Willowisp #1

Elisa Bisignano
$5 and up
Evoluzione Publishing

You may not have heard a lot yet about Italian born Elisa Bisignano though you hopefully will in the future since she impressively wears many hats as the sole creator of Willowisp, a romance story whose appeal should extend beyond its young adult tone. Life for teens is angst ridden enough under normal circumstances but this is fiction and Bisignano sets up lots of tension for her seventeen year old protagonist Noah whose mother, Merna, has recently died. Noah’s father Rafael has decided moving from the big city which has been the only home Noah has ever known to the bucolic home town of his wife’s youth. Pastoral doesn’t always equate to peaceful. Waiting to greet Noah and his father is Merna’s eldest brother Maccus, a man whose conservative attitudes and moral rectitude likely serve him well in the mysterious family business but they certainly don’t win him any points with his bisexual nephew. Then there’s the neighbors. Unsurprisingly it’s Maccus who disproves and warns Noah to stay away from the neighbor boy because he has “a reputation” and a single “mother like that”. Of course that which is forbidden becomes intriguing!

That’s an interesting enough premise with these elements for Bisignano to make a promising slice of life story if she wanted. Thankfully, she’s fascinated to add more to complicate the premise with a paranormal mystery involving the titular and magical willowisp and the cute and stand offish neighbor boy Levesque is inextricably linked to the goings on. While out in the forest Noah also stumbles across a memento of sorts of his mother’s life which reaffirms her loving nature while at the same time setting her in further contrast to pious brother Maccus.

A graduate of Palermo’s Scuola del Fumetto, or School of Comics, Bisignano’s expressive contour line drawing is rooted in contemporary European comics style, making her art pleasing to the eye. Two color palettes are on display; one of subdued pastel shades for the mundane world and another dominated by vibrant blues and greens and a sparing use of reddish orange used for the paranormal sequences.

Bisignano has created a set of likeable characters with Noah, dad Rafael, and Noah’s new friends at high school. Even Levesque who’s seen as a jerk but that’s because he’s always on guard. As for Maccus…well, he’s just a mean spirit! And there is a sweet romance in the making and I think you may enjoy the story so please check out the Kickstarter. There is still time to become a backer on this comic with its modest $2,000 goal! Pledges start at the $5 level for a PDF copy and on up with various incentives.

April 5, 2019
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