Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula
The King of the underworld has retired to his bed, leaving his daughter Decomposia to run his kingdom in his name. As the princess is run ragged by the King, his numerous servants, and the demanding dignitaries she entertains regularly, a new cook is hired to appease the King’s flighty dietary restrictions. Count Spatula and Decomposia become fast friends as he tries out some unusual desserts, and it’s clear he’s smitten with the Princess. But are they meant to be more than friends?
Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula is a graphic novel with plenty of charm. Watson’s underworld is imaginative and creepy, perfectly matching the spooky-yet-sweet flavoring of her protagonists. The King’s servants are peculiar and monstrous, but only in the lightest, most interesting ways. There’s no real scariness here to deter younger readers.
But, for all its otherworldly trappings, what makes this story work is how true-to-life it feels. There is thoughtlessness and thoughtfulness, there is awkwardness and sweetness. The dialogue feels natural and honest, with all the pauses and unsaid words that come hand-in-hand with genuine interaction. The art may skew young, but the characterizations will appeal to all ages.
Friendship, romance, and forgiveness… you couldn’t ask for anything more.