Having smashed it’s Kickstarter goals in 2018, we find out if Kirsten Thompson and Christianne Gillenardo-Gondreau’s magical political thriller I Am Hexed is worth your dollars or cursed to be avoided.
Publisher: I Am Hexed
Writer: Kirsten Thompson
Artist: Christianne Gillenardo-Gondreau (illustrator), Taylor Esposito (Letterer)
Price: $15.00 from www.iamhexed.com
I am Hexed follows the story of Charlie Helms, a Washington DC ‘fixer’ working within the hallowed halls of the American political machine. However, what makes Charlie different from her fellow policymakers is that she is a Witch, a title which brings with it a lot of friction in these times as Witches rights continue to be a hotly contested subject. But when she learns that her Senator boss has come under fire, Charlie finds herself on the run from the same nefarious magic users. Now, she has a choice; run and hide, or use her skills (both magic and non-magic alike) to find out what is going on.
I am Hexed, a political thriller mixed with Noir vibes but mixed with magic, is an enjoyable and compelling read. The plot by Thompson doesn’t begin smoothly, as Charlie’s role for Senator Royce isn’t clearly defined. Also, the set up for the main story, such as the information about Royce which is leaked and even the early ‘meeting’ which Charlie listens in on, are equally lacking in description and come off as a tad confusing. However, these are all early bumps and once passed, I am Hexed improves substantially. This is no more evident than in the characters, as Charlie is a really interesting lead, successfully imbuing the ‘shades of grey’ personality operatives such as herself must have. Meanwhile, her dynamic with other characters, particularly Jaya are intriguing stuff causing hope for more of the same in future issues.
I Am Hexed
That said, the real magic (pun intended) of this title is, without doubt, the artwork. Christianne Gillenardo-Gondreau provides some stellar visuals here, offering something akin to Rachel Smith or Jonathan Luna’s work but with brighter tones. What’s the real breakout moments though are the glorious and completely original magic using visuals laced throughout the entire book. Chief amongst these has to be the conversation taking place over a drink (or, more accurately, through a drink) which has to be unlike anything seen before, while the transformative spell Charlie wields mid title is truly stunning.
I am Hexed #1 takes a bit of time to get going, but ends on a high with the issue turning out to be highly engrossing and a great comic. That, coupled with the truly magnificent art, offers great promise for the future instalments as the storytelling can only ramp up from here and, if that’s the case, then I am Hexed could end up being a truly spellbinding read.