Sweet Paprika continues to be unlucky in love as she continues to commit to her career at the cost of a love life. Worse still, she has to juggle the pressures of work with a family crisis too! Can her day get any worse? Well, yes, it can.
If you picked up the first issue of Mirka Andolfo’s Sweet Paprika then you know what to expect. Manga influence aft work, randy characters and sexual innuendos. And in between all of this is the ongoing story of Paprika, a successful in the boardroom but not in the bedroom.
Visiting her father in hospital we learn that he isn’t in fact dead, as suggested by the artwork and in a successful attempt at surprising the reader at the turn of the page. It’s a scene that gives Mirka Andolfo the opportunity to introduce her mother’s new husband and kids. It’s certainly a curveball for the reader, but a familial relationship that isn’t often presented in comic books. Even if it one that for many families of divorce are a reality. And after the first issue’s presentation of Paprika’s father – and here again too – one cannot blame Paprika’s mother for having finally tired of her stringent husband and moved on. She certainly seem to be deeply in love with her new beau, who is the complete opposite of her ex.
As well as dipping into Paprika’s family dynamics, we also get to meet Dill’s father. A randy old man who still thinks he’s got it. It would be mortifying in reality if you’re dad behaved this way, but then this is a very different world from reality, with over-exaggerated reactions akin to Manga comic books signposting the emotions felt by the various characters throughout the issue. Here, Dill accepts his father’e lechery, and seems to sees him as competition in his never-ending pursuit of love. Dill many well sleep around, but we are reminded that he is the one being loved and left with each sexual encounter. A refreshing reversal of the usual one-night stands where it is often the man that sneaks off the next morning to avoid anything remotely resembling a long-term commitment.
Meanwhile we get a main plot and a mystery of sorts that, for me at least, I saw coming a mile off, making this instalment’s surprise ending very unsurprising. But it’s nothing that will stop anyone from enjoying the issue and the ongoing conflicts raised that push the story along.
It’s another wonderfully illustrated issue that isn’t too subtle in expressing the emotional range of its cast of characters, but one that mature readers I am sure will enjoy. And definitely one that lives up to the comparison with Sex and the City, but with more oomph.
Mirka Andolfo’s Paprika #2 is out Wednesday 1st September from Image Comics