My Rating: 4 stars
The Okay Witch is a middle grade graphic novel about Moth Hush, a thirteen-year-old who finds out that she’s a witch. Honestly, I wanted to read this because it looked so adorable, plus I love witch stories. And this truly is adorable. Steinkellner’s art is great. Look at how cute the character designs are! And the cat! I was head over heels in love with it from the first page. I can’t wait to see more comics from her.
Moth is also an incredibly loveable main character. I mean, look at her. How could she not be? But more importantly, she’s relatable. She’s a nerdy girl who doesn’t fit in at school and gets bullied. She wants to find some place to belong, and when she discovers her powers and the magical witch world Hecate, she thinks she’s found her place. It’s a joy to watch her discover magic, and I also loved seeing her and her mother come to understand each other. Relationships between mothers and daughters are at the forefront of this story, and Steinkellner does a great job crafting Moth’s relationship with her mother Calendula as well as Calendula’s relationship with her own mother, Sarah.
Though I did enjoy the graphic novel overall, the pace did feel far to fast for me. It moved so quickly from one conflict to the next that there was never any time for tension to build. I particularly felt this way about Moth’s visit to Hecate. I wish Steinkellner had extended that section to make it feel more high stakes. The villain also seems to come out of nowhere. There is very little lead up and almost no hints to it at all, and the villain is defeated almost as soon as they appear. I think this may be due to the book being middle grade. I know they tend to have a faster pace, and of course they are going to be less complicated than adult fiction.
Overall, The Okay Witch is a sweet graphic novel about family, finding where you belong, and, of course, magic. The art is adorable, the relationships between the characters are lovely, and it’s a fun read.