First Second Previews Danica Novgorodoff’s ‘The Undertaking of Lily Chen’ With New Trailer [Video]
The artist behind Late Freeze, Slow Storm and Refresh, Refresh is back this week with a new original graphic novel from First Second, and it’s a wild one. Danica Novgorodoff‘s The Undertaking of Lily Chen is the tale of a young man seeking a corpse bride — no, not for himself, for his dead older brother. Sent by his parents to fulfill the tradition of sending single men of good standing into the afterlife with a similarly deceased single woman following a “ghost marriage,” Deshi ventures into hills of northern China where he must contend with every corner of a business that’s shadier than Steve Ditko’s Changing Man — including Lily, the unfortunately living candidate he’s stumbled across.
Inspired in part by the practice’s black market-fueled continuation into modern times, the graphic novel plays out a lot like a Disney feature might if you replaced the musical numbers with attempted murder, the talking animal sidekicks with ethically-inept businessmen, and the whimsy with expertly rendered watercolor washed landscapes.