Review: Immortal Souls ed Joamette Gil

Monday, December 18, 2017
Title: Immortal Souls
Editor: Joamette Gil
Genre: graphic novel, paranormal
Series: N/A
Pages: 120
Published: November 30, 2017
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3/5
A comics anthology about queer witches for teens and adults ages 14-and-up. The book is over 110 pages long, black and white, and contains 10 original stories by women and non-binary creators of color. In this special installment of the POWER & MAGIC SERIES, queer witches of color delve into the darker sides of magic: astral planes, necromancy, visions of death, and communion with the spirits of our world... and the beyond.

This book is the immediate follow-up to POWER & MAGIC: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology, an award-winning collection of fantasy stories exalting the witch as an archetype of feminine power. With IMMORTAL SOULS, we are cementing a series tradition: stories told by women and non-binary creators of color, all starring queer witches of color.

Magical Girl Crisis by Patadag - ***

Very cute little story about a witch fighting against her natural necromancy powers because she’d rather be a cute, lolita magical girl. Unfortunately at six pages, way too short for any real development. We don’t even get a good shot of her final, gothic lolita outfit.

Heirloom by ClaraEm - *

The art is not for me. The characters are very simplistic and there are a lot of perspective choices that I don’t think work, especially in the initial argument and the ghost section. I found the plot flat and straightforward, without any resolution.

Mahk Jchi by Sunny Ochumuk - ****

Very, very pretty art.

At her first meet up of other native women, our main character initially wants to be known as Catherine, but as the day goes, Waanutam discovers parts of her heritage, including her cousin’s dancing which summons beautiful spirits. Rather than end with a romance, which is where I assumed we were going, she embraces her cousin and asks to learn to dance too. A sweet, short look at a culture I never see in graphic novels, I liked this a lot.

Mu by Yeon Kyung Cha - ***

One of my favorite plots, a female shaman who can speak to the dead sets out to seduce and kill men who abused and killed the girls she speaks to. Unfortunately, I felt almost like this was issue two of a book I hadn’t read the first part of. Mu clearly had some link to Ji-Hye and Ji-Hoon but I never understood what it was or why the ghost (Ji-Hye?) stayed.

Art wise, this one starts out super detailed and beautiful, but by the last few pages we’re mostly looking at gray boxes in place of background details. I’m not sure if this was an intentional stylistic choice or not, but it makes the story feel rushed and unfinished.

Admonitions by Amber Huff - ***

The differences in art in the real and spirit realms set this story apart. It’s also the first one that’s felt like it really lived up to the “darker side of magic” theme of the anthology. Again though, I wish this was longer. There’s backstory I’m missing, world building that’s not fully coming through in fourteen pages.

An Unexpected Specter by Francis Quintero - ***********

Cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I need a six season animated series and a movie.

The Woman who Waits by Lira Kraunik and Kyka ****

Really beautiful and haunting with an unexpected twist ending.

Hungry by Joamette Gil - ***1/2

Last line is a real gut punch. Not crazy about this art, it reminds me of like 2002 webcomics.

Requium by Ayanni C Hanna and Melani Tingdahl - ***

Another I wish was a hair longer. A pair of nurses in an unnamed war torn country tend to survivors, until soldiers show up and start shooting. This one does not have a happy end which I don’t knock it for, but I don’t know. The lack of acceptance and abrupt end hurt.

Bon Voyage My Chains
by Sonia Liao - ****

Absolutely the best drawn comic in the book. CW reads: non binary person faces mortal peril. That’s one way to describe an enby character’s father trying to stab them, sure. Probably needs a stronger warning. The length on this one is right, it’s got good world building, a cute romance, and even a last minute beta romance that made me laugh.

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