Review: Bring A Little Magic To Your Bookshelf With ‘Witches Of Brooklyn’
by James Ferguson
If you thought your family was strange, it’s nothing compared to Effie’s new living situation. On the plus side, she’s a witch! This warm and welcoming original graphic novel is perfectly suited for kids and adults alike.
Effie is not happy about having to move in with her weird old aunt Selimene in Brooklyn. Selimene feels the same way, despite her partner Carlota’s opinion on the matter. This changes when Effie begins to show her witch powers. It turns out she’s part of a whole family of witches and Selimene and Carlota welcome her into the fold, changing her life forever.
Yes, there’s a bit of a young Sabrina the Teenage Witch vibe from the setup, however that’s about the only similarity between that and Witches of Brooklyn. Creator Sophie Escabasse creates some very relatable characters. Although I haven’t been in any situation close to that of Effie’s, it’s easy to understand where she’s coming from and how she’s feeling. This is especially true when she goes to her new school for the first time and struggles to fit in.
While we’ve seen the trope of a normal kid discovering links to the supernatural, Witches of Brooklyn treads some new ground in its execution. There isn’t really an antagonist in this book. It’s not like Effie joins a witch brigade to fight back some baddie. Instead, this is more a journey about figuring out who you are, which is something everyone can relate to.
Escabasse’s artwork in Witches of Brooklyn is so very welcoming. Although Selimene has a cold disposition at first, she has a lot of love in her. Her and Effie are a lot alike, which is part of why they didn’t get along so well at first. Carlota serves as this middle ground between the two as this warm being of peace and comfort. You just know that all of your troubles would go away if she gave you a hug.
There’s a change in tone when magic is used, regardless of the type that’s on display. The colors shift to an almost sparkly shade, emphasizing the shift from the normal to something else entirely. It’s a nice effect.
The lettering plays a huge part in the context of the story and the personalities of the characters. You can tell a lot about these folks based on how they speak. Some scenes are made based on a single expressive word balloon providing additional tone to the voices of these characters. It’s an art in an of itself here.
Witches of Brooklyn is a fun book about finding yourself. It has some valuable lessons, but they’re not blasting out at you in big letters. Instead, kids and adults alike can appreciate what it has to say while enjoying the adventures of Effie and her new family.
Witches of Brooklyn from Random House Graphic is currently available at your local comic shop, bookstore, and Amazon and digitally through Amazon Kindle.