Thoughts of the Graphic Sort

A place where I can discuss my addiction to graphic novels.

Posts Tagged ‘Fairy Tales

Castle Waiting Volume II by Linda Medley

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After I finished Castle Waiting Volume I, I creepily stalked Fantagraphics’ website for news on Volume II.   When it was announced Medley was finally returning to the series, I ordered and read each new issue as they were released.

But after issue 10, I decided to wait until they were compiled into a single volume before purchasing any more Castle Waiting.  I hate to say it, but Volume II seemed to lag when compared to Volume I.  Sure, the artwork is sill excellent, the characters are still charming and loveable, but Medley seemed to have switched gears and this left me wanting more of what made Volume I great.

Instead of the wonderful back stories that made the first volume so entertaining, here she devoted pages to castle exploration and introduced some new, but not novel, characters to the mix.  Although we finally learn more about Jain’s mysterious past and the surprising, and touching, pasts of some of the other characters, I felt Medley spent too much time taking us on a tour of the Castle’s mysterious hidden passages and secrets.

Medley’s strengths are with her characters and their inventive histories.  There were touches of what made Volume I so great, like when we find out what’s behind Iron Henry’s iron heart and what’s ailing the doctor, but these moments are too short to make the time spent restoring the Castle rewarding.

But even though I was a bit disappointed in this follow-up, I still love Castle Waiting and can’t wait for the next volume.  And Volume II isn’t a complete letdown–learning about Iron Henry’s past and seeing manly Chess play with a baby is worth the extensive tour of Castle Waiting.


Written by JP Weezey

March 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

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Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

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  Quick and dirty review: Every young girl should have a copy of Castle Waiting on her nightstand.  If you’ve ever wondered what happens after happily ever after, then you’re going to enjoy this clever, fun, and quirky novel.

A little more depth: Castle Waiting begins with the story of Sleeping Beauty and then dumps it by the side of the road.  We all take it for granted that Sleeping Beauty gets her Prince and rides off into the sunset, happy and usually singing, but what about the people who were cursed with her?  Their lives were interrupted for a century-long nap, the  town was ruined because of the briar patch surrounding the castle, and by the time they awake, they no longer have a King or country.  And yet Sleeping Beauty leaves it all without a second glance to start a new life with her Prince.  What a selfish bitch.

Medley takes a stance on happily ever afters by focusing on those left behind.  She fills Castle Waiting with the fairy tale castoffs — elderly handmaidens wanting for a Princess to attend to, a nun with a beard and a past, a demon with a heart of gold, doctors who need healing more than the patients — and gives us an anti-princess to root for.

Jain, the heroine of Castle Waiting, is pregnant and alone.  She flees her Prince Charming and arrives at the Castle an independent woman who has no problem saddling up and going after horse thieves.  Surrounding her is a cast of flawed, but warmhearted, characters, each with a story to tell.  Although Jain’s mysterious reasons for leaving her husband are only hinted at in the beginning, it is Sister Peace who really steals the show.  Her back story comes in near the end of the volume, but it is absolutely worth the wait.

Medley is great at writing charming characters and her artistry is top notch.  Each panel is handled with precision; her clean lines remind me of a woodblock print.

Be prepared for dozens of references to Grimm, beloved fairy tales, and plenty of other fables.

Written by JP Weezey

March 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

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