Writer: Sarah Vaughn / Artists: Leila Del Duca, Alissa Sallah/ Image Comics
It would be one thing if Sleepless was just another pretty face sitting around in the comics rack for NCBD, albeit a really, really pretty face, yet, it is not. Issue number two delves more into the world that Lady “Poppy” Pyppenia and her protector, the Sleepless Knight Cyrenic, live within and it so far, this comic is proving to be very intriguing. The story is weaving this fantastic mystery element into the fray and as more characters get introduced, we learn more about Poppy’s heritage and standing in the court. We also get a morsel about the order of the Sleepless Knights. Color me interested because I’m so here for this.
First things, Poppy is a jewel. I’m still not over her existence. She’s lovely. She is beauty. She is grace and I wouldn’t be surprised if she, indeed, would punch you in the face. Granted she’s been exposed to court life and has had to operate as such as a royal. So, a well crafted snarky comment to a person at a public event would have to suffice as a verbal jab–She’s one to follow obviously as a main character for this book and also for the mysterious powers that be that want her gone: a failed assassination plot from Issue #1 is surely only the beginning.
Leslie, who reviewed the first issue, has touched upon the attention to detail to the fashion of this era in this world, and while I am much less the history nerd she is, I’m still very much blown away by the authenticity and care paid attention to the end result that is the Sleepless comic that we’re reading and enjoying. We forget that comics is a very much visual medium and often times only a cover image and a few pages will be the
taste test for potential readers of new series, which is crucial for creatives when launching new books. Del Duca and Sallah have done well in this regard: the book continues to look fantastic and eye candy for the lot of us. Whereas last issue there were some perspective issues with certain action scene sequences, this issue rides a bit smoother, granted much of the action is not physical but mental in which Poppy has to carefully navigate court politics with a visit with the newly appointed King.
I’m also really fascinated with the introduction of a handful of new characters entering the story in relation to Poppy, who can she trust? How can she count on as an ally? Who has ambitions and plans that include her? Who is seeking her downfall and removal? Goodness. It’s a good setup for what is to come, which I patiently await. To elaborate on Vaughan’s writing: the scene of what a certain ship brings gives us much insight into who Poppy is, what she is to two kingdoms and more of the importance of her parents. Really Good Stuff there.
Also, can I spotlight a page that really worked visually? The page of Poppy in her chambers reading that letter stands out to me: The panels moving closer and closer to Poppy, broadcasting her body language, her expressions, the lettering and the decision to make the text boxes in the fashion of an actual letter…. *exhales* In all actuality–it’s not the most beautiful page in the issue, it’s not the most striking page, yet, it should be considered a textbook example of how to artfully show more when explaining a character’s motivations and also expound more on a relationship between two characters as well. Bennett’s lettering job should not be overlooked as it adds to the overall project. The visual clues of the whispering amongst those in the palace is another fine touch.
Sleepless #2 is a recommended buy on my end this week and a better-crafted issue than the first. I’m not sure if I’d like to be in Poppy’s shoes right now yet I’d love to continue following her and her story as it entwines deeper into what already looks to be an exciting story with art I can’t get enough of. There’s a delightful (read: it’s not, I kid, I kid) twist thrown Pop’s way that grounds her and not in a way she wants which raises several questions that I can’t wait to jump into in the next issue.
Lastly…have we talked about these variant covers?!??! Sign me the heck up.
See our site’s review of Issue #1 here.