Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Magical Twins

written by Alejandro Jodorowsky
illustrated by Georges Bess
Published by Humanoids

The Magical Twins is written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and  illustrated by the amazing George Bess who also illustrated Jodorowsky's Son of  a Gun and The White Llama. However this time, Bess has used his powers in a whole new way. When you compare the artwork side by side, you can immediately tell the approach to Magical Twins has an exaggerated style. Characters have bigger eyes, expressions and friendlier, often goofy faces because this story is meant for a young audience. Apart from the actual character design, the coloring also lends itself to children by utilizing a flamboyant color pallet.

This is the first all-ages Jodorowsky story I have ever read. I actually can't think of a single story previously written by Jodorowsky that was intently written for a young audience. Most of Jodorowsky's work sits completely in the adult world and wouldn't be suitable for anyone under 13 (15 if you're a particularly strict household, I however don't think teens need that kind of censorship).

As you can guess this book doesn't hold Jodorowsky's usual themes which generally include sexuality, violence and tragedy, etc. I've seen many comparisons to Greek tragedy when people talk about Jodorowsky's work. The Magical Twins fits more appropriately in the realm of Greek Mythology. Although I don't feel there is any real lesson to be learned (except maybe that parents aren't always trustworthy), the journey's focus is on turning enemies into friends. This makes sense as you can't really have children running about murdering everything with magic, well you could, it just wouldn't be a children's book anymore. The ending however is where I am slightly confused. And here I'll warn you to read no further as I'm going to SPOIL the ending:

The Twins reach their goal only to discover that the trials they were set out to concur were put in place by their parents as a giant test. You know, cause parents always set their children out on dangerous, terrifying tests in order to ensure they haven't gotten soft living in the palace. So essentially, while I'm not surprised that Jodorowsky's idea of a children's story includes a lesson about not trusting your parents, I have to question what he was thinking. Maybe he was just laughing about it. Actually I am picturing him snickering in his writing area.

Whether children actually pick up on the less than positive meaning behind the ending of Magical Twins, they will love the beautiful illustrations, and exciting, action packed pages. No matter what gender your child identifies with, this book positive roles with both boy and girl being capable, brave adventurers!