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  • “If you get killed I shall never speak to you again…”

  • Oh, geeze. Vee’s getting bored.

    That can’t be a good omen.

    • Basil Sage

      I don’t think she’s bored. I think she’s observing them. She isn’t normally a fan of wizards, but they are apparently essential to this quest Harriet has recruited her into. One of the wizards she’s meant to work with is her little cousin, whom she’d never seen in a professional capacity before (maybe??? I’m winging it), and he seems to be instructing this Witch person whom the whole business depends on in the ways of magic. Not to mention the total stranger (Wolfe) she’s also meant to be working with and the odd bromance between the three of them.

      Verity is not a fool, at least I don’t think she is. She’s smart and alert, and she’s assessing her surroundings, like smart and alert people do when thrown into a high-stakes new situation.

      And/or she’s gathering new material to tease Ben with, having used up the old.

      P.S. Sorry for the novel; I was about to make a fresh thread about Verity when I saw your comment.

      • non_canon

        I would also bet she’s reassessing Ben a little bit as well. She wasn’t there for most of the growth we’ve seen, so in her eyes he was still that character he was when he was first introduced. And now she shows up and not only has he cut his hair (which her gleeful comment about his mom hating it makes me think she views it as a rebellion she’s proud of him for) but there’s all the things you mentioned in the first paragraph and she’s taking this quiet moment to take stock before they get plunged into adventure again.

    • She’s trying to find a way to spoil the ‘moment’ the two teams are sharing as they split up and go into danger. Anything that will make them upset, unhappy, worried, mistrustful or angry. You can tell this, because she is awake.

  • Afrodiseum

    Awww, they’re bonding.

  • Laurel Brinker-Cole (Ayara012)


    • Hush

      Why? It’s okay.

      Everything is okay.
      …Move along, citizen.

      • Laurel Brinker-Cole (Ayara012)

        I fear for my precious children. Particularly the combination of Wolfe’s last line and Kate’s alarmING COMMENTARY

  • kuku

    I like how Mal gradually learns that he IS certain, even though he doesn’t know why.

  • blueeyedintrovert

    oh god, I’m starting to get really nervous…

  • nehima

    slowly steeples hands
    heinrich/mal when ?? :33

    • Darastrix

      The only ‘ship for Mal is friendship. It’s never been addressed in-comic, but IIRC, Mal is aromantic.

      • Columbine

        Can friendship be a ship if it’s a strong enough friendship? Cos I think their friendship is pretty damn strong.

        • SandstormSinger

          I think we just really need to invent a word for shipping that’s for friendships. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve wanted to talk about my favorite “ships” that are just really awesome friendships, not romances at all.

          I’ve seen “friendshipping” suggested before, but I’ve found that it’s just hard to take seriously. “I friendship them” Does anyone have any other ideas?

          • Basil Sage

            Well, you could always say they’re your BroTP.

          • non_canon

            I’ve always been a fan of the term “found family”, which I feel is what Wolfe and Mal are and what Ben is getting adopted into.

          • Columbine

            I am a bad person to ask cos I’ll go ‘Ooooo that’s quite interesting lemme just check this yoruba dictionary….’ Then several weeks later you will end up with some mash-up word thing that no one in the Western world can pronounce cos tonal languages are awesome and have all the puns……

          • Euodiachloris

            Boat? *shrugs*

            • Columbine

              I like boat. I vote boat.

          • LA Julian


          • Phlebas

            You could just say you like their friendship?

          • Kyle Hamilton

            broships? sisships? sibships? palships?

      • Basil Sage

        OK, sure, but frankly? What made me stop shipping O’Malley with either one of his friends wasn’t being told he’s aro/ace: it was him having tangled, complicated platonic relationships with them that couldn’t be improved by adding romance. I feel like the question “what do they want with each other?” has sufficient in-plot answers, and inserting romance as an additional answer would be overexplaining, and not adding clarity.

        A bromance is just a friendship that’s meant to make your heart hurt, right?

      • Marvelous TK

        sure, mal’s probably never _actually_ going to have a relationship on that account, but if i limited my ships based on silly things like ‘the remotest possibility of even having the potential for actually happening’ i wouldn’t have half so many ships as i do, so

      • nehima

        platonic life parnters are really good too !! 😁😁😁

  • Sapphire363

    Oh that evil smile. It’s so beautiful

  • Mal in that fourth panel is my favourite visual so far in the entire comic. So much personality! Perfection.

    • AJ

      REALLY? Mal in the fourth panel is the first time he’s looked deliberately malicious to me, and it’s frightening. :/

      • Basil Sage

        Seems like he spent his only deliberate maliciousness coin on trolling Ben, though.

        • Euodiachloris

          Which is what real friends do. And, it’s not just a bloke thing. xD

          • LA Julian

            And it shows he isn’t completely overwhelmed/lost by his new role as Witch of Widdershins — he can still enjoy teasing Ben(ji) in the midst of the current apocalypse!

      • Maria Gerasimova

        Open maliciousness is obviously demonstrative, not a true one…

  • Kyle Hamilton

    Why does Mal look so… malevolent? is that the word I’m looking for?… in the 4th panel?

    • Nightsbridge

      Because he’s using the pet name ben HATES

  • Winger

    Aw Wolfe. I suppose, considering he’s the one who convinced Mal first to enter Widdershins and then to stay and face his witchy destiny, it’s no surprise he’s starting to fret now that said destiny seems to involve weird magical osmosis and daytrips into other dimensions.

    In other words, all the various expressions are continuing to get to me.

  • Yay. Friends for ever.

  • Columbine

    *Most* disappointed! :)

  • Basil Sage

    *Reads the line about “coming to injury”*

    *Lists characters by seeming likelihood of getting GRRM’d*

    *Is displeased*

    *Rearranges list*

    *Sets list on fire*

    • Winger

      That DOES seem like a comment that’s a brick joke in the making…but Widdershins has always been a light-hearted, family friendly sort of webcomic so I’m thinking it more likely to be bed rest than gravestones. It’s actually been rather nice having a piece of media where I don’t have to worry about random deaths for shock value. (Or because the actors quit and it was the quickest way to write them out…have to figure these guys won’t be sliding resignation letters across the table any time soon.)

      • Basil Sage

        To me Widdershins seems like a light-hearted, family-friendly comic with a potential to escalate. It definitely escalates in the plot complexity aspect — remember how the first two or three chapters could be mistaken for a straightforward “monster of the week” format? I don’t think it will ever veer into real grim/dark/edgy/mature/blah territory, but I’m not ruling out the possibility that it will somewhat… [puts on sunglasses] …darken.

        • Winger

          I would like to assure you I’m making the appropriate “looks at the camera” face for that last line.

          And aye, plot and character development have certainly built up wonderfully! It’s just hard to picture one of the main cast topping it after all these years. Heck, I’m not even sure Fairbairn died, what with the absence of a body and all. That doesn’t mean we won’t get our fair share of high stakes, of course, and Mal’s backstory promises to be at the very least Sad Violins In the Rain material, but. Well. I guess we shall see.

        • AJ

          Hey, wait. Pun. *throws shoes*

  • Oh lord, the bottom left panel. and Panel 6. Like “Laughs in the face of danger” sort of expressions. “Ta, BENJI.”

    <3 ^_^

    *crosses fingers in hopes that they all actually do come out of this in one piece*

    Wolfe is worried. I feel like I've seen him like this: it's like his "go with the flow" lever is kind of stuck. Remember his curiosity about the lamps, and the notes he made? It feels like he was trying to figure out a way to get around Mal going it alone (with or without Harry, he's the only Buggerout Inc member going). He's a good mirror for Sid, I'd love to see them have some "getting to know you" time without breaking the map. Because I think Wolfe might break the map if he guesses the secret.

  • M. E. Gibbs

    That last line is basically law in my house.

  • Dane 72

    This is how real men show how they love another.

  • SandstormSinger

    *sniffs* I’ve got something in my eye – why is every expression on this page so fantastic?

  • non_canon

    I love everything about this strip. I love that it’s addressing Wolfe not going with Mal and their feelings about that (I was beginning to wonder if Mal’s non reactions were a worrying sign on the effect the doorway was having on him). I love the continuation of Ben instructing Mal about magic and how their interactions each time parallel the growth of their friendship. I love the gleefully evil look on Mal’s face and how it morphs into that adorable look of surprised/confused/touched when they express concern about him. I love all the expressions and the camaraderie in the last panel.

    These guys have come so far from the first time they all met and it’s fantastic.

  • QueenBol

    Naaaaaw Wolfe it’s okay your Mal is growing up into a responsible adult and while he might one day not need to depend on you so much, you’ll still be his closest friend and he most likely will stick around you for the rest of his life ;) (I love these two they are adorable.)

  • JWLM

    Kate, I’m American, so some of your spellings don’t make sense to me. How do you pronounce “tch”? What I hear when I read that doesn’t “feel” right to me. What should I be hearing?

    • non_canon

      Fellow American here. I’ve always heard it pronounced as a someone basically making the sound those consonants make when used in a word as an exasperated sigh.

    • Euodiachloris

      Itch, twitch, hitch, glitch and the sound usually made to direct horses — it’s close to a transitional palatial-dental click, but way more wimpy than the “tct” sound in isiXhosa and kind of done in reverse of it… That’s how you pronounce it. :)

      • JWLM

        Gotcha. But it’s unvoiced, yes? In my dialect, the terminal fricative in “itch” is usually voiced, but the stereotypical horse-sound is unvoiced. Given the spelling, I assume the latter.

        (That is, it’s more like the medial fricative in ‘gotcha’.)

        • Euodiachloris

          Yeah-nope… it’s complicated: the horse-sound is basically a breathy click. I’m not talking about the louder back-click, but the frontal group of fuzziness (British frictives and clicks are fairly amorphous blobs of generalised tongue placement, if you ask me) — you also hear it used for calling cats and dogs or for general tutting. In Britain, I’d say the Northern dialects never lost their þ, ð and interesting takes on k (the very strong one), ch (flavours of — and, tch is but one), hr, hn, hl, hg and ȝ.

          Modulating that dentalish clicklet to voiced is dead easy (usually to a, æ or i in English — œ, o, oo and ooi mainly in Africa, but not exclusively) and I’ve heard it done in Yorkshire and Cumbria. Of course, I would say it’s easy: I grew up in the Eastern Cape. That’s biased me on picking up tonal frictives (sharpness of tongue movement + breath speed + mouth shape = pitch change — even with the same positioning) and modulated clicks. Although, I’ll never wrap my tongue around some of the Khoesan sounds. :P

          “Unvoiced frictives” always comes across as if somebody sat down and decided that consonants don’t do much without vowels and vocal chords — which is a steaming pile of smouldering peat. xD

          • Columbine

            That is really interesting. I never actually thought at all about a sound I hear people making all the time. Thank you.

            • Euodiachloris

              No trouble. :) I always grin when people tell me in all seriousness that, “English doesn’t do clicks!” My response? “Garn ye t’White’evven.”

              Or, heck — spend quality in Lancashire. xD

              • JWLM

                Dialectal: my dialect is clickless; “standard” American has flaps, but all our consonants — such as they are, when unneutralized — are plosive or espulsive. (Then again, when somebody tells me that there’s no such thing as an unvoiced fricative, I usually answer “come visit me in Washington State” and then point out the lack of voicing in the spectrograph in the medial /ʃ/ and initial /s/. :P )

                • JWLM

                  And *how* did you get the IPA Unicode code points into text in this blog? I’ve tried things like θ but they haven’t worked in the past.

                  [And then it worked. Browsers hate me today.]

                  • Euodiachloris

                    Cheat: use the Ænglisc typography hidden in Unicode and a willing tablet. ;)

                • Euodiachloris

                  Ah, the many and various slithery school of sounds: s, sh, sch (that troublesome ch is back!), schw (now even more troublesome, just add voice — but think long and hard how you get to the vowel!), z, tz, jz, zh, tzh (a bit like tch, but from further back; no base-tongue click)… Wow, need more v and f, too! xD

              • Columbine

                I have Yorkshire relatives. I think ‘quality time in Lancashire’ who have to be spent with battle axes…….

                • Euodiachloris

                  “Do it for the pub crawl. And, gathering enemy intel.” ;)

            • JWLM

              If this interests you, there’s a vast and fascinating literature in phonetics. (But, then again, maybe I’m a little biased…)

          • ShippingTrash4Life

            I feel like I just walked into Professor Higgins’ study…

  • MoeLane

    …I don’t know what the background music would be in this scene if this was Widdershins: the Movie, but I’m pretty sure that it’d involve a snare drum.

  • Tale Winds

    And if he gets lost, music will bring him home….

  • Nonesuch

    Now this is nice. :)
    Despite all the bickering they do all care for one another – even if that comes as a big surprise to Mal now and then. ^_^

  • Darkening

    Mal’s whole demeanor really changes in panel four on when he stops touching the doorway. I dunno if that’s actually because of some magical effect or if he’s just more comfortable with that interaction than thinking about magic stuff. Still, it’s interesting.

  • Chris the Blue

    Ben, Mal and Wolfe, friends forever.
    A trio of pals that will never sever
    their friendship ties to one another
    Ben, Mal and Wolfe, friends forever.

    • plore

      I just love them so much!!!!

  • angelica

    Im a long time fan first time commenter and I love this comic!! I just have to say that! I love how fleshed out everyone is!

    • Ah, thank you! That’s something I care about a lot, so it’s great to hear that it’s coming across okay!

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