Sylvania, #1 by Kristin Kemper (illus.)
Sylvania, issue 1
Sylvania is a YA comic book series about three sisters — Juniper, Willow, and Rowan — who are tree witches, meaning their magic affects plants. When the story begins, the star witches, who seem to live in space, are seeking volunteers to help them terraform Mars. They gain recruits from the tree, fish, and bird witches, who they send to space to help on the project.
Of the sisters, Rowan, the youngest, really wants to go to Mars. She wants to be able to use her magic like her older sisters can. Willow, the middle one, is deeply committed to the forest and can’t imagine leaving it while the eldest, Juniper, is willing to consider the venture to Mars. One of them leaves the forest behind for the unknown among the stars. (Goodreads)
Not my best summary of a story there, but that’s the gist of it. I loved the story before I even started reading it, lol, because I like the cover. I like the typography used for the title and that the three characters on it seem to be characters of color. Sylvania, #1 was one of the many comics I binged on when I rediscovered my Comixology account and was able to download and read a few for free.
I immediately liked the characters and loved the relationship between the sisters, how they connect and clash based on their personalities and motivations. We also spend time with characters from the bird and fish clan and see how their culture and family differ from that of the tree witches.
It’s a slow-paced story that takes its time to build and to acclimate us to the characters and the world, but I appreciated that. I’m willing to follow it to wherever it leads. I’d love to know more about the world (Are there other types of witches?) and the characters. I also love that it focuses a lot on family.
I actually read beyond the first issue because once I completed it, I wanted more and was willing to purchase the first volume of the comic book but was unable to find it. That’s when I learned that this is actually a webcomic, so I read more of it on this website. However, I’m keeping an eye out for when a full volume is published, or if any more episodes go up on the website. The comic is currently on hiatus.
I love it. I love the illustrations and although the colors do not pop, I love them too. The illustration style really appeals to me. I especially like how the tree witches are drawn, like when Willow was in the tree and surprised Kite (a bird witch).
Sometimes I saw pencil strokes in the colors, so I wondered if color pencils were used. I’d love to know. It would make sense to me why the colors don’t pop much. (They don’t need to pop; I think the tone works for the story.)
Overall: ★★★☆☆ ½
A sweet story that centers on family in a fantastical world that has several types of witches: tree, fish, bird, star.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I sure will purchase it if a full volume is published.