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‘Smoke and Mirrors:’ Trade Paperback Review


Smoke and Mirrors TPBI can never tell if it’s a good thing or a bad thing if a comic is so engaging that I’m furious when it’s over.  Did the author do such a good job of creating narrative magic that I’m desperate for more, or did he entice me with just enough that I crave some promised resolution?  Smoke and Mirrors in its trade form gives a first-time reader an insatiable appetite for plot as it sucks you into a world driven by magic instead of science.  I can’t imagine how I would have felt reading this month to month, but I can tell you the trade is well . . . magical.

I really don’t want to spoil anything about this book for anyone who hasn’t read it, because the discovery of the world Costa and Armstrong lay down is captivating.  Plunging yourself into this other world, instantly transported there and shown an entirely new perspective on reality is one of the book’s inherent strengths, as it capitalizes on old themes reinvented with grounded characters like an evil Steve Jobs – who’s a wizard.  The contrast between this world and our own is mostly revealed through the character of Terry Ward, a stage magician from our world who, like the reader, has been dropped into this magical setting.  His illusions are as foreign to these new people as their magic is to him (and us). Terry’s actions and friendship with young Ethan give the story suspense and intrigue and as I said, leave the reader wanting more.

I really love Ryan Browne’s art in this story, mainly because the depiction of the magic itself is done in a way that I enjoyed immensely.  Magic on the page is a tricky thing to show, either showing the reader too much or not enough, but I never found myself thinking about this during the issue.  I was always drawn to the images, particularly some of the more striking portraits, of which there are many, but never distracted from the story by them.

Again, without ruining the story, which is infinitely more interesting the less you know about it, I can’t recommend picking this book up enough.  Personally, I can’t wait to see more of these stories, as the ending of this volume gives the reader a conclusion, while also entertaining us with thoughts of what’s next!  Do yourself a favor and dive in, because hopefully there’s more on the way, and you should catch up!



Christian Roeber, Fanbase Press Contributor



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