REVIEW: ‘Sweet Paprika,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sweet Paprika #3

Sweet Paprika #3 is published by Image Comics, with writing and art by Mirka Andolfo, colors by Simon Tessuto, and letters by Fabio Amelia. Having seen that her father is recovering well from a recent incident, Paprika was called on to represent her company at the signing of a movie deal for their latest best-selling hit. But as formality turns to frivolity, Paprika faces the same old struggles she always has with such things. If only some angel would come to save her.

Parties. On the surface, the concept is simple enough. A gathering of people come together to enjoy food, drink, and engage in other forms of entertainment. Whatever the occasion, they are supposed to be moments when one can relax and be themselves and escape the cares and frustrations of life. But, as Sweet Paprika #3 reminds us, it is often not that way.

The bulk of this issue’s story takes place in the wake of the movie deal signing mentioned in the last issue. Unfortunately, and maybe it’s just me getting old and cynical, parties seem to have lost a lot of their luster. As I followed Paprika’s navigation of the festivities, I felt for her as all the things that one doesn’t immediately associate with a party, but which inevitably happen, occurred. Gossip, condescending exes, and someone taking the last 5,000 calorie muffin are all right there. While Paprika has some issues she’s struggling with, I think her aversion to parties is just plain common sense. And while some of these party fouls are played out for humor, writer Andolfo doesn’t miss an opportunity to comment on the many ways those around Paprika fail her.

But amidst all the ever-present party shortfalls, Sweet Paprika #3 sees our protagonist manage to hit it off with a respectable individual who seems to be genuinely interested in her. A few drinks later, and maybe Paprika will be able to find the courage to open up and take a swing at this pleasant gentleman? Predictably, alcohol does not, in fact, help. Throughout this sequence, Andolfo captures Paprika’s struggles with herself wonderfully. Despite the over-the-top visuals that the series always delivers, Sweet Paprika #3 never fails to show how much Paprika’s situation genuinely hurts her. Especially since no one seems willing to see her how she sees herself. Instead, they make assumptions about what is good for her, projecting themselves onto the frustrated woman.

I won’t dive into what follows Paprika’s escape from the party for spoiler reasons. But suffice it to say, Andolfo wraps up Paprika’s night with tears, heartbreak, and perhaps just a bit of character growth. Why must so much of our growth have to be watered by tears?

The visual presentation of Sweet Paprika #3 knocks it out of the park once again. If you have enjoyed Andolfo’s art and Tessuto’s colors in the previous entries in the series, you will find nothing to complain about as you witness Paprika’s social excursion in this story.

The same level of high quality continues with Amelia’s letter work for this issue as well. The letters always deliver the excessive amount of energy Paprika and the rest of the cast bring to every panel.

So, to sum it all up, Sweet Paprika #3 brings another chapter to its story that is equal parts humor and emotion. Andolfo continues to deliver a story that manages to entertain throughout while not diluting the impactful journey Paprika has been set on.

Sweet Paprika #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Sweet Paprika #3
4.5

TL;DR

Sweet Paprika #3 brings another chapter to its story that is equal parts humor and emotion. Andolfo continues to deliver a story that manages to entertain throughout while not diluting the impactful journey Paprika has been set on.