Written by Lars Kramhøft
Drawn by Arnold Bagasha
Once upon a time - back when wishes could still come true - in a land
that lay beyond the sunset, there lived a poor miller and his two sons.
They were called Victor & John.
And they were idiots.
Victor & John Widdershin are two immature, accident-prone teenagers, born under a bad star and with faery blood in their veins.
Growing up in the small hamlet of Cat’s Cradle they always stuck out, and never caused their poor, human father anything but worries.
When one day they accidentally cause the destruction of the father’s home and livelihood, he decides it is time to tell the two boys about their true heritage; when they learn that their mother was a magical creature, a Faerie from the fabled ‘Realm Perilous’, they set out on a journey to find her.
The journey will be long and perilous, and on the way the two brothers will encounter many trials and tribulations, and eventually learn what it means to be responsible adults.
ONCE is a faery-punk comic series that takes place in a baroque fantasy world with a pinch of Steampunk -a fresh, funny fantasy coming-of-age story about growing up and overcoming the challenges and pitfalls we all face on our way to becoming adults.
Throughout the journey, their Widdershin brother’s Faery mother watches over them, and occasionally helps them, but she doesn’t reveal herself until they have proven themselves worthy to inherit the great treasures of The Realm Perilous, which will be the eventual conclusion to the series.
The story takes place in a medieval fantasy land called Alfheim around the 18th century. Here, humans live alongside creatures from myth and fable. Enchanted animals, talking birds, free-wheeling pancakes, elves, trolls and a host of the creatures from myth and fairy-tale might show up as friends, helpers or enemies, and readers will re-discover the joy of exploring a treasure trove of fables and fairy tales.
Alfheim is a quirky fantasy world that has evolved to the early stages of industrialization, yet maintained its fairy-tale mysticism and magic. As the story starts, the country is beginning to be changed by the effects of early industrialization; the cities are growing and the workplaces are moving to the cities. There is a widespread scepticism towards the new steam powered machines in the factories, as some people believe they are connected to the Devil.
Style & Tone
The tone is unpretentious, darkly humorous and with a distinctily European touch, reminiscent of the baroque fantasy-punk of Terry Gilliam’s ‘Time Bandits’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’.
The two brothers, Victor & John are both 18 years old. They are half- human, but their light blue skin sets them apart and reveals their supernatural heritage – their mother was a faerie who ran away when they were very young and left them in the care of their poor human father.
Because of this, the two brothers have a strong connection to the magical world, and are prone to attract the attention of supernatural creatures, and find themselves in strange situations.
Victor is a real artist, a true poet with a heart of gold but a brain of marzipan. His favourite activity is to write horrible poetry and dream about grand, romantic love. He is spontaneous and enthusiastic, but fragile and prone to daydreaming, and when things don’t go as planned he can get extremely melodramatic. Victor is also an idealistic dreamer that never gives up. When they leave their homestead, Victor’s main motivation is to find their long lost mother again.
John is the opposite of Victor - an earthbound and easy-going drunkard. He tends to be lazy, but when he needs to he can be quite resourceful, well-spoken, and a bit of a ladies man. He’s much more practical than Victor, and often has to save his brother from the crazy situations they get into. When they leave their homestead, John’s main motivation is to earn money (and meet women).