- Posted by Johanna on May 11, 2007 at 7:24 am
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Jim Ottaviani; art by Janine Johnson
- PUBLISHER: GT Labs; $11.95 US
Subtitled Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception
Along with Jim Ottaviani’s Wire Mothers, this book initiates GT Labs’ new series exploring “the science of the unscientific”. This time, it’s an exploration of stage magic.
There’s a surprising amount of scientific knowledge needed to make impressive illusions work, and this book shows you how some of them accomplish their tricks. A good show requires experimentation ahead of time to make improvements and work out the bugs.
Then there’s the component of human nature. A brash American wants to buy the secret of the levitation trick from its developer, but his principles outweigh money, so much research and even a bit of gall is necessary to get the American what he wants. Toss in showmanship and a pretty girl or two, and voila! Magic! I never would have guessed that’s how the trick was done.
Janine Johnson’s art is lovely, with what looks like a watercolor wash giving everything an old-fashioned feel that’s well-suited to the material. Her panel choices are wonderful, balancing mid-range location images with close-up insets, often focusing on a magician’s hands. Figures are realistic, caught in the proper moment of action to give a feel of movement. It’s very easy to read, a sign of true skill. Like a magic trick, her art requires study to understand just how much work went into it; otherwise, the reader just follows along, enjoying the show.
Levitation is now available for order through comic shops with Diamond code MAY07 3508. This review was based on a draft online preview copy.