Review – Alice in Leatherland #3 (Black Mask)
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Writer: Iolanda Zanfardino
Artist: Elisa Romboli
Release Date: 9th June 2021
We’re admittedly a little late to the party, but with Pride Month in full swing, what better time to take a look at Alice in Leatherland, an upbeat sex comedy from real-life couple Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli, the third issue of which is on sale right now?
To catch you up on the premise, the series follows children’s story book writer Alice, who discovers that her girlfriend has been cheating on her and decides to move out to the wild streets of San Francisco. Her innocent, almost childlike view of love and the world as a whole is quickly given a major league wake-up call when she finds herself working in a local sex shop and living alongside a pair of sexually liberated and unashamedly kinky roommates.
This latest issue sees our plucky heroine struggling with the painful memories associated with Valentine’s Daym before finding herself thrust, somewhat reluctantly, into the turbulent world of online dating. Her potential romance with longtime friend Robin hits another hurdle, and she finally decides to take matters into her own… hands. Every fairy princess needs a wand, right?
Right from the start of the very first issue, Alice has been an immensely likeable and sympathetic protagonist, and both Zanfardino and Romboli continue to do a great job of making us root for this optimistic, heartbroken and sugary breakfast-loving gal as she tries to move on with her life. The perils and pitfalls she encounters here will likely be familiar to anyone who has dipped their toe in the murky waters of online dating, and Zanfardino and Romboli even include a handy “things to avoid” list midway through the issue.
Romboli’s artwork remains a real delight, packed with expression and humour throughout. I particularly love the ‘picture book’ interludes where we get treated to excerpts of Alice’s current work-in-progress, the semi-autobiographical story of a firefly finding her own way in the world. The cast of characters are brilliantly diverse and interesting, featuring all manner of body shapes and sizes, and the whole thing flows smoothly across the page.
While humorous and sex-positive stories of love and misfortune might not necessarily appeal to every comic book reader, they most certainly appeal to this one, and the charm and energy that the creators inject into this tale make it an easy series to recommend. Sweet, wholesome, honest and funny, this is the LGBTQIA+ sex comedy you didn’t know you needed in your life.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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