*Magic Trixie — Best of 2008

Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother series never got the success I thought it deserved. Her new series, Magic Trixie, takes a different approach to a world of magic and fun. Instead of a niece who gets to wander into a fantasy world occasionally, Magic Trixie is a little girl with her own powers, a talking cat, and a wild shock of blazing orange hair.

Magic Trixie cover
Magic Trixie
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She’s also incredibly realistic, which makes her behavior believable to anyone who’s either seen a been a grumpy little girl who doesn’t want to get up and who’s jealous of the special attention her new baby sister gets. Her best friend, Stitch, is a little Frankenstein boy, and her “Monstersorri School” classmates include little werewolves, mummies, and vampire twins. Loupie Garou is a particular torment. “For a werewolf, she sure is catty,” says Trixie to her cat Scratches. (The cast is reminiscent of Little Gloomy’s, but with very different appearances.)

The character design is manga-influenced and very cute, with large heads and eyes, but told in Thompson’s beautiful painted style. It’s the details of her world that make it outstanding, with Trixie’s crowded home and the city streets full of opportunity for kids with imagination. The best parts of the book are the small ones, like Trixie’s trip to school, as she rides past shops and through the park on a broom with training wheels, erm, landing gear. The pictures can be stared at for hours.

Magic Trixie Sleeps Over cover
Magic Trixie Sleeps Over
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Of course, by the end Trixie comes to understand why the rules are different for babies. But it’s not because she’s told so, but because she learns to see with new eyes once her friends are involved. This is a wonderful story for youngsters and adults to share, with something for everyone.

The sequel, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over, starts with Trixie driving her parents crazy as they try to get her ready for bed. In an attempt to escape her bath and teeth-brushing routine, she spends the night with Loupie, who has her own habits. However, staying over with a pack of nocturnal wolves has its own fears. Trixie keeps trying, visiting with Princess Nefi the mummy and Stitch the patchwork boy and the vampire twins, which provides wonderful glimpses into the lives of baby monsters, only to find herself missing her own family. A change is as good as a rest, they say, and Trixie’s time with others refreshes her love for her home.

A third book, Magic Trixie and the Dragon, is due at the end of June. See more wonderful art at the Magic Trixie blog. Matthew Brady has also reviewed the series.

11 Responses to “*Magic Trixie — Best of 2008”

  1. Rivkah Says:

    “The character design is manga-influenced and very cute, with large heads and eyes, but told in Thompson’s beautiful painted style.”

    For once, I actually couldn’t disagree more! Thompson’s character designs in this book are far more reminiscent of a children’s picture book than any manga I’ve ever seen, especially her use of “rubbery” limbs and fluid motion that’s reminiscent of traditional Western animation rather than the outline-focused art of traditional Japanese manga. Her characters have beautifully expressive eyes and mouths and large heads, but I think that’s because they’re children, not because they’re mangaesque in any way. That’s just . . . how kids are made.

    IMHO, this is one of the most gorgeous children’s comics I’ve ever seen, though I haven’t actually gotten to read it yet (simply drooled over the art while wishing for magical money to mysteriously appear).

  2. Johanna Says:

    Thank you for the education! I appreciate a real artist’s view.

  3. ~chris Says:

    “This is a wonderful story for youngsters and adults to share, with something for everyone.” Seconded! Even single adults will love it.

    “The pictures can be stared at for hours.” I came close to that mark while admiring the detailed art in Nefi’s room.

  4. Magic Trixie and the Dragon » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] new Magic Trixie book is simply outstanding, the best yet! Magic Trixie and the Dragon […]

  5. Best of 2008 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Magic TrixieJill Thompson’s painted fantasy for children captures magic for all ages. The message, that the aggravation of family life is ultimately rewarding, is predictable but still worth getting, and the artwork sings. […]

  6. There Are Too Plenty of Comics for Kids! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Magic Trixie […]

  7. Chris Swan Says:

    My 2 year old daughter loves these books. I thought it would be way too advanced for her, but boy was I wrong. The pictures are engaging, the stories are simple, and the words are easy to read. I just wish there were more of these books! Please Jill create more!

  8. Coming Up: Graphic Novels Due December 2010 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] part of Kids Comics month, Harper Collins reoffers the three Magic Trixie books by Jill Thompson (OCT10 1041, 1042, 1043, $7.99, December 1). They’re wonderful stories […]

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    […] #1 Dinosaurs Across America Dreamland Chronicles Ed’s Terrestrials Lions, Tigers and Bears Magic Trixie Owly Poetry Comics: A Literary Postcard Book Robot Dreams Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th […]

  10. January 2012 Previews: Recommendations, Reminders, and Ramblings » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Ghost. Additional relists this month include Smile (Graphix, JAN12 1143, $10.99, March 21), Magic Trixie (Harper Collins, JAN12 1145, $8.99, March 21), and Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, JAN12 1158, […]

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