Long ago in the year 2012, indie creator Jeremy Bastian launched Cursed Pirate Girl, an epic yarn about a precocious young lass and her journey to find her long-lost pirate father. Ten years and four chapters later, the story continues in Cursed Pirate Girl: The Devil’s Cave. After traveling through the Great Divide, our feisty heroine finds herself trapped inside an enormous, man-eating clam. Armed with a mysterious key and her parrot companion Pepper Dice, Cursed Pirate Girl (yes, that’s her name) must journey onward to bring together the items necessary to resurrect the Dread Pirate Captain Douglas. But with danger and death lurking beneath the sea, will her tenacity be enough to save her and the father she never knew from certain doom?
Written and illustrated by Bastian, the saga of the Cursed Pirate Girl is an amazing one. Each book in the series is lavishly drawn and inked in a unique style that is evocative of 15th century engravings. Bastian’s artwork is a wonder to behold, with every page packed to the gills with meticulous details, silly little jokes, and even the occasional side-story. In a fun bit of fourth-wall-shattering, a number of background characters make their way, not quite off the page, but out of the panels and around their borders.
With so much eye-candy, the book can be a bit overwhelming, especially to new readers. Cursed Pirate Girl: The Devil’s Cave is the fifth chapter of an ongoing series, so one would do well to check out the previous chapters first. The series as a whole is a very rewarding, albeit challenging read. The lettering is hand-written, in a classic, quasi-gothic style that can be a bit hard to decipher at times. And with its unique layouts and frequent multi-page spreads, the book isn’t always designed to be read in the traditional left-to-right manner. While this may be frustrating to some, this does allow the reader to take in details that might otherwise be overlooked.
Cursed Pirate Girl: The Devil’s Cave is a beautiful and unique masterpiece that is just one part of a larger narrative, where every new chapter is worth waiting for. Mark my words, you’ll want to set aside plenty of time to pour over every page and just bask in the imagination of one of comics’ most unique and skilled voices. To get caught up, check out “Cursed Pirate Girl” and “Cursed Pirate Girl: 2015 Annual #1” in either print or digital wherever you buy comics.