What fools these mortals be.
Magic. It’s a word that can breed wonder and fear, suspicion and desire. It’s oft overlooked by those that find themselves at its mercy, and those that practice its arts tend to come to unnatural ends. This is precisely the kind of world that Leonie O’Moore gives to us in her new comic book, Invoked, where a family at the turn of the century inherits much more than the large mansion from an eccentric aunt. There are already tenants there, and not all of them are there voluntarily.
There’s an art to short story telling, and it applies to one-shot books, as well. How much can you pare down a story to allow it a solid beginning, middle, and end while creating an entire world that can capture and spur the imagination? O’Moore exceeds at the last part, making a world akin to The Chronicles of Narnia but with a fresh energy. The frustrating thing for me is that while there’s certainly a cohesive story here, I feel like a great deal was left out, teases of interesting plotlines that never got to be explored in any detail. This bothered me because right around the climax of the story, things feel a bit cramped and move with an alacrity that borders on the manic. This isn’t a bash on the book. I think that it’s a great work with solid ideas, interesting characters, and a dynamic world. I just wanted more. I feel that this world could be so much more than we’re able to experience here, with mysticism and wonder on par with titles like The Last Unicorn. I’m not even sure if a full trade would be enough for me, as I want to devour everything that O’Moore could give us in this place.
Her artwork is more suggestive than detailed. The ethereal quality enhances the mystique of the narrative and makes everyone and everything seem inconspicuous and suspect at the same time. Tonally, the suggestive nature of it makes a significant impact, though the more high action sequences tend to suffer a bit for it. The style begs for more space, much like I mentioned with the story above. I had a touch of trouble with differentiating the girls at first, but that may have been more my experience than the fault of the book. I sometimes have trouble with Victorian garb and keeping folks straight in my mind.
This is a book that yearns to be a series, and I’d love to see what else O’Moore has up her sleeve in this world. It’s a fun trip for fans of fantastic stories of supernatural critters interacting with inhabitants of this plane, and the mysteries are as engaging as anything Lewis Carrol and C.S. Lewis put down.
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