Review: Another Castle #1

There's not much to say about Another Castle. It's a very pretty book with only hints of substance. Our cast of characters is so reserved in their characterization they struggle to express any actual character. Given the goofy, exuberant, and action-y layouts for each of Another Castle's pages, you should expect to laugh or something. You want to feel something for the people and events. But it really is hard to care about any of the issue's dialog or action beats.

Another Castle #1Part of the book's problem is it's hard to get a read on the script's tone. There are jokes, yeah, and some unexpectedly inappropriate bits in the dialog. Most of Another Castle's humor comes from the villain's minions not quite understanding that captives don't enjoy being captives. Awkward, but not really worth more than a smirk. On top of that there are little nuggets of humor that feel out of place in their irreverence.

What's left is a final product that doesn't cohere into anything remarkable or memorable. You'll forget character names as quickly as you read them. The plot doesn’t establish itself until the final three pages where our protagonist finally shows some depth. I’m only barely interested in watching our heroic princess become a great queen. Up to that point in the plot, Another Castle feels wayward, like there is something it wants to say, but won't. Chunks of the writing flirt with statements on tradition gender dynamics. But there isn't enough. There's not enough of a statement and not even enough clever implication to warrant the barely there attempt to address the topic.

Paulina Ganucheau's art has to do much of the heavy lifting. Any panel looks like a screenshot from a kids’ animated action/comedy. The clean, sinuous, faintly colored lines grant a bunch of otherwise uninteresting characters some level of personality.

All that said -- there's something here. The weak writing isn't straight-up bad. It just fails to bring any life to its premise. Instead this issue of Another Castle is being dragged behind beautiful art and the promise of a more involving set of adventures.

Score: 3/5

Another Castle #1 Writer: Andrew Wheeler Artist: Paulina Ganucheau Colorist: Michael Garland Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/2/16 Format: Mini-series; Print/Digital