I don’t like to brag*, but due to random happenstance, I actually followed Nimona in its original run as a web comic from the very first entry. I somehow started following Noelle Stevenson on Tumblr (probably because of her Broship of the Ring fanart) and then she started Nimona, and I was hooked.
For a year and a half, two days a week I received the new Nimona pages in my outdated Microsoft Outlook work email inbox. Best two days of the week. It was so much fun seeing the story play out in real time, and it was definitely different this time around reading it in a significantly more condensed time frame (about an hour). We’re all Netflix babies now, so you probably already know what I’m talking about here. It’s like the difference between watching a weekly television show every week for years, and binging on it over the course of weeks (or days). Both ways of consuming the story do different things to your brain, and to the story.
Anyway, blather blather blah, the book. Nimona is a hybrid fantasy/science fiction/medieval/modern whatever the hell story about an irreverent shapechanger named Nimona who forces herself into Ballister Blackheart’s employ as his sidekick. Under Nimona’s guidance, Ballister goes from a halfhearted villain who plays things entirely by the villain book, to someone who actually does villain things. At first, she’s just this hilarious catalyst in his life, and they are both pretty lovable, but as the book goes on, it starts to get a little darker (while still being a very cartoon world). It becomes clear that Nimona is a lot more dangerous than anyone thought, and Ballister is not as much of a villain as he wishes. He has a complicated relationship with his nemesis and former best friend, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin*.
*It is also HEAVILY implied that they were once lovers. Tumblr has obliged with explicit fanart, for the curious.
This is a fun book that will make you laugh, with a dark emotional kick and an exciting and poignant (and still irreverent) ending. I’m excited for the animated movie adaptation that’s supposed to come out pretty soon.
And do yourself a favor: check out Noelle Stevenson’s Tumblr, and her other comic, Lumberjanes. Both are goldmines of awesomeness.