Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Book-A-Day #98 (10/22): Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

Linda Medley has been writing and drawing this comic (at what seems like ever-more irregular intervals) for the past decade, and its finally been all collected into one small handsome hardcover. (A new series has also just started up, and I'll probably keep buying that, too, even though, as is well known, I hate single issues.)

It's probably the most light-hearted and kid-friendly of all the current batch of revised fairy tale comics; nothing more than mildly unpleasant ever happens, and all of Medley's main characters are deeply and thoroughly nice. (This is not exactly a criticism, but it is an observation.) Castle Waiting is also more loosely based on specific tales than most of the others (like Fables); the castle in question is Sleeping Beauty's, but the main story takes place some unspecified time later. The characters are often fairy-taleish types, but they're not specific people out of older tales (unlike Bill Willingham's Fables, for example).

Medley's art style is nicely illustrative, and looks to be influenced by the late 19th century book illustrators; she uses a lot of lines, but manages to keep her compositions from being too busy. (And, for all of the odd characters -- one of the inhabitants of the castle has a horse's head, and another a stork's -- her style never gets cartoony or exaggerated; it's always rendered in a realistic style.)

This might be a bit too "girly" for many comics readers, but those who enjoy light-hearted fantasy in prose will probably like it in comics form as well.

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!
Edited 1/2/07: the huge list of links was getting annoying, and screwing up my Book-A-Day searches, so I've killed them in these posts that had them.

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