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Castle Waiting is a comic book series created, written and illustrated by Linda Medley and published by Fantagraphics. Originally self-published by its creator the comic was picked up by the publisher after making its own success.
The story follows the combination of many Fairy Tales and fairy tale tropes together to form a cohesive world. Including such characters as the enigmatic plague doctor Dr. Fell of the I do not love thee, Dr. Fell epigram, Simple Simon, and a gold-egg laying hen (a reference to Jack and the Beanstalk). The titular Castle Waiting is the castle of Sleeping Beauty fame. Many years have passed since the dim-witted princess left the castle with her prince without a second thought. Only the wall of thorns and three handmaidens remain. Since then, the castle has become a refuge. The main story begins with Lady Jain, a pregnant woman seeking sanctuary at Castle Waiting to escape her horrible husband.
The comic was also ranked as one of the best comic books of 2006 in a critics' poll in December, 2006, by Publishers Weekly.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Anachronic Order: We get flashbacks interspersed with the present day story.
- Anachronism Stew: Aside from the characters' modern mannerisms and dialogue, the library has an Oz book and at one point the characters make an Alice reference.
- Arranged Marriage: Jain's did not turn out well.
- To be fair, we don't know that the marriage Jain runs from is the one her father arranged with Tylo. Tylo's family is another merchant family, as Jain's is; however, she runs from a castle/keep at the beginning, one that has guards & fortifications. Considering that part of medieval life was that only nobles were allowed to build castles, one possibility is that the marriage was with the Prince we see in flashback in Book Two.
- Bright Castle
- Broken Bird: Doctor Fell, who has gone insane thanks to his inability to cure the plague.
- Conjoined Twins: Billed as a two headed girl in a circus no less.
- Creepy Twins: Jain's half-sisters, Andreia and Aimee. Brrrrr.
- Appearance-wise anyway. Personality wise, they're quite rotten, but rather silly.
- Attractive Bent Gender: Nessie, in Sister Peace's backstory.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Jain, Henry, and Doctor Fell all have one.
- Domestic Abuse: Jain's backstory and what drives her to Castle Waiting.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Massively inverted with Sister Peace and the Solicitine Nuns. Wow.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the retelling of Sleeping Beauty, even the Devil is disgusted with the witch.
- Girls with Moustaches: One of the characters is a bearded nun.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Simon, whose father was a giant.
- Haunted Castle: Subverted. The castle is infested by poltersprites and houses a ghost, but they are all nice.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tylo. Portrayed from the first as a Jerkass little boy, in the second book he gives Jain her racing horse, Rosa, just to make her happy. As he and Jain get to know each other better, they get along a lot more
- The Ladette: Sister Peace.
- Meaningful Name: At first. Sister Peace was a well-behaved baby when she was born. That only lasted up until her christening. Too late to change it.
- Medieval European Fantasy
- Mix and Match Creatures: The Opinicus, with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, the head of a camel, and the tail of... in its most recent appearance, it looks like a lion's tail, but early on it seemed a little snakier.
- Leeds: head of a man on top of the feet/hooves of a satyr.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted with the Hammerlings. Yes, they're stone workers & are called dwarves (though one character in the story thinks the term is degrading), but without the beards, Scottish accents, heavy drinking, and bad tempers. They also love ninepins and apparently have a reputation as spies and manipulators.
- Overly Long Name: Skeeter's real name is Solicitous Kummernis Eutropia Dignifortis Uncumber Hulfe Reginfledes Liberata
- Secret Path: The castle's main keep and tower contain several.
- One of which, to Jain's consternation, had large windows, a comfy nook, and a privy. It turned out to be a trap, however.
- The Quiet One/Silent Bob: Henry.