Totally by, Aatmaja Pandya
One shots are such a great little thing aren't they? Every so often we get these great little snapshots into what some talented folks are up to, and often these are stories that creators are dying to tell. There is just a certain laser focus to telling a totally stand alone, one shot comic that I really appreciate. Aatmaja Pandya, of the webcomic Travelogue, has definitely gained her own corner of story telling with this enjoyable, easy to get into story. Check out some of Pandya's other work here.
Radhika lives in a fantastical world of family, magic, goddesses, witches, and so much more. As Radhika works to help get food ready for the festival of the goddesses, she finds food preparation is not her strongest skill. As she goes out to explore the festival, she stumbles across a little old woman. This lady, one of the local witches, reads Radhika's fortune and tells of a crossroads. There are decisions that the young lady will make during the night which will impact the rest of her life. Want to know more? So does she! The herbs burnt to tell the fortune were the last that the witch owned, so to discover more about her future Radhika must go on a quest throughout the festival which will teach her of the magics around her and the history of the fiery Goddess which breathes life into the land.
Pandya weaves a tapestry of myth that simultaneously build on the character of Radhika as well as the little world she is a part of. There's a great feeling of reading an original fable wrapped in this book. It has all the makings of a fairytale-esque story that writing wise has a little something for all ages. The spirit of the festival and story of the goddess which Panya has chosen is not only a perfect fit for this world but also a fun look at the belief system of every character. Radhika is written with a child like innocence but finds her footing as a protagonist and faces a good level of growth in this done in one book. The end result is a feeling of warmth at the well worded/chosen ending.
Pandya has a distinct style with a wispy flow and a fluid line as well as a done of environmental detail. Radhika is constantly portrayed with an ere of curiosity and readiness for what is next. She moves with purpose towards the goal of discovery and doesn't falter, despite the magic which could very well be sinister. The sense of natural movement in the environment is very fluid, especially in areas with brush that show believable motion which is even further sampled by the well used grayscale scheme. As I mentioned earlier this story is very much a fable, and this art style furthers that genre choice.
Start reading this guy and before you know it it'll be over. There's an obvious conclusion and climax, but not so much an obvious conclusion. The Baker's Dozen ends in a satisfying fashion, but I would be glad to see more and could see more potential stories in this world! For fans of fantasy and magic, goddesses and celebrations of life this comic awaits. If you check it out and find yourself to be a fan then make sure to check out Aatmaja Pandya's fantasy webcomic as well! Pick this here comic up at digitally at https://gumroad.com/l/mJuG