Suspension of Disbelief: Nimona
Do you like cool ladies? Do you like cool shapeshifter ladies? Do you like flawed ladies? Do you like scientist ladies? Do you like DRAGONS???
Then Nimona might just be for you.
Okay I’m intrigued manatee, you’ve got my attention with the mention of dragons, but what exactly is Nimona?
Well dear reader, Nimona is a recently completed web comic that has been running since June 2012 written and drawn by the talented Noelle Stevenson (who you may know as the one of the co-writers of The Lumberjanes). It revolves around a girl named Nimona, a super villain side kick with cool hair who is also a shapeshifting extraordinaire. Set in a mash up world of knights, sci fi and fantasy, Nimona begins work as the side kick of Ballister Blackheart a knight turned mad scientist/evil villain. With a tragic past and a point to prove that the good guys aren’t as good as they seem, Ballister causes trouble, but is fairly ineffectual until Nimona comes along…
There’s arch enemies, lots of explosions, emotional angst and did I mention the hella cool art style? Half the fun of reading this web comic is watching Stevenson’s art grow and develop, from an increased capture of movement to the ever more creative layout of the comic. The world Nimona inhabits only brings more opportunities for the comic’s design to become more complex and exciting. As the story unfolds, the art work becomes polished and the characters you’ve grown to love/hate only become more realised in your mind.
Nimona also presents a diverse range of characters: from a knight with the flowing locks of rapunzel herself to a WOC scientist, and the most corrupt of government officials. Their varied modes of expression as well as the beliefs that guide them create a cast of characters that break the shell of pre-conceived stereotypes. Nimona herself refuses to be tied down by typical gender roles and presents a female character who is not afraid to fight, to lead or to speak her mind nor shy away from her own flaws.
The story is also seriously funny and examines the reality of what it means to be good or evil. Like the best stories Nimona is one that sneaks up on you. From reading a light hearted comic about a grumpy mad scientist and his over eager sidekick, you find yourself invested in how their story will end. NImona manages to hold together a great plot without sacrificing humour or the development of the characters who find themselves no longer following a cliché script, but one that opens the door for the diversification of sci fi and fantasy.
Nimona is a story about love and friendship and also corrupt governments, but mainly love and friendship. It’s unique art and grounding in a story that isn’t afraid to depict a world where women and queer people exist in varied roles should be enough to sell you on this one. If all this isn’t enough then I can’t do much more, because honestly what better reason can I give you than there’s dragons?
I think it’s safe to assume I love Nimona and I’m sad that the story has ended, but now you guys get to read it in all its completed glory and I’m sure Stevenson will continue to bring us excellent stories in the future.
credit for feature image: Noelle Stevenson