In Meg Syverud’s action-packed fantasy Daughter of the Lilies, three mercenaries-for-hire find themselves with much more than they bargained for when they hire Thistle, a mysterious but immensely talented mage, who for unknown reasons can never show her face.
All Thistle wants is to keep a low profile, help people, and stay out of trouble, something that repeatedly proves much more difficult than she’d like. Things only get more complicated when she joins a quarrelsome band of adventurers: the stoic and long-suffering orc Orrig; Lyra, a boisterous elven archer; and Brent, a (mostly) human fighter with a tragic past and heavily scrutinized parentage. Though a tight-knit group, our heroes keep finding themselves in a world of trouble in the form of demons, cannibals, and infernal (or perhaps divine) otherworldly forces. Plus, perhaps most troubling of all, Brent is falling in love with Thistle.
Daughter of the Lilies is a gorgeous take on epic fantasy, with all the lush worldbuilding and none of the usual rules. Syverud’s writing and art, along with beautiful color work by Jessica Weaver, bring together elements of magic, horror, religion, romance, and human drama to create a richly detailed story while maintaining a tight, character-driven narrative.
At its core, Daughter of the Lilies is about learning to be kind to yourself. It deals with topics of anxiety, abuse, neglect, prejudice, and self-loathing, while also exemplifying the myriad ways in which love redeems and empowers us. Best of all, Thistle is unlike any other fantasy protagonist you’ve ever seen, and despite the fact that we’ve yet to see her face, you can be sure she will captivate you all the same.
Daughter of the Lilies is currently four chapters long and updates Tuesdays and Thursdays.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Thursday, March 10th, 2016||No Comments »|
Set in a surprisingly nostalgic distant future, Space Boy tells the sweet, science-fiction story of two wildly different teenagers who, through chance and happenstance, manage to traverse an entire universe only to find each other.
Amy is a girl lost in time. Hailing from a deep space mining colony, Amy’s happy and mundane adolescence is irreparably changed when her family must transfer to Earth. In order to make the long voyage, Amy must go under cryogenic status for 30 years, leaving behind her friends and home only to wake up on a planet she doesn’t know, to a life that has undergone three decades without her.
Insecure and lonely, Amy attempts to pick up where she left off, entering a public high school and experiencing normal Earthling life for the first time. But her world is soon shaken yet again when she meets Oliver, a secretive and withdrawn boy whose solipsistic worldview hints at a much larger trauma in his past. Against all odds, the two manage to become friends, and Amy finds herself unwittingly entering into a plot much larger than herself — more dangerous than anything high school has prepared her for.
Space Boy is the kind of science-fiction that wipes away the sterile chrome from its setting, replacing it instead with the warm glow of a slice-of-life story that still manages to feel otherworldly.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, February 29th, 2016||No Comments »|
We know how most stories are supposed to start. A child is given a choice to leave their home in favor of a fantastical journey that will forever change them. This is known as the “call to adventure.”
In Sarah Jolley’s The Property of Hate, that call is made by a sardonic carnival barker with a television set for a head. Still with me? Good.
The Property of Hate, like many adventure stories, features a vibrant and imaginative world full of wondrous creatures and characters. But unlike most adventure stories, our protagonist, a child known only as “The Hero,” has no idea what she’s doing there or why. Blithely following her guide (the aforementioned TV-headed man named RGB) into a realm where existence is literally dictated by thought and imagination, The Hero soon comes to realize that she is trapped in a place where ideas can actually kill you. On top of all this, it appears that this magical world is on the verge of collapsing, with The Hero trapped inside.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, February 1st, 2016||No Comments »|
This year’s Black Comic Book Festival held in Harlem drew swarms of fans obsessed with Luke Cage, Sherlock and Holmes, and other superhero faire. Whit Taylor‘s tiny booth of mostly autobio comics quickly caught my eye, and I left with a copy of her comic Ghost expecting it to be a light-hearted, philosophical look at society.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead I was left with an unparalleled experience that shocked me with its raw honesty. And yes, it’s a “twist,” but it’s a good kind of twist. The kind that doesn’t cheapen itself or dumb itself down, but actually elevates itself into another realm. I could bore you with a quick summary, but Ghost is the type of comic that’s more powerful if you go in blind with no expectations. Equal parts funny, inspiring, and heartbreaking, Ghost is a comic that’s not easily forgotten.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, January 20th, 2016||No Comments »|
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep celebrating with a delightfully depraved webcomic! Known for her dark humor, creepy imagery, and love of all things horrifying, cartoonist Abby Howard weaves a gruesome spell in her gory adventure-comedy The Last Halloween.
Unbeknownst to humanity, there exists a parallel dimension just beyond the shadows, populated by nightmarish monsters (one for every human born). For eons the monsters have been relegated to a half-existence, all of them dreaming of the chance to murder their human counterparts, an act which grants them immortality. The only thing keeping them at bay is an enigmatic peacekeeper known as the phagocyte. But on this Halloween night, someone has decided to remove the phagocyte from his post, and unleashed bedlam on the Earth.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Wednesday, November 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
What better way to jump-start your Halloween countdown than a little witchcraft, romance, and pizza? Look no further than the adorable and quirky short comic Your Favorite Pizza Witch. British cartoonist Sarah Graley introduces us to Roxy, the eponymous pizza witch, who uses her awesome magic skills to craft the most delicious pizzas in the world. Along with her feline familiar, George, Roxy is running a smooth operation and living the dream of a young urban entrepreneur.
But things turn tragic when Roxy meets her dream girl on a routine delivery, only to discover she’s lactose-intolerant! Desperate to find the spell for the perfect cheese-free pizza, Roxy and George run into a heap of trouble, and learn a little bit about teamwork and friendship along the way.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, October 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
How do I begin to describe the surreal, gut-bustingly funny, and all-too relatable humor of cartoonist Nick Sumida? A storyboard artist on the Nickelodeon children’s show Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s personal comics (collected under the title Snackies) are certainly targeted towards a very different demographic. The polar opposite of the idyllic and sweet Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s absurdist autobiographical comics are wrought with anxiety, self-deprecation, and nightmarish charm.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, September 28th, 2015||No Comments »|