Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 25/02/2020

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF WITCHES

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF WITCHES / AUTHOR: SOPHIE GOLDSTEIN, JENN JORDAN / PUBLISHER: TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

An Embarrassment of Witches is a slice of life drama about young adults, set in a charmingly metropolitan world which just happens to have magic and weirdness stitched into it. It’s a world just like our own, except when they sit of the sofa and watch the Jim Henson classic Labyrinth, they note that the representation of Goblins is rather dated.

It’s been produced by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan, the same creative team who gave us the webcomic Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell. Much like Darwin it juxtaposes a sort of bubble-gum version of fantasy creatures with the every day. People go to college to study magic, recycled magic carpets are popular amongst hipsters, etc. Our main characters are Rory and Angela, both of whom are witches with adorable familiars, though this just means they can ‘do’ magic.

Rory is a mess, her life constantly veering from one disaster to the next. She’s demanding yet charismatic. Angela is ambitious, nervous and constantly helping out others, mostly Rory. Their families are equally messy and life in the big city is difficult and tough. But there’s magic all over the place, so anything can (and does happen). It’s hard not to compare this to the much longer Darwin, but this book is much lighter in tone and much more fun. The humour is still as strong and it’s got that cute Steven Universe vibe towards emotions and feelings. It’s all very life affirming.

The art is much crisper and cleaner than previous books. The colouring seems to be done mostly in pastel shades, lending an otherworldly vibe to the entire affair.  The book has a bold yet gentle look to it, placing it firmly in the ‘magic and feelings’ category of things. Overall, a fun little book and one that will appeal to the inner magical teenager in us all.

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