While the police investigate the disappearance of Ellie, Tim and Dr. Rose take an excursion.
It’s a funny thing that this issue of Books of Magic, and the series so far, reads like it’s been written by a comic book writer but looks visually closer to a YA storybook. Kat Howard, coming from the world of prose, does a great job of masquerading as a comic book scripter. Either that or she is a prose writer who has a very good grasp on how to write and pace out an issue and an arc.
Maybe that speaks more to the involvement of Tom Fowler’s layouts? Is he the bridge between the literary world meeting comfortably with sequential storytelling? Is it his touch, learned on titles like MAD and Quantum & Woody, that adds the fun and humor to this escapade through worlds?
Is it Fowler and finished artist Brian Churilla (We Kill Monsters) who so ably drift between the school setting and the magical ones to make both seem like organic places bustling with a sense of realism? Or could this be due to Howard’s keen nose for dialogue and authentic interactions? Howard writes archetypes with personality so that they don’t feel stale just because they occupy a role. The teachers and police are easily recognizable as that but don’t lean on stereotypical exchanges. Everything flows organically.
When little mysteries and turns rear themselves in this issue they don’t feel dropped in amidst the race through dimensions. They occur naturally and come at a time that has the reader guessing or wonder where this will go.
Jordan Boyd wraps the whole thing up in colorwork distinctly different than his perfect, stylized color work on Deadly Class. But his work here to fits perfectly and feels natural to the words and images on the page.
Nothing here will bend your brain at any highly cerebral levels, it all reads very clearly and easily, but still gets across its emotional points. As part of the larger arc, it’s appropriate that this issue feels as though it’s a doorway to the next installment.
As a single issue, be it jumping on point for a new reader or another chance to a lapsed one, there’s more than enough to see and like that gets the crux of this series across concisely. The energy and pace sprinkled with questions and curiosities are refreshing against the headier concepts and writing styles in the sister books of this imprint.