Reading Pile: Friday Book One: The First Day of Christmas TP & The Lost Sunday HC
Friday is originally published online over at Panel Syndicate, but I suck at reading comics online so I was really glad to see this released in print. While I do enjoy Brubaker's work, I am here a bit more for the Marcos Martin artwork as I utterly love everything he works on.
The series is a modern update on YA child detective stories in the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Encyclopedia Brown vein, except it sort of acts as a follow up as the characters slowly age out of their safe mystery world. The story follows the pov of Friday Fitzhugh, the partner to child detective Lancelot Jones. Returning home from college for the holidays, she picks up adventuring with Lancelot while they both overlook an awkward tryst they partook in before she left town.
The script, plot, and pacing are all as solid as you would expect, but what really engages is the alchemy between Brubaker and Martin's storytelling. As I already said I love everything Martin touches, so this was going to probably hit me just right no matter what. Brubaker knows exactly how to play to Martin's strengths and Martin creates some incredibly beautiful compositions throughout the story. On top of that Muntsa Vicente's coloring elevates the tone and mood of Martin's work even higher, inviting your eyes to linger even longer on every page. Together they all weave a passionate love letter to the YA detective genre while taking it a bit further as they delve into grittier crime storytelling, angsty teen drama, and a little mystical realism.
The first collection is $14.99 for 130 pages in a nice 5.9 x 8.8 format, and while you can catch up much quicker by just reading it online I do recommend the collection as it's definitely a satisfying package.
Lost Sunday is a charming Romanian comic that updates a number of folktales and myths into one new story with a focus on the subject of burnout. The book is a product of Ileana Surducan's own struggles with burnout during Covid, and considering my own personal experience with burnout this Kickstarter was instant sell to me when it popped up.
The story follows Nina, a young girl who lives in a town haunted by the six wolves of the week, Mon-Sat. The days are consumed by an endless amount of chores and no rest for the residents, prompting Nina to embark on a quest to find the seventh wolf Sunday. It's an amalgamation of stories such as Frau Holle from the Brothers Grimm, The Old Man's Wise Daughter from The Legends or Fairy Tales of Romanians, a mixture of later iterations of these stories, and an infusion of modern sensibilities.
The mixing of these various elements combined with Surducan's lovely art style, the flow of her narration, and the whimsical nature of her compositions just really comes together beautifully. It's the kind of book that will immediately grab a child's attention while the craftsmanship and subject matter will easily appeal to adults. Cause seriously, especially with these past couple years under our belts, getting in valid discussions about burnout to readers of all ages is vital.
The book itself clocks in at roughly $20, but with shipping it was closer to $39. That's a little rough because while it is oversized it is only 63 pages, although I do find the artwork and story well worth it. That may be moot though as I'm not sure how available a print edition will be in the foreseeable future. Interestingly though they are launching a Steam page called the Lost Sunday Comics, a virtual library that may include a number of upcoming projects. Keep an eye on that as it may be the easier way to find more from Surducan in the future.