“Witchlight” is Jessi Zabarsky’s debut graphic novel, though she first serialized the story in multiple chapters. She describes the book as a “shojo-adventure” comic — referencing the manga genre that focuses on personal relationships — because it’s a variation on high fantasy, with, as she puts it, “a lot of tender feelings and soft moments.”
There’s a witch and a fighter, there’s a quest, but the ultimate object of the quest is not exactly what is presented at the outset. What makes “Witchlight” not only work but shine is how Zabarsky manages to use those elements and craft a very personal story of two characters, whose lives and experiences and reactions are ultimately more important than the quest.
The collected “Witchlight” is out now from Czap Books, and Zabarsky was kind enough to talk with CBR about the book, its character-driven fight scenes and the book’s place in the small-but-mighty witch comics sub-community.
CBR: Jessi, for the uninitiated, what is “Witchlight?”
Jessi Zabarsky: “Witchlight” is what I’ve been calling a “shojo-adventure” comic, by which I mean it’s a fantasy story with magic and swords, but also a lot of tender feelings and soft moments. It follows Lelek, a witch, and Sanja, as they travel, learn to take care of themselves and each other, and figure out what they want, what they’re missing, and what kind of life they want to build.
Originally posted at – http://www.cbr.com/jessi-zabarsky-witchlight-interview/