Wardens #1

WARDENS #1: fully funded on Kickstarter!



It’s 1926 in prohibition-era Toronto and strange things are afoot in the working-class immigrant neighbourhood known as “The Ward!”

Rachel Tussman, a 20-year-old Jewish seamstress, has her life turned upside down when tragedy befalls her younger sister, Goldie, and gives rise to The Schmata, an assemblage of possessed clothes out for bloody revenge!

Drawn into a hidden world of Jewish magic, Rachel must unite with her sister, Goldie’s secret Chinese lover Sonny, and jazz trombonist Nick, to stop the Schmata, uncover the source of the fire, and survive a gang war that threatens to tear The Ward apart!

Wardens is…

– A new supernatural/crime/historical-fiction two-fisted action series
– A magical adventure, with supernatural shenanigans from Jewish (and other) traditions
– A old-timey vaudeville comedy, with enough Yiddish to make your bubbe kvell
– An in-depth exploration of one of Toronto’s most diverse and fascinating historical neighbourhoods

The Team

Writer: Ari Gross
Artist: Robert Jennex
Editor: Aubrey Lyn Jeppson


Rachel Tussman is a down-on-her-luck seamstress at Stone’s garment factory and a part-time shammas (synagogue assistant). She’s fiercely protective of her community, especially her younger sister, Goldie.

Don’t let Rachel’s smile fool you – she’s a 5-foot-tall ball of righteous fury, a back-alley brawler with anger issues and a propensity for punching pugnacious putzes in their pitiful punims!

Goldie Tussman, strong-willed secretary at Stone’s, has half the factory falling for her. But she’s only got eyes for her man: Sonny Woo!

Not that she’s told Rachel about him yet. Or, er, anyone…

Sonny Woo (胡新持) is a porter at Stone’s by day and Goldie’s secret lover by night (and maybe also lunch break?)

He’s as quick with a joke as he is with his retractable staff, courtesy of his past working in Chinese theatre and acrobatics.

Nick Hubbard (trombone, vocals) leads the “Rhythm Monsters”, The Ward’s number one speakeasy swingers! But his destiny as a musician is about to take a sharp turn…

Check the back of Wardens #1 for sheet music to Nick’s hit song: “Shoo-fly!”

The Schmata — a murderous ensemble of magically-imbued clothing possessed by a cadre of wronged souls out for bloody revenge!

Albert “Bertie” Weissman is Rachel’s new beau. Bertie quit tailoring at Stones to become a doctor, but fate will draw him back to the factory one last time…

Rabbi Cohen leads the House of Holy Wisdom, a synagogue on Centre Ave, the heart of the Ward’s Jewish community.

Respected amongst his congregation, Cohen is a grandfatherly figure to Rachel. But she’ll soon learn that he is much more than he appears.

The ever-miserable Lou Stone runs “Stone & Son Garment Co.”, along with his father, Harry.

His employees may hate him, but if he can’t get Stone’s back in the black, nobody’s going to be employed much longer!

“Big” Ben Hillenberg leads the Union at Stone’s.

Loves: organized labour, speakeasy liquor, and Goldie.

Hates: Lou, Lou, and Lou.

WARDENS has… action!


Kabbalistic tailoring!

Jazz-age novelty dances!

Questionable medical professionals!

Too much Yiddish!