Graphic Novel Review: Doughnuts and Doom, by Balazs Lorinczi

by Bren B. | 09/06/2022

Are you looking for a quick Sapphic graphic novel? Do you like witches? What about a snakes with golden retriever energy? Well, if any of that sounds like a good time to you, then you’re definitely going to want to pick up Doughnuts and Doom, by Balazs Lorinczi! 

Being a teenage witch—or rock star—is tougher than it looks! But maybe enemies can become friends…or more? Flying brooms and electric guitars set hearts aflame in this fantastically fizzy graphic novel.

When Margot meets Elena, emotions run high, magic is in the air, and doughnuts…float? One is a stressed-out witch trying to get her potions business off the ground, the other is a struggling rock musician whose band is going nowhere. Neither of them are having a good time! No wonder things quickly escalate from words to literal sparks flying when they first meet. Could this be the start of a delicious new relationship…or is a bad-luck curse leading them to certain doom?

From Top Shelf Productions: “Created by Hungarian-Scottish cartoonist, Balazs Lorinczi’s, Doughnuts and Doom is a quirky, magical, queer teen romance told with remarkable visual fluency and captivating style. A must read for LGBTQ+ youth and romance lovers alike. A fantastical love story – featuring one struggling witch and one failing musician – Doughnuts and Doom is filled with magic, music and love. You won’t want to miss it!”

If you like Mooncakes, chances are you’ll love this short graphic novel! This meet cute is quick, relatable, and cozy. The two characters start off both having bad days and making terrible first impressions and then the story progresses with them learning that the other isn’t actually as awful as their first introduction led them to believe.

Margot is the struggling witch of the story. She is working to pass her licensing exam so she can practice certain types of magics but her anxiety of being in front of others, especially performing in front of others has caused her time and time again to fail her exam. She has a stable potions business that keeps her afloat, but passing this exam would change a lot for her.

Then we have Elena, who is a bit rough around the edges and works customer service in a local doughnut shop by day. By night she is trying to get her band with her friend Bob out of the garage and into people’s ears, but has been dealing with small turnouts at concerts and nothing seems to be drumming up new listeners.

This story is pretty short, maybe an hour to read. But the artwork is unique and the limited color palette make for some fun artistic emphasis. Due to its shortness, there isn’t a whole lot of depth to the story and the character development is relatively surface level, but it is still sweet and heartwarming. You see both Margot and Elena talk about their passions and help each other overcome obstacles in their personal lives. Although their romance was very quick to happen, it didn’t feel forced and was easy to follow. Subtle glances and blushing that were drawn into scenes made the development feel organic and believable.

I really liked the world setting in Doughnuts and Doom was like our normal everyday modern day world but slightly to the left because magic exists and is regulated; but the story didn’t take any time trying to explain the world setting or getting bogged down in the specifics. The information was easy to follow through snippets of dialogue and everything made sense. And through that dialogue and character moments, it was clear that witches weren’t the most common, but they were well known, to the point that their regulatory board was something people knew about.

My one critique of Doughnuts and Doom is that it is loosely advertised as an “enemies to friends to lovers” relationship dynamic and I would argue that that is not at all the case. The two meet and get off on the wrong foot and quickly become friends afterwards. That, in my humble opinion, does not an “enemies to friends” make. They simply have a less than great first meeting. The story is great and doesn’t hinge on this trope being accurate, so it isn’t really a criticism. But if you read the synopsis and are excited about an “enemies to friends to something more” trope, this isn’t that book. It’s great–but it is not going to satiate that readers’ itch for that particular trope.

Iif you’re looking for a cozy graphic novel read to start fall off with, grab a copy of Doughnuts and Doom! The book is out tomorrow, September 6th! Do it for Stanley–who is basically a golden retriever in snake form with a love for doughnuts. Head over to Top Shelf Production to pick up your copy today!

Rating:

Recommended Reader: Anyone over the age of 13 looking for a cute Sapphic graphic novel. 

You can find more from Balazs Lorinczi on his Twitter and Instagram! Readers can also find more from Top Shelf Productions on their website, where you can also pick up a copy of Doughnuts and Doom!

Book Provided by Author: The Queerblr was provided a copy of Doughnuts and Doom for free by Top Shelf Productions; this has in no way affected the review and rating of the book that was written by The Queerblr.

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