Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / The Shufflers

Go To
An unlikely duo. Left: Hiddenite, right: Märchen
"Märchen is a cartomancer, a playing card fortune teller blessed with the ability to provide accurate readings every single time. [...] Hiddenite is a mysterious wanderer with a literal world of his own that can only be accessed through his assigned piece of fabric; a curtain cloth. [...] When Hiddenite rescues Märchen from a brush with death, they form an unlikely friendship that takes them through fantastic adventures in a Neo-Victorian-esque world full of magicians, fortune tellers, and the non-magical folk that rely on them for prosperity."
— Description on the official website

The Shufflers is a Fantasy webcomic illustrated by Emily Biernott with story contributions by Yuki. Biernott publishes the comic under the username BitterMause. The comic has been ongoing since 2014.

It can be found on the official website here and also on Tapas Media here.

The Shufflers contains examples of:

  • An Ice Person: Played With. While he can’t control ice himself, Hiddenite’s world in his cloak consists of an ice biome, and each biome is unique to each Harvester.
  • Awkward Kiss: Märchen and Hiddenite get their lips literally stuck together thanks to Dutchkiss’s (accidental) magic.
  • Cat Boy: The eponymous Felidomancer, who acts much like a cat himself.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: A peculiar example. Thanks to Märchen’s somewhat long hair and his portly figure, the hospital mistakes him for a pregnant woman and attempts to transfer him to the maternity ward.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Subverted in the chapter “The Tea Girl”. Everybody starts laughing after Hiddenite asks to sleep in Märchen’s bed that night, including Märchen. Then he yells “No!”. Silence ensues while the characters all look awkwardly at each other, laughter gone.
  • Fat Bastard: Märchen is introduced this way, being on the run from the local authorities. However, it’s Subverted when it’s revealed that he was only on the run due to one of his cartomancy predictions coming true, painting a target on his back.
  • Fortune Teller: Märchen works as this due to his talent in cartomancy. However, others not liking his readings leads to him asking Hiddenite to be his bodyguard after a chance meeting.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Hiddenite actually gets hired as Märchen‘s bodyguard this way. Märchen is older than Hiddenite is, but his speciality lies in cartomancy. In comparison, Hiddenite is descended from a tribe of powerful mages and has the capacity to protect Märchen.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Märchen is in his 30s at least while Hiddenite is a young man. Hiddenite starts off being a bodyguard to Märchen, but eventually the two come to care about each other as friends.
  • Living Legend: Hiddenite comes from a tribe of mages called the Harvesters who were Shrouded in Myth and dismissed as fairy tales. He has the unique ability of having his own world in his cloth. When he confirms he’s a descendant, Märchen outright calls him a walking legend.
  • Odd Friendship: Märchen is a middle-aged cartomancer who’s fallen on hard times, trying to make money by carrying out fortune telling. Hiddenite is a young descendant of a line of powerful mages assumed to be a legend. After Hiddenite saves Märchen from being persecuted by local authorities, Märchen gets Hiddenite to agree to be his bodyguard in exchange for lodging. Over time, the two slowly form a deep and genuine friendship.
  • Painting the Medium: Hiddenite’s soft-spoken demeanour is illustrated by the size of his text being smaller than any of the other characters.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Most prominently with Märchen, whose job as a fortune teller has him work closely with playing cards in order to predict the future.
    • Also present as a theme in the comic proper, most prevalent in the opening chapters art that are styled as playing cards of the characters.
  • Magic Mirror: Märchen is gifted one by a client in the chapter “The Golden Mirror”. It causes him to become enamoured with only looking at himself, to the point he doesn’t sleep or eat even when Hiddenite forces him to.
  • The Matchmaker: Saphy Dutchkiss fulfils this role unintentionally. She’s a Shipper on Deck who enjoys writing romantic fanfictions of the people she meets in real life who she thinks would have good chemistry. Thanks to her logomancy powers that she’s unaware exist, she ends up actually pairing said people together.
    • However, this power only works without drawbacks on individuals who are willing. Her pairing of Märchen and Hiddenite resulted in deep cuts down her hand and arm which would have eventually killed her.
  • Meaningful Name: Several examples.
    • Hiddenite has a world of night and snow hidden in his cloak.
    • Saphy Dutchkiss is a Shipper on Deck that enjoys pairing people up in fanfictions.
    • Granny Warhammer is a badass grandma that owns several weapons and is rather violent.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dutchkiss has this reaction when she realises that all of the stories she wrote of other people actually happened in real life due to her logomancy powers. She’s horrified that she caused so much trouble for others.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Granny Warhammer is the boss of several men, and owns several sharp and dangerous weapons in her house. Her solution to Märchen and Hiddenite being stuck together by the lips is to try to saw them apart.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Hiddenite does things like sleep completely naked in Märchen‘s bed unasked.
  • Not Quite Flight: Hiddenite’s staff allows him to step on it and take off in a manner similar to flight.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Hiddenite’s look of absolute fear when he realises Märchen’s Magic Mirror captured his reflection in it even after he left signals something is very wrong.
  • Sick Episode: Hiddenite falls ill in “Under the Weather”, leaving him feeling weak and lethargic with a cough.
  • Shipper on Deck: Saphy Dutchkiss in “The Tea Girl”, who ships Märchen and Hiddenite within minutes of meeting them both together. It’s later established that she loves writing romantic fanfictions of people she meets and thinks would make a good couple.
  • Soul Jar: The cloth attached to Hiddenite’s staff acts as this. It’s shown that prolonged distance from the staff hurts him and leaves him feeling weak. His mother, who appears to him in a vision, describes it as his lifeline.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Hiddenite, who has dark hair, a quiet, stoic demeanour and occasionally snarks at Märchen‘s expense. He even has a personal world where it’s always night and snowing.
  • The Stoic: Hiddenite very rarely shows any expression. When he smiles or when he reacts in horror, it’s treated as an appropriately dramatic moment.
  • Team Pet: Governor Mumpkins, an adorable cat. He follows Märchen and Hiddenite on their adventures.
  • The Quiet One: Hiddenite rarely speaks, and when he does it’s barely audible. The other characters often have trouble hearing him. He often needs to use something to amplify his voice, whether it be a speaker or a rolled up newspaper.