I am Hexed Issue 1 review
Writer: Kristen Thompson
Interior Artist: Christianne Gillenardo- Goudreau
Cover: Little Corvus
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/hexed_comic
I am Hexed; Witches are living in the open
The main character in I am hexed is Charlie Helm, she is a witch in DC. Witchcraft is illegal and her boss just got caught using magic. It certainly looks like a setup and one thing we can be sure of is someone is trying to drag Charlie into the scandal. As a result, tensions are running high and the proverbial cauldron is about to boil over. Charlie finds herself on the run, not knowing who she can trust or where to turn to.
Witches have played a vital part in the background of the political web in Washing DC since the beginning and now they’re being heavily scrutinized. Facing persecution, the witches are fighting for equality and for Charlie, fighting to clear her name.
I am Hexed and representation
I am Hexed is a series that has paid real attention to representation, which we at The Valkyries, will always champion. We spoke to Kirsten Thompson about the motivations behind Hexed and she had this to say;
I Am Hexed was inspired by a love of witchcraft and magic but also wanting to see queer people at the forefront of our own stories. It’s also tied into some of what’s going on in the world today so there are parallels there as well.
They have certainly achieved this target, its a story about segregation and human rights, told from the point of view of characters who have experienced these prejudices. For example, we learn throughout issue one that Charlie is likely bisexual, with mentions to both an ex-girlfriend and an ex-boyfriend. Similarly, the level of diverse genders, races and sexualities makes for a diverse and inclusive cast.
In the background of I am Hexed issue one, is the peaceful protests of the witches in Washington and likely, around the country. Witches are all coming together to fight these injustices. For me, this was another important message coming through from I am Hexed, where we need to stand with our peers in times of injustice. Not wait till it is directly on our doorsteps, stand with those who are being wronged no matter where.
I am Hexed is a work of art and a work of heart
Thanks to the well-created characters, I found myself drawn into I am Hexed. These characters do not feel two-dimensional ‘cookie cut out’ stock characters. They are fleshed out, real people with flaws and personality traits we can relate to. I particularly liked Jaya, Charlie’s ex-girlfriend. She is unapologetic, courageous and not afraid to call Charlie on her shit. The bright pastel shades of the artwork captivate and draw you into the world of magic and mystique. The paneling and the pacing of the issue flows with ease and confidence. There is a great level of synchronization between the narrative, the artwork of the lettering. I am always particularly fond of Taylor Esposito’s lettering work and the issue is certainly as excellent as his others, the lettering is clear, crisp and sometimes so well integrated in the panels you almost forget you are reading!
I am Hexed is a political mystery full of intrigue, lies and backhand deals. It is hard to not draw parallels between the segregation and treatment of witches, with the sociopolitical issues that we are experiencing in our day to day lives. Furthermore, I am Hexed is and actively pro LGBTQIA+ series. Where in addition to being a suspenseful thriller is also an important tale about equality in our society.
Whilst the nature of political deals is inherently underhand and secretive. In light of the ambiguity, I am Hexed can be a little ambiguous as to what is going on in places. There are certain aspects and events that I am sure will be revealed as the series progresses.
I am Hexed issue one is a belter of a first issue. I look forward to seeing where our characters end up and if a sense of peace can be found. This is a perfect read for those who like to keep up with current affairs and tales with aspects of fantasy within the “real world”.