24 Hours of International Comics continue and, for me, it’s been leading up to this: A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori. There’s nothing I so vehemently recommend to anyone and everyone like this beautiful tale of life in 19th century Central Asia. Though mostly focusing on a main narrative thread, Mori lets her story weave through the paths of her other characters, breathing superb life into an already well-detailed world. Her immense attention to detail not only shows in her art, but her absolute fascination with the era that Amir Halgal springs forth out of.
The story starts as Amir, a woman in her 20s leaves her nomadic clan to marry Karluk, a 12-year old son of one of the wealthier families in their village. It’s a unusual place to start as, historically, their ages would have likely been reversed, but it allows readers to start off less critical to it to. I, for one, and incredibly appreciative that Mori manages to weave an accurate portrayal of the time while remaining steadfastly contemporary in tone; violence and strife are absolutely present, but they’re not written off as there to reinforce historical realism; it works for the story being told.
Mori’s brushwork is otherworldly; intricate strokes forming delicious looking food, hand-made jewelry and adornments, complex rug and carpet patterns, and some of the intricate and gorgeous wooden carvings ever.
A Bride’s Story is absolutely incredible in so many wonderful ways, not just art and story, but in how it normalizes stories about women in a context where you really only hear about men (read = history). Either way, I’ll just leave y’all with this video of Mori sketching a headshot at a convention. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll get invited to TCAF ’16 or something.