Hopefully by now you have heard about LadiesCon and acquainted yourselves with 2 of our special guests, Erica Henderson and Ming Doyle. Let me help you get acquainted with the third. All the way from the Pacific Northwest we are delighted to bring independent comics creator Linda Medley to LadiesCon!
You likely are familiar with Linda’s work, but if not, let me bring you up to speed. This lady has done it all, she’s had work published by Golden Books, Grosset and Dunlap, DC Comics, Image Comics and many others. During her time as a freelance artist she’s been a inker, penciler, colorist, and is the creator of her own independent graphic novel series Castle Waiting.
The Eisner winning Castle Waiting, brings a world of fairy tales to life. But this isn’t a retelling of the tales you know. Rather Medley plays with genres, characters, and setting to give a fresh updated take on what is familiar and she adds a decidedly feminist twist.
The story begins with a peripheral telling of Sleeping Beauty, though rather than getting the view of the main characters, you are taken through this tale by the onlookers. Later, once the princess has been woken up and runs away with her prince, the castle (now maybe more than a bit ramshackle) is inhabited by other fairy tale characters, many of whom are looking for a new home after a troubled past. Characters like a stork, a talking anthropomorphic horse, a pregnant Lady on the run from her abusive husband, and a bearded nun, come together to share stories about how they got there and form a new community.
Earlier I mentioned Medley’s distinct feminist twist. This adds so much to the stories she tells not because the stories themselves are preachy or accusatory. Instead, there is a focus on equality: women have just as much agency as men, and when they don’t, it is addressed. Men are involved in child rearing and other more “feminine tasks” not because the story is trying to prove a point, but just because those things can be enjoyed equally and everyone deserves to feel as though they are part of a family. There is an ultimate focus on how relationships are grounding and how love can be found in many places and take many forms.
If you have a young teen or tween in your life, looking to get into comics, this is a great one to hand them. I left “teen” as gender neutral because I feel both girls and boys (women and men) will enjoy this book. The humor is layered, and the visuals lush, and there is a wealth of diversity in the characters.
Medley’s artistic is style is just as rounded and robust as her storytelling. The slap stick humor is clear and easy to follow and the facial expressions of her characters range from hilarious to heartbreaking. And yet, there is a clear classical edge to her work, almost as if she studied Disney’s style by way of medieval European illuminated texts. Everything feels both familiar and new. As a result, Castle Waiting is smooth and enjoyable to read.
Currently there are two bound volumes of Castle Waiting available, but a third is coming soon! Linda is getting ready to publish a 150 page installment soon, and has set up a Patreon to gather support for future work. Installment 3 comes with some exciting changes, the most exciting being that this new work will be in full color! There will also be new settings and character backstories to continue to round out the world Linda has created.
She also sells some of her beautiful work in her Etsy shop.
SPECIAL LADIESCON EVENT: The Evening of September 17th, after the general Con, we will be hosting a Making Masterpieces event. This is your chance to do a Master Class with Linda Medley! Purchase the black and white print below and then join Linda for a color-along where she will teach you techniques in how to color it.
There will be snacks, there will be mingling, there will be art! For more information and tickets for this special event, click here.