Voldemort lich; Jadis witch,
& Metatron god.
When I was a kid, I was pretty much constantly in trouble for a variety of moral panic hot button issues. You know-- I liked Dungeons & Dragons, so that right there was problem number one. It's my fault Blackleaf died! Yeah. & then there was the time my parents threw away all my black clothing, that was a fun one. & you know, I didn't bring girls home, so that is suspicious, hm? Even worse, I "believed" in science? Yikes! My point being, Americus strikes close to home. It is the story of a suburban town trying to ban the "Apathea Ravenchilde" books-- a "Harry Potter"-esque fictional series. Which-- side note, but the ease of affectionate parody, both here & the "Tommy Taylor" books from The Unwritten-- really speak well of J.K. Rowling's works. There is a good mythical skeleton in those Harry Potter books. The star of this graphic novel is Neil, who is the bookish sort of nerd that most anybody "of that ilk" can identify with. Neil's best friend gets shipped off to Christian camp & military school for reading the Apathea Ravenchilde books (& the cardinal sin of being gay) & he's left to negotiate high school all on his lonesome, while the churchfolk of Americus rally together in ignorance to try to ban the Apathea books for promoting witchcraft. All too plausible, sadly. Instead of being a brutal litany of feel bad vignettes, it is a much more bittersweet look at the banalities & victories of growing up. An older kid gives you a bunch of punk rock & all of a sudden, boom, music exists. It rings utterly true, & one of the fictional bands Neil likes is the Hospital Bombers! They are the best ever death metal band. Neil isn't a loser-- he's a kid, & I get. I wasn't the quiet kid, but rather the weird kid, but same sort of thing. Friends with all the alternative kids? Check, those are totally the people he should be friends with. Job as a page at the library? Right on. You've got you ducks in a row, Neil. You're going to be okay, you know? & the community of Americus isn't dead, isn't worthwhile; there are librarians & parents who aren't awful, people fighting the good fight. Even the people opposing Apathea Ravenchilde aren't painted as caricatures-- hopelessly flawed, maybe, but they've got dimensions. I really liked this book-- it might be frighteningly accurate, but it all comes out okay in the end.