The first thing that catches your eye about The Would-Be Bridegrooms is the fact that it’s hand bound. How often do you see that anymore? The red thread binding is set off by the intensely yellow cover and striking single cover image; these things, combined with the book’s slightly unusual size, make for an incredibly enjoyable tactile experience that sets it apart from a sea of minicomics.
Okay: so the book is well-made and nice to hold. But this is just a hook to get you to look at the lovely story contained within it. Shawn Cheng’s The Would-Be Bridegrooms is a tale reminiscent of ancient myths and classic fables. It tells of the rivalry between Rabbit and Fox, who are both in love with the same girl. Upon finding out about their competition with each other, they begin to transform into a series of ever-more outrageous monsters in order to defeat the other in battle . . . until they are finally stopped by an unexpected force! Using detailed, stylized work that pulls from First Nations influences, Cheng takes the reader on a timeless journey that is as perfect today as it would have been many hundreds of years ago. Check it out and let us know what you thought, and while you’re at it, share with us your favorite fable or myth!