Collecting four books in a series written for young girls, Andi Watson’s Glister collection is an adorable, unexpected, and very British adventure. (Anglophiles rejoice, it’s time to induct your spawn!)
Glister Butterworth is a “magnet for the odd and peculiar”, living with her father in their ancestral home Chablain Hall, which has been known to grow and lose rooms at a whim. She is friends with a ghost, guides paying questers into the dungeons to fight the goblins that live there, and fearlessly faces off with fae folk on their own turf.
The stories that Watson has written are a charming combination of British indifference to the fantastic (think Neil Gaiman’s short story where a pensioner finds the Holy Grail in a charity shop and puts it on her mantle) and a return to real, true, dangerous faerie tales. Glister is a great character, usually polite, but definitely having moments of being a “real kid” where she sulks and complains and is disappointed in things. However, Glister doesn’t give up and does her best to help everyone- even people who haven’t been kind to her.
While the beginning of this collection might have readers thinking they’re in for a lot of young reader fluff, don’t be fooled. Glister deals with some very heavy issues, like being disappointed with your family and learning to get along with them, and losing a parent. I don’t want to give too much away, but for young and old readers, Glister will give them a little something to think about beyond trolls in the wishing well (although it has that, too).
Watson’s artwork could be categorized in the popular faux-naive style of artists like Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen, but similarly shows an eye for detail and an excellent grasp of character design and expression, both facial and body language.
A great addition to family libraries, and well worth a look for any fans of Goldie Vance, Lumberjanes, or Adventure Time, Glister will be available from Dark Horse Comics starting July 5th.