry of the webcomic, made with Clip Studio EX and apple pencil according to Marie, is impressive and astonishing, which makes a strong impression on the reader. This is coupled with its themes of self-esteem, acceptance, and romance. If the characters of this comic, especially after the fourth volume, remind me a little of those of Vivienne Medrano Zoophobia and Caytlin Vilbrandt Tamberlan, they are unique in their own way and pop out of the screen. The comic becomes even more interesting with the mystery of what happens in this alternate world that Ryder falls into, and what role Blithe has in this world, which makes it that much more intriguing.
The six-part webcomic is written and illustrated by Austen Marie. She is also known for her webcomic, soul waiting. At the end of the last published episode, I had a lot of questions, not only about Landon being a werewolf, but also about Blithe. I’d love to see more of this webcomic, and hope it continues in the future.
Ryder has an openly bisexual protagonist, with Ryder showing an attraction to Landon and Blithe, both of whom are comfortable with it, though she is attracted to both of them. So that in itself makes it unique. There are other webcomics that focus on music, such as the mature comic The roosters of the rock and teenage coming-of-age cartoon Radio silenceto name just two LGBTQ comics that have music as their main theme, among the many webcomics that exist.
Ryder is available to read on WebToon and Tapas.
You can find Austen Marie on Twitter and Instagram. The webcomic can be supported on Patreon.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics Archive!
Author: Burkely Hermann
Burkely is a declassified document indexer by day and a fan fic writer by night. He recently earned an MLIS with a concentration in Digital Preservation from the University of Maryland. He currently voraciously watches anime series and reads too many webcomics to rely on Webtoon. He enjoys swimming, hiking and researching his family roots in his spare time.
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