Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrators: John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess, & Paul Johnson
Tim Hunter’s just your average nerdy kid . . . with a huge potential for magical ability. When four magic users offer him the chance to see the magical world for himself, well, what’s he got to lose? He can always make the choice to involve himself in this world or not afterwards, right? Each of the four takes him on a different journey, exploring the depths of the past, the present, the future, and even the world of faerie, meeting all sorts of people on the way. While he might not yet realize it, Tim is already making choices that will change his life forever–because he himself is changing on the journey.
The Books of Magic is one of the first comic-style graphic novels I’ve read, and I don’t really feel qualified to comment much. So I’ll limit this to my personal observations. I picked this story up originally because of the author, and I wasn’t disappointed–while being in a very different medium from what I’m accustomed to, the story is still very Neil Gaiman. It works well with the medium as well, introducing story elements that are clearer and more interesting when expressed visually. While I’m not accustomed to American comic-style art (which this volume definitely uses), the art supports the story well and is quite attractive in its own way. It was interesting that each chapter was illustrated by a different artist–each had a distinct flavor, but they all fit together well and provided a consistent visual flow. I think I would recommend The Books of Magic at least to those who are open to trying something different (or to those who already enjoy this style).