Author/Illustrator: Linda Medley
Once upon a time, Princess Medora pricked her finger on a spindle and sent the entire castle and its occupants into a deep, century-long sleep until her destined prince kissed and broke the spell. But that was a long time ago. Now the castle, known near and far as “Castle Waiting,” is something of a refuge and home to a collection of eccentric but generally friendly people. Fleeing an unhappy arranged marriage and great with child, the Lady Jain seeks out Castle Waiting and is gladly welcomed into the family. She and her new baby readily settle into life there, sharing the daily joys and struggles with the unusual bunch who live there.
I’ve read Castle Waiting twice, several years apart, and enjoyed it very much both times. This graphic novel is a leisurely, humorous gambol through a variety of fairy tales and other fantasy classics (it even features hobbits!) which also deals with issues both immediate and timeless. It is feminist in the best sense–full of strong, independent women, but also welcoming romance and the kind, protective sort of men that women can and should appreciate. Indeed, the collection of characters featured is intriguing and varied–excellently written and emphasizing the importance of seeing beyond the outward appearances of people. (I mean seriously, there are people with animal heads and women with beards in this story!) The art is both strong and expressive–solid, dynamic, and full of good humor. I think most of all, I love the sense of fun that pervades this story. I would definitely recommend Castle Waiting to anyone interested in a fun, modern fairy tale in graphic novel form.