The Dire Days of Willoweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin
One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There’s even a ghost.
Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe—the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?
This graphic novel was silly, cute, and really fun to read. Everything from the story’s humor to the way the characters were drawn when portraying emotions was perfect. I especially loved how the illustrator captured the irony, sarcasm, and humor intended by the author perfectly. This story joked around with the common clichés in gothic romances like the brooding brother or the lurking monk, etc. As someone who has definitely read novels with the tropes covered in this story, this graphic novel was very amusing. Sitting there reading scenes and thinking “I’ve definitely read that in a book” was so fun, especially since the way the author called out clichés was so funny.
I think Wilhelmina is my favorite character because she owned every scene she was in. She was just a major mood and was comically attuned to living the life of a gothic cliché where she didn’t have to crack any jokes to have funny scenes. Another character I liked was the ghost in the manor. She was funny as well and I wish that she and Wilhelmina had more scenes in the novel, but I understand that the story wasn’t mainly about them.
Amazingly, I do not have a character that I dislike. Even the lurking monk had funny scenes that made me enjoy this graphic novel more. One thing that I really enjoyed was the way the three brothers acted together. All three of them had a really cute dynamic and I feel like they’re the type of people who would protect each other at all costs but wouldn’t admit it, although I think Cuthbert probably would admit to that.
This graphic novel was very enjoyable and goofy. I honestly wish I could read this for the first time again to experience its humor for the first time again. If anyone is an avid enjoyer of gothic romances (or just any form of romance) this graphic novel is for you.
Cover Art and Illustrations:
This glorious cover and all illustrations in the graphic novel are by Christopher Baldwin.
- Have you read this graphic novel before?
- If so, did you enjoy it?
- Do you enjoy gothic romances?
- Do you think you would enjoy a graphic novel that’s a gothic romance?