Graphic Novel: Fence Vol. 1
Issues: Fence #1-4
Authors: C.S. Pacat (author), Johanna the Mad (illustrator), Joana Lafuente (colorist)
Genre: YA contemporary
My rating: ★★★★★
Combines Issues #1-4.
Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.
Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…
Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges. From acclaimed writer C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad.
I had the pleasure to read Fence Vol. 1 while on vacation at the beach. And, guys… this book was such a damn treat. I wished it was 200 pages longer because I immediately fell in love with the characters and art. I am considering buying the individual issues because I don’t know if I can wait for Vol. 2 to come out in January!
Fence checked so many boxes for me:
- Diverse characters (sexuality, race, backgrounds.)
- An interesting, competitive sport.
- Set in a boarding school.
- Cute friendships.
- Gorgeous art work.
Fence Vol. 1 combines issues #1-4, and follows Nicholas Cox, a boy with a dream to fence competitively like his world-champion father. But he’s up against Seiji Katayama, who is unbeatable in every way, and Nicholas’ half brother, Jesse Coste, who is ranked 1st in the league.
I immediately was rooting for Nicholas because he’s the underdog we all need to love and protect. Nicholas comes from an underprivileged background. He never knew his father and had to work his way to get fencing lessons. He was accepted into the boarding school on a scholarship, but his future there depends on making the fencing team.
Right away it became clear to me who I was going to ship. And, oh my gosh, I love everyone. Seiji is quiet yet intense. Harvard is serious but goofy. Aiden is the nonchalant playboy. But I especially love Bobby – who is gender fluid and is the cutest cinnamon roll. I was overjoyed that the boarding school had no qualms about Bobby’s choices in dressing, because it is 2018 and this is what we need nowadays! ❤
The rest of the issues within Fence Vol. 1 follow the boys’ journey through trying out for the fencing team. I loved the competitiveness, sportsmanship, and friendships that bloomed. It is so fun, and important, and I just want to read it forever and ever.
Thank you to my dear friend Melanie @ Meltotheany for recommending Fence to me!
Cover art images from C.S. Pacat’s twitter