Image Comics 2021
Written & Illustrated by Mirka Andolfo
Coloured by Simon Tessuto
Lettered by Fabio Amelia
Paprika is a successful businesswoman, a New Yorker of Italian origin. Job and career consume her, forcing her to neglect her personal needs as well as her friends and family. Her heart is broken from a previous relationship and its consequences, and a rigid upbringing has made her a very introverted person. She wants a romantic relationship, but she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Not like Dill, a naïve and suave delivery boy with an angelic attitude, handsome, and always surrounded by beautiful women falling for him. He doesn’t have a worry in the world, and this makes Paprika very nervous. But he's the guy who could help her with her feelings (and with...sex).
I think this is a pretty solid, interesting and dare I say familiar story. We all know someone, or are that person, who uses work as an excuse to avoid a social life or who just feels helpless when it comes to social situations. I think Paprika is someone we can all relate to in some way shape or form and Mirka has created and brought to life this wonderful character.
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceedingly well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter do a marvellous job in portraying them as people. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages introducing us the characters, the story and the world they live in we find ourselves immersed in this world.
I really do like how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story emerge and grow. The layers contain some great bits including the characterisation and the plot twists and devices that really allow us to get to know Paprika. What all these do is add depth, dimension and complexity to the story in some beautiful ways. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved exceedingly well.
The interiors here are deceptively charming in how she uses the angels and demons. The linework is strong, clean and crisp and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail work that we see is astonishingly well rendered. I love that we see backgrounds utilised as we do, it makes me a happy camper, and how they enhance and expand the moments. I also appreciate how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is brilliantly rendered. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows such a great understanding of how colour works.
This is definitely a mature title as we see Paprika doing something that normally would be a sensitive issue and one that we don’t see a lot of women portrayed doing. I like the idea here as well about how she grew up and what that environment led her to be like and how she’s just overall portrayed. I can relate on some levels with her and already I’ve become interested and engaged in this story which is a testament to how well Mirka is able to tell this story. With smart intelligent writing and sensational characterisation that’s wrapped up in these gorgeous interiors that will charm your panties off.