- By Niall Doonan On March 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm -

Written by: Bart A. Thompson

Art by: Ezequiel Pineda, Alan Akerman, Sinee Misgari, Paco Zarco and Kevin Richardson.

Letters by: B. Alexander Thompson and Bryant W. Fowler.

Cover by: Ezequiel Pineda

Published by: Arcana

Cover Price: $14.95 (USD)

Much the same as the first volume, here we have another collection of Romance shorts, once again mixing genres, tone and style, but this time with extra artists on board.

Overall I prefer this volume to the first. The stories feel more accomplished and there more individual tales that I enjoyed to a greater extent. In this volume, it is the strips where the couple that feature are already together that work best, rather than the date or courtship focused plots. They are more sentimental and sweet, but they also make for more enjoyable reads and fit more easily with the romantic theme.

A lot of the stories also feature death, sometimes in the form of the more supernatural/horror influenced stories, but also often in the real world set. There’s probably a little too much death and sadness; sometimes it works well, but after a couple of car crashes, an inoperable brain tumour and a zombie, I needed a bit of a break.

Regarding the art, Ezequiel Pineda handles the majority of it in this volume, after drawing the entire first, but there are a few other artists featured too. Pineda’s work is probably the best, but none of the other artists look out of place here. Sometimes the story and art don’t quite match, but generally each artist does well.

I think that if the best stories from each volume had been selected, then Arcana could have had one great collection of stories on their hands. As it is, they have two volumes achieving various successes. Despite this, this second volume is more enjoyable than the first and anything that is trying to positively diversify the options for comic book readers can’t be a bad thing.




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