“Another book that’s playing with the idea of what a comic can be is IDW’sSmoke and Mirrors, a tale of a street magician trying to survive in a fantasy world where everything is powered by “real” magic he can’t use. It’s written by Mike Costa, who’s producing comics most underrated military fiction in his Cobra books (well, next to my work with Paul Azaceta on Graveyard of Empires). The art by Ryan Brown, the creator of God Hates Astronauts, my favorite webcomic. Jon Armstrong is also credited as a consulting illusionist.
Despite the high concept, the very idea of an “illusionist” had me skeptical at first. When I think of magicians, I think of kids’ birthday parties or tricks to pick up girls using “The Game” after you’ve successfully mastered “peacocking.” But here’s the thing–the tricks the fictional magician performs in the book really work on the reader, breaking the fourth wall in a way I’ve never seen before. Each issue contains an essay about the connection between the mutually misunderstood arts of magic and comics, reinforcing the feeling that creators are really onto something, well…magical.”
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