by Zachary Whittaker
Written by: Iolanda Zanfardino
Illustrated by: Elisa Romboli
Cover A by: Elisa Romboli
Cover B by: Iolanda Zanfardino
Following the story of Alice, who’s just discovered her partner is cheating on her (and is also a total dick) Alice decides to bet on herself and immediately move to San Francisco with her friend Robin to follow her dream of writing fairy tales.
It’s a tale as old as time, uproots, move to a new city, struggle to find a place to live, then move into the first place you can afford, with two housemates, a Dom and a performance artist. But this little firefly will get their happy ending.
Elisa Romboli’s artwork is incredible, each character feels unique, taking into consideration the way people really look, there’s a Sophie Campbell Wet Moon type of feeling in that sense, which I’m all about. This is all complimented by every page using a minimalist colour palette consisting entirely of shades of pink. Throughout this issue we see a huge range of emotions, largely within Alice, and they’re all so well realised, there’s also a few entirely silent pages in the middle where Romboli’s art really shows how well it can tell the story all by itself. The artwork builds upon styles we’ve seen across indie books past and present, but it is definitely among the best versions of slice of life artwork. There’s also a great use of sound effects here, feeling very manga inspired and entirely fitting the moments in which they appear.
Oh there’s also a few pages which show the fairy tale Alice is working on, and Elisa Romboli’s artwork is fantastic there as well, which shows great variation from the main art of the book.
Iolanda Zanfardino’s writing here is great, while there’s quite a few characters being introduced, it feels like everyone is their own person, and it doesn’t take long to get a sense of each character’s personality.
From start to finish this is a really well structured first issue, every scene serves a purpose, all the jokes hit, and the dialogue feels like natural, real interactions. While we may not see much of the ‘Leatherland’ promised in the title in this first issue, this is a good start to a series, that’s clearly setting itself up to be incredibly sex positive and body positive with plenty of good representation. Honestly, my only complaint is that I was annoyed when I ran out of pages to read.