When Fred casually asked me what I thought of the Bold Riley Kickstarter, a project to help fund the second issue of a graphic novel written by Leia Weathington, I had no idea the jerk was just roping me into doing something productive again. I need to be more careful, really.
Efforts to subtly deflect this by demanding money for a copy of the first issue only ended up with me actually receiving said copy of the first issue, so bleh.
Rilavashana SanParite, called Bold Riley, is a sword-swingin’, sweet-talkin’, lady-lovin’ adventurer who abdicated as a princess of Prakkalore in order to travel the world of The Coin. Sped on by a love of adventure and guided by her mother’s maps, Bold Riley roams from one story to the next meeting interesting characters, neat monsters and the occasional deity to boot. She falls in love, falls in peril, falls off cliffs and generally falls from one fantastic scenario to the next, using her wits as well as her weapons to pull through.
Actually, I really appreciated that the first adventure from Bold Riley wasn’t resolved totally by violence. I really appreciate any adventure that isn’t solved by gratuitous violence or superpowers. It gives me hope that despite not being able to stab stuff, I also may one day become the main character in my own life. Maybe.
As is often the case in comics with chapters, different artists have contributed to the project. This is normal, but as I come from a first world country I demand a vast selection of everything all of the time. Not only does having varied art set each tale apart as its own little wonder, but it gives me something new to pore over. Plus, ya know, illustration is sort of the foundation of a damn comic book, meaning it’s kind of important. The first issue of Bold Riley presented five short stories by five different artists, and each one was just…well, for want of a better word, lovely. LOVELY!
They’re like little eastern folk tales, all some old dude in the future sittin’ his grandkids down in the evening, regaling them with the legend of Bold Riley- Oh shit, so that’s where the title came from. Well, if the author set out to create a storybook legend, then Weathington has absolutely achieved that. Everything about the first issue of Bold Riley, from the style of narration to the warm, earth-toned colours used in the illustration lends to this.
What else makes this book special, you didn’t ask? Well, despite ALL OF THE ABOVE, I have to throw in that what makes Bold Riley just syrupy super is also the normality with which it presents non-conformative topics. When was the last time I read something that took for granted same-sex relationships? When was the last time I read an adventure that didn’t feature a male leading character, or have the heroine mooning over a dude for nineteen chapters? Bold Riley gives you the above, but without making a huge deal about it. Bold Riley is a giver.