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Another Castle Vol. 1: Grimoire Kindle & comiXology
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About the Author
Paulina Ganucheau is a comic artist and illustrator based wherever her computer lives. She is the creator of Lemon Bird with an original GN out in 2021 and co-creator of Zodiac Starforce published by Dark Horse Comics. Her hobbies include watching pro-wrestling, cloud photography and following cats on Instagram. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
KIRKUS -- Clad almost entirely in bubble-gum pink, with artfully windblown scarlet tresses and pinkish-brown skin, Princess Artemisia of Beldora at first glance seems to be a typical princess-until she throws a pair of scissors through a darling songbird she identifies as a spy. The princess is awaiting a proposal from pale-skinned Prince Pete, a nice guy but not much of a fighter. The scrappy princess is soon kidnapped by the monstrous Lord Badlug, who killed her mother and now imprisons her in his castle in his kingdom, Grimoire. Rather than waiting for her prince to come, she vows to free herself and save both her own kingdom and Grimoire. Artemisia finds unexpected allies in Badlug's lands: the rightful prince of Grimoire, a black man; his on-again, off-again monster boyfriend; and a kindhearted gorgon who stuns but can't petrify. Together they seek to defeat Badlug and his monsters. Their medieval-ish world is evinced through an unabashedly vibrant palette of candy-tinged hues among neatly delineated panels. There is a diverse mix of skin tones, genders, orientations, and ages among both humans and monsters; this motley crew gives a broad range of readers someone to identify with and to root for. The conceit of the princess saving the day may not be entirely new, but don't let that be a deterrent: Wheeler's take is offbeat and fresh.
Quirky, unconventional, and a lot of fun. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)
--This text refers to the library edition.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED) - Princess Misty of Beldora has no interest in marrying a prince; she wants to live life on her own terms. But the marriage Misty's father has in mind for her is put on hold when she is captured and taken to the neighboring kingdom of monsters, Grimoire, where she is to marry its immortal ruler, Badlug the Terrible. Going home isn't an option until she has sought revenge on Badlug for killing her mother, and Misty's tenacity quickly wins her an eclectic band of allies, including Gorga, a kindhearted gorgon attendant, and Fogmoth, a gay gargoyle whose ex happens to be heir to the throne of Grimoire. Wheeler delivers a feminist fantasy adventure that overturns genre conventions at every opportunity, and his diverse cast of humans and monsters underscores underlying themes about prejudices and unfair assumptions. Sharp-witted banter entertains throughout, but Wheeler also slips in deeper considerations about the authority rulers wield and what true sacrifice looks like. Ganucheau contributes some thrilling and bloody action sequences, and her candy-colored palette, suffused with bright pinks and purples, is an inspired touch, just one more way this story subverts expectations. Ages 13-up. (Feb.)
- ASIN : B01LXYBEZK
- Publisher : Oni Press (February 15, 2017)
- Publication date : February 15, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 428409 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 153 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #646,682 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I'd highly recommend this series to anyone ranging from pre-teen to grandparent - a delightful take on an older trope.
Story: Princess Misty doesn't wish to marry and instead wants to take up the kingdom's magical sword and defeat the evil Badlug. When Badlug tricks her into surrendering herself to save her kingdom, she feels all is lost. But she makes friends among the monsters at Badlug's kingdom and soon finds ways to fight back. At the same time, her fiance, a nice if somewhat bumbling prince, will use the magical sword to fight to get to her. But Badlug has his own allies and soon Princess Misty must use all her resources to help save two kingdoms - Badlug's Grimoire and her own Beldora.
Author Wheeler cited video games of the hero saving the princess as his inspiration and I can't help but feel the Dragon's Lair video games of the 1990s must have been that influence. Our heroine is feisty, sure, but she doesn't really have to use her brain so much as circumstance to figure out how to outwit the somewhat dim villain and his one-dimensional henchmen. All the typical fairy tale tropes are here: a dragon a prince and princess, and an evil single-minded bad guy. But of course, the prince and princess changed roles, the sword is bright pink, and hey,the monsters are people too!
Artwork inspiration was listed as coming from Legend of Zelda, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Dragon Age. But honestly, it felt more like a cross between He-Man (Badlug looks to be the son of Skeletor and Hitler, oddly enough) and The Little Mermaid (Ariel and the princess Misty of this story are dead ringers). Missing for me was the charm of Zelda, the heart of Dragon Age, and the subversive pluck of Magic Knights Rayearth. The art is nice and easy to follow but but if you've seen one Don Bluth movie, you've seen these characters before (minus the songs, of course).
I had a hard time with the panels/layout. There were odd segues that could have been drawn differently to help the story flow better. E.g., characters would suddenly appear or a scene would abruptly change without enough transition information to help it make sense. I found I had to go back to reread several times, assuming I had missed something. Layouts could have been much tighter and thought out better, to be honest.
I did like the side characters, even in their simplicity. Misty was a bit overwritten to pound in that she's fierce and the plot was kind of silly and all over the place. As such, the lack of sophistication means this is likely to appeal to a fairly young audience. But I do feel that toddler and elementary school level readers will really enjoy this story of a plucky princess who saves the kingdoms and promotes democracy and harmony among races. Most importantly, you can see the author and artist's hearts clearly in this work (a rare thing these days in the graphic novel medium). Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher
Princess Misty of Beldora has her life all planned out for her by those around her. When she gets captured by Lord Badlug, he threatens her kingdom unless she marries him. Her own kingdom sends the prince that Misty is supposed to marry after her to rescue her. This is where the story becomes less typical. Misty wants to forge her own path. She wants to get the magical sword and take matters into her own hands. Along the way, she meets a cast of characters who have been stereotyped into their own stories. With Misty's help, they discover new paths of their own.
I liked it. The art and character design feels pretty fresh. The story has an unconventional approach. The characters are all pretty interesting.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Oni Press and Diamond Book Distributors in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.