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Rebellion to Bring Back ‘Boy Wizard’ Story

uncle-eliasA 12-year-old boy learns he is a powerful magician—but there is a dark side to this new magical world.

Does that sound familiar? We’re not talking about Harry Potter here, but The Journal of Luke Kirby, by writer Alan McKenzie and artist John Ridgway, which ran in the UK comic 2000AD from 1998 to 1995—predating Harry and Hogwarts by a few years. In case you missed those weekly issues from 25 years ago, 2000AD publisher Rebellion is bringing the story back as a graphic novel to be published in May 2017. Here’s the synopsis:

Sent to stay with his Uncle Elias in the countryside in 1962, Luke discovers the man has magical powers. After their housekeeper is killed by a horrific beast, Elias offers to make Luke his apprentice and teach him the magical arts. Luke is the inheritor of a great magical dynasty and, learning first from his uncle and them a tramp called Zeke, Luke begins to harness his extraordinary powers with the potential to be the greatest alchemist of all – but at what price?

The book will include five separate story arcs, “Summer Magic” (1988), “The Night Walker” (1992), “Sympathy for the Devil” (1993-4), “Old Straight Track” (1995), and “The Price” (1995). Says Rebellion head of comics and books Ben Smith, “Summer Magic is a wonderful story that not only pre-dates the recent ‘boy-wizard’ phenomenon, but is one that deals with loss-of-innocence in a profound and sensitive way. It is fantastic to now produce the complete collection of these stories which to my mind are one of the high-water marks in 2000 AD’s history and are the work of two profoundly important British comics creators John Ridgeway and Alan McKenzie, the latter of whom was also one of 2000 AD’s long-serving editors.”

Here’s a preview:

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Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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