I’ve been on a bit of a bender lately reading comic books and I’ve got a handful of them I’d like to write some reviews for on here. First up is Castle Waiting, a 2-volume anthology of booklet comics by Linda Medley. The first volume was released way,way back in 2006 (and I have faint memories of reading it at the library while I was in high school) and the second volume came out in 2010. I got my hands on both and gave them a thorough read, happy to find a comic that took more than half an hour to get through (I am a very fast reader, after all).
What you might hear being consistently praised about the Castle Waiting series is the strong and diverse cast of female characters. They come from all walks of life, varied appearances, interesting backstories, hobbies and interests. I think the most powerful thing about this is that it feels absolutely effortless; never do you think “wow, look at all these women” but rather “wow, what a compelling story”. That being said, the story is enjoyable but not overly complex, sort of a fairy-tale slice-of-life genre rather than an epic saga. I think this is the reason that the humour and dialogue is very human and readable. It’s rather hard to describe so you’ll have to experience that yourself.
Though it took a few chapters to get situated in my eyes, I think that the world is pretty well-drawn and the background for the story is established, certainly by the end of the first volume. The everyday details of the story make the comic seem set in our own world, yet the fairy-tale narratives and fantastic creatures remind us that it is not. Quite a thing to accomplish I think.
From what I can gather, Medley began work on a spin-off called 12 Witches that was last mentioned back in 2013. I can’t seem to find anything newer about it. I’d love to see more of her work and will look forward to revisiting Castle Waiting again sometime in the future – I think it has great re-readability.
The first volume is currently on Amazon for about $23.50 CAD, and the second for $34.50 CAD. I’d suspect that it is in quite a few library systems though, so take a look if it’s somewhere near you and definitely give it a read! If what I’ve described above appeals to you, you will not regret it.