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Webcomic / 6 Gun Mage

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(front to back) Kylie, Gwyneth, and Zeits

Gwyneth: Sometimes it's not the prize so much as the chase.
Kylie: That's something that people say when they've never had to chase. It's like rich people saying money doesn't make you happy. You could have what you want chase or not. That's the only reason the chase is fun for you. When you have to chase, it's not a game. It's not fun.

6 Gun Mage is a Weird Western by Chris Hazelton of Misfile. It stars Kylie, a gunmage who has to keep her powers secret because she's on the run from the Circle and gets a job as a hired gun. A mirror of the comic can be found here.

Six Gun Mage contains examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Geofry didn't know that gunmages can't use repeaters without killing themselves due to Cast from Hit Points, so he created a repeater that somehow doesn't have that limitation. This is revealed to be Kylie's ability rather than Geofry, but he managed to accidentally scare the Circle so thoroughly they grabbed the villain ball and started the plot.
  • Action Girl: Kylie, Nessa, Wyst, probably all the girls in the Penny Gun.
  • Aerith and Bob: Names like Kylie, Gwyneth, Wyst, and Zeits.
  • Alien Sky: There are at least two moons.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Kylie did not do well in Gunmage academy because she was bored, and the fact that all her instructors thought the best way to educate her was just to yell orders at her, until she became Geofry's apprentice, and he got her to do what he wanted by making it fun for her, even testing experimental gun-mage weapons.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: How gunmage powers work, allegedly. For muggles, the first shot drains any residual single-digit MP you have. Shooting without any mana taps into Blood Magic... which is usually too ludicrously draining on your constitution to be anything less than fatal.
  • Child Soldiers: Orphans who show potential to be gunmages are recruited young to begin their training.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Repeaters for gun-mages, as they Cast From Hitpoints, and using up too much mana too quickly will leave them dead. Or at least that was the theory...
  • Defeat by Modesty: Attempted by Zeits on Kylie. It doesn't work.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The main character is a mage. Who uses a six-gun.
  • Expressive Ears: Gwyneth's elven heritage has given her ears that twitch at the sign of profit.
  • Fantastic Slur: Calling an elven sharpshooter a "Knife-eared bitch" turns out to be a bad plan.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Ever so thoroughly averted. Civilians aren't supposed to have semi or full auto weapons though - get caught with one and the cops can kill you on sight.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Geofry invents a repeater gun-mages can use (or at least a repeater Kylie can use).
  • The Gunslinger: Zeits, Kylie, probably most the rest of the cast.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Gwyneth has elven blood.
  • Homing Projectile: The signature spell of the gunmages. Most gunmages only have enough magic to fire one homing bullet at a time; this comic is about the one gunmage who can use it six times in a row.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Gwyneth has a hot spring in her basement.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In Kylie's case it's justified as, well, magic; Zeits, however, is just "absolutely fucking fantastic!"
  • Left Hanging: Every plot line that wasn't directly tied to Xanthe/The White Witch was left in limbo in the end. Renault is still around trying to reform The Circle. The male elf is still around scheeming to regain the Elven Empire's lost power. We have no idea what Ravena did to bring Sierra back to life or if Kyle and Zeits' "daughter" is their real daughter or even human.
  • Love Triangle: Kylie has the hots for Zeits. Zeits is as oblivious to thisnote  as he is still completely in love with Gwyneth. Gwyneth thinks getting back together with Zeits is a bad idea (something she can't seem to get through to Zeits) and tries to push him towards Kylie. Eventually, Sierra has enough of the drama and tells them to Get a Room! And she doesn't care which of them use it.
  • Magi Babble: explains why gun-mages can't use repeaters, until Geofry invents one they can use.
  • Magitek: Applies a technological solution to a magical problem. Gunmagi can't use repeating firearms of any sort because they need to recharge their magic in between shots, so Geoffrey puts a capacitor array in Kylie's revolver, which passively charges by draining her Mana.
  • The Magocracy: The exact role of the Circle in the government hasn't been revealed yet, but at the very least they're obviously very powerful.
  • Mugging the Monster: Three train robbers might have gotten away with it, too, if when she told them she didn't have any money one of them hadn't suggested that they bend her over the seat and--.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Dullan Cas. A terrifying, deadly skilled rebel with some form of mysterious powers. Named after The Headless Horseman. Especially fitting, given he was hanged with barbed wire, though presumably his head never actually came off.
  • No Ending: Hazelton decided to cut things off after Chapter 99. So the story ends with a (very) brief epilogue after the defeat of the White Witch.
  • Pointy Ears: Gwyneth, on account of some amount of elven ancestry.
  • Punch a Wall: It hurts.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kylie delivers one to a pair of train-robbers-turned-kidnappers.
    That's a bad bluff. You kill the hostage, and you lose your cover. Then I can shoot you both no problem. You should be pointing that gun at me, I'm the threat. Besides, what if I'm a really good shot? Maybe I can hit you behind the kid. Maybe I'm fast enough to do it twice before you get off a shot. Maybe I'm even a jerk who doesn't care about the hostage. Maybe I'm a gambler. Simple fact is, you shouldn't be betting on a wildcard. Or just maybe...
    *kills them both with one shot*
  • Self-Deprecation: Zeits pulls this when talking to Renault in their first confrontation, describing Dullahan Cas as an asshole, while describing the other victims on the ship as his friends. Guess who he happens to be.
  • Shown Their Work: Every firearm depicted in the story is a real weapon. Every one of them. Even Kylie's magical Hand Cannon is a Mateba Autorevolver. The magical effects may not be real, but the weapons sure are. Also, proficient gunslingers, like Zeits, hold their guns correctly while amateurs like Simon in chapter 2, do not, and have realistic consequences happen to them as a result.
  • Slasher Smile: Max Zeits aka Dulahan Cas gets a terrifying one here
  • Steampunk; Of The Western variety.
  • Strawman Political: Paradise Point, where the main characters find themselves as of Chapter 31, is a thorough deconstruction of the grand premise behind strict gun control.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: One of Kylie's gun-related powers.
  • Teen Genius: Doctor Jasper Calloway, the Client Of The Week on Chapter Three, invented a new, more efficient steam engine called the Florange.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: A rather insightful justification for it;
    Jericho: It is the intrinsic nature of societies to march inexorably towards totalitarianism. Every so often, it is the duty of those who love freedom to turn back that clock, even at the cost of their own lives.
  • This Cannot Be!: One of the Circle Mages gets a nice, large, flow-through ventilation system in his torso thanks to a very pissed off Kylie, and he refuses to believe it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The old priest who protected the kid seer is warned by Kylie that the Circle plans to have one of their aging number Body Surf into the boy's brain. He starts boasting to a Circle member that even if such a thing was true, he would easily tell the difference between an evil mage and a boy he raised from birth and would act appropriately. Guess what her response is.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Even though Kylie's only mastered a handful of gun-mage techniques, she is one of the most powerful gun-mages in the story, capable of using multiple-shot magical weapons that would kill a regular gunmage, and enduring things that would leave most people comatose or dead.
  • The Un-Smile: Wyst fails at smiling.
  • Villain Ball: Things would have gone much better for The Circle if they had simply asked Geofry to bring in Kylie to demonstrate the weapon, rather than hunting him down and killing him before her eyes so that she would run and they would have to hunt her down as well, and then try to bring in a very angry, bitter, determined, and creative gun-mage alive.
  • Weird West: The title of the comic is "Six Gun Mage"—what do you think?
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Sure, Kylie, try to sneak into bed with the guy who clearly has issues because of a lifetime as a freedom fighter/terrorist in order to try and get him to sleep with you. Frankly, she's lucky she only got choked out a bit before he came to.
  • Your Head Asplode: A circle mage does this to a member of The Right Arm right next to Kylie, trying to demoralize her.