Drawn to Comics: Balderdash! Is the Best Webcomic About Cake and Witches Around

I’ve been wanting to write about Victoria Grace Elliott’s webcomic Balderdash! or, A Tale of Two Witches, here in Drawn to Comics for a long time. It’s gorgeous, has great characters, takes an old concept (witches) and puts a great new spin on it and has really terrific writing. Elliott recently went on a hiatus from working on the comic, and then just last week she posted an update reminding all of us just how great the comic is. Now’s a perfect time to jump on board.

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

As the second part of the title says, Balderdash! is a comic about two witches. So far, their paths haven’t crossed, and instead we’ve been following their individual journeys to see how they get to where they are today. Georgie is a witch who grew up on an Elk Farm out in the country and wants nothing more than to be a great baker. Afia is a city witch who’s making her way into the River Valley to learn more about magic. This whole comic is told with such a profound hope and kindness. It lifts your spirit and makes your heart swell.

Even though Georgie is a witch, her goal is to learn how to bake without using magic, just like her hero, the famous baker Fausto who lives in the town of Löffel. In order to do this, she leaves her family and home and goes to town to work as Fausto’s apprentice. Georgie has an excitement, can-do attitude and bubbly personality that’s infectious. Basically, she’s an A-list cutie. She’s got a lot going against her: her best friend doesn’t like cakes made without magic, the townfolk don’t like most things to do with magic, her new mentor is kind of a jerk and she’s farther away from home than she’s ever been, but she still keeps on reaching for her goals.

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Afia, on the other hand, is coming to this town from a big city, Bakunini, the capitol. She ran into some trouble with her studies and leaves town for the same River Valley where Georgie is to work on a new thesis (or at least that’s what she says she’s going to do). Afia’s just darling; she’s super stylish and has a cute corvid familiar. She’s out seeking to learn more about magic, a thing that connects her to her grandmother, and she’s leaving behind everything she knows in order to do it. Both witches are starting off on grand adventures and trying to find out what kind of person they’re meant to be.

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

These two characters are great on their own and I can’t wait to see how their worlds combine. They’re both witches, but they come from such different worlds and use their magic so differently in ways that really make the world seem big and full of different types of cultures and people. The entire town of Löffel is just cute and gorgeous and filled with so many characters I can’t wait to meet. Balderdash really is a comic with a hugely bright future.

I love the art in this comic. It’s so beautiful and calming and just pleasantly warm. Elliott’s use of color and shape create an atmosphere that takes you right into the fantasy world where these characters live. Everything has a very cloud-like look to it, making it seem like the kind of thing you would be imagining while your grandmother tells you a folktale. The fashion that Elliott draws on her characters is just stunning. She’s been able to create these wonderful and distinctive styles that show off the cultures of the different groups and look just wonderful. Elliott really has created something wonderful here.

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Art by Victoria Grace Elliott

Bladerdash takes some really, really clever turns, both within the story and in the structure of the comic itself. Every now and then the regular story takes a break and we get a recipe or instructions for a magic spell. It adds a whole new dimension to this already great comic. This is just really a super great comic that I hope all of you start reading. You can follow Elliott on twitter and on tumblr, and if you want to help make sure that she’s able to keep on making Balderdash, you can support her on Patreon. You can also buy a really gorgeous poster from the comic online.

New Releases (February 3)

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess #5 (Action Lab)

Giant Days #11 (Boom!)

Lumberjanes Vol. 3 TPB (Boom!)

The Woods #20 (Boom!)

Angel and Faith Season 10 #23 (Dark Horse)

Barb Wire #8 (Dark Horse)

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #5 (Dark Horse)

Batgirl #48 (DC)

New Suicide Squad Vol 2: Monsters TPB (DC)

Prez Vol. 1: Corndog in Chief TPB (DC)

Unfollow #4 (DC)

We are Robin #8 (DC)

Bob’s Burgers #8 (Dynamite)

Dejah Thoris #1 (Dynamite)

Love and Rockets: New Stories Vol. 8 TPB (Fantagraphics)

Baby-Sitters Club Vol. 4 Claudia and Mean Jani HC (Graphix)

X-Files: The Truth is Out There TPB (IDW)

Paper Girls #5 (Image)

Pretty Deadly #8 (Image)

Shutter #18 (Image)

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 3 TPB (Image)

A-Force #2 (Marvel)

Captain Marvel #2 (Marvel)

Howard the Duck #4 (Marvel)

Scarlet Witch #3 (Marvel)


Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.

If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 574 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. Balderdash is pretty cute! I was excited to see the update the other day. To be honest, I think it’s one of those series that might work better compiled than as a page-by-page webcomic. I find it very slow when it’s released that way. But going back and reading the archives is a much better experience. YMMV, obviously.

    That said, there’s no debating that it’s a gorgeous comic with lovely characters and it’s well worth reading!

    • ALSO

      Mey, I think you’re the one who wrote about Agents of the Realm… the creator is now doing a kickstarter to print Volume 1! I would love to have a physical copy of that series in my greedy paws so I’m going to cry if it doesn’t get funded. It’s easily my favorite webcomic running right now, by a landslide, and I can’t thank you enough for writing about it and convincing me to read it.

      • I may have already done an interview with Mildred Louis (who does Agents of the Realm) about the kickstarter that will be going up soon!

        And thank you! It’s one of my top few favorites too!

  2. this looks adorable! you are a treasure.

    Also, gosh, i’ve got to get the first few issues of Howard the Duck, since this month’s Squirrel Girl is a crossover, and kiddo is already chomping at the bit to find out what happens with Doom.

  3. Mey, thank you so much for these comic recommendations. Your introductions have really opened the door for me to learn about and then share with my kids. My 6yo daughter collects the Lumberjanes. She has also enjoyed the trade paperback versions of some of Marceline and Bubble Gum stories, and Gotham Academy and Batgirl of Burnside (though I thought that was a tad old for her.) My 3yo son LOVES Squirrel Girl. I think my favorite honestly might be Squirrel Girl. We even started our own pull list.

    And yesterday, after our own local comic books shop closed, we went to Amalgam Comics (the black female owned shop you wrote about a few weeks ago). We had a great time! Unlike the other store which was always filled with dudes, this was mostly gals, and had a great selection, along with tea! Oh, and they didn’t have a cat, which as a cat-allergic person I really dislike.

  4. Balderdash is one of my favourites (I want a physical copy someday so I can hug it), in my top 10 and I love recommending it to people. Especially as a beginning sample of variety in modern comic people leery of sequential art because they associate it with machismo, violence, T&A ect.
    So glad you got to cover it and so glad this column exists.

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