As a little girl, Quincy thought she saw a little boy with horns under her Christmas tree. Now, as a teenager, she meets Cupid, a gorgeous young man with a full set of antlers. He charms the town and introduces them to his friends, all with antlers like his.
They say they’re Santa’s reindeer. Quincy doesn’t fall under Cupid’s spell as quickly as everyone else, but she finds herself drawn to him as she spends more time with him and his friends. She learns things about herself, her memories, and how she’s changing.
Jean’s art is strongly character-focused. She draws people and necessary props, but often no backgrounds, keeping our attention on the figures, which are distinctive and fine. Her sense of motion is great, and she draws a terrific rack of antlers. (She previously illustrated the graphic novel adaptations of Beautiful Creatures and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.)
The appeal for me came in the quiet discovery of spending time together. The community Quincy gets to know is strange but strong and welcoming. The magic seems more believable when mixed with everyday activities, like baking cookies or playing tug-of-war. And it’s nice to have the wrap-up, where it all comes together for her.
Reindeer Boy would make a great gift for a manga fan at Christmas. (The publisher provided a review copy.)