Fans of Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother comic books will be enchanted by her new series, Magic Trixie, a Scary Godmother for the younger set. Filled with witty dialogue, the graphic novels are illustrated in Thompson’s signature style of energetic, brightly-coloured watercolours. The books are recommended for ages 8-12, but the universal childhood themes will appeal to all ages.
Trixie, a young, pink-and-orange-haired witch is introduced in the debut title, Magic Trixie, whose cover proclaims, “Meet Magic Trixie! She’s smart. She’s sassy. She has magic powers.” Trixie’s also an outgoing little girl who shows off, complains, pull faces, gets into mischievous scrapes, and acts rashly like any normal kid. In this first volume, Trixie deals with the familiar problems of peer pressure and sibling rivalry. Any child, or adult who remembers being a child, will relate to Trixie’s school woes and empathize when, frustrated by the constant favouritism she perceives for her baby sister, Abby Cadabra, she wails “Not fair!” and runs off to hide in a closet. Unlike most people, however, Trixie has a talking cat named Scratches to give her a pep talk (or play pirates with her in the backyard). The story’s conclusion, in which one problem is inadvertently resolved by the other, is heartwarming without being sacharrine, and will make readers appreciate the benefits of having a sister, big or little.
In Magic Trixie Sleeps Over, no longer at odds with her sister and having called a truce with her nemesis at school, Trixie turns her displeasure elsewhere. Her parents, she thinks, have gotten much too bossy and demanding, plaguing her with baths and unreasonable bedtimes when all she wants to do is watch tantalizingly forbidden shows on Spell-O-Vision and stay up late playing and making messes. When she finds out that her friends from school — a mummy, Frankenboy, werewolf, and vampire twins — don’t have to put up with such inconveniences, she decides to go stay with them, only to discover that they have other, much less appealing nighttime rituals (to a witch, at least). Each sleepover is amusingly in keeping with its host’s archetypal monster heritage, and the art changes subtly to reflect the associated atmosphere, such as the vampires’ pages being done entirely in a spooky, grey monochrome that’s broken only by the twins’ glowing red eyes. This peek into the home lives of Trixie’s friends really fleshes out the secondary characters, while teaching the increasingly homesick Trixie just how good she actually has it at home.
Magic Trixie and the Dragon whisks Trixie off to visit an extraordinary circus where there are performances by pink elephants, a mermaid, fairies, wizards, robots, alien creatures, and more. Best of all, the main act features real, live dragons! Naturally, Magic Trixie then wants a pet dragon, but has to settle for getting a genuine dragon scale as a gift. When she takes the scale to school to brag about it to her friends, a misunderstanding results in them thinking that she has the amazing beast the scale used to be attached to, and they want to see it. Trixie, like any kid who doesn’t want to lose face in front of friends, never thinks to just ‘fess up. After letting her mind wander during a routine transmogrification spell, she thinks her dilemma is solved when she accidentally turns her sister into a dragon. (Look for a cute cameo appearance by Scary Godmother‘s Bug-a-Boo in Abby’s nursery.) The moment Trixie turns her back on dragon-Abby, though, her baby sister promptly flies off, and Scratches, believing he’s been replaced in Trixie’s affections by this new “pet”, runs away from home to join the circus. A remorseful Trixie must race back to the circus to retrieve them both, in the process surprising her friends by making an unscheduled appearance in the Big Tent with the famous Dragonriders. Later that evening, in bed, Magic Trixie says to Scratches, “Well, everything worked out fine in the end, pal. I learned my lesson, Abby’s Abby again, you’re still my bestest bud, a dragon is a drag, and best of all — no one is the wiser…” From a child’s point of view, it’s the perfect happy ending.
Jill Thompson is the winner of multiple Eisner Awards (the highest honor in graphic novels) for her art and writing. She’s the author and artist behind Scary Godmother, Magic Trixie, and many other titles. She lives in Chicago. Visit her online at magictrixie.com.
Q&A with Jill Thompson:
ÜberSciFiGeek (ÜSFG) Is Magic Trixie set in the same universe as Scary Godmother?
Jill Thompson (JT) Magic Trixie is set in her own world. One that is closer to our own reality. But one where magic is totally part of the culture. And there are monsters and robots and dragons and other marvelous things…
(ÜSFG) Will there be more Magic Trixie books, beyond the three currently published?
(JT) There are only three on the schedule as of now, though I’d love to do more. I’m working on Beasts of Burden, a series debuting in September from Dark Horse. And then I’ll be starting the second Little Endless Storybook which should come out next summer.
(ÜSFG) Do the Magic Trixie books mean the end of the Scary Godmother series?
(JT) Not at all. I’m currently talking to prospective publishers about reprinting the books and comics and subsequently more new stories.
(ÜSFG) Is there any possibility of a Magic Trixie film or television adaptation, like the Scary Godmother animated specials made by Mainframe Entertainment?
(JT) There’s always that possibility but nothing has happened like that as of yet.
(ÜSFG) Has there been talk of any tie-in merchandise for Magic Trixie and Scary Godmother, such as dolls, action figures, or plush toys?
(JT) I’d love to do some merchandise for all of the characters. I’ve recently dabbled in embroidered patches of some of them and I’m looking into creating plush toys, statues, figurines, and other items. I have a sketchbook full of designs I’d love to see made.
Author Interview from HarperCollins Publishers: Jill Thompson on Magic Trixie
Magic Trixie is distributed by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollinsCanada and HarperCollins Publishers. For more information on the book series and its author, visit the Magic Trixie and Jill Thompson websites. Jill Thompson may also be followed on Twitter.