The Phoenix Requiem

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The Phoenix Requiem
Cover of Volume One
Author(s) Sarah Ellerton
Current status / schedule Complete
Launch date September 27, 2007
End date March 16, 2011
Genre(s) Drama, Fantasy, Romance

The Phoenix Requiem is a dystopic fantasy webcomic written and drawn by Sarah Ellerton, author and artist of Inverloch, which takes place in a setting similar to Victorian-era England. The comic's first pages were published on September 27, 2007, and the final pages were published on March 16, 2011. During its run, The Phoenix Requiem updated with 2-3 new pages on Mondays and Thursdays.[1]

Ellerton described The Phoenix Requiem as "the story of one man trying to forget the ghosts of his past against a backdrop of a Victorian-era world, where magic, long lost to the people, may be returning."[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins when Jonas Faulkner is found unconscious with two gunshot wounds in the woods outside the small town of Esk. He is nursed back to health by Anya Katsukova, a doctor-in-training, and the two became friends. Around the same time Jonas arrives, however, a supernatural plague begins to affect the town of Esk, killing several of its inhabitants. In the meantime, Robyn Hart, a former soldier who holds unreciprocated romantic feelings for Anya, begins seeing ghostly apparitions around the town.

During a ride in the forest, Jonas, Anya, Robyn, and their friend Petria encounter a "spirit," one of the beings from the ancient past who have been imprisoned for many centuries before the events of the story take place. Upon returning to the village, they are interrogated by an investigator from another city, Patrick Armand, who has been following Jonas since he was released from a mental hospital. Armand reveals that the plague in Esk had also befallen every other town Jonas had been through.

While working with her superior, Doctor Blythe, to find a cure for the spreading plague, Anya is visited again by a spirit. That night, she encounters a "shade", a monstrous manifestation of a person who has died a traumatic death, and the following morning, the plague has spread to a large number of people. Doctor Blythe sends Anya on an urgent mission to the medical research committee in Aubeny with data they have collected on the plague, to try to find a solution. However, the medical committee in Aubeny is indifferent to her findings, attributing the plague to food contamination instead, based on the reports of the same plague from another town. She is dismissed outright when she mentions the shades.

Meanwhile, back in Esk, Robyn is attacked by a shade one night. He determines to fight back as the plague continues to spread and more shades appear, attacking the priest and threatening to overrun the town. A messenger is sent overnight on horseback to bring help to the escalating situation.

Major characters[edit]

  • Anya Katsukova

Anya Katsukova, stated to be under twenty, is a nurse training to be a doctor. She has long been skeptical about the existence of magic, spirits and hellions, preferring to believe only in the God of her home country, Mishara; however, her beliefs have undergone some unexpected alterations of late.

  • Jonas Faulkner

Jonas Faulkner arrived in Esk after being shot almost fatally for reasons unknown. A charming, wealthy individual, it has been revealed that he has a connection to otherworldly spirits, and is suspected by many characters (most notably his pursuer, Patrick Armand) of being somehow responsible for the plague that is occurring at the time of the story.

  • Robyn Hart

Robyn is a former soldier who works as a herder of caribou at the time of the story. He is romantically interested in Anya, who appears not to reciprocate those feelings. He claims that he has for several months been able to see ghosts and other abnormal things, especially when he is near Jonas, for which reason he appears to be deeply distrustful of that character. He is close friends with, and protective of, Petria Grey.

  • Petria Grey

Petria was abandoned at a young age by her parents, and has survived by doing odd jobs around town; it is suggested in the story that Robyn Hart has taken care of her in the past.

  • Patrick Armand

A police officer who came to Esk looking for Jonas. He appears to believe Jonas responsible for the plague that is spreading.


The Phoenix Requiem was nominated for 11 awards at the 2008 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, including Outstanding Comic. Top Web Comics has put Phoenix Requiem as the most popular webcomic on their site as of September 2008.[3] Like its predecessor Inverloch, The Phoenix Requiem has received praise for its artwork.[4] On the other hand, it was criticized early on for the slow pacing of its first volume.[4] Richard Pulfer of Broken Frontier called the first volume of the comic "a fantastic-looking online graphic novel moving at a snail's pace," but stated that as the comic has progressed the characters have become more dynamic and the story more profound.[5]

In 2008, The Phoenix Requiem won the award for Best Art in's WebComic Readers Choice Awards.[6]


  1. ^ Sarah, Ellerton. "The Phoenix Requiem - FAQ". The Phoenix Requiem. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  2. ^ "Tomgeeks - Founding Members". Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  3. ^ "TopWebComics Monthly Most Popular Comics". 
  4. ^ a b Larry Cruz (April 2008). "The Phoenix Requiem, reviewed by Larry "El Santo" Cruz". ComixTalk. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-09-29. There's a lot of fat. The story could easily be trimmed down to half the length. If Requiem were a novel, the editor would be marking up whole paragraphs in red and scribbling down 'unnecessary' over and over until his pen ran out of ink. 
  5. ^ Pulfer, Richard (8 September 2008). "Requiem for a Gost". Broken Frontier. Retrieved 2011-03-18.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "2008 WebComics Readers Choice Awards". 19 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 

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