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Webcomic / Hemlock

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I will show you fear in a handful of dust...
Hemlock is a black-and-white webcomic by Josceline Fenton. Set in the forests of Scandinavia in the 1800s, it follows the story of Lumi, a young witch who, by a string of bad luck, has found herself tied up in the events of the Witches' Court, and the story of Tristan, a poor peasant boy, who, through a series of unfortunate accidents, ends up being her familiar.

Updates every Friday, usually several pages at a time.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: Lumi and the fallen witch king, Sindri. Although it was only accidental on Lumi's side.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Sisu is the nicest character in the comic. He also used his wish to learn the secrets of necromancy.
  • Back from the Dead: Tristan died and his soul actually left his body, only to be sucked into the body of a frog.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ulla appears to be this. Conspiracy to attempt murder on Lumi can be added to her list of charges.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Tristan first shows up in the comic as a little boy that happens to spot Lumi in the forest. Needless to say, he plays a far bigger role later on.
  • Civilized Animal: Subverted with Richmond. He only speaks in Snailspeak, and he doesn't live in a house: he is one.
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  • Clingy MacGuffin: The wedding ring Sindri slapped on Lumi. Not only can she not remove it, it can harm her if she annoys Sindri enough.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is afraid of Baba Yaga, including her own sons.
  • Elderly Immortal: Baba Yaga is the only witch to appear elderly, because she ages whenever someone asks her a question. (She's also the oldest character in the comic, at least according to the cast page.)
  • The Evil Prince: Sindri, who basically went on a tyrannical rampage after Baba Yaga left to the other places, leaving the crown to him. He murdered his familiar, Hrimfaxi, and sold his subjects into slavery to the Night Things in order to learn their magic. Then tricked Lumi into becoming his wife after she tried to help him.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Sindri is a subversion. He originally appeared this way, but then it was confirmed here that his face is shadow.
  • Family Theme Naming: Baba Yaga's three sons all have names beginning in Si-.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The first chapter starts with a scene where Lumi eats Suul. When we find out her reasons, though, it can be viewed as a kind act.
  • The Glomp: Sisu greets Lumi, who he hasn't seen in centuries, with a huge bear hug. It's a marked contrast to the way Simo treats their sister-in-law.
  • In the Blood: According to Baba Yaga herself, her three sons each take after their fathers: Sindri is selfish like the night things, Simo is paranoid like the dawn folk, and Sisu is kind like the day people.
  • Light Is Not Good: Holy crap, Simo. While the story Lumi tells portrays him as a hero overthrowing a tyrant, these days Simo is a petty, paranoid man who's committed to killing his oldest brother and willing to use Lumi to do so.
  • Meaningful Name: Tristan's last name, Grodkropp, means "frog's body". Additionally, "Tristan" means "sorrow" or alternately "tumult/noise". Make of that what you will. So far, Tristan's adventures do seem both tumultuous and a bit sad.
  • The Older Immortal: Baba Yaga's sons are thousands of years old. She herself is "damn old."
  • Rags to Royalty: Subverted. Lumi was tricked into her marriage to Sindri. As a result of his bad reputation, Simo refuses to recognize her as royalty and she's actually treated more cruelly than she would be if she were a common witch.
  • Talking Animal: Subverted with Richmond. He only speaks in Snailspeak.
  • Third Eye: Tristan, after transferring into the frog's body, has one appear. The eye doesn't seem to belong to him and he cannot see out of it. He covers it up with a spiffy hat.
  • Witch Hunt: During the visit to Simo's Court, witches fleeing prosecution from the Salem Witch Trials were shown milling around.
  • Witch Species: Lumi was already a witch as a child, and as mentioned above witches live a long time and have their own government hidden from humans.


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