Title: Moonstruck, Volume 1: Magic to Brew
Writer: Grace Ellis
Artist [s]: Shae Beagle, Kate Leth, Caitlin Quirk, Clayton Cowles
Designer: Laurenn McCubbin
Publisher: Image Comics
In the little college town of Blitheton, fantasy creatures live cozy, normal lives right alongside humans, and werewolf barista Julie strives to be the most normal of all. But all heck breaks loose when she and her new girlfriend Selena go on a disastrous first date that ends with a magician casting a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late!
Moonstruck is a vivid story of a bad date gone wrong that leads to a mystery adventure and adventure of discovery. It is filled with friendship and cute interactions. Julie and her girlfriend, Selena go into mission mode to help Selena’s friend Chat get what was taken from them.
There was an array of characters in the story, and I couldn’t help but enjoy a couple of them. Julie is such a gentle soul and I understood her shyness. I also loved the genuine care she has for people, especially her friends. Selena compliments Julie’s shyness with her extroversion, while also loving her true self in all her forms. Chet, a centaur barista, is lively and animated and probably would be fun to be around. They [identifies as non-binary] become a focal point in the story and their loss brings together people for a larger mission. The three main characters all possesses unique traits that make them special together. Aside from Chet being one of characters, Cass, a barista who has visions had a small role overall but it was enough to make me want to know more about.
Without spoilers, I have to say I loved the plot through and through. Julie and Selena’s first date is at a magic show and Chet tags along. During this magic show, Chet becomes a volunteer and ultimately loses something that makes them who they are. After that event, they go on a search and find mission to retrieve what was taken. When they find the foxy magician, there is a period were a lot of eery things occur and true natures are shown. It is a wild ride, but ultimately, the fox magician is unmasked and Chet gets back what was taken. Two points of the plot I enjoyed the most were the fact that most, if not all the characters were not human and that friendship is a main theme throughout the story.
One point I was concerned about or rather wanted to understand more of was Julie’s resistance towards showing her werewolf self. Selena is much more comfortable with herself, but we never get a backstory about Julie. I hope with feature issues that’s something we can get a little bit more insight on.
Overall, the coffee shop to magic show to coffee shop again setting was probably my favorite part of the story. It felt like all the characters were college students working a part time job and making connections daily. The diverse set of characters and beautifully illustrated panels made this story all the more enjoyable.