Just because the world has always been that way doesn’t mean it has to be this way. This theme of changing the world with the best of intentions fascinates me. Sometimes things are the way they are for a reason, and other times, it’s worth the pursuit of change. People dying more often than not fall under the former category. None of us live forever, and we have to accept that things change. What if, someone wanted to change the price of magic? I found this little gem of a graphic novel at a local comic shop for a steal and it deals with this very adult theme.

The Book

Iscariot

Created, Written, Illustrated by S.M. Vidaurri

Letters by Leigh Luna

Published by Archaia Books

Iscariot features two very fascinating characters. The first is Iscariot, who four hundred years before the story begins, becomes a magician for a city at a young age. The question of death starts here, as a boy, Iscariot asks why people must sacrifice. His mentor says to him that some people fear death, and they, the city of mages, uses it.

Flash forward four hundred years, to a hospital in which Carson has cancer. She goes around from person to person to talk. The acceptance of her situation and the small comforts not just Carson receives but gives to others is what strikes me about her. It is the biggest difference between the two characters. Iscariot after all these years hasn’t accepted death, and Carson has.

Iscariot’s search to change things allows him to discover a different way of gifting magic. Once his mentor finally dies, Iscariot grants Carson magic without the sacrifice or the ties to the obelisk. Once Iscariot succeeds, things start to unravel. At first, Carson just uses her magic for little things, like doing her homework. Things slowly evolve, and the city of mages doesn’t let Iscariot’s actions go unchallenged, and they manage to convince Carson to come to the city. Desperate to change things, Iscariot and Carson’s mother charge into the city, and the battle for the future of Carson, and the mages comes to a head.

S.M Vidaurri crafts a fascinating tale. He explores death, change, the unfairness of it all and goes through it with the filter of both Carson and Iscariot. Those two are perfect foils for each other. Iscariot struggles with trying to change things, and Carson struggles to be heard, not just from Iscariot, but her mother and others. Like all kids, Carson struggles to be seen and heard.

This book is beautiful from the inside and out. Vidaurri’s art reminds me of the classic children’s books of the past. The colors add layers to the story, and the style is distinct and filled with wonder and magic. It feels like an amazing kids book and it is.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and think you will too.

The Business

Since my last column, my newest book has come out.  Alice Won is a mashup of Alice in Wonderland and greek mythology. Alice chases the Queen of Hearts over the edge of the world and ends up in the Greek underworld. To escape, Alice and a certain Cheshire friend in her head must compete in a game of croquet against Jason of the Argonauts. Along the way through the labyrinth of the dead, Alice and company face gods, monsters, and the most terrifying thing of all. Themselves. Alice Won was released on December 1st and I hope you check it out.

Beyond the writing, my show with CAPIC just broke over 5k views on Youtube. It’s a show in which we cover headlines and topics about Canadian Immigration. You can watch the latest episode here.

Finally, my podcast is still rolling and I broke 700 episodes. I’ve been fortunate in the whole journey to meet some incredible people. I want to thank my guests, and yes, my fans. Thank you very much for watching and listening to my stuff.

Alright, that will do it. Next week we’ll be covering something else wonderland related. Check it out.

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Just because the world has always been that way doesn't mean it has to be this way. This theme of changing the world with the best of intentions fascinates me. Sometimes things are the way they are for a reason, and other times, it's worth the pursuit of change....