- Writer: James F Wright
- Art: Jackie Crofts
- Publisher: Action Lab
- Release Date: March 2015
School bullies, budding friendships, and revenge via baked goods are at the forefront of the new graphic novel, Nutmeg Vol. 1. Writer James F Wright and artist Jackie Crofts bring us a preteen school drama with surprising amount of artistic ability, relatable characters and engaging plot.
Nutmeg Vol. 1 centers around two junior high school girls named Pamela (Poppy) and Canelle (Cassia). When Cassia moves into town from out of state, the two girls quickly form a friendship as they share their experiences with bullies and discover they have a mutual love of bakery items. When the most popular girl in school, Saffron, gives the girls trouble, they come up with a creative way to knock Saffron off her throne.
What immediately struck me in terms of artwork with this issue was that the panels have fun, textured edging. The overall use of light colors gave the story a more dated feel that almost made me think of a sepia filter. The images actually use a sepia wash for a flashback scene, which was a nice touch. While the color choices can appear almost dated, I found this to be a solid artistic choice. The muted, almost hazy quality of the colors allowed me to feel more connected to the work, as if I was remembering something from the my own past. Combined with the careful attention to detail, the color choices give a softer edge to the underlying problems brewing just beneath the plot’s surface. The illustrations also make great use of viewpoints and composition choices in each panel.
What I found most memorable about Cassia and Poppy was that they are willing to handle their own problems. While their methods may be questionable, it is refreshing to see that they aren’t expecting other people to solve their problems for them.
Nutmeg Vol 1 throws readers right back into those awkward junior high years where friendships and enemies could make your world spin. The lettering in this issue is well integrated into each panel, allowing the text to melt into each page. Thanks to the early foreshadowing in this issue, I’m eager to learn what fate has in store for Cassia and Poppy, and to learn more about the other characters in their world. With the combination of beautifully colored and vivid images, witty dialogue, realistic issues, and examples of true friendship, this series promises to be one to watch.
Nutmeg Vol 1 is set to release in March 2015. Word of the Nerd will be hosting a podcast with Nutmeg creators Wright and Crofts this coming week. You can learn more about the Nutmeg comics here. Follow Nutmeg Comics on Facebook and Twitter.
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