Other creators involved in the making of this comic bind-up include: Colors by Joana LaFuente, Lettering by Jim Campbell
Content/Trigger Warnings: Abandonment, minor bullying, mental stress/pressure
Why… Why did no one tell me how amazing this graphic novel was going to be?! Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little and everyone tried telling me, but seriously, no one told me it was this good! Chapterlings, I love this story. I mean, I really love it and I will go down defending this series’s honor. The cast is so diverse, from social and economic backgrounds to personalities, to the different family dynamics to the sexuality (I swear, if the majority of these characters aren’t bi or pan, I might riot); this one volume has so much for the reader to fallen in love with. These four issues all bound together will have you hanging on the edge of your seat. If I had known I was going to love this graphic novel so much, I probably would have picked this up sooner! This is perfection!
Fence takes us on a wild ride of following the fencing team of an all boys boarding school, where many students are trying out for the fencing team. All of these students come from different levels of training and experiences, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, but the fact remains that there are only three open spots on the varsity team and the stakes (and the pressure) is at an all time high for these students. And even though everyone wants one of those spots, for Nicholas Cox… the stakes are higher than ever and only he knows why.
“I don’t care how good he is. I’m here to fence.”
These characters are all unique and so easy to fall in love with. The entire time I found I kept rooting for Nicholas and that he would some how pull an underdog move out of his pocket. And if you end up falling in love with these characters as much as I have, then check out these amazing character trait cards that are on C.S. Pacat’s Twitter!
“I’m the best fencer here.”
While I love the “love” and “hate” dynamic between Nicholas (precious cinnamon roll!) and Seiji, I love the “treasure” and “trouble” dynamic as well! Harvard and Aiden is a tense storm that just brewing in the background and I’m ready to go down with this ship! BUT, I also really love the dynamic between Kally and Tanner. The whole “war” and “peace” vibe they both give off is giving me life! If by some chance we found out they were really, really attached to one another, let me be the first to get that ship started! And let’s take a moment to appreciate Bobby! Bobby was such a beacon of light in this whole graphic novel. He was this precious cinnamon roll wandering around concerned for everyone and checking in to make sure everyone is okay. My soul just melted for him!
So, the way I usually review a comic or graphic novel all depends on the setup of the inside. Sometimes there’s chapters, sometimes everything is lumped under three-four larger titles, etc… Thankfully, this is just a bind-up of four issues so I can do a quick break down of these four issues. I will do my best to keep these as spoiler free as possible. I found my reading experience is always more enjoyable when other don’t tell me a whole lot of details of everything happening.
🌻 Chapter One – Okay, this was a perfect setup! We learn and see so much in this first issue. We first get introduced to Nicholas who comes from a background of hard work and struggles. We get little bits and pieces of Nicholas’s background and it’s the most precious thing. Seeing Nicholas wanting to fill the void of abandonment in a healthy way with something positive just… it’s everything and I wish we saw more of that in more books. Then we get introduced to Seiji and I’m not going to lie, he comes off as an arrogant prick. You really get a feel for Seiji’s personality and how he holds himself.
🌻 Chapter Two – As fate usually has it, our two main characters end up crossing paths and what better way to do that than shoving them into a dorm room together! That’s right, we really get to see the boarding school and get a better understanding of the layout of the place. We also get introduced to a wider range of characters that will be showing more in later issues. Of course, Bobby is one of them and as always they are a precious bean that needs to be protected. We also meet Aiden and Harvard in this issues as well, along with many other amazing characters. Also, the juxtaposition of Nicholas and Jesse Coste was so powerful and effective. It was like a hundred bricks hit me and I just want the world for my favorite cinnamon role!
🌻 Chapter Three – This is the issue where we learn that there’s only three spots available on the varsity team. With high stakes, we see so many characters testing strengths and weaknesses. Nicholas is still internally struggling with the emotional wound that he keeps locked away, that has never quite fully healed. Seiji, of course, is still being Seiji by acting like he’s some God of Fencing. This is also the issue where we meet Kally and Dante. While I’m still not sure how I feel about Dante, I easily fell in love with Kally and their calm demeanor. And did I mention the round robin tournament for the three spots at stake begins? Yeah, that’s starting and you better hold onto your seats!
🌻 Chapter Four – I think a little part of me died this issue. We get to see so many of the different fencing matches happen this issue. But the piece that hurt the most was that ending… I think that ending will haunt me until I get the next volume. That’s all I’m going to say.
Overall, I need the next volume as soon as possible! My adrenaline is through the roof and I’m so ready for the next one! If you’re looking for an easy comic series to get addicted to, look no further, you’ve found it! I can’t recommend this enough and everyone should pick this series up!