Monday, July 12, 2010

The Tarot Cafe: Vol. 1 by Sang-Sun Park

This manhwa (Korean comic) is told in the form of short stories seen and told to Pamela, a tarot card reader who assists those with...unusual... problems after hours.

The first, "A Wish-Fulfiling Cat" tells the story of the last wish-fulfing cat, a gentle creature who can grant humans three wishes, but after his last wish is used up he will die.

The second, "Eternal Beauty" is a about a famous male model who is, in reality, a blind vampire running from his terrible past; and the memory of a woman he loved and killed.

The next is "A Fairy." This is a sweet tale about a fairy who has been cursed to look like a little girl until she can help a simple and sweet young woman with an unspecified problem.

The last tale is "A Heartless Princess, an Alchemist and a Jester (Part One)." The title should give you an idea of the main characters in this multipart story. The alchemist fell for the heartless princess, who said she would love him if he could make her laugh. This is where an elegant jester the alchemist created comes in...

The art in this manhwa is exceptionally beautiful and detailed, I pretty much fell in love right from the first few pages. The layout of the panels is very well done and the use of unusually shaped panels and speech bubbles is not overdone.

It's not just pretty pictures though, I truly cared for the characters and was drawn into the fascinating world inside this book. I can't wait to read the next book!

Those who are put off Japanese manga because of having to read "backwards" may want to give this a go, as Korean reads left to right, like English.

5 Stars

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