Grimoire Noir Kirkus Review

Apr 12, 2019

In a magical town, a teen boy seeks his missing sister.

Bucolic Blackwell is unlike most other sleepy burgs: Here, girls are the sole possessors of magick, but enchanted boundaries keep them constrained within its limits. When Bucky, a reedy boy sporting a trench coat and fedora, learns his young sister, Heidi, is missing, he is immediately on the case. With the help of best friend Chamomile (whose magical powers allow her to levitate), they try to piece together the murky details around Heidi’s disappearance. Bucky wishes he could do magick, and his jealousy causes friction in his relationship with Cham. As his investigation intensifies, Bucky finds that dark forces abound, including buried family secrets, a bewitched toy, and a wrathful spirit. This graphic offering constructs an intriguing world where women hold the power, although that power has ultimately trapped them. At times, narrative details can feel a bit rushed, however readers are likely to find this a minor quibble. Featuring a grayscale palette with striking daubs of color, the art is wonderfully atmospheric. Characters are impeccably styled with a keen sartorial eye. Many of the female characters have enviably flowing tresses, ranging from swirling otherworldly tendrils to freshly styled locs. Main characters Bucky and Cham present as white and slender, however secondary characters encompass a more diverse spectrum of skin tones and body size.

Brooding gothic fare brimming with style. (Graphic fantasy. 12-adult)

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