Flaky Pastry

Flaky Pastry

Félix Lavallée

317 pages

Updates every Friday

Alt-text: Aye

Flaky Pastry is a soft-fantasy, semi-slice-of-life comic. Seeing that “soft fantasy” isn’t actually a thing, translation: It doesn’t bother with strict boundaries of species and realms, and the whole “my lord Azekeria” Tolkien-equse stuff (much like soft science fiction, duh) is left out.

The party includes a Goblin Insane Mechanist-Nympho, a Chaotic Evil Elven Warrior, and a Person Who Happens To Have Cat Ears Scholar (noted again and again as not a “catgirl”).

Neighbor, their neighbor, is an albino super-scientist that plays whatever role he’s needed for. Also, if you’re ever doing a presentation of “author insertion persona”, or “Marty Stu” for you literary types, then simply point to Neighbor as an example. Not to say that I don’t adore the guy, mind you. Kurt Stein also makes appearances as Nitrine’s “boyfriend”, but he’s mostly there to play the comic foil.

I always say (okay, “I’ve said before, maybe”) that the biggest reason why slice-of-life comics fail is because the only material that you have available to write about is either mostly in-jokes or angsty drama that no one care about other than the real-life counterpart to the characters. Otherwise it’s all just small-talk-worthy crap. Reading Pastry has made me wonder why more of these comics aren’t set in the fantasy setting (and there is only one fantasy setting), as they allow for much more freedom of thought. After all, you don’t need to make a complicated backstory about someone’s dad killing themselves for a character to be interesting when it can be a dragon!

Oddly enough, this leads to a fairly ordinary cast outside of the main characters, at least compared to what would be expected in a world with goblins and elves and such. Everyone is very human-esque, albiet some follow certain archetypes like Holy Spice, Witch Spice, Crossdresser Spice, and so on. It doesn’t detract from the story, really, but it’s odd. I suppose all the “different” people flock together?

Now for the important part: the story. Everything in Pastry is done in satire of either fantasy or real life, and it’s all wrapped in marvelous camp. I don’t believe that you’ll need to love fantasy to enjoy Pastry.

Well, now that the humor is out of the way, let’s talk text. By the GODS Pastry tends to go for the blocks of text. It’s really a shame, because this technique is usually invoked for comics with terrible art, but Pastry‘s is pretty good. While it isn’t usually a problem, it occurs more than is nice.

Actually, Pastry has a problem with the writing overall. The stories are good, yes, but the actual presentation is rather lacking at times. It resorts to boldfacedly going point-by-point in conversation, which does get boring. However, the bad writing is partially made up for by the expressive nature of the characters, which tends to show their emotions a lot more than the writing itself. Which I suppose is the more difficult of the two.

Overall, Pastry is a comic that I read for a great, long while. Well, at least until I got to the end of the archive. There’s another problem with slice-of-life, it requires a running story, which is not well presented in a once-a-week format. The comic is good in long stretches, but I doubt that you’ll be crawling to your computer at 11:59 on Thursday to await an update. Still, the archive is good and certainly worth your time.

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