A young man is given a choice.

The Books of Magic  Neil Gaiman (1993)

            Neil Gaiman wrote one of my favorite comic books, The Sandman.  That story dealt with the Endless, personifications of near-eternal concepts such as Death, Destiny, Desire, etc.  Sandman focused mainly on Dream, and his world, The Dreaming, but it delved into all manner of religious lore and mythical realms.  The Books of Magic do a similar thing.

            The Books of Magic is a bound collection of a comic detailing the life of a young British adolescent boy who is taken on a journey by 4 “magicians” of the DC Comics universe.  They aim to show him the world of magic, and allow him to make the choice to follow it or to leave it all behind.  The boy has the potential to be this age’s greatest mage, so it is a critical journey he must undertake.

            He travels to many realms, far into the past, and forward into the deep, deep future, meeting an interacting with other great mages throughout history and time.  He learns from each different person/being he meets and ultimately makes his decision.  Nothing is watered down and the real risks of his choice are laid out for him.  It’s a cool ass story, and works amazingly well.  I have read it at least 5 times and it is always awesome.

The far future looked something like this.

            The artwork is kick ass also and helps to portray some of the more bizarre and non-linear ideas presented to the boy.  For someone who is well versed in myth, magic, and religion it is very entertaining, and for someone who is not, it is very enlightening and engrossing.

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