You'll be able to catch up when the Kickstarter for Issue #2 goes live, details here: https://jldugan.com/circadia/
Circadia is a five issue limited comic series written by Jennifer Dugan. Stranger Things meets Black Swan, it tells the story of a bi ballerina and her non-binary love interest as they struggle to untangle dreams from reality… while battling a demon on both fronts.
While it tells a single cohesive story, it’s presented anthology style, with a different team of queer women and non-binary artists bringing their unique talents to each issue.
Issue #1 launched successfully in Fall of 2017, and fully funded with all stretch goals unlocked. Check it out here
Issue #2 is slated to hit Kickstarter in June of 2018 and will include a catch up tier for those who missed out the first time around.
Buy it at your local shop!
Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means… leaving him.
This review is a bit late, since the 6 year old living in this household stole my copy of TAPROOT and ran off with it for a week. When I finally snagged it back and immersed myself in the beautiful, eerie world that Keezy Young created, I completely understood the 6 year old's urge to read it over and over.
Pitched as "a story about a gardener and a ghost," TAPROOT is part love story, part ghost story, part spooky fantasy. If, like me, you don't love horror but do love Halloween, this book is perfect for the season. There's a lot of eeriness to be had, particularly when Blue (the ghostie) starts being pulled through the veil. Said eeriness is balanced with beautiful verdant plant imagery and a sweet love story that transcends the limits of space and physical vitality. Without giving a spoiler, I'll warn romance readers that the HEA isn't what you probably expect/hope for in a romance.
You'll notice that I let my 6 year old read it - it's definitely something you can give to kids to read. There's a kiss, there's a bit of spooky, and some peril at one point, but it's very cute and the ghosties are kids and teens.
As for the art, you can get a pretty clear idea of Keezy Young's style based on the cover. The book is in color, with a palette of greens and browns and a muted blue that suit the book's themes of nature and life. It's a style that will either appeal to readers or be sort of "meh," and I think I fit into the latter category. The story, however, resonated with me enough that I eventually settled into the art style and ended up loving the book as a whole.
Three kids make an ill-advised (but well-intentioned) deal with a demon in the woods one day. Twenty years later, Levi, Rowan, and Alder meet again to find out their past has caught up to them. But a lot changes in twenty years, and they aren’t as innocent as they used to be.
In the vein of Nimona and Dragon Age, this character-driven comic by Keezy Young is a queer, modern take on the fantastical. Prepare for an adventure with your new found family.
Yellow Hearts is a comic about three people who met first, briefly, as children, and accidentally made a deal with a demon. Now, as adults, the demon has drawn all three of them back together, so that it may repay it’s debt to them. As children, they seem to have given it permission to have friends, to mimic humanity, and now the demon wishes to repay them with a single wish.
The story picks up in earnest years later, when coincidence again brings them all back to the same city where the tale started. We’re able now to see who they’ve grown up into, how the demonic pact (and subsequent flight) event affected them, and even how it affected the demon they made a bargain with. The three main characters come from distinctly different walks of life - a noble city guard and self-styled coward (Alder), a grifter (Levi), and a necromancer of some sort (Rowan). As the story progresses, each of them seems to be grappling with their past. It’s vague, but there’s enough detail that I’m confident the author has a definite direction. Alder and Levi are also in the beginning stages of a attraction to one another, despite the fact that queer identities seem to be frowned upon in this world.
The three (or four) main characters share a bond in that they’re genuinely good people in a world that doesn’t make room for them. I believe this bond will carry them forward to eventually triumph, though the main enemy right now seems to be their own fear of the unknown. Demons are not to be bargained with, but they made a deal with one, in good faith, before they even knew it was a demon. There's enough doubt in the world's religious texts that I don’t think the demon is evil.
The artwork is mostly thin lines with flat colors, but it does a great job pulling the reader in and conveying the emotion of the characters. Individual pages are made up of similar hues and tones, in a way that reminds me of the artwork of Bill Waterson (of Calvin & Hobbes), surprisingly enough. It is certainly less cartoonish, but the palettes evoke the sense of adventure in a prehistoric T-Rex or Spaceman Spiff comic.
Fans of fantasy comics will enjoy this one. We're looking forward to reading it as the story develops.