You would be forgiven for thinking the collected editions of these webcomic from animator Zorika Gaeta were new books from Nobrow Press, their style and finish are definitely good enough to be part of the house of Hilda. So why not check out the Kickstarter now, and get ahead of the curve for this next great discovery!
Zorika Gaeta’s webcomic has been around for a couple of years now, but this our first time discovering it (and one of the first times she has submitted her work for review as well!) and it really is a beautiful discovery. As we mention in the intro, it has that Nobrow vibe to it, reminding us of books like Deadendia or Gamayun Tales. The visuals have that cartoonish but sumptuous quality that the best Nobrow books have. The faces have that cartoonish innocence of Stig and Tilde, but it is the colours though are what really stand out. They feel like something from Hamish Steele’s Deadendia or even Kat Chapman’s Follow Me In, with their sumptuous warmth and rich earthy tones. Especially in the colourful side characters like the fire monkey or the lush and gorgeous forest scenes that make you feel like you could reach into the page and run your hand over the leaves and branches.
While these books are some of the most gorgeous we have seen this year, we have to admit we struggled a bit with the story in each. In their own right they are quite fun little tales. Volume 1 sees a couple sharing an intimate moment by letting one into the others mind and taking a walk around, in a kind of Alice in Wonderland meets Inside Out sort of dream world. While the second volume introduces to an enigmatic kind of female grim reaper (who feels like she might have taken a detour from Coco) and her and our heroine spend time in a log cabin discussing the nature of the world. Then in the third volume we get a story involving a fire monkey and she and the monkey attempt to grow some banana trees with varying success.
While the stories don’t necessarily hang together as a whole, and there is no sense of an over arching narrative or direction of where things are going, as a showcase for Zorika’s work then they do just fine. These three books feel more like snapshots or stolen moments rather than a coherent story, and this definitely helps to keep in line with the dream like and fantastic art style which every pages imbues. While part of us thinks it would be interesting to see how Zorika fairs with a more structured story (we’re sure she’d do brilliantly) at the same time removing the ability to go off on flights of fancy would also remove what makes this story so glorious, as the seemingly random nature and unpredictability of each volume is what makes it so endearing.
With a Kickstarter currently running for volume 3 this definitely feels like the time to start keeping an eye on Zorika’s work as there will be big things in her future, based on this amazing series of books. Beautiful artwork and a dream like world make for some hypnotic and beautiful reads, that you have to experience as much as over analyse them. It is the sheer quality of creativity and craft in each volume that is why we find ourselves continually returning to them, to take on their beauty again and again (And we cannot wait to see them in print too!).
We haven’t been this excited about a new creator, since we first discovered Tillie Walden with I Love This Part. So be sure not to miss out on these soon, as these books won’t be a hidden secret forever!