Punderworld, Volume 1 by Linda Šejić
For absolutely stunning art, for clever details that bring so much extra life to the characters, for characters you fall in love with and cheer for and laugh at, for a really wonderful take on a classic story
Expected Release: August 31, 2021
The classic tale of Greek mythology, but 100% more awkwardly relatable. Hades is the officious, antisocial ruler of the Underworld; Persephone, daughter of Demeter, is an earth goddess of growth and renewal – they’ve been crushing on each other for the past two centuries. But when a festival (and a little liquid courage) present an opportunity to put an end to their Olympian will-they-won’t-they, a meddlesome pantheon and several titanic mis-assumptions threaten to give every god in the sky the wrong impression… and leave their romance dead before it can bloom.
I started reading Punderworld through it’s publication as a comic series on WebToon, and I am so excited to have a print copy of it! Because you’d better believe that I already have my pre-order in to have a copy of my own.
I’ll be honest: I know just the bare basics of the classic story of Persephone and Hades that this is based on. And frankly, I don’t care, because the way Linda Sejic tells the story is the story I want to read, regardless of authenticity or accuracy to the original. She’s made it a funny, fledgling love story.
Persephone is the bold one, the one who knows what she wants and goes after it, but is mindful or others and sensible about consequences at the same time. Hades is shyyyy and doesn’t see how freakin’ badass it is to be the ruler of the underworld (despite all the paperwork). Zeus is perfectly debauched and meddling and flippant and basically everything you expect him to be if you’re familiar with the way he acts in some of the classic mythology he’s in. And all the side characters / gods / goddesses / trees are no less well developed. From a single appearance, you know exactly which god in the background is Narcissus.
Which leads me to the art. WOW. I truly don’t think I’ve read a more gorgeous story in terms of the art and design, not to mention the careful details in each. I have a bad habit of racing through graphic novels and comics, reading only the text, and missing a lot of the artistic elements. NOT WITH THIS. This grabs me so quickly, and holds me close, as I peer around into every corner, marveling at the textures, the light, the personality crammed into every color and choice. I would absolutely frame up some of these images. I have no idea how she does it, but she does it WELL. This should be the marker for excellence in webtoons and comics that aspire to have a similar art style.
Brief FYI: for anyone else who has read any bit of the webtoon, the story is pretty much the same. I only noticed one minor difference of a small joke that was removed from a scene of dialogue. I had read about half of the story included in this copy from the webtoon, and the latter half was new to me. Both were wonderful. ^.^
Things I especially love:
– background characters
– Persephones’ flower crown
– all of the colors and the moods they instantly evoke
– the funny interpretations of the gods and goddesses that are still totally in line with their character (a watery thumbs up from Styx?) 🥰
Thanks to Edelweiss and Image Comics for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.