“Odd and Ugly” – by Vida Cruz, Illustrated by Reyna Rochin

Odd and Ugly Art

Vida Cruz wrote “Odd and Ugly” — A tree giant takes in a housekeeper but she has more secrets than either of them can handle

First thing’s first: Vida wrote this in 2nd person. She’s asking for a leap of faith from her readers. She’s asking you to set aside whatever you might think about 2nd person and give her a chance to hook you with her story (hey look now *I’m* writing in 2nd person!). You should give her that chance.

The story itself is a beautiful reimagining of Beauty and the Beast. The threads of the Philippines and unique perspective that Vida’s culture brings to the story are evident and compelling. You (I’m doing it again!) do not want to sleep on this story.

Vida also tweets @laviecestmoi

Reyna Rochin incorporates story elements in small details, while conveying the apparent central conflict of Tree Man and Girl. In particular, using the shell necklace as the light source guides the eye, and echoes the story.

Her other art shows a care for the detail in character studies that captures the eye. Almost all of her characters are in motion, showing a dynamic energy to her work. Plus, the inspiration and concepts behind her work are damn cool. Aztec-themed retelling of Alice in Wonderland? Yes please.

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