Quince is a 15 issue , bilingual, creator-owned digital comic book series that follows a year in the life of Lupe, a 15-year-old girl who discovers that her quinceañera brings with it a super cool party and superpowers. If puberty and becoming an adult wasn’t hard enough, just throw in some superpowers.
Reading through the first two issues of Quince, you can’t help but relate wholeheartedly to the anxiety the main character Lupita feels as her quinceañera approaches. This occasion represents her becoming an adult, an act that makes even adults swell up with dread. Writer Kit Steinkellner perfectly captures the voice of a confused, anxiety ridden teenager who, after inviting her entire class to her party, is thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Artist Emma Steinkellner matches this voice with her artwork, giving each character an artistic depth that does not go unnoticed while thumbing the pages. The image that stands out the most for me is within the first page or two of Quince #1 when we are introduced to Lupita’s high school. Every students looks dazed and confused, trapped with a perpetual fear stricken look. It isn’t until they are invited to a party that a light is lit within the students on the page.
Teenage angst is a topic that is common in teen-focused works. It would be easy to make the subject of a teenager’s coming of age dark. However, the Steinkellner sister team focus on these topics in a way that is both light and easy to relate to. The usage of colors by Emma helps to showcase the internal struggle or mood that Lupita is facing the closer she gets to quinceañera day. The humorous writing, especially when Lupita is at home and free to be more herself with her grandma, helps provide the character with healthy nuances that are also easy to play with once the anxiety starts building up in Lupita.
Lupita inheriting super powers on the day of her quinceañera and her emotional response to the weirdness that has suddenly been thrust on her is handled in a way that is not riddled with cliches. In Quince #2 we get to see a roller coaster of emotion, mostly consisting of denial, when Lupita is coming to terms with the random super power episode that occurred at the end of Quince #1. While it looks like she has convinced herself that it was all in her head I suspect that, as the issues continue on, she will have a more difficult time accepting that what is happening isn’t real. It is very real just like adulthood.
The comic book series will be released digitally through ComiXology on the 15th of every month, starting on January 15, 2017. Each issue will be released digitally in English and Spanish, courtesy of translator Valeria Tranier. In addition, the English-language series will be collected into a printed trade paperback that will be released on Monday, October 22, 2017.
The Quince trade paperback is currently available for pre-order through the Fanbase Press website here, and the trade paperback will be released for sale on October 22, 2017. Pre-orders made by August 1, 2017, will receive an exclusive sketch by artist Emma Steinkellner, and all pre-orders customers will receive an exclusive Quince print.