reflection

A delightful second chapter, Sweet Paprika #2 delves further into Paprika's past traumas while maintaining the momentum of its humor and character developments.
Writing/Plot
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters

Review: SWEET PAPRIKA #2 – The Daddy Issue

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Creator Mirka Andolfo returns with the second chapter of her newest erotic comedy series in Sweet Paprika #2. Along with colorist Simon Tessuto, letterer Fabia Amelia, and localization from Steve Orlando, this new issue maintains all the greatness of the first issue. With a deeper dive into Paprika’s traumas and more great raunchy hijinks, this visually stunning and hilarious comic nails the landing for a second time around.

“Paprika is living a difficult situation brought on by her father’s illness and the complex work situation that awaits her. It’s the only kind of business she’s not really able to handle: a dinner where being dynamic, kind, and relaxed is just as important as being competent. But there is also another reason why the young and skilled professional is in trouble: she doesn’t want to see one of the guests again…”

Writing & Plot

Sweet Paprika #2 continues to blend deep personal storytelling with goofy erotic comedy, and it absolutely nails it. Mirka Andolfo continues to tell a relatable story while keeping the overall tone fantastical and hilarious. This chapter focuses more on Paprika’s troubled romantic past, as well as the source of her trauma and apprehension towards sex. She then delves more into how these problems can affect every other aspect of a person’s life. Andolfo keeps her heavier subject matter light by dotting it with more absurd, humorous moments. Her character work is compelling, and her use of raunchy and often silly humor is still great.

Dill, our package delivering (*wink wink*) angel is the source of most of the comic’s erotic moments and ridiculous comedy. His time in the comic may be a bit too in-your-face for for some, but I find that he fits the overall tone well. He also functions as a great foil for Paprika. I also have to note Steve Orlando’s work here on localization. He does a fantastic job fitting Andolfo’s words to suit English-speaking readers while keeping everything she wants to tell. The charming humor is aided by Andolfo’s quirky dialogue and fantastic timing and pacing. All of the scripted storytelling aspects mesh together fantastically for this smart and funny second issue.

Art Direction

Of course, what really draws readers to Sweet Paprika #2 is most likely Mirka Andolfo’s visuals. It’s for good reason, as her work here sees the already incredible artist in top form. Her highly animated and ultra-expressive characters are a joy to see on every panel. Every character’s design is unique, making it near-impossible to mix up even minor characters. The almost cartoonish style makes the more fantastical scenes and designs a slight surprise, but one that flawlessly fits the world. Her panel design stays unconventional as well. Characters often break out of panels in the more over-the-top moments before the structure returns to “normal.” Mind you, normal here is constantly shifting panel and page structures that still flow naturally. Her detail work is fantastic as well, with elements such as outfits and environmental design are drawn with a keen eye.

The colors from Simon Tessuto perfectly fill in Andolfo’s work. Much of what keeps Paprika so lively is the energetic palette he utilizes for this comic. Every panel is bright and lively, with perfectly reflected light on every surface. Paprika and all of demon-kind shine with a vibrant multitude of reds. The multitude of colors on clothing capture the varied walks of life different beings (angels and demons alike) in this book. Every page of this comic is alive with rich energy provided by Tessuto’s work. The lettering from Fabia Amelia is highly dynamic and surprising as well. Her classy modern font shifts at all times, often exploding in line with the characters. Visually, Paprika is equal parts funhouse attraction and comic-book visual mastery. This is easily one of the most fantastic feats of visual art on shelves right now.

Verdict

Sweet Paprika #2 is a deceptively deep and all-around stellar second issue. Mirka Andolfo’s script is both heartfelt and hilarious, with a focus on past traumas as well as the usual sexy hijinks. Her art colored by Simon Tessuto is beyond stunning, full of a life and vibrancy seldom seen. Be sure to grab this issue when it hits shelves on 9-1!

Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.

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