I’ve been a lapsed comic reader lately, which has made me a bit sad. I thought I might share a favorite of mine with you, in hopes that talking about it will rekindle my interest. If this goes well, expect to see quite a bit more comic talk, because oh have I got some awesome comics to share. But I digress.
I’m here to talk to you about Linda Medley and Castle Waiting which is one of my hands down favorite comics of all time. This book is one of those rare treasures that can be summed up with a simple word: charming. Most books you might describe thusly tend to teeter on the edge of crying, but not Castle Waiting. Here, there is both sly, deftly handled humor, and glimpses of deep emotions and hurt, but all wrapped in a package so irresistible and full of warmth that you’ll keep turning the pages and wish there was more when you get to the end.
Now that I’ve started what amounts to a sales pitch, I’ll step back a bit. Castle Waiting is set in a seemingly typical fairy tale medieval-style world, but in many ways it feels quite modern. Perhaps it’s the way the characters are portrayed, even the less human looking ones of the bunch. Speaking of which, among the denizens of this crumbling old castle, there is a stork who runs the place and tries to keep up with repairs. There’s an imp who taunts a saucy, bearded nun (she’s amazing and quite willing to share a sandwich with him). There are a load of equally interesting and wonderfully rendered characters, but I don’t want to spoil the fun of discovering them on you. And then there’s the castle itself, full of sprites and brownies and the stories it holds in its bones.
“A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil, but about being a hero in your own home.” That’s what the official description says and perhaps that’s part of what pulls me toward this book, the idea of being a hero of the every day. From Lady Jain, pregnant with another man’s child and on the run from her husband, to the quiet Iron Henry, to the sweet Simon, all the characters have their own special stories and Linda Medley draws and writes them with wonderful realism.
Linda Medley is currently working on the next installment of this marvelous book and I cannot wait. But there’s a hitch in the proceedings, the bane of any artist or writer: Linda has some hand problems going on. What’s more, she’s another wonderful artist who makes her own way through the world and dances that financial tightrope along with her fellow freelancers.
So, if you go out and read Castle Waiting and love it the way I do, I highly encourage you to support Linda and her work.
I hope by now you can tell how passionate I am about this comic book. I hope you go check it out soon and definitely let me know if you fall for it like I did, long ago and far away.