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Cover by Martin Redmond

The Magic If

A 40-page one-shot, published by Headless Shakespeare Press, 2004.

Category: slice-of-life.

Author(s): Craig McKenney, Gervasio.

Wynter and his lover & assistant, Danny

Don't be fooled by the metaphorical cover, there's no devil in The Magic If, no supernatural happenings. Only very human urges and passions.
Writer Craig McKenney and artist Gervasio have crafted a moving portrait of a stage magician whose professional and private life is sent into turmoil when he becomes obsessed by a rival as well as dissatisfied by the gigs he gets.

Wynter's relationship with with his assistant and lover, Daniel, is an important part of this comic, but it isn't played in any special way for being between two men. Which doesn't mean we don't see them showing each other physical affection, far from it. But it's just another example how gay characters can be used in a story which is definitely not about their being gay.

The slow but continuous decline of Wynter's grip on his life is told in a low-key and effective way, as is Daniel's sadness at losing the man he knows and loves.
Gervasio's art is also quite low-key, putting itself completely in service of the story. While it cannot be called completely solid, it more than makes up for that by offering very expressive, believable faces. Those characters don't look like supermodels, they are close to us, as is their story.

I won't tell you how The Magic If ends, nor whether the two men will find each other again, only that it seemed to me the characters stay true to themselves, which in my opinion is definitely the most important thing in a story.

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