These are two that I really enjoyed and wholeheartedly recommend.
A young mermaid is trapped inside a boardwalk exhibit. Mute and warded over by her self-proclaimed protector, Neptune, she spends her days darting through the tanks trying to get visitors to spend their money. She looks out the windows to the world outside wondering what she is missing. One girl reaches out to make a connection, but Neptune is not happy about this intrusion. Will Fish Girl be able to get out from under the rule of this man?
I loved the artwork in this one. The aquariums are filled with colorful fish and the ocean scenes depict waves crashing on the shores. Beautiful!
Great themes can be easily unpacked from this accessible story, one of friendship and escape.
The Prince and the Dressmaker
Frances is a poor dressmaker with exceptionally forward-thinking designs. Even though her first try at a provocative outfit is seen as a failure by the public, she is hired away from the oppressive tailor she had been working for and brought to a grand mansion. Frances quickly finds out that her new employer is the Prince of Belgium. He has hired her to secretly make him dresses. You see, Prince Sebasian likes to go out at night dressed as Lady Crystallia. A story of barreling over the status quo and not conforming to family nor societal rules.
A fun plot that is enhanced by some of the best artwork I’ve seem in a graphic novel in awhile. I enjoyed how the facial expressions perfectly matched the emotions of the dialogue, and the clothing designs were very fun. Wang explains her artistic process in the last ten pages of the book. I found this fascinating.