A Review of An Embarrassment of Witches

A Review of An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan

I first encountered Sophie Goldstein’s work in the dystopian world of The Oven. I expected a similar approach of futurism, science fiction, and washed tones. What I found in the first pages of An Embarrassment of Witches is just as visually compelling, but works in a slightly different aesthetic.

The dialogue is fresh and witty, and Goldstein’s illustrations are lovely to look at. I especially enjoyed Goldstein’s playful use of imagery, as when the reader takes on the viewpoint of the character, or when the reader encounters a full-page reconfiguration of “witchy” advertising as the characters go on a leisurely shopping trip.

Now, I want to try some Taco Spell.

Later, Goldstein teaches the reader how to make an origami owl, and these moments of visual ludic provide a clever break in the narrative. It’s part of what makes graphic novels great, and Goldstein captures this. These are just a few of the narrative features the author/artist employs.

In the final analysis, the world I found in this book was much different from The Oven, but wonderfully so – An Embarrassment of Witches is another fine entertaining entry from a graphic novelist who is on my favorites list.