Polished Publications with Porcelain Vol.1 & Vol.2 – Preparing to Climb the Ivory Tower….

We’ve been lucky enough in the past to get a glimpse of the fantastic publications from Improper Books. A truly unique publisher, Originally founded in 2009 by Benjamin Read (Writer), Laura Trinder (Illustrator), and Chris Wildgoose (Illustrator). But since its inception, the group has grown to include Nathan Ashworth (Colourist), Jordan Boyd (Colourist), Jim Campbell (Letterer), Derek Dow (Colourist), Sara Dunkerton (Illustrator), Luke Foster (Editor), Matt Gibbs (Writer/Managing Editor), Zoë Horn Haywood (Designer), Rose Hewlett (Production Director), Mark Kendrick (Digital Media), André May (Colourist), Bevis Musson (Illustrator), and Alexa Rosa (Colourist/Flatter). The team’s enchanting storytelling encompasses everything great about comics and graphic novels and we’ll be covering a host of their books in future reports.

Between the team the detailed artwork and unique storylines really do set up some fabulous and often epic tales. Most notably we were certainly taken with their twisted fairy tale ‘Porcelain’ back in 2013, a gothic fantasy with a brilliant macabre twist which really left you hungry for more. With the release of Porcelain 3 : Ivory Tower not far away, we take a look back at the first two books in the trilogy.

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Porcelain Vol.1 :  A Gothic Fairy Tale 

Set in a richly detailed gothic world, with elements from our own 18th century Victorian period. Porcelain Vol 1 introduced us to ‘Child’ a rag tag orphan of seeming ill intent. An orphan who’s ventures over the wall of the Porcelain maker’s garden sets the wheels in motion for an enchanting tale of mechanical masterpieces, ceramic stately homes and dark secrets locked deep away amidst the porcelain walls of her new residence.

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Porcelain came out amidst an influx of positive reviews, and it was clear to see why. The timeless story of an orphan lost but taken under the wing by a mysterious stranger is certainly nothing new. But the unique style of Porcelain’s twisted fairy tale offered a truly unique new take on the gothic fairy tale concept. Ben Read’s story left you hungry for more, and Chris Wildgoose’s stunning artwork and panelling is truly something to behold. The muted colouring also truly adds to the depth of the story and helps sets a ‘cold’ tone to this first foray into the world of Porcelain.  It also has to be said the pacing was superb, with the panelling allowing the reader time to really soak up the scenes without feeling rushed. Something which often happens in the confines of a graphic novel. On top of which we loved the back pages offering early designs to some of the settings and characters really giving the reader a feel for the world.

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Without wanting to give anything away this is truly a great first delve into the Porcelain world and well worth checking out. Needless to say as soon as you’ve finished it, you’ll be dying to find out what happens next.

 Buy your copy from http://www.improperbooks.com/project/porcelain-a-gothic-fairy-tale/

 

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Porcelain Vol 2 : Bone China

 

From the dark end to Porcelain Vol. 1, many wondered just how Read and Wildgoose intended to follow up on such a concluded ending. But evidently when it was revealed of a sequel to it’s predecessor’s success Porcelain : A Gothic Fairy Tale fans rejoiced at a chance of finding out just what happened to Child. Set more than a decade later than Vol.1 ’Bone China’ follows up the story of our protagonist, now very much grown up, who has taken up her adopted father’s mantle of Porcelain maker. In doing so, Child finds herself at odds with the local military, who’s plans to weaponise her creations are very much at odds with her own intentions. What follows is an epic sprawling tale, which at times is much darker than it’s predecessor and arguably more action packed and shows a greater range and depth to the world’s characters. We also get to see more of the Porcelain world at stake, venturing over the walls of the mansion and encountering a range of characters, some friend but many foe.

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This is a stunning follow up to such an incredible first story. It’s clear Ben Read really pushes the boundaries of his world, showing a much more intricate narrative. With countless twists and turns you’ll be on the edge of your seat til the end. It’s also great to see Wildgoose really pushing his artwork too, with some incredible action scenes and spreads that will blow you away.

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Believe us when we say this is more than a worthy follow up to Vol. 1. With such a huge climax you’ll undoubtedly be hungry to find out what happens next. We most certainly are.

Buy your copy from http://www.improperbooks.com/project/porcelain-bone-china/