Full disclosure, I didn't buy this book. Rather, the lovely Joy Taney (aka Jade's mom!) gave me a copy while we were eating lunch and picking Craig Thompson's brain. She is part of what made SPX so awesome for me (and not just because of her awesome dog).
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That all being said, I have mixed feelings on her comic. Descent of Holy Mountain, Part One of Our Lady of Sweet Revenge was just that: Part One. Which is, I think part of why I wasn't crazy about it. This was clearly a teaser to a much larger story that promises to be complicated and interconnected and clearly well-thought-out. You can see that in these few pages. But having only such a small vignette available to me (the whole story is only eight pages), I was left a little lost for backstory. So really, I guess, it's not that I disliked the book, it's that I wish I could read it as a part of it's larger context.
My only real critique (that isn't just my own confusion) is that a large portion of the book is fight scenes and, though beautifully illustrated, they could use some sound effects to help the reader follow the action. I can understand why they weren't there. The art is gorgeous black brush pen outlines with exacting watercolors. (No, I'm not an artist, Joy told us about her work at lunch. I can't artist my way out of a paper bag.) In a way, the usual fight scene sound effects might detract from the overall ascetic of the piece. But if the future issues are going to have more fight scenes (and with a revenge premise, I'm sure they will) it might be a good thing to consider. Though I may just have trouble following fight scenes. Right now, since Joy was handing out her few issues, I'm assuming she has not gotten to sell them in a big way at an event like SPX. I look forward to when she has more issues and gets to sell her story, and then you all can tell me what you think.
The book was clearly hand printed and hand bound with love though, and each cover had a hand painted title, so I can see how mass production might take a while.
Overall, I did enjoy this snippet of Joy's larger graphic novel and I look forward to more issues. I wish her the best of luck (as she is my ginger doppelgänger) and encourage you to go check out her blog for more examples of her work, and, more pictures of her pugs. (Yes, there's another one!)
And one more picture of Jade, for good measure:
TL;DR Our Lady of Sweet Revenge promises to be a well-thought-out and beautifully illustrated graphic novel, but the first issue teaser can leave the reader wanting for a bit more substance. Also, Joy is the owner of our favorite pug, Jade, and posts many wonderful pictures of both her dog and her art over on her blog.
**Sorry for the awful pictures, my scanner is out of commission at the moment.