Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spell-Checkers by Jamie S. Rich, Nicolas Hitori De, and Joëlle Jones

Let's be honest, if any of us had magic powers in high school, we'd use them to get the hot guys, ace every test, gain popularity, and rule the school in every possible way. Jesse, Kimmie, and Cynthia have done just that. Since they got their hands on an ancient spell book in elementary school, they've been the queen bees, filling out tests with a flick of the wrist and sending magical clones to gym class. But in high school, it starts to catch up with them-- magically-created graffiti that challenges their status starts popping up around the school, and the charmed dolls that are the conduits of their powers begin to disappear. They turn on each other, pointing fingers, because after all, they're the only witches in school...right?

Let me just start off this review by saying, that if you have an aversion to swearing, smoking, cattiness, shallowness, and every other Mean Girls kind of behavior, this book is not for you. That said, if you don't mind those, you'll have a really good time. These teenage witches aren't tiptoeing around the shadow of some karmic law-- they use magic in the way that we all secretly wish we could at some point or another. The story is very original, and you'll find yourself cheering for some of the most unsympathetic characters ever put to paper.
The art (mostly) by Hitori De is energetic, able to portray the girls as simultaneously evil and cute, and the story would not work without it. The flashback scenes by Joëlle Jones reflect the childlike mischievousness of their origin story.
This book is labelled "volume 1" so hopefully we don't have to wait too long for the next installment! You can read a 22-page preview here on the Oni Press website. Oni books take a while to get to regular bookstores, so it is currently only available online and at comic book stores. You can find one near you at, and if you drop by participating stores today (May 1st) you'll be able to take advantage of Free Comic Book Day, where stores give away samples of various publishers' upcoming offerings! I don't know if there's anything particularly Witchy being offered, but for fans of all YA urban fantasy, a preview of the graphic novel adaptation of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments will be available from Th3rd World Studios.


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