The Legend of Bold Riley #1

The Legend of Bold Riley was a 2012 graphic novel fantasy about a royal seeker of adventure and beautiful girls… only the seeker was a woman. Now Riley is back in a comic book series with the same title.

The Legend of Bold Riley #1 cover

Given the series’ episodic approach to storytelling and use of different artists, it fits better, in my opinion, in issues instead of thick books. This first issue, “The Talking Bone”, is drawn by Jonathon Dalton, with a cover by Brittney Sabo. All the princess’ adventures are written by Leia Weathington.

Apparently, something bad happened in the previous stories that left Riley heartbroken, according to a brief introduction. You don’t need to know, though, because a wandering hero is easy enough to understand, and the story works fine without the background. Visiting a new city, Riley finds a finger bone that promises her, “Give me something to drink and I will tell you my story!” Of course, since this is a magical fantasy, the deal isn’t so simple, and the story involves a haunted pool and a forsaken love.

Those inclined to think more deeply about their reading may find a useful message in the idea that meddling in someone else’s romance may not be a good idea, and humor in how she gets drunk before she does it. Some relationships are better off left alone, in the past.

It’s an amusing, thought-provoking tale, and I like Riley’s non-typical responses to the usual fairy tale conventions (albeit portrayed with a bit more horror). It’s clearly told through solid art with touches of eastern mythology. The Legend of Bold Riley is a great modern approach to fantasy expectations, and I look forward to seeing more. The next issue is due out any week now, since the series is intended to be monthly for five issues.

There are preview pages at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

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