The School for Good and Evil meets Dread Nation in this subversive original graphic novel where race, history and magic collide.
When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school's "Magical Minority Initiative," begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.
The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes, DJ Kirkland
Published by Oni Press on 29/10/2019
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novel
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Today I have a short review for you! I recently found some interesting graphic novels in the Read Now section over at Netgalley. Last week I shared my review for Mooncakes and today I want to talk about Black Mage. As I said, this will be a bit of a shorter review, hopefully you’ll still enjoy it though!
The Black Mage immediately drew me in with it’s gorgeous cover. After seeing what it was about I knew I wanted to read it right away. And I did read it in one sitting. While the cover was in line with the art style, it wasn’t completely what I was expecting. We get a bit of a mix between GN and Manga art with words in our fight sequences. I’m not sure if I explain this right, so I have a little example. While I liked the colors and the neat lines, I wasn’t a big fan of the ‘sploosh’ ‘wham’ ‘bam’ kinda stuff.
I loved the premise and what it represented. The parallels to our reality were very clear and are unfortunately very necessary. Racism is the big theme in this graphic novel, and maybe even the only theme. I really liked how they incorporated the KKK into this fantasy world. Like I said, the parallels are obvious and I’m happy they decided to do it this way. This GN shows us we need to be better.
While the message was so important, I did think the story was a little underwhelming. It didn’t feel fully developed and could’ve used some more issues in my opinion. That way the characters could be more developed as well, I didn’t feel connected to them in their current state at all. And I think a message like this is better received if you care for the characters. It’s been a month since I’ve read this and I don’t even remember anyones name anymore. I think that’s a bit sad and shows that I didn’t care as much as I would’ve liked. However, I don’t want to come across too negative, because I did absolutely enjoy the story. It was a quick and fun read, but one with an important message.
I do think this was an important story and I did enjoy reading it. I just think it could’ve been much more. Do you plan on reading Black Mage? Let me know in the comments!