Sarah Millman’s NPC Tea was a bit of a revelation when I got my hands on the first two issues and as the consistency continued (#3-5) it became a goto read for me with each release – now as the 8th & final issue hits Kickstarter it’s time I got all caught up.
The aftermath of the party sees the newly formed group of NPC Tea employees facing off against that secret group that’s trying to out them and get some power for themselves. Cue the elf, orc, fire spirit, humans and an ever-growing roster of old friends and there are more than enough members to tackle whatever is thrown at them…..or at least we hope that’s the case.
A simple case of ‘them vs us’ has become increasingly complex with the relationships that are developing as they change from just friends to potentially more, and with a series of revelations around who the key members really are in the first place it’s becoming more & more of a developed world all the time. The threat feels very real thanks to Sarah’s scene swapping between the characters and it’s building a frenzy of magical proportions with each page turn. The opposing group are becoming more and more empowered in their stance as things progress too and it feels like they’re reaching a point where they will do anything to tackle what they see as a “Magic problem”.
There is much more reading in this as things progress here but in the context of the story and with the intricacies of Sarah’s art & colouring as a balancing point, this all becomes the rollercoaster ride we’ve come to expect after what has gone before. The quality of the characters and the relationships between them have such a natural air to them that it feels like what’s at risk is far bigger than just what we see too.
This means the journey we’ve been on with these characters, the growth we’ve seen between them all as they become friends & the romance that flourishes is authentic, and building that into each of the unique members has shown just how much work has been poured into its cast. That solid grounding has meant as we ease into the closing chapter it’s a mixed back of intrigue and sadness that’s tagged to that “to be concluded” we find on the last page of issue seven.
I can’t wait to see how it ends but I don’t really want it all to end either but at the same time, I can’t wait to be able to re-read the whole thing over & over again…….until Sarah hits us in the face with whatever she has on the way next. Take a look at the campaign for the collected edition below and hopefully you’ll get the enjoyment out of this ride that I have:
Go check out more of Sarah’s work on her website and keep up to date with what else she’s working on through Facebook & Twitter. You can also consider getting on board with her Patreon for more of her indie magic.