Mirka Andolfo has created quite a unique approach to heaven and Hell in Sweet Paprika. It’s a world where angels and demons live amongst each other, but exhibit their evil and good traits. Demons and angels act a certain way, unless you’re Paprika who has subdued a part of her so as to be successful at her job. The problem is, if she subverts her sexual desires what will she become?
This issue deals heavily with where we left off as Paprika tends to her father after he suffered a heart attack. She may be a success at work, but even her father is dismissive of her. Andolfo continues to explore how her father forces her to button up her shirt and hide her desires while at the same time shaming her for not locking down the one man who he approved of.
There’s a lot for Paprika to work through and she takes that boiling over rage on her employees. This issue further explores those employees who fear her while also fleshing out Paprika’s boss and the higher-ups. In a great scene, we get to see an evil boardroom that has a cool design and an overbearing CEO. One might assume this is how Andolfo sees a boardroom of bosses.
Much like the first issue, Sweet Paprika #2 moves at a quick pace with many scene changes, humor, drama, and more multiple times per page. Sometimes it feels as if Andolfo writes and draws each page without knowing where the story goes next as it feels like anything can happen. One minute Paprika’s neck is cracking as she screams at her assistant for her tea, and the next she’s stewing over her 450 new emails.
Sexual comedy is alive and well in this issue too. The comic opens with Dill and his buddy hitting on a girl, which later pays off with a rather intimate bathroom sex scene. It’s never graphic, but it’s certainly suggestive which is made funnier since Dill is an angel and yet he’s having more sex in one moment than Paprika has in decades. His story is still rather disconnected from Paprika, though from a mirroring perspective one can assume Paprika’s choice in the cliffhanger will read her down a very unwelcome future.
Andolfo’s art is a great deal of fun with a cartoony nature and manga influences throughout. Seeing Dill’s buddy have waterfall tears in one scene is proof of that. That cartoony look drops off for a brief moment when Paprika sits with her mother pining the loss of her father. There’s a lot going on in any given panel, from Paprika’s floppy breasts getting attention as she walks to little details on a gift box.
It’s fascinating to see the attention to detail Andolfo puts into Paprika’s hat, and the darker tone is realized well by Simon Tessuto’s colors. you can almost feel the cloth of Paprika’s top thanks to the use of purple and black. Smash cut to Paprika’s dad literally burning with anger and you can see how the details helped lead readers to an over-the-top caricature panel.
Sweet Paprika remains an incredibly chaotic good time. It’s sexual, humorous, and deeply meaningful as Paprika may have the job and the money, but she’s subverting her sexuality and ability to connect with men to attain those. In that, Andolfo is exploring an interesting character study many can relate to.
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