Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Andrew Wheeler
Artist: Paulina Ganucheau
Release Date: 2nd March, 2016
In the first installment of Another Castle from Oni Press, we saw bold, ass-kicking princess Misty opting to voluntarily remain as a captive of the evil Baldus in order to protect the people of Grimoire. More than capable of saving herself, the fact that she is willing to make this sacrifice and grudgingly play the role of helpless captive in order to save innocents says pretty much everything we need to know about her, and cements her role as a protagonist who it’s almost impossible not to find yourself rooting for.
In this second issue, dashing prince Pete is doing his best to rescue Misty, but is clearly struggling in his attempts to wade through the gauntlet of monsters that lie between him and his “damsel in distress”. The opening pages see him barely managing to triumph against the (brilliantly named) Verminotaur, the first of six beasties which – as we find out – are arranged in ascending order of terror. Gulp. In light of this, Misty decides to get a little proactive, enlisting the help of her loveable jailers Gorga and Formoth to go on a little ‘field trip’ to give Pete a hand.
Once again, writer Andrew Wheeler does a great job of keeping things light and fun while still emphasizing the peril of the situation. He also deserves some serious credit for the creation of Misty herself, and while it perhaps shouldn’t still be a notable occasion when a female character is written strongly with style and depth, the fact remains that, sadly, it is. The supporting cast is fantastic too, with the gushing, wide-eyed Gorga and the cowering, muffin-baking Formoth providing some great comic relief along the way, and we cab see a little bit of world-building going on as Wheeler introduces us to some new faces during Misty’s journey beyond the castle walls.
However, while Wheeler’s writing features an impressive blend of humour and fantasy adventure, it’s the artwork of Paulina Ganucheau that really pushes Another Castle to the next level. Bright, bold and with some truly fantastic character designs, she gives the book a wonderfully eye-catching ‘Saturday Morning Cartoon’ aesthetic that fits perfectly alongside the distinctly family friendly approach.
Things get a little dramatic in the final pages as we witness what is essentially a swords and sorcery bank heist, with Wheeler and Ganucheau managing to throw in a tasty little cliffhanger for good measure to make sure that the majority of readers come back for issue three – as if that was ever in doubt.
Overall then, while it’s not necessarily the kind of thing I would pick up myself, I absolutely love that there are comics like this out there on the shelves. Perfect for little girls who like princesses, little boys who like princesses, and grown adults who like goddamn princesses, this is a progressive, positive and gloriously fun series that deserves to be seen by as many eyes as possible.
If you want to find out more about Another Castle, make sure to check out our interview with creators Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau by CLICKING HERE.
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