Review: Forest Spirits, A Talking Dog & More Await In ‘Aster And The Accidental Magic’

by James Ferguson

Aster was having a rough time after her family moved to the middle of nowhere and her older brother went off to school. Now she’s stranded with no friends and nothing to do. She ventures out into the woods where she meets a trickster spirit who changes everything with three wishes that don’t go as planned. On the plus side, she has a talking dog now.

Aster and the Accidental Magic taps into the raw, anxious energy we all had as children. The world moves at an agonizingly slow pace at that age and all you want to do is have fun and go on adventures, yet you have to eat dinner and go to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s all unfair.

You can’t help but love Aster and her attitude, especially when she learns more about the forest and the beings that live there. Creators Thom Pico and Karensac hint at a greater destiny for her as part of the overall mythos for this world. There’s a lot to take in and you’re plopped right in the thick of it, yet the story is never confusing or overwhelming. The information is always presented in a fun, easy-to-digest manner so it doesn’t take away from the momentum of the story.

The artwork is light and welcoming. It’s cartoonish in nature and that only serves to amplify the fun. The villains are only moderately scary, appearing more as snide bullies than as menacing monsters. It helps that the art is absolutely beautiful. Some of the more nature-heavy scenes are jaw-dropping in their wonder. I particularly like the first appearance of the King of Autumn, a sly fox creature with an attitude. This sequence really shows the magical quality of this place and how anything is possible here.

That idea is key to Aster and the Accidental Magic. You might think you know where the story is going, but there are all these sudden twists and turns that keep you on your toes. It makes for an unpredictable and very enjoyable reading experience. My 7 year old loved this book, reading it with wide eyes and excitement on every page.

The colors really pop throughout this entire book. They’re bright and lively, enhancing every scene with an unparalleled energy. This is especially true when the magic comes into play, adding to the fun.

Aster and the Accidental Magic is a charming all-ages adventure comic. It speaks to the kid in all of us and that’s not an easy feeling to capture. The creators hint at much more for this world and I hope they get the chance to explore it further because this book is rock solid and pure fun from beginning to end.

Aster and the Accidental Magic from Random House Graphic is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through Amazon Kindle.

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