Foul plans are afoot, and elements within the peaceful, cosmopolitan, Wizard Beach are moving against Uncle Sally. Hex makes a grand gesture in order to impress Agnes, and inadvertently finds the answer to his quest whilst watching an impromptu Wizard Ball match.
This is such a fun series, and I’m really enjoying reading it, but I think I’m now at the point where I really want to just read this as a collected work. That’s not a criticism of the series that Simon, Nolan and Casey are producing, it really isn’t, but I’m finding the wait between issues to be bordering on painful. I think that this would be great in a graphic novel format, and the whole layout design and chapter approach just makes you want to hold this in a big leather-bound hardcover book.
As always, Shaun Simon’s story is a great fantasy romp in the vein of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. The characters are well fleshed out, instantly likeable and relatable, and the world they inhabit is just a sheer joy to visit. There’s also something very comforting about reading this series. It’s not trying to be massively edgy or send some sociopolitical message, it’s just a fun fantasy story with a heart.
Conor Nolan and Meg Casey’s artwork is a feast for the eyes. I love the world they’ve brought to life from Simon’s narrative. The mixture of California beach life and mythical fantasy is great, the fairground particularly is just fantastic. The Kraken Ferris Wheel, the Dragon Beauty contest, The Giant Snail rides replacing the traditional donkeys; all just so much fun.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this is the greatest work of fantasy fiction since Tolkien started writing, but in a sea of dark and edgy fantasy books, it’s really refreshing to see a series that is lighter in tone, doesn’t take itself seriously and just has fun with its subject matter.
If you’ve got the patience to wait for each issue to arrive then I heartily recommend this as something to bring a smile to your face and add a bright spot to your day. I’m going to keep picking up the issues but I wish I could have a giant grimoire-like volume to pull down from my shelves right now.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek