Moon Reads: Fence Volumes 1-4

Fence Volumes 1-4 by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, Joana LaFuente

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Look, fencing was intriguing to me back when I saw Parent Trap but there wasn’t anywhere I could learn to fence nearby where I lived in Mexico so I dropped that dream fast. And I had forgotten somewhat about it until my friends started talking about Fence and how good it was, and to convince me, one of them gave me the first volume as a gift for my birthday.

I ended reading it during the first few weeks after my husband’s accident since I didn’t feel like reading a full proper book and a graphic novel was the ticket. I think the best review I can give is that immediately after finishing the first one, I ordered the next 3 because I HAD to read them (tragically I received 3 and 4 before the second one so I had to wait longer to binge read them).

The art, the fencing, the drama, the personalities, everything is great about this series. The characters have me in giggles with their antics but also, they all have a very defined personality and their own depth (particularly the main cast) and you slowly get to know why they are so cold or so joyful or so whatever it is that defines them. Bobby wins my heart, but in general it’s hard to chose one since they’re all so much fun and the story is all about a pair of rivals. One of them is the 2nd best national, the other is only just making it through, and how they have to learn to work as ateam along other fencers of the same school to get better, learn from their weaknesses and maybe learn to be better with others.

Honestly, it is not only the fencing, but the interactions that make this book and I had so much joy and such intensity reading I was sad to finish the 4th one and not have the next one already (why can’t I time travel to read them all in one go?!)

I can now understand why my friends were so eager to have me read it, and I can only say, you should read it too!

Moon Reads: Sheets

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

I got a sampler on one of the free comic book day events, and made a mental note to buy it full at some point. That point was a lot later because I don’t have the sampler anymore. But I did buy the book, so it kinda worked to give me a sampler for it? (Honestly I wish there were more demo/sampler options for books and other items, but that’s a discussion for some other day and post).

Sheets is the story of a young girl, Marjorie, trying her best to keep her family, school and laundromat afloat after her mother’s death. And a ghost, Wendell, who isn’t fitting in the ghost world after dying.

Being outsiders and just not fitting right makes for two parallel stories that at some point join when our ghost accidentally ends up haunting the laundromat and causing a lot of issues for Marjorie who does her absolute best ot help.

Thankfully at the breaking point where things are all going wrong and there is no saving grace, Wendell pulls through and works some ghostly magic for Marjorie, changing her life in a great way, plus becoming good friends.

Reading through Sheets was emotional, bittersweet but it was also nice ot read a book about some realities some kids have when the main adult checks out and they have to take adult duties and make it look the adult is still functioning so they care for themselves and any siblings.

Sadly the artwork wasn’t really my style so I wasn’t as keen on ti and it was the story that won my over this time. Still I think this is the kind of book I’d have in a school or kids library available for those that feel like ghosts in their own home and environment.

Moon Reads: Taproot

Taproot by Keezy Young

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I have a soft spot for botanical graphic novels, and if it involves ghosts, or grief, I am extra into it. I got this as a gift fromt he wonderful Lauren (aka The Bookihs Fairy) who is a bundle of sunlight.

Taproot is a story about a gardener, Hamal, who can see ghosts. This makes him a bit of a weirdo, as he may look like he’s talking to himself (to others) and also, the ghosts affect his reality a little, particularly Blue, who just can’t seem to go away.

That is until things start working a little weird wonky in the ghost world and the ghosts reach out to Hamal. Blue notices that maybe he needs to figure this out as he doesn’t want to move on and also, Hamal may be in trouble.

I loved the artwork as it made me want to live in a botanical garden type of home (I do wish I had a wonderful green thumb, which sadly I do not have), and the fact that it touches on death, grief, and hope is all up to my street and made this book even mroe precious. Plus there is some romance, some fun investigative work done by Hamal, and Blue’s story that we slowly discover (plus a few other ghosts make a story appearance too).

I kinda wanted the story to be longer, not because it was lacking but rather because I enjoyed reading it too much and wanted to hold on to it for longer. Highly recommended as soft gentle read if you’re okay with grief/death as part of a normal story.

Giant Days Volume One

Giant Days Volume One by John Allison, Lissa Treiman (Illustrator), Whitney Cogar (Colors)

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

At some point I got a sampler for this and then on a whim bought the first volume. Completely forgot about it. And recently I was doing a clear up and organising of my graphic novels/comics and this one popped up. I decided that since it looked short I’d give it a read and decide if I was actually into it or not.

You can guess what the result was… (I have somehow now purchased up to volume 13).

The three girls that share a dorm room/area are as interestingly differnet as can be. Innocent ray of sunshine, “normal” and drama queen. And well, this is a delightful mix. I giggled a lot and also I found it refreshing that the drama queen isn’t trying to be one and even bets against causing drama intentionally or not (it doesn’t go well for her bet), our normal girl isn’t that normal (woops, even if she tries) and the cute innocent sunshine has a bit of gloom and bad luck around her.

I like their weird adventures and the relationship between them which made this a fun read, the artwork worked well to give a laidback college vibe and keeping it fun even fi topics range from lighthearted crushes to mental health and drugs.

I obviously will keep reaidng once the next volumes arrive, so expect more reviews to come about Giant Days!

Eat, and Love Yourself Review

Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I saw this while browsing for new graphic novels and it sounded interesting. It does require a few content warnings: eating disorder, fatphobia, purging, body dysmorphia. As the topic is around food and the relationship of Mindy with it and her memories, it is a tough book.

The artwork fits the story well and gives a matching vibe to what Mindy is going through, it felt right to tell the story. As for the plot, we meet Mindy who is uncomfortable with her body size and being liked at her size. So when she finds a curious chocolate bar at the shop while replenishing snacks, she buys it without much thought.

However, eating it triggers almost a “go back to the past” memory where she sees herself and some key moments on her journey to where she is. Obviously they are a bit uncomfortable at times but it also shows her what looking back does, perspective on what was actually happening and the intentions of the people around her givent he circumstances.

The story was interesting and it deals with tough topics, but it was also easy to breeze through it and feel accomplished and nice after finishing it even if at times I wanted to reassure Mindy (and I mean, I don’t have the biggest confidence in my own body but working on it).

All in all, I would say if any of the topics make you uncomfortable, I wouldn’t suggest reading it, but otherwise it was a good read and the artwork was worth it too.

Roller Girl Review

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

When I was a teenager I went from artistic rollerblading to inline hockey and loved it. Derby sounded fun but it just wasn’t an option so I did the ones I had available and loved them. This meant that when I saw this book pop up in suggested reads I got curious and bought it because it sounded fun.

We start with Astrid being bullied a little about the fact she’s rollerblaidng and that it is something for little kids rather than teens/older kids (she’s 12 years old) by someone she doesn’t like and her used to be best friend.

Their friendship soured over summer camp as Astrid had fallen starry eyed for roller derby and wanted to do a roller derby summer camp whereas Nicole (the ex best friend) is a ballet dancer and didn’t tell Nicole she wasn’t going to go with her, just kinda let her assume she would join and then told her she was actually going to ballet camp. (Is there a camp for everything?)

Astrid sees this as a betrayal and this adds up to the fact that roller derby isn’t as easy as she thought it’d be and the camp is hard work.

The story is very much a “becoming a teen and dealing with confusion, new emotions and changes in your whole social life” which I got so well as it went along. Astrid has to navigate making new friends, evaluating who she is and what type of friend she wants to be versus what she used to be and relationship dynamics (not just friends but what about her relationship with her mother?).

It is a lovely graphic novel dealing with a lot of interesting topics, particularly bases of changes as you slowly turn into a teenager and hormones start making you a bundle of confusion (plus how we all do things at a different pace, and how some do it due to peer pressure whereas others just do their thing and become outcasts).

I’d happily give this book to teen me as she struggled to comprehend and deal with all the sudden changes, it would’ve made it a little easier. As Astrid did, I found skating was a wonderful activity and gave new friendships and new things to do outside of school.

All in all, it kept me in the story, I felt for Astrid but also wanted at times to shake some sense into her but at the end felt very proud of where she got to. And now I want to do some rollerblading too…

Hotel Dare Review

Hotel Dare by Terry Blas and Claudia Aguirre

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Not entirely sure how this book got under my radar, but the amazing Bec sent it as a gift form my wishlist and I couldn’t wait long to get into it and read through. (She also sent an awesome super soft fox eye mask and I love it!)

Three adoptive siblings are sent to visit their grandmother at her hotel, who is slightly enstranged for their father (her son). The siblings each ahve their own personal things to work through and it doesn’t help that grandma Lupe seems to be just giving them chores and not much more.

But one day while cleaning, they discover that the rooms are portals to other worlds! Each of them ends in a differnet world and when grandma finds out, chaos ensues.

I like the mysticism in the book and the idea of the different portals and how they came to be. However as much as I enjoyed it, at the beginning it was too confusing and wasn’t grasing my attention enough and instead it just felt like it was trying hard to be mysterious and not saying things just to have a plot (which to be fair, given the actual plot and what happens, was a little unnecessary and I wish it had been approached differently).

However I liked the way things slowly fall inot place for each of the siblings and their own personal issues, plus the secrets grandma Lupe keeps and why there are portals in the old hotel. It places family at the core of the story, not just blood/biological but family that is found or made through life, which sometimes isn’t valued at the same value in books and I felt like this did it justice.

A fun graphic novel to read and have a crazy adventure with portals and family at the core of it.

Ghosts Review

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

The premise of ghosts is a family that moves to a new city due to the younger sister (Maya) having cystic fibrosis (CF). Catrina, the older sister, is very unhappy because it is disrupting her life, plus the town they’re moving to apparently has a lot of ghosts and she doesn’t like this.

Maya is a bundle of joy that is trying to live her life to the max and then has issues due to CF. Catrina is being a difficult teenager, afraid of ghosts, tired of having to share everything with her sister and that her life revolves around Maya.

The idea of the story is about confronting the fact that Maya may die soon and the old traidtions of their family. It also tries to bring Day of the Dead into it, and this caused some odd feelings about it.

Catirna is terrified and also not really wanting to make friends or anything, so the story works on her being gloomy and it being spooky. At the same time we have super hapy Maya, things randomly happening to her and the neighbours and suddenly everyone is Mexican or has Mexican ancestry and wow, look, Day of the Dead exists. Everythign just kinda happens, everyone accepts the traditions and everyone participates in them.

The artwork for the celebration scenes was great but they still had some weirdness happen through it and the best way I can describe it, is that it didn’t feel genuine. It reads and looks like the author had friends who celebrate Day of the Dead, or liked the idea of it and applied to her idea of trying to accept the potential death of a family member. So I really liked the approach of how to deal with death but I am not sure trying to make it about Day of the Dead was the right choice, maybe it won’t matter that much for those that don’t have it is as their tradition or aren’t confused by it but to me, it took some of the joy of reading it, and a lot of the wonder of the intention of the story from it.

So I can’t really recommend this for the Day of the Dead value, but for the family and friendship value it does great things.

Narwhal’s Otter Friend Review

Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This is the fourth book in the Narwhal and Jelly series and it is as delightful as the previous ones have been.

The artwork is “simple” but it still manages to convey a lot of emotion and environment, plus the text is big and eays to read. Tehre is a lot of cuteness and humour and you get some true facts about the characters (or rather, the animals behind the characters).

In this book, we encounter an otter who insists it has had all sorts of adventures, one crazier than the other, and Jelly is very skeptical about this. But also, Jelly is a little jealous of how easily Narwhal seems to have replaced their friendship for Otter.

So Jelly sets out to find a new friend.

As per usual, the level of cuteness, amount of necessary waffles (yum, this is always a perfect thing), plus the superhero mini comic and the facts we get make it a fun easy read. It is also great for children and I find it a great read as an adult when I want something to give my brain a respite from work or a tedious/intense task. It is a little bit of sunshine and joy in the day.

The only complaint is that the books are too short, I wish they were longer, but they definitely are great and I will keep getitng thema s they come out (I certainly hope for more of them). Highly recommended!

Witchy Review

Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries

In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.

Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father’s death, or stand up for her ideals?

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Another one that I had bought a while ago, had put aside for a rainy day and ended up brinign out for #Februwitchy. And at least in this case it is exactly perfect. The title and the main character fit well the readathon.

I started reading Witchy when it came out as a webcomic, then lost my craze for webcomics and forgot about it. But then saw the book, it caught my eye and here it is.

Witchy is set in a world where your magic is stated by how long your hair is and how long it manages to grow. Nyneve’s dad was killed because of his hair (to her understanding) and she despises the rules and the world that can have a loyal subject and kill him the next moment. So she hides the length of her hair and uses a charm to make it look shorter.

It helps that her magic is a bit unreliable and not very good, even if her hair is long enough that it shouldn’t be this bad. But when she is discovered to have great strategies and that it has all been a glamour, things come into question and she makes a terrible and hard decision.

I remember being surprised by her decision and sacrifice, and it was more or less as far as I had gotten on the webcomic, so it was nice to read some more. The artwork has an interesting colour palette that works with the world it represents and it changes to show different parts of it.

It’s hard to describe everythign that is going on in the world and there’s still a lot left pending, but one thing that defines Witchy is how “human” Nyneve is. She is not a hero, and she’s just trying her best to go forward and do what can bring her joy. She is interesting as a character as she’s not predictable and when you thnk “this is going to go this way” it turns out it isn’t.

There is LGBTQ+ representation, lots about magic and spells and a diverse cast of characters and creatures. I can only recommend this and hope for the next volume.

Hex Vet: The Flying Surgery Review

Hex Vet: The Flying Surgery by Sam Davies

It’s time for the monthly “Winged Creature Clinic” at Willows Whisper Veterinary Practice, where flying creatures from all over come to get treated. But when Glenn the Wildlife Warlock brings in an injured flying pig that looks like it may have been mistreated, panic strikes and a greater mystery unfolds. 

It’s up to everyone’s favorite vet witches in training, Nan and Clarion,  to keep everything under control at the chaotic clinic while Dr. Talon is away. Will Nan and Clarion save the day and keep their jobs? Or are their days at Willows Whisper numbered?

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Another read for #Februwitchy. At first I thought this wouldn’t make it because it said it’d be delivered in March, but somehow it managed to get home before that and I got to read it for the readathon.

I think the biggest strenght of this series is the artwork, cute creatures and interesting ideas of what the creatures can do.

This time around the clinic goes to the skies for a “once a month” type of clinic that sees to the winged creatures. The main surgery head, Dr. Talon ends up being called on an issue that requires her attention and therefore leaves the two trainees and the head nurse on their own.

We get to see more of the head nurse and why he is a bit less nice to others. The way this is dealt with in the end was interesting and felt like a good way of saying “not everyone gets it right, sometimes we do things wrong, we apologise and try to do better”.

The flying pig is super cute and the whole adventure turns out to play into the dynamics of our two trainees with some funny moments and a few tense ones, plus some turning of tables and preconceptions that show that sometimes what you think is the thing isn’t and making assumptions can cause more trouble or make something that is going one way, go another, potentially worse way.

I enjoyed it, it still has some minor grammar/editing issues with the text, but toherwise, it is really cute, easy to read and I want to know more and read more.

Mooncakes Review

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

You want a book about witches? You’ve got it. You want representation? This book has it in spades, not just for LGBTQ+ but also for disabilities. You want a cute love story? Mooncakes has it. And if the title sounds like there should be food in it, why yes, there is also food!

Seriously, Mooncakes is a bunch of cute. Nova and Tam are fully fleshed out with worries, individual challenges and stories that still mix together by their past, present and potential future. And the grandmothers are awesome. There is so mcuh to say about all the characters and the value they add, even if some are there you make you smile and that is all, but still.

The world sounds very intriguing and I wanted to know more of how it is, and how magic and non magic coexists, as I do want to know what else they do at the bookstore/coffee shop thing Nova’s grandmothers have.

And the artwork is wonderfully detailed and you can see the care that went into making it become more than just words in a page, but to make the story and characters real and unique. At the end there is a “how this becomes a comic” and it was awesome to see the progress of the description and then how it becomes a full page.

I cannot recommend this enough because it is incredibly cute, awesome and I just need everyone to enjoy it!

Hex Vet: Witches in Training Review

Hex Vet: Witches in Training by Sam Davies

In a world where magic is an ordinary part of daily life, two young apprentice veterinarians pursue their dreams of caring for supernatural creatures. 

Have you ever wondered where witches’ cats go when they pull a claw? Or what you do with a pygmy phoenix with a case of bird flu? Nan and Clarion have you covered. They’re the best veterinarian witches of all time—at least they’re trying to be. But when an injured spectral wolf beast from another realm stumbles into their lives, Nan and Clarion have to put down their enchanted potions and face the biggest test of their magical, medical careers…outside of the clinic. 

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This was the first book I read for #Februwitchy. And of course didn’t add it to my TBR because completely forgot. I thoguht it’d be a good start to get me wanting to read more. Start easy so I pick up and feel like I can do it.

So far that tactic has worked.

I found this book while browsing for other graphic novels and thought the premise was cute, veterinarian withces for mythical and fantastic creatures, yes please.

It did not disappoint, I want a bugbear and I just really enjoyed seeing all the critters they have in the clinic. The artwork was fitting to the story, it felt magical and cute and just a tinge scary when it needed to be. I can see that there’s a lot of more story to come and that there is potential for many plots and things alongside the already revealed interesting personal plot points of the two apprentices.

The only thing I had issues was that some panels and bubbles have grammatical errors which kept breaking the immersion that had happened. And it was short, I wish it had been longer because I was enjoying it too much and wanted to know more of the world, of the creatures, of their worlds and who they are.

All in all, a cute enjoyable graphic novel about magic, friendship, teamwork and critters.

The Boxer – Interview with author

Today I am doing something slightly out of the ordinary. You all know I don’t pitch things just because, I only do if I care about them.

So here goes. I am interviewing Dominic Archer, the mind behind the Kickstarter graphic novel project, A Boxer. This novel details the experience of a homosexual man struggling to find his place between two worlds, feeling himself equally impassioned and alienated by both the boxing and LGBTQ+ communities.

This is a powerful story in an artwork style that reminds me (personally) of collecting the strips of comics from the newspapers on Sundays, that old school pre DC/Marvel style that made me fall deeply for The Phantom or Prince Valiant.

I thought it was better if Dominic would tell us more about the project and answer some questions rather than me trying to convince you this is a wonderful idea to support and sit behind. The following is a Q&A we did beforehand for today.


Q: Could you please tell us briefly about The Boxer?

Dominic: A Boxer is the story of an up-and-coming fighter who struggles between his sexual identity and the masculine culture demanded by male combat sports

Q: What made Mike Shepard, the main character, come alive in your mind and have a story to tell?

Dominic: Mike is a character based upon my own thoughts and experiences with the LGBTQ community. I used to teach in China and encountered a number of students who openly expressed their sexuality to me while I, someone who has had regular interactions with the community itself, have always been questioning where exactly I fit in. Mike’s identity crisis is one of longing to belong, but finding it impossible.

A graphic novel is a different medium to just sitting down and writing a story, was it hard to write it for an artist to turn the words into images?

To me, a graphic novel is no more or less hard than writing prose, it is just a different process. I have been writing scripts since I was 16, and comic scripts since I was 17 so it really is just a case of how you approach the work. It is very different creating a visual scene for a reader of fiction, to an instructional description that an illustrator can then realise in a piece of sequential art.

Q: Thanks for letting us understand how you approach it, so could you talk us through the process of creating a page?

Dominic: This is a tough question, because every page is completely different. And each page in each book is different, because the very structure of the page is based around the flow and pacing of the story you were trying to tell. For example, if you are trying to impart a large amount of visual information, or make an impact on the reader, then you may just want a single image on the page. But if you are attempting to convey the intensity of a conversation, then the page will have to be broken down into a number of panels. However, if you have too many panels, then the dialogue can become unreadable. Action pages will be constructed differently to moments of emotional silence, but all are structured based upon the thematic requirements of the overall book. Otherwise they feel disconnected and that is when the work falls apart.

Q: That’s a lot of things to consider while working a single page! Let’s talk about the artists, what can you tell us?

Dominic: We have an award-winning, international team of creators working on a boxer. Gary Welsh is a Scottish artist with a Masters degree in Comics and Graphic Novels. Marc Casilli actually has two Masters degrees and is a teacher of comics to low income communities in São Paulo, Brazil. Amanda Maranda is another Brazilian illustrator, and she is the winner of the Dente Award for best independent comic. Hassan is the winner of an Eisner award, which is basically like winning an Oscar for us comic book nerds. It’s an incredibly talented team, which forces me to improve the quality of my writing to make sure that I am not the one letting us down!

Q: Gotta keep up with that art team then! Now, there’s a Kickstarter project, why go through Kickstarter? What are the pros/cons?

Dominic: Previously I have self-funded all of my comics work, but this is incredibly expensive. Artists are talented creators, who deserve to be paid for their time and effort, it is their job after all! But it makes it very difficult for writers like myself to put work together when each page can cost well over £150. It also means that a 100 page graphic novel like A Boxer is too expensive for our publisher BHP comics to fund. So Kickstarter is really our best way forward! The downside is that it may not go through, but if that happens we are just back to where we started and will find another way to make the art happen.

Q: Being an artist myself (but not one that does it as main job) I can fully understand wanting to support them. I truly appreciate that! Let’s talk a little on the hopeful and futuristic (?) side… what are your dreams for this story and beyond?

Dominic: My dream for the book is just to see it realised. Writing comics is different to writing a novel, in that with a novel the main thing stopping you is your personal situation. For a lot of us, that is a challenge all its own! We all struggle with realising our potential. But in comics you also have to deal with making sure other people are on board too. As a writer, you are the de facto project manager, promoter/marketer, agent, often editor and financer which brings a lot of responsibility and stress. So to see our work come to life will be an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Q: That sounds like a crazy amount of work and effort for just one graphic novel/comic. Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

Dominic: The Kickstarter is running until the end of February and the cheapest option is a digital comic for just £5. If you’d like to back us further there is a paperback edition for £15 or you can just give us all of your savings, although it is likely that I will feel a little guilty when I accept it.


And that is all for now. Hope you this view into why and how the project came to be. If you are interested in supporting it on Kickstarter, you can find it here. There you will also find the first six pages, whereas I am only including the first one here. Go, be curious and support art!

The Midwinter Witch Review

The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag

The acclaimed graphic novel world of The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch comes to a thrilling conclusion in this story of friendship, family, and finding your true power.
Magic has a dark side . . .

Aster always looks forward to the Midwinter Festival, a reunion of the entire Vanissen family that includes competitions in witchery and shapeshifting. This year, he’s especially excited to compete in the annual Jolrun tournament-as a witch. He’s determined to show everyone that he’s proud of who he is and what he’s learned, but he knows it won’t be easy to defy tradition.

Ariel has darker things on her mind than the Festival-like the mysterious witch who’s been visiting her dreams, claiming to know the truth about Ariel’s past. She appreciates everything the Vanissens have done for her. But Ariel still craves a place where she truly belongs.

The Festival is a whirlwind of excitement and activity, but for Aster and Ariel, nothing goes according to plan. When a powerful and sinister force invades the reunion, threatening to destroy everything the young witches have fought for, can they find the courage to fight it together? Or will dark magic tear them apart?

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

I was very excited to read this and had it on preorder. The two previous books had me hooked and I wondered where this one was going to take us and what interesting adventures were coming.

The focus of it is Ariel, and the internal fight she has on being a good with rather than just evil and ruining everything. I wanted to enjoy it as much as the other two, but there was a lot of making the adults do things that didn’t go very well with their characters for the sake of making the plot a bit more intense and more confusing. I didn’t want to try to rethink my whole view of a character that I thought was good for the last two books and is now giving bad vibes (worse part, the reason for the shifty behaviour is silly, something a child might do not an adult and not the character that does). So I guess, that made it less good to me.

I still liked seeing their friendship finding new spaces and figuring out what is best and how to go along with having a new witch that is adept next to Aster. Good competition. There is still a lot of Aster having to prove himself which detracted a little from Ariel’s story. I can see the reason behind wanting to explore that part, but it meant you split the story too much between Ariel and Aster and their conflicts and tried to pack it all one book. Maybe it would’ve been better to have it be a set of four books rather than a trilogy. That way there’ll be more space to explore both things, including Ariel’s past and family and all that.

The big reveal about Ariel’s family is too short and rushed, which felt like a shame. However, their friendship between the three of them is still strong and they’re a good team of friends.

The art is still good, the world was nice to go back to, I just wished it had been done a little better, as it left me feeling like “oh, it finished already? This is the end of this story/trilogy? Really? That’s it?” rather than with a bang or at the very least some internal satisfaction of seieng htem grow into themselves (which they kinda do, but it is rushed and it feels a little forced).

Still, the trilogy itself is fun, I enjoyed it and it was an interesting concept. Wish there were more to come.