Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors, vol. 2

The story: For the first time, Christmas has come to the island of Opal, when a foreign prince visits. Dr. Guell, the only person who has celebrated a traditional Christmas (he's from a cold, northern land), becomes the expert advisor on the endeavor. As Cello grows closer to the prince, Guell's jealousy begins to show. That is, until he finds out the truth about the prince. We also learn about how Cello and Yoyo came to be paired up, as well as see the doctor pay a house call to Cello's family. There's also an extra one-shot at the end, titled "Contract Papillon."

Reaction: I really liked the tropical Christmas. I also found the history of how Cello and Yoyo became partners particularly endearing, especially since Yoyo's such a cute little chick! Also, meeting Cello's family, especially her dad, was pretty entertaining. Lastly, I love, love, loved the one-shot at the end. It had action, mystery and an interesting twist ending!

Deep thoughts: This time around, I wasn't as bothered by the ambiguous relationship between Guell and Cello. I think it was because it's less the focus of the volume and also because the reader is shown the practical limitations of such a relationship in a humorous way -- by attacks from their birds, Yoyo and Olga!

Artwork: I think Opal is more realized in this volume -- there's a better sense of place to me. Then again, that may be because of the flashback and the other two chapter settings. I also really loved the formal wear in the Christmas chapter -- it shows the tropical influence with a few other fun details. And the one-shot at the end was a nice of change of pace, as it's in an urban setting with cobblestone streets, iron streetlamps and brick townhouses.

The verdict: If only... Although, I liked this volume much better than the first, I can't bring myself to say it's highly recommended just yet. But, it's interesting enough for me to continue on with, especially since I have volumes three and four waiting to be read. The Palette of 12 Secret Colors is available in the U.S. from CMX.

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