For this week’s Wednesday Webcomics, I bring you my first impressions of two gorgeous new fantasy webcomics, Guardian of Gzhel and Woven.
Both Guardian of Gzhel and Woven explore how people move through their world. The protagonists of these two webcomics set in motion their personal journeys and the characters they meet who add to their narrative arc. I’m more than excited to introduce you to these two new webcomics that I highly recommend. Here, you’ll find evocative world-building and promising storylines. Both comics have narratives that dive into how the characters navigate their environments and react to situations and events. In other words, don’t sleep on these two webcomics.
Guardian of Gzhel by Atla Hrafney & Anya
I had the great opportunity to review Atla’s short comic strip, wooden bone, (art by Alexandra Duma-Dancai), which demonstrates Atla’s prowess as a skilled storyteller. His new long-form webcomic, Guardian of Gzhel (art by Anya), still shows her talent. The webcomic, which launched in December 2021, already evokes a poetic atmosphere and intriguing internal conflict in its first six pages. The beginning is enough to draw you in with its compelling art style and poetic dialogue.
Guardian of Gzhel begins with Leo descending into an underworld called the Railroad System, an intricate web of trains, monsters, and cities. Only a few know this world, including the Guardians, the chosen ones who possess extraordinary abilities. Leo, a Guardian himself, is a shadow of his past. Instead of the kid using their powers to help others, they now go through the motions every day, smoking and dealing with depression. But they have one last job to finish.
The story centers on Leo’s past relationship issues and his exhaustion from using his powers. The first part of the story gives us an idea of how Leo moves through the rail system. The conflict and the stakes, posed, feed the tension. The art style directs the perfect balance between silent panels and character interactions. I can’t wait to see where Atla takes this story.
Guardian of Gzhel is available to read on Hiveworks. Content disclaimers are available on the webcomic’s About page.
Learn more about Atla here. Follow her on Twitter.
Woven by Lark & Wren
Years after the dragons and mages disappeared, the world continues to fear another uprising. Ayşe, a young blind woman, goes through her world differently. She sees the threads around her even when interacting with people. Ayşe wants to learn the illegal art of spell weaving. However, this would lead to discoveries about what had happened to dragons and mages.
First of all, this WebToon series features a great protagonist. Ayşe is a resourceful young woman who doesn’t shut up when people try to undermine her or her friends. When a boy, Tolan, accompanies her through the streets of her town and tells her that she is not like other girls, she argues against her feelings.
If you have read and enjoyed reading the works of Ursula K. Le Guin, in particular her earthsea series, I’m positively sure you’ll enjoy it. Fantasy world building and awesome protagonist will attract you.
Woven is available to read on WebToon.
Learn more about Lark & Wren here. Follow them on Twitter and support them on Patreon.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics Archive!
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) with Mason Jar Press.
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