Melusine, apprentice witch, and her friends have adventures, mishaps, and play tricks on each other and the hapless townspeople in this collection of funny and creepy comic strips.
The stories, generally a page in length although a few are longer, feature Melusine and her hapless friend Cancrelune. About half way through the collection, Melusine’s cousin Melisande comes to stay. Melisande doesn’t quite fit in, being an apprentice fairy godmother and full of sweetness and light while Melusine prefers witchy potions and creepy goblins. The three of them bumble, prank, and spell their way through a series of delightful adventures. Most of the stories relate to their experiences in school and getting ready for a grand Halloween celebration.
Melusine is being told off by her teacher for bringing an ordinary book to “the class on fright” but class ends abruptly when the book suddenly devours the teacher! Cancrelune is reflecting dismally that she is going to fail yet another assignment since she can’t “draw something horrible” and she uses her book to squash a fly…getting an unexpected perfect grade and giving their teacher just what he’s been looking for; a wallpaper pattern! Melusine is looking down on Melisande for her dainty pastries, saying they have nothing to do with Halloween…until she tastes one!
The art is delicate and detailed with lots of humorous touches. The focus of the strips is Melusine and her emotions which change rapidly from fright to determination, happiness to exasperation, all shown in small changes to her expression. The characters are all caricatures, mostly sporting big noses, and familiar comic reactions, including bulging eyes, hair standing on end in fright and wide white grins. The panels are excellently arranged with a perfectly timed punch line to each story.
These stories will be appreciated by a wide range of readers. Melusine and Melisande both wear clothes that accentuate their figures, but they’re more modestly dressed than the average high schooler. A few of the stories have gruesome monsters and there is an occasional village and what appears to be a priest chasing down the witches, but it’s all in good fun. The emphasis of the stories is on humor and magic, not on witchcraft or monsters.
These will be a popular addition to your library if you have patrons who like slightly spooky stories with plenty of humor and classic comic strip art. They are most likely to appeal to younger children or adult collectors.
Melusine, vol. 2: Halloween
Art by Clarke