Colors: Rebecca Horner
Letters: Andworld Design
Wrestling is one of those forms of entertainment that I broadly claim as one of my ‘things’. You know, one of those special interests that are maybe so all-consuming that they reach deep down into your wallet and consume your free time? That. Be it a nosebleed seat at WrestleMania or a night in front of the screen for Dynamite, I’m there for it. When you happen to combine that well with one of my other great loves – comics – I’m pretty much defenseless. Even if Wrassle Castle was a bad book, I’d probably keep reading. Fortunately for me, though, it’s actually pretty great.
Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin are the writers behind this unique world that mixes pretty standard fantasy tropes with the unique weirdness that is pro wrestling. The star of the show is Lydia Riverthane, younger sister to a beloved hero/wrestler and a budding competitor in her own right. When her brother is put in jail for a crime she knows he didn’t commit, Lydia enters a wrasslin’ tournament in order to get him out of jail.
The second book in the series picks up where the first left off, with Lydia entered into the tournament and her friends dragged along for the ride. The story itself is the kind of silly fun that I’ve definitely come to expect from Coover’s work, mixing some lovely emotional story beats with a lot of sheer joy. Galaad’s art serves the story incredibly well, with the kind of cartoony flair that really ought to help the book do well with kids who’ve grown up reading similar YA fare.
Even if you take out the wrestling – which is tough, because there’s a lot – this book feels like it stands up to some of the more popular graphic novels aimed at teens and tweens. The art, dialog, and plot all reminded me in the best ways of books like Squirrel Girl or Power Pack, while the story itself brings to mind fantasy fare like The Legend of Korra. If you’re a fan of wrestling, fantasy, or the intersection of the two, you owe this one a read.