Wizard Beach has such an odd title that it immediately elicits strange imagery. Even odder is that Boom! Studios released a beach comic in the month of December. What were they thinking?
Written by Shaun Simon and drawn by Conor Nolan, Wizard Beach tells the story of Hexley Ragbottom, a young magician who is coming of age. He lives in a frozen wizarding world where battles against dark monsters are everlasting and insurmountable. Rather than fight in the war, Hexley’s father relegates him to the confines of their home and a crackling fireplace. Hexley sees the magicians war as hopeless and he wants to learn more of magic so he can help end it for good. In order to do this, he tells his father he will go study magic under his Uncle Salazar, who is a powerful wizard. The twist? His uncle has retired to a beach paradise in the human world.
There are two parts to this story. The first part is Hexley in his wizarding home, and the second is Hexley arriving at the beach to meet his Uncle Salazar. Coloring artist Meg Casey does a good job blending both worlds into a similar but succinct color palette. A beach world is quite a bit different artistically than a bleak wizarding world. She weaves in color tones of purple throughout, such as in a spice monster to give it a cohesive style. The art style in Wizard Beach is charming. It’s fun to browse each panel and discover tiny details hidden by artist Conor Nolan, which many other artists would simply leave bare to save time. Conor’s art is cartoonish and fantastical, a perfect match for a wizarding comic.
Reading Wizard Beach is a bit like going on a new ride at Disney World. It’s magical and eccentric fun with a bit of juvenility. This isn’t a comic you should take too seriously. It’s more of a beach read.