New Zealand cartoonist Katie O’Neill’s profile has been steadily rising, with Princess Princess Ever, a princess fairy tale that upends tropes, and The Tea Dragon Society getting her a lot more attention. She’s not only a strong cartoonist, but her work’s themes represent the kind of diversity and thoughtfulness that so many readers are looking for.
And she’ll be getting more attention with her next project, Aquicorn Cove, another all-ages GN coming next October from Oni. As you can see from the sample pages. It’s a charmer. The story involves a plucky heroine and an undersea palace. Sold!
When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.
“As a kid I was obsessed with books about marine biology and ocean creatures. It felt like such a magical world! In this story I wanted to combine aquatic fantasy elements with the feelings I get from the tiny seaside villages in my home country of New Zealand,” said Katie O’Neill. “Marine conservation has always been extremely important here, and I wanted to explore the point of view of a child living in a world where the actions—or inactions—of her guardians already have had environmental consequences, and she must find her own strength in order to protect what’s important to her.”
Aquicorn Cove, a full color hardcover book, is written, illustrated, and colored by Katie O’Neill, with lettering by Crank! (Rick and Morty™).
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.