• Doughnuts and Doom
    Balazs Lorinczi
    Balazs Lorinczi
    Balazs Lorinczi
    Cover Artist:
    Balazs Lorinczi
    Top Shelf Productions
    Release Date:
    Balazs Lorinczi

September marks the beginning of fall, and for many Halloween fans, it is also the beginning of spooky season. While some may not be ready to dive fully into the horrors of Halloween yet, now is a great time to ease into the comfort of autumn and its supernatural vibes with a new graphic novel, Doughnuts and Doom. Created by Balazs Lorinczi. This new Top Shelf book is a classic enemies-to-lovers story, following the development of a witch's relationship with a guitarist.

Margot, a witch, struggles when it comes to spells, putting her on the bad side of The Witch's Hub; however, she is excellent at potions. Meanwhile, Elena, a guitarist, has talent and an amazing bandmate, but she struggles to get them the audience they deserve and to find a solid work-life balance. On a particularly bad day for the both of them, they run into each other, and Margot accidentally curses Elena. From there, the pair get to know each other and work through this magical hiccup, and what started as animosity blossoms into something more in Doughnuts and Doom.

REVIEW: Top Shelf Production's Doughnuts and Doom_0

For fans of Kiki's Delivery Service, this is the next must-read. Like the popular Ghibli film, witchcraft is organically integrated into modern society to create a slice-of-life story that treats witchcraft as a normal part of the world. This makes one wish magic could be part of their day-to-day lives like it is in Doughnuts and Doom, but it also makes one appreciate the little magical moments that already exist. Doughnuts and Doom's approach to the enemies-to-lovers dynamic is a welcomed one. The animosity between Margot and Elena is believable at first but also not something that would tarnish their relationship forever. There's room for them to understand where they each come from and grow together.

Lorinczi's art is a little rough around the edges, but Doughnuts and Doom still captures the cuteness of the early days of a romance, as well as the wonder of music and magic. Even without the dialogue, it would still be easy to see the love these characters share. It also has a unique style that's simple and sweet, leaning into the cottage-core elements of this book. Doughnuts and Doom is not full cottage-core, but the vibes are there, and it feeds into the comfort of the overall book.

REVIEW: Top Shelf Production's Doughnuts and Doom_1

The colors emphasize the power of simplicity. Like Mariko Tamaki's Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, this is a monochromatic book. Initially, the choice of blue being the focus is surprising, as it is a cool color, but when Lorinczi incorporates the pops of pink, which often represent romance, magic, and music, the blue makes more sense. It is a strong contrast without overcomplicating the visuals of Doughnuts and Doom.

Overall, Doughnuts and Doom is a sweet way to start the fall. Its strength is in its simplicity, thus making a magical premise still feel relatable. For those in need of another Sapphic love story, this is a welcomed addition to the library. It's also a great story about witchcraft, one that can easily inspire readers to find the magic in their own life, whether that's with music, love, or sharing some doughnuts.