Lovefool 02.09.15 | True Love Lives

The always amazing Andi Watson returns with a new graphic novel, Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula.



Hey, nerdlings. It’s 10:47 on Sunday morning as I sit down to write this and I’ve been awake for four and a half hours. I woke up and tossed and turned for a few minutes and then saw it was getting a little light so thought maybe it was later than 6:10 or whatever and just got up. Well. It was, in fact, not later than 6:10 but I saw beautiful puffy night-stained clouds picking up the first hints of peach and decided maybe I had a little time to say good morning to the universe. So me and a cat hung out at Chateau Jameson’s huge front picture window for an hour and watched the night fade out. And I actually think I needed that way more than an extra hour of sleep or whatever. It was refreshing. I so rarely get to just kind of sit and stare at the world without anything that I should be doing instead. I was trying to be quiet to not wake up Mr. J, so I couldn’t really do anything productive. Facebook was still pretty asleep and I didn’t feel like cleaning up my inbox.
For someone who slacks off on putting away laundry and doesn’t have any kids, I sure do seem to always have something I’m supposed to be thinking about. So I could relate to the heroine of Andi Watson’s new book, Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula. Obvi, we here at Lovefool, Inc. are still big Andi Watson fans so it’s exciting to see a new book due out this month. Even more exciting is that it’s being published by First Second so, of course, the French flaps I so love are there and the rest of the book is completely stunning. It’s a pleasure to just look at a First Second book, never mind their impeccable taste in projects. Watson, of course, sticks to his usual style, and his simple black and white drawings are incredibly expressive and instantly recognizable while looking like something any of us could turn out, which is a lovely trick.
Your Lovefool’s delight in a well turned out book aside, there’s a lot to love about what’s between those beautiful covers. We start our story by meeting a harried princess, which is delightful. You don’t see a lot of princesses looking frazzled, but Princess Decomposia is running the Underworld in lieu of her father, who just doesn’t seem to be interested anymore. He spends his time in bed reading about the latest in fad diets while she handles every tiny aspect of running the kingdom. I mean, sure, there are people to hand her things, but she never seems to have time to eat or sleep because she’s so busy being buried in the minutiae of her father’s kingdom. She does an amazing job of keeping the kingdom running, but it’s one task after another, including finding a chef to make her father’s broth, the only thing he’ll eat that won’t aggravate his nonexistent ailments.
Things start to look up when she hires Count Spatula on the basis of his macaroons and kindness. His cooking charms foreign delegates, making Princess Decomposia’s job a little easier, and his baking is ridiculously clever. Cleverness will only get you so far, though, but he’s always there with a kind word and a muffin to perk her up when the day starts to drag into the grey hours of exhaustion. So, of course, they become friends with a chance of being good friends. And, because he starts to love her and sees her working herself through endless hours, Count Spatula mentions that maybe she does a little too much. Maybe she should take a day off, ever, for once in her life. And she considers it and instantly learns to delegate, which is pretty impressive. Delegation is tricky because, omg, what if something goes wrong? She manages it, though, quietly introducing a bit of self-care into her life and her father’s spies immediately report back to him that maybe the princess is getting a little too close to the chef while slacking off by only handling 90% of the kingdom’s business and it pretty much all goes to hell and back after that.
Get it? Ha, ha, I’m so funny.
As someone who tends to run things like the mayor, given half a chance, I think this is an incredibly romantic book because every Type A personality needs someone fearless and brave and interested in their well-being to pull them back from the edge of spreadsheet madness…what, you don’t have household Excel workbooks? Can I set one up for you? It’ll change your life…
Ahem. Anyway. Having someone to make you stop to watch the cartoons and maybe mentioning that you don’t have to do or—and this one is especially hard—be All The Things, despite your protests to the contrary? That’s true love. I mean, sure, you can buy me all the flowers in the world and I’ll dump them in an attractive vase until they wither and die and make me think of all the things I should be doing because we’re only mortal and there’s still SO MUCH to be done, but bringing me a cup of tea while I’m working on something and asking if I need anything and maybe suggesting we should go see a movie? Holy cats. I’ll love you forever. Truly, anyone with the kind of personality where they can always find something else they really should be doing, like our initially harried princess, needs someone to occasionally help them see what’s going on beyond their eternal to-do list and offer them a nice current bun. I’m glad Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula found each other in this sweet story. | Erin Jameson



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