Two Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews: Magical Boy, Vol. 1 and The Third Person

Title: Magical Boy, Vol. 1

Author: The Kao

Genre: YA Fantasy Graphic Novel

Number of Pages: 320

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

When I got this from the library and looked through some of the panels, I didn’t have high hopes. I decided to read it anyway since it was so short, and I was surprised when I ended up enjoying it. It’s a light, goofy adventure starring a transgender boy who is gifted with powers and expected to fight an ancient evil. The problem is that the ‘chosen ones’ have always been girls in the past. The characters are simple but fun and the storyline is action-packed and accompanied by cute and colorful, Manga-influenced illustrations. I finished this book in a single day and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next volume.

Title: The Third Person

Author: Emma Grove

Genre: Graphic Memoir

Number of Pages: 920

Rating: B-

Recommended?: Yes

The Third Person is an immense graphic novel about the author’s struggles as a transgender woman with DID. The vast majority of the book is set during sessions between her and her therapist, a trans man. I found this book to be a very interesting read with illustrations that are simple and incongruously cute, considering the dark subject matter. I did have serious doubts about the authenticity of the narrative, especially when it came to the behavior of the therapist and how confrontative and AWFUL he was throughout the book.

Emma kept going to him and even seemed fond of him in a way and I have no idea why. Seriously, what therapist gets mad at a patient and says, “I think I understand why your grandfather beat you?” It strained credulity and I already have serious doubts about so-called ‘true’ stories about dissociative identity disorder. It just seems like it’s a very popular illness and psychiatrist’s wet dream with a lack of evidence to back it up.

So, no, I didn’t believe that everything in The Third Person was 100% accurate (I was even more doubtful when in the forward Grove said that EVERY SINGLE THING in this book was written the way it happened.) But it’s still worthwhile for readers who are interested in abnormal psychology and the effects of childhood trauma on the brain.


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