Castle Waiting—Volume 1

castle waiting volume 1 cover review hardback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Good start

Story got sidelined by weird publishing schedule and Solicitine Nuns storyline

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Castle Waiting:  The Curse of Brambly Hedge/Castle Waiting (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Olio/Fantagraphics Books

Writer:  Linda Medley

Artist:  Linda Medley

# of Issues:  17

Release Date:  2006

castle waiting volume 1 cover review

Castle Waiting (1) #1

Reprints Castle Waiting:  The Curse of Brambly Hedge #1, Castle Waiting (1) #1-7, and Castle Waiting (2) #1-4; 12-16 (1996-2003).  Castle Waiting is a special place once cursed, but not a refuge for travelers.  Lady Jain is pregnant and on the run.  Lady Jain is welcomed to Castle Waiting with open arms and begins to learn about the people and creatures that live there…and almost everyone in Castle Waiting has a story to tell.

Written and illustrated by Linda Medley, Castle Waiting—Volume 1 is a fantasy adventure comic book collection.  The volume collects the opening story Castle Waiting:  The Curse of Brambly Hedge in addition to the first Olio printed issues and Cartoon Books issues (which started volume 2 with #1-4 before returning to the original number of #12-16.  The series was recognized with an Eisner for both Castle Waiting:  Curse of Brambly Hedge and a best new series award.

I love Castle Waiting.  The series is a fun, smart read which due to unfortunate release ended up a bit of a mess.  The series jumped around all over the place but it was more due to its staggered release than anything else.

The opening storyline is genius and felt like it owed a lot to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked with the reinterpretation of classic fairytales.  It should be noted that this was also before Fables which took a similar style of “real world” fairytales.  Fables due to long term planning has turned into a stronger series, but the pure fun of Castle Waiting can’t be denied.

castle waiting #3 cover review

Castle Waiting (2) #3

The series also starts to get into trouble in the second half of the book.  Jain’s story is sidelined by the tale of Peaceful Warren of the Solicitine Nuns.  Her story of bearded nuns takes up much of the story and dragged on too long…hurting the overall series.  It should have been a shorter run or a more broken up tale.

Linda Medley’s art is also great.  I love her simple style which brings a lot of character to Jain and the other interesting characters of the Castle.  That is another reason that the Solicitine Nun storyline hurts is that you don’t get to see the characters that Medley created…The nuns are fine, but it almost seems like more of a spin-off mini-series than Castle Waiting.

Despite the criticisms, Castle Waiting is still worth a read, but it is frustrating due to the release of issues.  The series is a fun, light tale.  If you are a fan of Gregory Maguire or Fables, you’ll want to check it out.  Castle Waiting–Volume 1 was followed by Castle Waiting—Volume 2 which Medley did not approve, but then replaced with a Castle Waiting—Volume 2 definitive edition which collected more of the series in an addition approved by Linda Medley.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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