Review - Cursed Pirate Girl Hardcover

There's something to be said about keeping tabs on your imagination. As a kid, nourishing your imagination gives you a powerful ally in life, an ally which has the potential to exist as long as you do in some form or another. It's that imagination that's on full display in Cursed Pirate Girl Hardcover from Archaia Entertainment.

The collection is written and illustrated by Jeremy Bastian.

There's a girl known as Cursed Pirate Girl and she's looking for her father. Her father just so happens to be the greatest pirate captain of the mythical Omerta Seas and her quest to find him takes her the world over and back again. Along the way, she encounters swordfish knights, one-armed pirates and sharks. There's always sharks.

Then there's Apollonia. She's the daughter of a well-to-do governor who's keen on being as imaginative as possible. That imagination leads to her crashing a dinner party put on by her father and being confined to her room. Through interacting with Cursed Pirate Girl, Apollonia finds the courage and ability she needs to escape her father's ire.

If Alice in Wonderland took place in the ocean, Cursed Pirate Girl would be it. Bastian has infused the work with such creativity and sheer imagination that it's one magnificent encounter after another. Cursed Pirate Girl is thrown into countless situations that can only be conjured by a child's imagination (or adult writer apparently). Mythical creatures emerge from hidden caves and lairs, not only to challenge Cursed Pirate Girl, but to also show this is a fantastical universe.

While the collection is so steeped in mythology, it still maintains credibility as a story. That is, nothing is sacrificed in the way of plot with all the craziness. There's a thread running through the entire hardcover that makes it a deep and compelling story. Bastian balances the creativity with plot, ensuring the reader gets a little bit of everything.

Writing is only half the battle in comics; art is the other half. And Bastian is fighting on both fronts. His art is equally as weird and inspired as the story itself, relying on models that are almost caricatures of the people they're representing. There's symbolism in their appearances and it all folds in together to support the world Bastian has created. The woodblock appearance really helps the story stand out even further from the norm and it's a really good thing.

Archaia knows a thing or two about crafting truly imaginative worlds and Cursed Pirate Girl Hardcover is no exception. The sheer weight of creativity in the book is staggering and is such a joy to read. It's a book that doesn't rely on cliffhangers, epic battles or heavy twists. Instead, it relies on the imagination of Bastian and the willingness of the reader to indulge in it. It's a truly unique book that was a joy to read and is worth your time.

The 152-page Cursed Pirate Girl Hardcover is available now for $24.95 with interiors below.