Cursed Pirate Girl Annual #1 (Archaia/BOOM!)


Rating: 5/5 – Looking for Something Different? Here It Is!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I’m frequently drawn to the “there is no other book on the racks like this one” type of books, and that describes Cursed Pirate Girl excellently well!  This series was created and is written and drawn by Jeremy Bastian with an incredible level of detail and wit.  If you happen on this book open it up and have a look at the multitude of tiny detailed ink strokes on every page.  There is so much detail and design crammed into every page it screams to me: “DRINK ME IN!!!”

Originally published via Bastian’s own imprint Olympian Publishing, there were 4 total issues (#0-3) that tell the story of the Cursed Pirate Girl up though Chapter 3 of her tale.  Those issues are collected in a very nice hardcover by Archaia/BOOM! and this annual picks up where they left off and present Chapter 4 in it’s entirety, all 52 pages of it.  The tale is published infrequently, but is well worth the wait and is easily understood given the detail that goes into each and every page.  Even though this is Chapter 4, there’s a nice recap on the inside front cover and you can easily pick up the tale in progress with this issue. It’s been over 5 years since I read #3 (that means I’ve read well over 7,500 comics since I last read CPG) and I picked up the tale in progress with no problem.

I love this, but it may not appeal to every reader.  It’s a very dense, but not confusing, read.  There are lots of details packed into every available part of the page, a very unique lettering style, and page designs that really require the reader to be paying attention.  There is one page where a fish in a knight’s helmet declares (in the upper right corner) “Hold it there! Sorry to be taking you out of the flow of things, but this is not the beginning of the page”.  He then proceeds to chat with the reader as he leads your eye across the top of the page and down the right border where the page begins ans flows in a clockwise spiral from there.  I found it to be fabulously creative and loved it.  It might drive someone else nuts, though!  There are numerous non-standard page designs and scrolling narratives that lead the reader in strange patterns across the page, but I never got lost, it all added to the flow and charm of the story for me.  There’s even a 3-page fold-out when Cursed Pirate Girl gets to an underwater city with several elements that look like William Ekgren could have drawn them!

This was one of my favorite comics of 2015.  It carries a $9.99 price tag for its 52 pages, but it took me a really long time to read, in a good way.  There was so much story packed into the are and writing I spent as much time basking in this one issue as I spend on 6-8 standard superhero comics.  Given the amount of actual entertainment value I got out of this issue, it was worth every penny it cost me.  I cannot recommend this highly enough, it’s well worth a look.  Open it up, flip through it.  I think you’ll agree this has the “different from every other book on the racks” factor in spades.  If you like what you see, BUY IT!  Then get the hardcover.  Then settle down and get ready for a long wait for Chapter 5, but I think however long the wait is… it will be well worth it!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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