One day, Leona bought a cool poster from a weird shop. And then her friend Colin gets swallowed by a shark and her other friend Miko became a werewolf. Welcome to Prague Race.
With Colin kidnapped by an angry member of the Brigade, Leona and Miko follow, using Toska the troll as their guide. Upon arrival, they quickly learn the world of magic is far different from their ordinary world, which suits Leona just fine. Not only was her previous life boring, but she has only one year left to live. The poster she bought turned out to have a parasite, which while granting her powers, will eventually kill her. With nothing to lose, Leona, Miko, and Colin decide to make the most of their new life.
Petra Nordlund is the creator of Prague Race, where the fantastic and horrific combine. The story starts off with three young adults who wish for a different life. The three main characters are young college students, halfway between the world of childhood and adult. Leona is impulsive and reckless, often jumping into danger when caution is best, which aggravates her two friends. Colin, coming from a sheltered life, is jumpy and anxious to the point of neurotic, over-analyzing everything that occurs. Miko is the mature one, although he is guilty of enabling Leona and Colin at times. They are not perfect, but neither are they so imperfect, they function as stereotypes. Through the comic, as they explore the netherworld, they grow and mature, learning that with adventure comes consequences. The magical companions they meet along the way are also complex. There’s Sela, a mysterious soldier who deals in shady side-jobs but has a soft spot for small creatures, including Toska and Tahvo, two trolls whom she raised.
The entire comic is hand-drawn, in pencil and ink. Nordlund’s world is reminiscent of the dark, traditional folk tales, where happy endings came at a bloody price. The characters do not look like stereotypical werewolves, trolls, and ogres; they resemble Old World drawings, where the monsters are more animal than human, with scales, claws, and horns. The humanoids who inhabit the world resemble normal humans in proportion and scale, but might have a few extra additions or exaggerations, such as exceptionally large eyes or extra hands, showing their distinction. The pen and ink shading, with no color, adds eeriness to the dark world Nordlund has created, something color, while interesting, would only detract from the story.
Prague Race a strange comic about three kids who journey to a strange world. Read it at Praguerace.com.