Bone China is the second volume of Porcelain from Improper Books which saw it’s debut at this year’s Thought Bubble in Leeds and it’s been one of those titles I’ve been keeping an eye out for since enjoying the first volume so much.
Ten years have passed and Child has become the Lady of the house and she’s developed the skills that her Uncle let her in on in that first volume. She’s now a a full-on Alchymist and while she may be all grown up…..she still has to learn how to function in a world that she’s shut herself away from…..minus the occasional adventure in the local drinking houses. Her life alone is rocked though as love, family and war all come to her door, break through it and then sweep her up in their confusing mix.
Their’s twists and turns in the plot as the generals in charge would like her Porcelain men to become soldiers in their army something she protests until the end as she’s firmly set on keeping herself to herself and her creations within the confines of her castle home. The passing seasons sees love blossom in the most unexpected places for our main character and even that doesn’t go quite to plan as the truth rocks her world to it’s foundations yet again.
Benjamin Read writes another stellar chapter in the Porcelain world that’s surely growning it’s own mythology by this stage. the passage of time he portrays in the books has given both volumes a strong sense of realism and the weight of some real history that’s built up far quicker than you realise. That’s part of the success of Read’s writing as he adds subtle details and a smart mix of narration and dialogue that highlight a chemistry between the characters that suck the reader in.
The art from Chris Wildgoose hits new heights in this one and while I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at some early pages at Nottingham Comic Con in 2014…..it’s only when I hold the book in my hands that I realise the detail he has added and the impact it has in emphasizing the poignant moments of love & loss that make this book a far bigger experience than you might first think. A particular nod has to go to Andre May on colours & Jim Campbell on lettering who add to the whole look of the book and complete a creative team that seem to be in sync from cover to cover.
The last few pages/panels help close out the story while leaving enough of a hint at their being more to come which was much the same story for the first book too and given the progression between the two I’m holding out hope that a third book will be on the horizon soon to continue the trend of what has become another must-read title in the indie comic world. Reads beautifully & looks stunning…..so that’s a win-win for any reader.