ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Sweet Paprika,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sweet Paprika #1

Sweet Paprika #1 is published by Image Comics, with writing and art by Mirka Andolfo, colors by Simon Tessuto, and letters by Fabio Amelia. Money, success, the ability to fill her coworkers’ hearts with fear and terror, Paprika has all of these things in spades. But when it comes to making genuine human connections, she’s not so great at that. And while she tells herself that it’s fine, deep down inside, she knows there is more she wants from life.

We get so much from our parents. They impart wisdom, teach us about how the world works, and often attempt to impart every hangup and irrational fear they possess onto our impressionable minds. And unfortunately for a young Paprika, her father didn’t hold back at all when it comes to his squeamishness over all things sexual. As Sweet Paprika #1‘s opening flashback drops readers into Paprika’s childhood, they see how distasteful her father finds his daughter interacting with anything that could be vaguely connected with sex. Even going so far as to destroy a doll because his daughter was playing house.

Fast forward to Paprika’s adulthood, and she finds herself at odds with the very outgoing society she lives in. While there are references to real-world locations, this isn’t our Earth. Populated by Angels and Devils, this earth seems to have extremely different social mores where outwardness and innuendo are concerned. Either that or someone at the HR department at Paprika’s work is definitely getting fired.

While Sweet Paprika #1 plays off most of its sexual content for a mixture of laughs and thirst, it is clear by the end of the issue that writer Andolfo has a point to this story beyond just sex and laughs. While the sexual components certainly will keep some people away, I’m hoping that Andolfo manages to bring the psychological themes introduced in this book to an interesting and fleshed-out conclusion.

The art Andolfo uses to portray her world is some of the more over-the-top that I have seen in quite some time. Every emotional expression is dialed up to eleven. Every scream, every cry of terror, and every blissful moan is made to dominate the moments they occupy.

Just as with the emotional expression, so too goes the character designs. Every character feels like a parody of something as they pass through the panels of this book. From the characters themselves to the style of attire, everything is designed to be a bit “more” than usual.

Adding to the over-the-top nature of the visuals are Tessuto’s colors. Everything in Sweet Paprika #1 is bright, bringing even more energy to the book’s pages.

Rounding out this book’s presentation is Amelia’s letters. Not to be outdone by the book’s art, Amelia’s letters lean into the energy of the narrative and amplifies it a couple more notches, thanks to its bold letters and expressive fonts.

So while Sweet Paprika #1 plays most of its moments for the sake of humor here, it does feel like the story is setting up something that could grow into more than steamy moments and over-the-top comedy. Whether or not Andolfo and company deliver that deeper story is something only time will tell. 

Sweet Paprika #1 is available on July 28th, wherever comics are sold.

Sweet Paprika #1
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TL;DR

So while Sweet Paprika #1 plays most of its moments for the sake of humor here, it does feel like the story is setting up something that could grow into more than steamy moments and over-the-top comedy. Whether or not Andolfo and company deliver that deeper story is something only time will tell.