cover image The Witch Owl Parliament (Clockwork Curandera #1)

The Witch Owl Parliament (Clockwork Curandera #1)

David Bowles and Raúl the Third. Tu, $17.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-62014-592-0

In this ultracool but information-dense first installment of Bowles (My Two Border Towns) and Raúl the Third’s (Strollercoaster) graphic novel trilogy, its creators pose the following question, taken from an author’s note: “What if a curandera... had to become a cyborg to survive?” Drawing inspiration from steampunk and cyberpunk aesthetics, “magical, horror-tinged comics,” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the story—set in an alternate 1865—introduces readers to siblings Cristina and Enrique Franco Pedregón, just as tragedy strikes. After an attack by witch owls fatally injures apprentice curandera Cristina at a train depot in the Republic of Santander, a desperate Enrique makes the fateful decision to bring his sister back to life using a combination of alchemy and engineering. But as Cristina reluctantly adjusts to her new existence, the siblings must team up with a shape-shifting mage to investigate the owl coven responsible for the cruel attack and find a way to fight back. Featuring a limited palette with pops of brilliant orange-red and forest green by colorist Stacey Robinson, stylish lettering by Damian Duffy, and Raúl the Third’s well-placed panel breakouts and signature kinetic style, each page buzzes with life. Though Bowles condenses much information into the trilogy’s first volume, the siblings’ compelling dynamic will leave readers awaiting the next installments. Includes maps, a prequel story, and bonus sketches. Ages 12–up. Agent (for Raúl the Third): Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Oct.)