Writer: Michael Hague
Art: Michael Hague
Eye of Newt is the creation of Michael Hague, an illustrator who is well known for his fantasy art and children’s book illustrations. He is responsible for some of the art that I’ve seen growing up. Hague has illustrated many books over the years, The Velveteen Rabbit being my personal favorite. He has also illustrated stories by Hans Christian Andersen, along with The Hobbit and The Wizard of Oz. So even if you’re not familiar with his name you will be sure to recognize his style. In addition to illustrating this book, Hague is also the writer of this mini-series.
The stories protagonist is Newt, the apprentice of a wizard. As with most apprentices there is a task that must be completed before training is complete. This book was building towards that while letting us see the type of person Newt is and the type of Wizard his master would like him to become in the future. Newt strikes me as someone that just wants to enjoy life. The wizard training him seems to want him to be as powerful as he can. We also meet an array of characters in this first issue; some of them are friendly, while some of them turn out to be foes. The one character I would love to know more about is a Helbring that we meet. Based on what we’ve seen already, I have a feeling that he has an interesting back story. There’s also mention of characters that will be present later on in the series.
Now, if you’re into fantasy art you will not be disappointed with this book. The colors are vibrant, and there are elements that stand out on the page. Hague has a great use of texture giving the art even more life. I did have a little trouble with a few pages due to the lack gutters. There are framed panels, but it’s very stylized. It made some of the pages feel cluttered. I did have to read some of the wording multiple times. The lettering was too intricate and small for easy reading. I understand the use was to differentiate the narrative from dialogue. I think that was a great idea considering the nature of the story. I just wish the text was a little bigger. That being said, stylistically it looks great with the art on the page.
If you’re a fan of Michael Hague’s work then you’ll love looking through this mini-series. However, if you’re looking for a complex story this may not be the book for you. Overall, the plot itself seems a little predictable. Nothing jumps out at me and makes me want to continue reading. Yes, one character intrigued me. That should have been Newt, but it was a minor character. Hopefully the story is developed more in the following issues. Who knows? The next three books could be filled with amazing plot twists and adventure.