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Review: Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

Review: Castle Waiting vol.1 by Linda Medley published by Fantagraphics

'Castle Waiting' is a captivating story, crafted between the lines of some of your favourite childhood fairy tales.  Linda Medley tells the tale of some of the lesser characters from popular fairy tales, the people, and places that don't command our full attention but still possess so much personality.  The story itself is matched by the tale of how 'Castle Waiting' came to be.

Medley first conceived the idea, and the characters for 'Castle Waiting' in 1984.  It makes sense that it all started in college while studying folklore and children's book illustrations.  A sketchbook developed full of characters coming to life.  In 1997 Medley started publishing the story independently.  It's easy to see that this was a labour of love.

The story begins with Sleeping Beauty, and shortly after returns to the castle.  Years later, a very different sort lives there, and so we begin to learn of their adventures.  References to Jack and the Beanstalk, and the three little pigs find their way into the story as well as a number of sprites and odd little creatures from the world of fantasy.  The tales weave their way together seamlessly thanks to Medley's art.  There is no simple way to describe it, but to say it draws you ever deeper into the story.

There's an emotional nuance that pervades these characters as only a veteran creator could implement.  There's no telling the trials that Linda Medley faced as 'Castle Waiting' moved between a few publishers before finding a home at Fantagraphics.  The truth is that sitting down and reading this book is a pure joy.  We look forward to the release of volume 2 later this Spring.

Buy it from Fantagraphics or get a digital copy from Comixology.com or download a 10 page preview from their site.