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Review: Vesper & Onion
New from Greentea Publishing
Backing Kickstarter projects is sometimes an easy choice for me; I may know the team, the story or the publisher, or they are local and trusted1. Sometimes though, I will take a punt and go for something else. Vesper & Onion from Greentea Publishing had popped up in my recommended feed, but I was unsure if I should back it.
Then, across my social media networks, Vesper & Onion blew up. Many people I follow, respect, and read were recommending this book, and I decided to dive in, swallow the slightly higher than I would usually pay postage costs2 and back it.
I’m glad I did.
Vesper is a young witch apprenticing to the Grand Witches of Castagno as a Forager, a seeker of hard-to-find ingredients for magical spells. Along with her expressive cat familiar, Onion, she is tasked to find a rare, dangerous mushroom in the Sacred Woods of Chanticleer.
This book, written by Sarah Greentea, is an excellent story but also one of introductions.
First of all, is Vesper. She is an interesting character. Described as a rule-following witch and working as a forager. We get a good idea in this comic about her. She is diligent and serious. This is not only for her work as a forager but also for those around her. The work as a forager is a good idea. I have often wondered how witches get their ingredients, and this role is interesting. She is the one that makes the spells tick. As we get into the introduction, we also look at the items she needs to find and how difficult it can be to get them.
The second member of the duo is Onion. As a cat and a familiar, you can tell he is special not only as a cat but also with some magic about him. Onion works well as some of the more comedic parts of the story, but his cat personality also drives some aspects of the story.
As we follow the pair's quest for a special item, we get a good look at the world around them, from other people, to the magical aspects of the world and finally to the other magical races you may find.
The pacing of the story works well. We work our way along with Vesper and Onion, and as they do things they may see as normal or mundane, we learn more about what there is about and what people can do. Even for a smaller book, it doesn’t seem rushed and builds towards an interesting finale which will make you want to see what comes next.
The art by Sarah Webb is excellent. From the front cover above, we get a good feeling of the tone of what we are about to read.
Sometimes, with black-and-white comics, there is the danger that the lines and shades make the page too busy. Don’t get me wrong - Vesper & Onion has a lot going on, but some clean lines, excellent panels, and framing techniques are used here. This allows you to enjoy all the aspects of the panels without feeling overwhelmed.
The shading and tones are used to make you forget that this is black and white. That is a very special skill. Yes, there are some colour splashes - either some emphasised writing or special effects. These are used sparingly, though and don’t detract from the reading of the story.
Not only are there some excellent character moments and expressions used in the artwork here, but some of the tones and location/background choices really bring you into the feeling and tone of the story. An excellent job all around.
Vesper & Onion is a perfect companion to site down and read. It feels comfortable and provides an enjoyable reading experience - in terms of the plot and artwork. I can see myself sitting down and reading this again and again.
Check out the other books available from Greentea Publishing - including Wraith: House of Wicked Creatures, Women Do Not Creep By Daylight, Recipes for the Dead and more at the link below.
Yes, I have been burnt before - https://comics.3millionyears.co.uk/p/i-received-something-from-tales-from
Postage is making up a lot of decisions on if I should buy a physical copy or digital