Our Charmed Circle #4

Full page of Fenix, cheering in their seat at the computer desk, having just won the last round of the game. The room is dark, illuminated by the monitor. In the upper right corner is a video camera image of Zoe, who is rolling her eyes and smiling. In the lower left corner is the default image of another player. FENIX: Yesss! I told you I had it! ZOE: Yeah yeah, GG. RANDOM PLAYER 116: What the hell, man! That shouldn't even work! FENIX: Yeah, but it totally did! RANDOM PLAYER 116: That's so ****ing gay.

3 panels. The first shows Fenix scowling at the random player's comment. The second shows Zoe, irritated and grimacing. The third panel shows the player being kicked from the lobby. "PLAYER HAS BEEN KICKED"

4 panels. First panel, upper left, Fenix is leaning back in their chair, frustrated. Second panel, upper right, a side view of Zoe, looking resigned and speaking to Fenix. 3rd panel, lower left, Fenix is resting their chin on the back of their hands, looking away to their left as they speak. 4th panel, lower right, Zoe is beginning to remove her headset. FENIX: Uggghhh.... Why are people so awful? ZOE: ... Just the way it is. FENIX: Feels dumb to be upset about it, but c'mon... ZOE: Yeah... Well, let's just call it a night then. See you la- FENIX: NO WAY!

3 panels. The first panel takes up the left half of the page, showing Fenix with a determined look on their face. Panel two is in the upper right half, a close up of Zoe, startled. The lower third panel is a screenshot of Zoe frantically messaging Fenix on Discord. FENIX: We're not ending the night on something like that. FENIX: I'm calling MJ and Ami. ZOE (via Discord messages): What No It's 3am there Fenix noooooooooooooooooo

A full page. Mary-Jo is seated on her bed, eyes wide and looking to her ringing phone on the nightstand to her right. She is holding a nib pen, mid drawing.

2 panels, splitting the page top and bottom half. The first panel shows Amrita, squinting and buried in the blankets, looking at her phone. The second panel is the same, but her expression has changed to one of fury. AMRITA: ? AMRITA: !

Full page. A side view of Mary-Jo seated on the bed, stunned and hair flying back as she holds her phone at arm's length. AMRITA (through the phone speaker): WHY ARE YOU STILL AWAKE??? You said you were fixing your sleep schedule. Don't think I don't know what time it is over there! And you two! Why are you calling the game group chat this late?! (The words are semi-hidden as they blast past Mary-Jo.)

2 panels, splitting the page horizontally. The 1st panel depicts Zoe, Fenix, and MJ as shamefaced mini caricatures. The 2nd panel shows Amrita, annoyed and tired with a finger raised as she speaks. ZOE: I told them not to! FENIX: I forgot... MARY-JO: I wanted to finish my sea slug... AMRITA: ONE. I repeat, ONE game. Half hour max. Then we all go to bed. Got it?

4 panels, each showing Fenix, Zoe, Mary-Jo, and Amrita laughing with heavy bags under their eyes. A text box in the center displays: "3 HOURS LATER"

Words have to matter.

Our Charmed Circle shares the story of four friends connected across the continent by a shared enthusiasm for gaming and bound by a sense of solidarity. Follow the story of Fenix, Amrita, Mary-Jo, and Zoe as they navigate the realities of online relationships and daily life. With this comic, CHASI and artist Sharon Strauss aim to explore the issues we face, the world we live in, and how we find the strength to forge an identity in an ever-changing political landscape. Watch for a new comic every second week, and in print in The Cascade.

CHASI’s Our Charmed Circle page includes character bios and links to every comic.