“Turns out Neil Gaiman accidentally wrote Harry Potter in 1990.”
That’s how my friend Peter introduced this comic book mini-series to me. I’ve never really been into comic books, but occasionally I feel like I should be. Peter is my best enabler on that front. He recommends to me the ‘what you should read next’ and I usually get around to it eventually. For The Books of Magic, he just brought his copy to my house one day before a round of Ingress, made that quip about Harry Potter, and let me do the rest.
Once I actually picked it up, I really enjoyed it. The art is a bit trippy and the story even moreso. But it has the arc of an epic poem, or an opera, or something much larger than itself, shoved into 200 short pages. Your mind can fill in any blanks with additional moments of wonder if you like. I read it before bed, mostly, so it lead to the occasional interesting dreams.
Most importantly the story of Tim Hunter seems to lead to each reader assessing their own morality and judgment. Is learning that magic is real all that different than learning anything else? The world around us works different than we understand it, otherwise we’d be experts by now. But the learning we undergo speaks nothing to the future it will provide. Just as Tim’s mentors don’t know exactly how their teaching will shake out either.
Not sure I’m so engaged with it to seek out the ‘volume two’ of comics that came out from 1994 – 2000… but if Peter throws some at me I wouldn’t turn them down.
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman