Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson, 176 pp, RL 4

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula is a great new graphic novel by Andi Watson that is set in the Underworld and, a bit surprisingly, chock full of deliciously curious baked goods.

Princess Decomposia, who looks a bit like Wednesday Addaams, is being run ragged with royal duties by her father, the King. Not only has he taken to his bed with a constantly changing  roster of ailments, he is a devoted reader of Wellness Weekly, following any healthy food-fad they recommend, but in the end eating only spoonfuls of Qwik Soup - just add boiling water! When the chef quits to work at "Dismal Vista Prison Block where the food is more nourishing," everything seems on the verge of falling apart.

In steps Count Spatula! An innovative baker who knows just what to cook and when to cook it and, even better, sees the strain that Princess Decomposia is under and works to help her take a load off. A vampire, the Count has lost his fangs and is not a drinker of blood. In fact, his fangs have rotted out due to his intense love of sugar and desserts (known as puddings in Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula as Watson is British) of all kinds. In fact, when he goes aboveground with Dee (as she likes to be called) to celebrate Thursday of the Dead, he says that rather than burn in the sun, he tends to caramelize.

With Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, Watson has created a sweet (in more ways than one) creepy story with a touch of romance and a lot of cooking. Count Spatula works to keep Dee fed - she is always too busy to eat - and visiting dignitaries happy. He wins over the always complaining, always miserable Yōkai delegation with a Lemon Drizzle Cake that is comprised of clouds that settle over guests and rain lemon delicious lemony-ness down on the dessert on the table - a wonderfully light sponge. When the difficult King makes things difficult for Dee and the Count, the two manage to turn the tables and save the day - and the Count's job. 

I'm not sure if Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula is a series, but I would love to see what Count Spatula concocts next and what the diplomatic Dee does with her duties as princess.

Source: Review Copy

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