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March 7th, 2017

March 7th, 2017 published on 71 Comments on March 7th, 2017

Coulda gone worse.

Gonna be doing character Q&As on the week of the 20th March while I take some time to catch up on non-Widdershins work stuff and maybe even.. take a day off?! So if you have a question for a character, ask in the comments below or via my Tumblr ask box here.

  • Me-me

    So is anyone else gonna talk about the gay crush Dominik has or not?

    If you didn’t know – go reread the comics he’s been in this chapter with this in mind.

    • JWLM

      I haven’t been doing so because he’s also got significant abuse and control issues.

    • billydaking

      Not every relationship between two characters has to be a romance. Same in real life.

      • Me-me

        I am the first to say that. I hate shoehorned-in romance and _especially_ shoehorned-in LGBT romance. It’s fanservice, it’s shallow, and it detracts from the story. I could give you fifteen examples of it, and start exactly as many arguments about it.

        I don’t believe that’s what this is. This is properly foreshadowed, well-written, subtle, and I can honestly believe it’s there.

        He wanted to help at all costs until Wolfe showed up, and wanted to leg it (with Wolfe) as soon as he did. Then when Wolfe was in danger, he was able to overpower Envy, something not even Wolfe himself could do, to prevent harm – specifically to Wolfe.

        I suspected it backstage. I knew it when the strings snapped.

        • billydaking

          If this turns into a whole “I-hate-him-’cause-I-really-love-him” cliche, I’ll be really disappointed.

          What you describe would take away from Voss as a character, make his personal journey of self-discovery completely reliant on unresolved romantic feelings for someone else. At the beginning of his appearance in this story, Voss wanted to stop Envy because of what Envy had done to him, not to help the others. His offer to help was given from the ground after being thrown there in surprise by Verity and in a language he can barely speak. In his own language, which only Wolfe understands, he explains why he was really there. His body language in subsequent pages shows that his decision to confront Envy on his own most likely was a hard one, and one that his strong instinct for self-preservation is fighting against.

          Voss was a coward and a bitter man who carried around a stone of suspicion and self-absorption. That’s what made him a perfect vessel for Envy; he was a man who saw himself alone in a world that continually worked against him. Wolfe was the only person who tried any kind of a personal connection with Voss, and Voss’s own redemption came from Wolfe’s forgiveness for his betrayal. That’s why he was concerned about Wolfe’s life when Envy discovered their party; he doesn’t know or give a toss about about Verity and Sid, and only knows Ben as someone who’d rather see him behind bars or worse. That’s Voss. But Wolfe is someone different. He’s the closest thing Voss has ever had to a friend.

          For me, this character arc has been about a fundamental change of perspective for Voss, something that is never easy for anyone. And what we’re seeing is a man, formerly despicable and destructive, taking his first step toward living with humanity rather than for the sake of himself.

          • fwiw, i am enjoying both sides of this debate and appreciating the civility :)

          • Heylir

            I agree with almost all you said. I’d wish to add that Voss broke Envy’s control before, not over Wolfe, but from strong unwiling to take a part in a mass murder of strangers. (Envy took their control back, then, but nevertheless.) And I tend to think that Voss’ being Envy’s “puppet” before has some connection with his breaking their strings, purely psychological one or otherwise.

            Also, his reply at Envy’s offer was interesting. He didn’t say to Wolfe “I used to hate you, now I don’t and I never would kill you” or like that, he said “I’d like to try and be good”, in that context nearly equal “try to be more like you”. I don’t think the word “crush” adequately describes feelings of this kind.

        • BaronHaynes

          I really didn’t see this before I read back through and thought about it, and to be honest, I still don’t agree with it — but I can see how someone else could take this reading from their dynamic. I also agree with billydaking that if his motivation in breaking free of Envy’s control in this chapter was about love, it would cheapen his arc a bit. He needed to betray Wolfe, steal people’s livelihoods and talents, and nearly commit mass murder to work through his inferiority complex. He was brought low and humbled, but here he finally has the chance to be heroic by *refusing* to do what he spent all of Chapter 5 trying to do. Envy assumes he’s here to “play the hero” and prove he’s better than Wolfe, but he’s not, he’s actually just trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.

          That said, if Kate has plans to develop a relationship between the two of them, I don’t have much doubt she could do it effectively. I just think it would take a fair bit of groundwork starting from this point, rather than simply capping off what’s come before. I always saw it more between Wolfe and Mal (or Mal and Ben) than Voss, though if character Q&A is canon, Mal might be asexual (or just has a really good poker face).

          All THAT said, I have a pet theory that, if correct, means someone else may be available before the end of this chapter ´◔‿ゝ◔`

    • Del


      • Hey man, you’ve made similar ‘ick’ or ‘ew’ comments in the past like this whenever something non-straight is mentioned: please refrain from that. Cheers!

        • Del

          Acknowledged. But you misunderstand the source of my revulsion.

          The internet is full of trashy comics, poorly drawn and/or poorly written. My admiration for your storytelling has kept me here — as much as Harriet’s pipe! Widdershins is a much richer place than Hogwarts.

          Everyone is attracted to Wolfe because of his effortless virtue. (That is a very difficult character to keep real and charming!) Voss was also drawn to this, but he was tempted by envy. Voss has just accomplished his own redemption, which we all longed for. So happy!!!!

          If you intend to write a relationship between Wolfe & Voss, no doubt you can accomplish this while preserving their virtue…. Just as Nicola is also fierce with virtue. Even Florrie, in her own flirtatious way.

          For now, I’m with billydaking — not every relationship has to be romance.

          [And I was hoping that there would be a little bit of humor in the German spelling of “ich.”]

          Dear Kate: You may delete this after you read it, if you don’t want to tempt further discussion. I will do as you ask — as your guest.

          • “I don’t feel these two as a couple” is 100% different to repeated “ick” or “ew” noises, you understand?

            • I have to admit I can see something of Del’s point here – I’m a little tired of western romance anchoring their tales by representing people ONLY in terms of their relationships with a significant other, whatever their orientation. My wife has been amused/annoyed with my tendency to refuse to watch certain movies because of this. :)

              That being said, I love how you’ve built these characters – they feel fully formed and driven, independent of whatever relationship they may or may not have. There relationships are part of them and (in some cases) what drives them, but NOT the only note in the symphony of their personalities or character development. The story your telling here will stand in any case – if they are friends, rivals, or romantic partners.

              • JWLM

                I think that Word of God here is that Del’s point is at least supportable on the basis of the text so far, but that’s not her problem — the problem she has is with his first response, which comes off, as homophobic.

                • Yep, understood.

                • Del

                  Oh dear. Please appreciate that there is a big difference between homophobic and icky.

                  If a reader were disgusted by mere homosexual love, he would have left this comic long ago when Nicola’s heart was opened for us.

                  If Kate wants to develop her characters into relationships, then it will (without doubt) be magnificent. Until that happens, I politely summed up my feelings toward this particular fan-shipping with one suitable syllable.

                  I won’t do it again.

            • Del

              There is no need to scold.

  • EnnBee

    Question for Miss Cunningham- have there been any situations in which that spanner in your hair has been especially handy?

  • Kaunisenkeli

    Oh, Verity, you are going to be SUCH a liability when it comes to dealing with Pride. Maybe find a cafe and sit back during that fight?

    • Nightsbridge

      If she had the self-awareness for that, she would be safe to bring to that fight in the first place.

    • billydaking

      And I bet you that Pride remembers Verity….

      • JWLM

        I’m sure that Pride remembers her in ever so many ways…

  • Iituem

    Is that an art blip, or has Dominik lost that left eye?

  • Ghostdanser

    Methinks that Verity and I have widely different definitions of the word “complete”, but her look is priceless.

    • non_canon

      Although I have to love that her first instinct is to reassure Ben instead of anything else.

      • Euodiachloris

        Family: needing to keep each other alive right now, just so you can continue get on each other’s nerves later. xD

  • Ocean Burning.

    The interactions between Sid and Verity are always just priceless.

    • Why is no-one shipping those two yet? They’re obviously made for each other.

      • ThisCat

        Because Sid would destroy her, and that does not sound like a healthy relationship.

        • Might be fun to watch though…

          • ThisCat


            • Ocean Burning.

              I don’t know if this entire reply chain is an example of shipping, trolling, or troll-shipping, but I just want to express my strong disapproval.

      • JWLM

        Because then we wouldn’t be able to ship Sid and Harry, of course. And Sid + Harry + Vee as an OT3 would be just…

        actually quite brilliant.

        Let’s go, HSV as OT3!

      • Euodiachloris

        Because when two people seem to get along like brother and sister, it’s a bit icky to ship them?

        • ThisCat

          To be fair, that rarely stops people.

  • JWLM

    Sid has been spending entirely too much time with the Deadlies. “Oh, that’s good! Because I was actually REALLY worried there.” is pricelessly nasty.

    Also, Ms. Cunningham’s face afterwards…

    • Emily

      And this being Sid, it’s really hard to tell if he’s actually being deliberately nasty or if he means that sincerely!

    • Rachel McGonagill

      I read that as Sid truthfully having been really, actually worried that he was going to be forced to cut Verity in half. His relief at learning that she had it all under control and wasn’t worried a bit comes out in a self-deprecating laugh about how worried he had been. Not nasty at all…. That’s just not Sid’s way… Unless you were joking and I missed it?

  • John

    Definitely take a day off. I’m sure you deserve it. We promise to still be here when you get back.

  • Greenwood Goat

    Verity: And it was at that point that Mr. Malik suffered a terrible mishap, getting his neck tangled in some stage ropes and hanging himself, poor fellow… only Herr Wolfe’s timely intervention, with the assistance of Herr Voss, saved him. *eyetwitch* …Good work, you two. *teeth grind*


  • billydaking

    Totally random: That first panel reminds me of the end of the The Pretender flash game from a few years ago.

    Not quite random: I obviously need to get out more.

  • Yay! Absolutely take that day off- you super deserve it! All the gorgeous costumes this chapter gave me a question for Wolfe & Mal: If you could dress any way you like, what would you wear? :)

  • I have a long list of questions, but they’re all really boring geek stuff about how magic works.

    • non_canon

      To be honest, I would not be opposed to this.

    • Might be worth a special Q&A sometime…

    • Ocean Burning.

      It might be nice to ask Ben a question — it might improve his morale after how he’s been performing recently.
      Actually, it would be good to ask a question for Ben and Sidney to answer together, since they haven’t been able to interact much yet.

      • Only if we can arrange it so that he doesn’t realise we are asking him so he can answer it. He’ll think we’re patronising him and get offended. Also the risk that Mr Malik will jump in first and that won’t help either. Got a good question for him?

        • Ocean Burning.

          Why would he be offended? When your only “talent” is studying and knowing stuff, you *like* people to appreciate your knowledge and ask you questions about the things you’ve studied. At least, this is true for me…
          Yeah, if you have a question about magical theory you actually want a good answer to, better just ask Ben. Poor Sidney… what good does it do to go to the top university if you can’t even pay attention in lectures?

  • non_canon

    We know Wolfe and the wizards are bilingual, but does anybody else know more than one language? Do any of the above mentioned characters know another language we don’t know about?
    Mal, what about France do you enjoy so much? Just the fancy wine and cheese, or anything else.
    Verity, what do you think about Ben’s new friends and the adventures he’s been going on?
    Sidney, have you told your parents yet about getting expelled and about your new job? What do they think about it all?

  • Sarah Hardister

    I have a question for Sid: now that he knows it’s a spirit that’s fetching things for him, will he try to communicate with it and perhaps get it under control?

    • And a question for Sid’s magpie: now that you have an interpreter (Mal) nearby, will you try to communicate with your human and make friends with him?

      • Haven

        From the magpie’s point of view, that’s what it’s been doing this whole time.

  • Emily

    Ben, do you have any other cousins besides Verity? Any siblings?

    • Ocean Burning.

      Ooh, this is the question I was going to ask! Adding this:
      Ben, did you and Verity spend much time together when you were younger?

  • dana

    It’s probably just me, but Verity’s little hair wrench thing looks like it’s moving around a little. Like it’s trying to get a better view.

  • OPCyclopsLady

    Yer boi Voss is missing a pupil in that last panel.
    Edit: NVM I’M DUMB

    • OPCyclopsLady

      This has been a great chapter btw ❤

    • Spirit22

      If it makes you feel better. This was the first time I noticed it too, and I had the same reaction.

  • Zster

    Okay. I don’t care about shipping. I just need Wolfe to give Mal a completely platonic bro hug after all this. That poor child.

  • JWLM

    Question for Harry: How do you respond to the rumors that Sid and Verity are romantically attached?

    • Del

      Oh yes! A very important question.

      And while Harriet is handy: Sherlock Holmes smoked Black Shag, and Dr. Watson enjoyed Arcadia. What is your pipe tobacco blend? Do you smoke the same as Grandpa Henry?

    • Ocean Burning.


      • JWLM

        I’m just trying to help here… I mean, Invidia did just mention that they would see her again soon, didn’t they?


  • I have two questions for Ann, June and Cassandra (I miss them…):
    What’s the thing you like to do the best now? Is there something you would like to do but must wait to grow up to do it?

  • Ilmari

    You did good, Voss. Thanks for that. :-)