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Crescent City Magick: Welcome To New Orleans Paperback – July 13, 2013
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About the Author
Michael L. Peters is a Michigan based artist and writer. Since 1996, he’s drawn comics, with work appearing in Unbound (Image), Legends of Camelot (Caliber), Heavy Metal Magazine, Negative Burn (Desperado) and others. Michael is both writer and artist, on his creator-owned project, CRESCENT CITY MAGICK. Michael L. Peters lives in the woods of Michigan and can be found online at -- mlpeters.com .
Top customer reviews
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The story is fun, too! Man feels haunted, followed, takes bus, gets mugged, meets cats -- (It didn't hurt that the lead one-eyed cat is the spitting image of my own Spooky) -- gets taken home by gorgeous girl, goes to cemetery .... And there the plot thickens!!!!!!!! Wanna-be vampires and real zombies later, he is left with the girl and his own personal fay problem, but with her help and magic you feel like he may be able to hold his own. Although I know the kind of love and detail that went into this graphic novel must have taken years, I can't help but want the adventure to continue. Please give us more, Michael L. Peters!
So when a friend of mine recommended this book (with hearty enthusiasm, I might add) to me, I had my doubts. But while I do love a good story same as the next person, it was also the lovely art which caught my eye when I looked at the preview. So I ordered a copy and went about my own day-to-day routine while waiting for the book to arrive.
The first thing that struck me about it was the cover. Julia, one of the main protagonists of the tale, regarded me with a sly hint of a smile and a sparkle in her eyes. The level of penmanship devoted just to rendering her hair was amazing. If a book were meant to be judged by its cover, then this one held a lot of promise. So I opened up the book and started to read.
The beginning was simple enough, a man attempting to deal with an issue in his life that has been plaguing him for some time. As the tale unfolds, he gets answers to some of his unvoiced questions in ways he didn't expect. I can't really go much further than that without spoilers, so let me pull back a bit and explain why I like this book:
1) The characters are solid and believable. If I were to visit and wander about New Orleans, I would fully expect to toss a few coins Julia's way or bump elbows with Bev in a local bar. And I think I may have passed Clayton by last time I went to Wal-Mart, sitting on a bench out front with a backpack full of Pepsis and Ramen noodles in preparation for the latest leg of his journey.
2) The underlying mechanics of the situation work for me. I wasn't sure at first how some elements of the story would mesh, but even with the hints given so far I get the feeling there will be a very intriguing interplay in the story to come.
3) The obstacles are realistic, given the situation the characters are in. Not only to they have to confront the fantastic, they are also hindered by the logistics of their own reality. For instance (mild spoiler here, can't help it), they encounter zombies and have to deal with them. But they aren't given the luxury of being able to just blow them apart with weapons and casually strut off with explosions in the background; they have to resolve the encounter in a way that both dispatches the undead and keeps Julia and her associates from getting in trouble with the local police. And that's the other thing I found refreshing. These people have no major secret society to back them or a rogue scientist to take them under wing or any of those other perks that characters in a situation like this tend to be given. They have their wits and whatever resources they possess at the time to get the job done.
4) The pen and ink is amazing. Julia has a big, thick shock of curly, red hair and there are very few pages where she doesn't appear in at least one panel. So the sheer amount of effort the artist puts in for that alone is praiseworthy. But it doesn't stop there. From a seedy back alley to a bookcase full of trinkets and tomes to a garden or a graveyard, every detail is painstakingly rendered. Mr. Peters knows his way around a bottle of ink and a nib, no doubt.
5) And, speaking of details, my niece routinely makes trips to New Orleans so I was pleasantly surprised to note that the facts sprinkled in the character's conversations about the city and its peculiarities is indeed genuine.
6) Julia, Julia, Julia! She is multi-faceted and multi-layered. Pretty little red-haired gypsy gal with much more to her than first appears. And after a while reading, I could 'hear' her voice as I read the dialogue. She's a strong female lead, and we definitely need more of those.
In conclusion, this story was a pleasant surprise and I for one look forward to seeing more of it.
Clayton Woods is in sad shape when we meet him: Out of work, depressed, haunted by some unspecified childhood trauma, and apparently being stalked by mysterious figures (or is he just paranoid?). He winds up in New Orleans, where he meets Julia, a spirited young lady with a talent for witchcraft. Julia believes, against all appearances, that Clayton is destined for greatness, and together they start exploring the mysteries and dangers lurking in the shadows of the Crescent City.
You can see where this relationship is going: Clayton is morose and uptight, Julia is the optimistic free spirit who's going to "save" him from himself. But Julia, with her southern drawl and blunt sense of humor, is a charmer nonetheless. And reading between the lines, her agenda may not be entirely selfless. There's lots of room for exploration and growth for both characters, and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes.
The real selling point here is the artwork. Michael Peters dedicates the book to classic comic book illustrators like Barry Windsor-Smith and Mike Kaluta, and that association isn't just wishful thinking on his part. The pages are filled to the brim with beautiful, evocative details, and even the most mundane street scene is a visual feast. Peters has clearly poured his heart and soul into this book, and it's well worth your attention.