The Watcher of Yaathagggu is a web comic I discovered many moons ago. The graphic style is fantastic and the plot, although It has (in my opinion) recently floundered, is quite interesting. I much prefer the earlier parts of the series to the later developments, but that is possibly as I am not really sure where the plot is headed. It reminds me a bit of ‘Lost’ in that respect – new plots form without the previous plots being explained or concluded and so at the moment it feels a bit to me like a ball full of loose strings.
The author and illustrator Robyn Seale describes the comic as thus:
“Yaathagggu (pronounced yah-THAG-goo) is a city surrounded by eldritch horrors and absolute darkness.
Pieta Gaolwynne is a perimeter watcher, tasked with guarding the city by keeping her lighthouse running and surveying the ocean, which stands as the greatest threat.
But things aren’t right with her tower or with the city, and one unlikely protagonist is thrust into a plot of mystery, intrigue and madness.”
I love the premise – Yaathagggu is a city inhabited by the remaining human population, a city made of slums and markets and religious cults, plagued by filth and dark corners, but alive non-the-less. ‘Watchers’ are appointed to keep the darkness at bay – the sea surrounds Yaathagggu and the lighthouses light the darkness and prevent the creatures that lurk within it from breaking through to the city. The unseen horrors appear very Lovecraftian in nature and are revealed to have taken over the rest of the world – with Yaathagggu remaining a sanctuary from the plague of dark.
Pieta is one of such Watchers. Her life is a solitary one, living alone in the lighthouse for most of her time – relieved of duty only occasionally to venture into the city for respite. We know very little about her except that she has awesome blue hair and is not remotely girly. The plot unfolds around her, although various sub plots also start and finish, allowing us a greater glimpse into the world the comic reveals.
The comics are most definitely feminist in nature. Pieta’s sexuality is not discussed in detail, but she certainly leans toward liking the ladies, and we get a good few flashes of hairy armpits. I love Pieta’s style, with her preferring to dress as a dude (a very swarve dude) and sporting excellent hairstyles. The comic also takes a look into mental health and psychiatric hospitals, hearing voices and the unseen-sinister presence that can be associated with some psychotic disorders. The ominous, dark and creepy feel to this comic is really awesome.
Every so often I return to this comic. Updates have been somewhat few and far between of late, but I will be interested to see where this comic goes, all the while enjoying the dark and eerie artwork and weird creatures.
Link to the comic: http://www.noodlyappendage.com/watcher/?p=42