[Edit: Originally posted September 29, 2018]
Do you like eldritch horrors? Do you like the accidental child acquisition trope? Do you like gay shit? If you answered yes to all three then Banquet is the comic for you.
From the earth above, a child has fallen through a mysterious portal, which we know leads into Hell. While his parents and the entire human world believe him dead, but he survives only to be found by Hadrien Galerius Vespatian, fourth crowned king of the Bottomless Pit. Utterly amused by and curious about this little human, King Hadrien, decides against the council of his advisor/bodyguard/boyfriend, the hellhound Bernard, and the anger of some of the other noble houses, to adopt this human child and raise him as a son.
The comic is wonderfully paced and plotted, and the panels manage to be simple yet full of detail without feeling cramped or cluttered or losing any of the story. A. Szabla does an amazing job of conveying facial expression on both the human characters and the monstrous ones. And when the monstrous characters take on human forms, it’s delightful to see how the human form fit and reflect the monstrous character.
While Banquet is humerous at times, it is not just a silly story. It has all the fixings of plot just getting underway. It’s just enough to get you hook and leave you wanting more and anxiously awaiting every new update. And for a new comic that’s a good place to be in.
I will say for those, like myself, who might be concerned about the treatment of a gay couple in the media they consume. The only disapproval of Bernard and Hadrien’s relationship comes from the fact that certain nobles believe that it is not fitting for a king to be carrying on a relationship with someone low born. So fantasy classist, but not fantasy homophobic.
All and all it’s an incredibly fun read and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing Banquet continue.
While I have a hard copy of the first book of Banquet, I do not rightly know where you can get a hard copy outside of FlameCon, where I got mine. [ UPDATE 2/7/2023: You can get hard copies of volume one and, now, volume two, along with a whole bunch of other goodies, on Etsy.] The entire comic for free, online at www.banquetcomic.com. Since it’s always nice when a content creator makes their content available for free if you enjoy Banquet you should consider supporting A. Szabla’s patreon.