Webcomics Watch: CUCUMBER QUEST by Gigi D.G
There are a lot of wonderful adventure-fantasy webcomics out there, both popular and obscure, and some of them are long-running series that stretched out for years already that keeping track of their multiple arcs can be a hassle especially if you are more of a casual reader (and more so if you barely get internet access). This ongoing fluff yet sublime webcomics story written and drawn by Gigi D.G is still in the earlier stages of its hopefully long run in years to come, so there is definitely more time to catch up and get yourselves invested in the amusingly enjoyable characters and the literal candy-colored worlds of Cucumber Quest.
The collected printed volumes for this webcomics has the Prologue and Chapter 0 as the first volume, Chapters 1 as its second, and Chapter 2 as its third. Currently, the fourth chapter online is about to be concluded. I managed to finish until the third chapter last night, and man it has been such an utter delight. The good thing about Cucumber Quest is that it's truly for light reading and very easy on the eyes. Gigi D.G's simplistic art style shines well because of her extravagant choices of colors. Bright and often with rainbow layers in coloring plus adorably draw bunny-eared characters being entertaining and funny, each page for this webcomics is a pleasant feast for the eyes, and it certainly did remind me of children's books in the best way possible. There is never a dull moment for the chapters of this series because Gigi D.G's enthusiasm and passion shows in the way she balances the pacing, humor and heartwarming moments of each arc, and hence she makes readers eager for more installments concerning Cucumber and the gang as they move forward to face their outlandish villains and visit/get stranded in various candy-colored landscapes that readers would squeal over because of how pretty they are. I know I sure did, and I guarantee that you will too!
In retrospect, Cucumber Quest can just be taken as a straightforward adventure story starring the bookish and socially reserved Cucumber who only wants to go to magic school but is plagued with the prophesy that he's supposed to be a legendary hero. He's neither outdoorsy or skilled in combat, but it's his 'destiny' to defeat the Disaster Masters and the infamous Nightmare Knight. It seems basic but the storytelling chops of Gigi D.G is anything but generic because, on the other hand, Cucumber Quest is also subversion of certain quest tropes with a minimalist approach that never dares to take itself seriously as a deconstruction, and that is what makes it fun and compelling to go through. It never had to be dark or radical that would border on pretentious; what you see is what you get, and what it offers are well-balanced elements of recognizable tropes coupled with fantastic chemistry among its chief cast. This series can be comparable and may have been inspired by Adventure Time animation series, but it's also entirely unique as its own brand of quirky self-awareness and shenanigans.
Joining Cucumber in his reluctant quest to save the kingdoms and put a stop to the evil queen Cordelia's master plan and also defeat the Nightmare Knight whom she summoned, are his sister Almond who is more or less the one who is more eager to become a monster-slaying adventurer; Sir Carrot, the often cowardly yet endearing knight who loves to do chores, and later by the frustratingly eternal optimist Princess Nautilus of the Ripple Kingdom. The villains they face are the ridiculous named trio of Sir Tomato, Bacon and Lettuce, the witch Peridot (who has a nemesis /girl-crush situation with Almond) and the array of Disaster Masters for each kingdom they visit. Fun times and hilarity ensue as Cucumber is still being forced to participate in all of this while making astute if not meta observations of how suspicious everything about the famed prophesy and the roles they must take to fulfill it.
Let's take a look of some lovely art so you guys will get a taste of what I mean when I said that it's literal candy. Here are some of the pages that I enjoyed both for art and content:
It's only by the second chapter (third volume) that things get more explored and given a heftier substance and depth. Cucumber's suspicions are slowly being confirmed the more evasive their supposedly appointed guide Dream Oracle becomes if not outright being aggressively dismissive of Cucumber's questions. The Big Bad villain Nightmare Knight also begins to show his true colors which may not be as vile or dark as everyone believes it to be especially the more he interacts with the captive princess Parfait. Even the Disaster Masters themselves don't seem that willing to keep fighting, and Almond is really the only one who is enjoying this quest while Sir Carrot is more concerned about getting back to his sweetheart Parfait. Still, the humor is entertaining particularly when it's centered around Princess Nautilus who really acts as the charming ditz of the narrative, that is until you get on her bad side. Other extra characters like the thief Saturday, the creepy inventor Cosmo , that alien caped crusader and the Limbo/Pizza gang also provide comic relief in small doses.
In a nutshell, Cucumber Quest is a worthy webcomics series that has enough mass appeal for even the most casual reader to get into and enjoy. Gigi D.G is also beginning to develop the characters in interesting ways as well as drop hints and bread crumbs every installment as to what is the real deal with this supposed 'hero quest' that Cucumber must keep enduring, and why the Dream Oracle is being curiously vague regarding what is going on.
I will keep reading to find out and you should too!