cover image Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

Andi Watson. First Second, $14.99 ISBN 978-1-62672-149-4

In loosely sketched and tidily framed b&w panels, British author/artist Watson creates a sweetly spooky underworld setting for a story that’s part coming-of-age romance, part comedy of manners. Princess Decomposia, a young woman whose black gowns and bat-wing pigtails suggest a grown-up Wednesday Addams, is working herself to the bone to keep her invalid father’s kingdom running smoothly, meeting with delegations (including werewolves and Japanese yokai monsters) and trying to find a replacement for the cook who left for a prison “where the food is more nourishing.” The princess gains a much-needed ally—and potential love interest—in Count Spatula, the dapper vampire she hires as a chef, whose adventurous recipes are a hit (the visiting Zombie General is thrilled to do battle with a Mud Monster Cake that comes alive at dessert). But persuading the woebegone king of Count Spatula’s virtues isn’t easy, threatening to stop this nascent romance (un)dead in its tracks. With an amusing (and occasionally decomposing) cast of floating skulls, eyeballs-on-skeleton-legs, and more, it’s a comic that will charm younger readers and adults alike. Ages 13–up. [em](Feb.) [/em]