Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Andrew Wheeler
Artist: Paulina Ganucheau
Release Date: 2nd March, 2016
Riding on the increasing pressure for more female-orientated books, Another Castle brings us the story of Misty, the damsel-not-so-in-distress. Her beloved kingdom of Beldora is plagued by the evil King Badlus, who has designs on her father’s throne. With permission to hunt down Badlus’ minions refused by her father, Misty inadvertently sets along a path resulting in her imprisonment within Badlus’ fortress and the horrific prospect of becoming his bride-to-be.
Another Castle aims to flip the traditional fairy tale concept on its head, with focus on the princess as she attempts to thwart Badlus from within his own domain. Misty is not portrayed as a one-dimensional, helpless little girl, but an intelligent and strong-willed woman determined to save her kingdom.
What’s incredibly refreshing, however, is that Misty bears all these characteristics whilst rocking a ball gown! Time and time again, women are portrayed as either ‘weak but glamorous’, or ‘strong but entirely unfamiliar with the concept of make-up’. One of the book’s key strengths is recognising that women can be both (personally, I fully intend to attend my next con rocking both a fan tee and Mac lipstick).
Other notable characters include Sorsa and Fogmoth, Misty’s attendants within Badlus’ castle, who are incredibly endearing as they attempt to make her ‘stay’ as comfortable as possible. The rest of the cast remain largely underdeveloped, but are established sufficiently to allow room to grow, if desired, later in the series.
Another strength of the book is its artwork, which is suitably cute to fit the concept. Ganucheau has done a cracking job in achieving almost an anime-feel to the book. The panels are attractive and the soft pastels used achieve a real fairy tale vibe for the series.
One word of caution to those planning on jumping on-board; at the grand old age of 26, I felt significantly outwith the target market for this series. The plot and dialogue were a tad simplistic and twee for my tastes. However, it’s going to be perfect for younger readers fresh to the medium and high on Disney. Besides providing an avenue into the world of comics, the book also sends out a positive message for young girls that is sometimes sorely lacking in today’s world. Parents take note; this is definitely the one to give your little one!
[Click to Enlarge]
The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.