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Webcomic: Free Spirit

Everything is not necessarily impossible with Winnie around.

"... she's a magical character who — whoda thunk — actually makes stuff happen! Frequently! And it's not generic crap like fireballs or electricity (that makes you a bender, not a magician) — it's geniunely unpredictable phemonena."
Peter Paltridge, "Dark TV Vault: Free Spirit"

Free Spirit is a Platypus Comix series that began in 2014. It is a Fan Webcomic that Peter Paltridge based on the short-lived 1989 sitcom of the same name, though with a Setting Update placing it in present day.

Every 100 years, a witch must provide assistance to a mortal in need. When the time comes for the fun-loving Cute Witch Winnie Goodwin to grant a mortal's wish, she finds herself becoming a Magical Nanny and new friend to young Gene Harper and his two older siblings, Robb and Jessie. The kids' father, divorced executive Thomas Harper, remains unaware that Winnie can perform magic. Hilarity Ensues.

Free Spirit provides examples of:

  • Never Split the Party: Winnie enforces this in "Bedbugs and Broomsticks", when objecting to Robb's plan for everyone to split up.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Between Winnie and Thomas, anyway. While they constantly played Will They or Won't They? in the original sitcom, Peter fears that making them a couple would require Winnie to out herself as a witch to him.
  • Not a Morning Person: Thomas appears so drowsy in "Bedbugs and Broomsticks", he doesn't appear disgusted after accidentally swallowing a spider. He blames some bedbugs for this.
  • Obvious Beta: "Song of the Siren" looks cruder than most comics, at least for the first nine pages. Peter explained that this was one of the first Free Spirit comics he started drawing, and that editing the April 2014 issue of BANG! The Entertainment Paper didn't leave him with enough time to refine it.
  • Off Model: Thomas has no glasses on page 12 of the pilot. Word of God says that the decision to make him wear glasses didn't occur until a week or two before the series premiere date.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the pilot, Gene winning the bowling tournament.
  • Pop Culture Pun Episode Title: Too many examples to list here.
  • Production Foreshadowing:
    • Winnie made a guest appearance in the Electric Wonderland comic "Into Thin Aerynn" months before Peter officially decided to give Winnie her own comic.
    • The Keiki story "Haole Berry" has a scene where Beefer throws rocks at Winnie, Jessie, and Gene. He admits to Keiki that he doesn't know who any of them are, but has an inexplicable hatred for them.note 
  • Really 700 Years Old: Winnie looks and acts like a young adult, but was actually 349 by the time she met Gene.
  • Secret Keepers: No mortals other than the Harper children know about Winnie performing witchcraft.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Winnie fears getting trapped in a mirror. A witch can not escape one by herself, and if no one lets her out before it breaks, she will die.
  • Setting Update: Unlike the TV show, which was set in The Eighties, the comic updates the setting to 2014.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Gene, Robb, Jessie, and Winnie spend the first three pages of "Bedbugs and Broomsticks" arguing over who should kill a spider crawling on the kitchen table.
  • Take That:
    • The pilot lampoons some current pop female singers after Winnie zaps up some tickets for Robb and Jessie to watch "Lady Plastique".
    Peter Paltridge: In the original [show's first episode], Robb and Jessie want to see a metal band named "Pond Scum." Here it's been updated to something people would pay for today — a female singer who puts on so much costuming and padding you can't tell who's really under there. Seems like Lady Gaga, but I was thinking of Nicki Minaj, who's so overdone that she literally looks like a plastic doll.
    • The kids recall in "Skyway to the Danger Zone" that Winnie tried to watch The Big Bang Theory, but found it "too far-fetched!" To put her standards of realistic TV into perspective, they also discuss her developing an interest in Sleepy Hollow.
  • Taken for Granite: In "Bedbugs and Broomsticks", Winnie saves Gene from a bedbug's grasp by turning the bug into a giant stone statue, which flattens the other bugs as it falls.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: In the pilot, Winnie removes Lady Plastique's mask to reveal she's actually a man. Robb then discovers that "she" isn't even a real singer. Or the only 'Lady Plastique'.
  • Vicious Cycle: The ritual of a witch granting a mortal's wish every 100 years can seem like this for a witch who considers mortals beneath her.
  • Visible Invisibility: Even though Winnie's broomstick can turn its passengers invisible, the readers have no trouble seeing them.
  • The Voice: Winnie's superior from the witches' realm, the Stranger, manifests itself as a disembodied voice.
  • Welcome Episode: The first comic, a loose adaptation of the show's premiere episode, details how Winnie came to live with the Harpers.
  • Workaholic: Thomas spends more time at the office than at home, allowing Winnie to perform magic behind his back.
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