Sweet Graffiti and Our Lady of Sweet Revenge: An Indie Comic Review

Synopsis: Reluctantly married to a royal envoy, a princess fights off marauding hags and gives her new marriage a chance.

Review: This comic approaches viewers with an interesting presentation that doesn't indicate what the interior is like. It may create some mystery, but the splotched on red paint is somewhat difficult to read and whatever symbol appears in the center of the cover is indecipherable, as is the symbol on the back cover (not shown). Hopefully the mystery is enough to get readers to pick up this comic and delve into the interior, which has a sort of graffiti-esqe style with thick black lines that I normally dislike because my brain doesn't seem to decipher it well, but in this book I manage to enjoy and appreciate the style despite my comprehension issue.

Hopefully Taney is cool with me featuring the final art page of the comic here, borrowed from her Tumblr (if not, let me know and I will take it down immediately):

[click the artwork to enlarge]

This is one of the more readable pages and it makes me curious what the back story is and why this "hag" wants revenge and entices me to read a second issue, hoping for some unique storytelling and something to connect us to the characters. The princess fighting hard, not only for her life, but that of her husband and her apparent attitude change toward him seemed to come out of nowhere, so perhaps we're jumping into the situation a little too fast or this first installment would be more satisfactory if a later issues addresses the arranged marriage and their interactions.

I enjoy the icey blue tones, the character designs, and very much the backgrounds that include distant scenery, and most of the page layouts, but the action pages can be difficult to read, despite the addition of red gradients to indicate the passion and excitement of the battle scene. The "blue pages" remind me of the Jotenheim scenes in the Thor movie, which were visually attractive, yet made it difficult for me to follow the movie's action in this world of eternal twilight, so it might be a contrast issue. Perhaps simpler coloring with less gradients would be easier on the eye. The artwork may only improve with "simpler", solid coloring, even if it takes away from the appearance of shadows and light.

This comic is the first of a series and you can read Taney's description of what is intended, borrowed from the author's Tumblr:

Descent of Holy Mountain is the first of a series of self-contained minicomics by Joy Taney in a format inspired by Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, with a series of short, self-contained stories that feature an ensemble of protagonists while following an overarcing plotline. The series, titled Our Lady of Sweet Revenge, tells the story of of Fala, the arctic hag who attacked the travelers Lorelei and Hart Capra,  in her pursuit of revenge aganst the moon elf she blames for the deaths of her mother and her clan. As Fala’s plans come together, she must ask herself just much she is willing to sacrifice to achieve her bloody goal.

Cost: Uncertain as this was part of my massive Adhouse Books buy from the 2011 Richmind Zine Fest, which you can read about by clicking the link.

Publication: 2011 for the 2nd edition and I seem to have #18 of 24 printed.

Contact: Joy Taney can be found via Tumblr and Facebook.

Recommendation: I'm truly curious to see more of this creator's work as the coloring and style are engaging, even if the color tones make it somewhat difficult to decipher what's going on. Hopefully future printed issues will feature covers with the artists' line work and coloring abilities, something bright and flashy.

The entire comic can be read online, for which I found a link through a post on Spandexless. Check it out and enjoy the art and let the creator know what you think!

Despite fair use, permission for interior art granted by its creator.