Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson
Oh, I love Halloween. It's got to be my favorite time of year. The weather is getting nippy but not too cold yet, and there's nothing more satisfying to me than kicking though the dry leaves on the sidewalk. Plus, the iconography is exciting and adaptable - black cats can be adorable or scary, witches can be gruesome or slinky, spiders can be big and hairy and icky... or tiny and delicate and fascinating. Let's not forget the color scheme. Does not orange and black beat red and green any day? Christmas takes one tone: heartwarming... while Halloween has endless variations. Your Halloween might be all naughty nurse-y; Martha Stewart's Halloween is classy; and my Halloween is... well, it's different every time.
Which might be why I loved Magic Trixie so much. Jill Thompson has drawn up a set of monsters, witches and ghosts that are hip and fabulous, from Trixie's grandma Mimi, with her green fishnets, peacock-feather broom, and wide purple snakeskin belt cinching her coy black minidress... to Trixie's goofy school friend Stitch, who looks just like any cool second-grade boy, with unruly black hair and long cargo shorts, except for the fact that he's stitched together from parts of corpses and can unzip his head and show off his brain when it's his turn for show and tell.
(Or it might be the pink hair.)
This first book in the Trixie series glories in introducing these characters. There's a nice little plot involving Trixie accepting her baby sister, but the real joy is in learning about spitfire Trixie and finding out what fresh visual fun is waiting on the next page. Jill Thompson, a multiple Eisner winner, knows her craft. Page layouts flow seamlessly, making this one of the smoothest graphic novel reads I've ever seen. Colors balance, with Trixie's wild orange / pink hair and acid green hatband contrasting beautifully with her black clothes and generally subdued backgrounds.
And every page holds a treat, whether it's a glimpse of Grandpa's dragon tattoo or Trixie's fly backpack.
I am delighted to find that Trixie has her own blog, full of extra pictures and Trixie's own observations.