The Wizerd!: Vol. 1: And the Potion of Dreams!

Oni. (Wizerd: Bk. 1). Sept. 2020. 144p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781620107775.
Gr 4-7–This start of a fantasy series featuring an unlikely trio of adventurers will appeal to graphic novel fans with its intricate backgrounds and humorous repartee. As the story opens, the Wizerd, a tea-drinking, dryly witty introvert, gives a tiny bird a tour of their castle, bemoaning how boring life has become now that there are no more quests. But the Wizerd’s peaceful existence is interrupted by the sword-wielding Princess Wallace, who storms the scene, demanding the Wizerd make a wish potion so she can be the strongest warrior. The Wizerd reluctantly agrees, and the two set off and fall in with Archer, an archery expert who accompanies them to the nearest city to gather ingredients. Nothing goes as planned, however—Wallace is impulsive, and the city is on lockdown because people aren’t behaving. No worries, though, for the quest continues with bribery, brawls, and hilarious antics. Sweater and Dukes’s characters are androgynous, and they/them pronouns are the norm in this world—an element not often seen in literature but one that’s still needed. The words and art depict a believable, immersive, and laugh-out-loud funny world. Panels and text are easy to follow, and the cartoon art is vibrant, matching the upbeat tone.
VERDICT This is a series to watch and one that fantasy fans are likely to return to.

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