Home > comics > “peculia” by richard sala

“peculia” by richard sala

peculia is a girl who lives in a gothic world full of looming castles, scary forests and windy streets with ghouls around every corner. she is extremely inquisitive, is fearless and traipses around in a skimpy purple dress. now tell me, what is there not to like about that premise?

as you can imagine this comic is great fun. sala’s world is deliciously gothic and contains many of the elements that us goth lovers will appreciate. as you can imagine there is a whole host of scary and dangerous creatures, just dying to eat, murder, mutilate and take advantage of our dear old protagonist. there are ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches and, well, things that i didn’t know what they were!

peculia also has an arch-nemesis, obscurus, some mystical safari-arabian bloke. obscurus regularly orders justine, his henchwoman, to capture peculia, and as such justine appears as peculia’s main antagonist through the comics. justine is a sad figure – a loser who wears boots, cape and maskand tries very hard to look like a superhero.  

what adds a little spice to the story is the way in which sala plays with the justine/obscurus/peculia triangle.  as the story wears on justine gets more and more frustrated as obscurus starts impeding justine from her goal and it becomes clear that obscurus doesn’t only have evil intentions with regards to peculia…!

this book is also very funny and its quite a feat that sala manages to make it ghoulishly dark while being funny at the same time. the monsters truly have very bad intentions and sala always satisfies us by giving us some gore, but through it all he somehow manages to keep it all very lighthearted.

“dude! dude! watch the shades!” 😀

this particular comic of peculia is a collection of short strips that first appeared in evil eye comic. as such they’re more like comic strips than comics, in that each story is very short and breezy. this also means that there isn’t too much continuity from story to story (except for the plot development regarding peculia, obscurus and justine). each story is just a new adventure as peculia takes an ill-advised walk through the woods.

because of this i initially didn’t enjoy it quite as much because i kept wanting the story to progress – even though i knew the comic was more of a comic strip collection. so my initial impression was that it was a bit shallow but fun. but it festered in my mind afterwards and upon revisiting it i got into the groove of understanding that there wasn’t meant to be much depth or continuity (i can be so slow sometimes…!!!) and when that finally sunk in i could fully appreciate it for the gothic romp that it is! its definitelty the kind of thing is nice to just pick up and dip into. 

as good and as fun as the story is, the star of the show is undoubtably sala’s artwork. its rich and dark and very gothic. one can draw comparisons, but i think its better to let the art speak for itself:

 

isn’t that art just gorgeous! my only wish is that he’d do some big splash pages!

i had a lot of fun reading peculia and its always nice to have a comic that looks good as well as being a good story. if you have a soft spot for things gothic and also enjoy light-hearted humour then i’d definitely recommend peculia!

Advertisements
Categories: comics Tags: ,
  1. November 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Oooh it does look purty. But no more purchasing things for me, not til after xmas.

  2. November 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I love that artwork! It’s fantastic! This sounds awesome…I had never heard of it before, but it’s one that’s definitely going on the wishlist….love the guy get his head squished :p

  3. November 4, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    “now tell me, what is there not to like about that premise?”

    Absolutely nothing! Now I want this badly. And I don’t think I’d heard of it before either. I love the artwork, and the story sounds like great fun.

  4. jean pierre
    November 6, 2008 at 10:59 am

    FENCE:

    glad you like the look of it! and i can very much relate that “no more purchasing till after christmas” mantra!

    CHRIST:

    isn’t it just too cool! sorry its a bit blurry…

    that guy getting his head squished made me laugh so much. but then i also paused for a bit as i realised it was quite horrible. but then i laughed again. 😀

    NYMETH:

    hahaha! good 😀

    its very much our kind of thing, isn’t it? us being the coven of all things gaiminesque and edward goreyish.

  5. November 12, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I am a huge, huge fan of Richard Sala. It annoys me that I didn’t get around to doing a post about him for RIP this year. I became a fan a few years ago when I started collecting the individual issues of Evil Eye, the comic that had these Peculia stories as the back up story. If you ever get a chance I highly recommend tracking down a copy of the Comic Book Journal that has a very, very long article on Sala. You can find them pretty cheap online.

    Several years ago I purchased 2 original works of art, 2 pages, from the Peculia series. One is the last page of one of the stories where Peculia is being carried off while the little striped-shirt, bowl-haircut kids are trampling on her nemesis. The other is the last page of a later story where Peculia comes to and finds a pot of flowers left for her on a stump, presumably by Obscurus. The both hang side by side above my desk here at work so that I can see them every day. It is amazing to see original graphic artwork.

    Part of my attraction to Peculia is the fact that she reminds me a bit of an Audrey Hepburn looking character. I’m sure that is just me, but that was one of my first impressions. Secondly I just love this kind of art. It has an eerie, old-timey feel to it that reminds me of the nostalgic feelings I have about Edward Gorey’s work from my discovery of it in childhood.

    Though Peculia is by far my favorite I recommend tracking down Sala’s other work as well.

  6. jean pierre
    November 17, 2008 at 11:37 am

    there is nothing, nothing!, better than original art of an artist you like…! oh 😀 its just so vital, theres just so much more in the original inks and/or pencils than you see on the page. its all laid bare then.

    and also, one feels so much closer to the artist!

    and, obviously, its just too cool to have an original piece of work from a comic one loves!

    oh, its just the best.

    i have to have a look and see if i can identify the ones you have.

    i really do have to have a look at evil eye at some stage… it sounds like fun.

    wow – i hadn’t thought of the audrey hepburn comparison. is it the mixture of competence/independence with vulnarability?

    i totally agree about the feel of the art – you hit the nail on the head! its that old timey feel – yes!

    ah… beautiful gothic art… 😀

  7. November 20, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Oh yes, definitely gorgeous! And the whole thing just sounds like such fun!

  8. Questioner
    August 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Yes, but where does the story go after this volume??? Does the storyline continue? What are you supposed to read next?

  9. jean pierre
    August 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    that’s a good question, questioner. i don’t know, i’ve never looked into it. i’d imagine it’s still going on in the individual evil eye comics.

  10. September 30, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Good site you have here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.
    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  1. November 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm
  2. February 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: