Castle Waiting v. 2
Written & Illustrated by Linda Medley
Published by Fantagraphics
There are few comics as pleasant at Castle Waiting. Linda’s Medley’s fantasy series takes place sometime after the end of traditional fantasy – happily ever after and the great conflict both seem to be in the recent past, and a collection of diverse strangers have gathered in an abandoned castle to make a new life for themselves.
Clocking in at over 350 pages, v. 2 offers readers a meaty chunk of story, a nice compliment to the massive v. 1 hardcover. In addition to continuing to explore their home, where they discover hidden passages, booby traps and more, the cast welcomes company in the form of Henry’s surrogate family (they’re dwarves, but don’t call them that; it’s offensive!). The new blood introduces a new mix to the group, which Medley explores in considerable detail.
The series is light on direct conflict, but heavy on charm and personal drama. All of the characters are warm and caring, but each has a different interest and a different way of showing their dedication to the community. Medley deftly plays with the character dynamics, uncovering plenty of humor and more than a little bit of danger.
The art’s open and cartoony, with clear layouts. Medley moves the camera around, drawing from different perspectives and angles to keep even the most mundane scenes engaging. She’s also excellent at drawing everything from vegetable gardens to anthropomorphized horse-men. Drapery and background details get the requisite attention to add reality to each scene. In short, the cartooning is masterful.
Castle Waiting’s a pleasant, upbeat series, a great way to spend a quiet afternoon. If you’re looking for high adventure and action, it’s not here. This series is exploring the quiet places and the emotional beats that exist just beyond the screaming and bloodshed, and it’s doing so with style and wit. Castle Waiting comes highly recommended.