One of the best things about comic books is that there is always something new to read. For the last couple of years, this has been especially true as a plethora of titles have been published by smaller companies, many of which are definitely not your usual super hero books. There may be capes in these books, but they tend to be woolen.
With so many new titles coming out, it’s very easy for someone new to comic books to hop on board. Most are only a few issues, or a collection or two, into their runs and many are limited series, so it’s simple to dip in and get a whole story in a few issues.
I have a particular passion for all of the fantasy books now on the shelves and tend to gravitate towards those, avoiding the Marvel and DC books with their incredibly long histories and interconnected story lines. There’s nothing wrong with reading those books and I’ve gone through multiple periods in my life when I’ve devoted my comic reading time to Batman and his extended family. Lately, though, I am much more likely to pick up a book like Sleepless and for any of you interested in comics but unsure where to start, this is definitely a great choice.
Sleepless is a young adult romance set in a Renaissance-inspired fantasy. A young princess and her sleepless protector knight have to navigate the complex world of court intrigue as the girl’s uncle (rather than her recently-deceased father) takes the throne.
The comic is only on issue #2, so we don’t have a full picture of the world yet, but so far it’s got a comfortable feel to it, like a fairy tale you already know but have forgotten and our main characters already seem familiar. I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes them, and where the little hints of romance lead as well. We don’t know much yet about the magic in this world, though there are hints, such as the Sleepless knights themselves and the lovely little fox-like creature kept as a pet by Princess Pyppenia.
Created by a largely female and POC team, the book has a diversity of characters, with an inviting art style that has plenty of texture which really helps set the tone of the book. It’s also nice to see a fantasy that isn’t an alternate version of medieval England, but is instead more like Venice at its height, with trade and close relations with an African-inspired country as well.
Only two issues in and I’m already a huge fan, looking forward to the next issue due out next month. This is a great time try out that local comic book store you may have been nervous to go into. This book is worth it.
There’s a preview of the first couple of pages here: Sleepless #1
If you’d like to learn a little more about it, you can find an interview with the creators here:
Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Duca Bring Renaissance Romance To Comics With ‘Sleepless’
and here: Image Comics Is ‘Sleepless’ This December
And a more traditional review of issue #1 here:
REVIEW: Sleepless #1 Tantalizes with a Brand-New Fantasy World [Image’s Sleepless #1 Tantalizes with a Brand-New