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The Black Mage

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The School for Good and Evil meets Dread Nation in this subversive original graphic novel where race, history and magic collide.

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token,
Paperback, 153 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2019 by Oni Press (first published August 13th 2019)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  162 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Emily (Obsessed Reader)
I was given an e-book of this graphic novel for free for review by Netgalley.
This was a very quick read, but it still had a lot of great points and topics covered in the short amount of time. I enjoyed this and I think that it could turn into a good series. The artwork was more of a very colorful anime, which I liked. I hope there will be more to come!
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 Stars

I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. I very much appreciated the concept of seeing the theme of racism explored in a fantasy setting. There are definitely similarities between St. Ivory Academy’s headmaster and his colleagues and the members of the KKK, this much was pretty obvious and I think it was explained fairly well.
Tom was a very likable main characters and I admired his c
This is a fantastic fantasy graphic novel which is set in a magical school which is run by the Klan. The school has just allowed a black person to attend under the guise of adding diversity to their school at last, but everything isn't what it seems. The other students immediately have a problem with the new addition to the school, but he never allows it to get to him. Even when everything unfolds all at once, he keeps himself together. I won't go into detail about the plot because this is somet ...more
⚔ Silvia ⚓
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

This graphic novel is about a Black kid who gets accepted into a shady magical school that turns out to be run by actual KKK.

I really liked the art and colors, and I loved the message of fighting your oppressors with the help and the strength of the generations that came before you.

I do like stories with powerful messages to be a little more subtle or metaphorical, espec
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an eARC of this graphic novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

This is such a fun, fast-paced graphic novel, with a lot more depth then I was expecting, and I really loved it. The parallels with the real world aren't even subtle, and that makes this a poignant graphic novel. But the story is told in a more light-hearted way, and it's often funny. From "St. Ivory Academy", to Tom Token and his companion Jim Crow, and the Academy officials being dressed like Klan memb
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Black boy magic! This was such a great comic and I can really see kids and teens enjoying it. Not only does it take you to a world filled with magic, but we're also getting American history mixed in. Readers will recognize historical figures and race discrimination that has long plagued this country. Seeing a young black boy triumph over evil oppressors is the type of story young people need to see more often. Definitely recommend to any comic fan, especially because the art is beautiful.

Thank y
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me!

The Black Mage is a vibrant, speedy book with an epic art style that’s like a combination of Harry Potter and Little Witch Academia. It’s super action packed, blending different pop-culture references in a way that’s really fun – it’s like lots of little nods to things we know and love. The book follows Tom Token (an awesome wizard who takes no sh*t) and his new fri
Patty Zuiderwijk
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have received an e-ARC via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

I have never read that many graphic novels, when I read the description of this one it definitely sparked my interest!

Harry Potter was definitely an inspiration, the magical school itself and the train ride and the bird companion are just a few of the obvious.
You can hate those details, but I would not see why.

This story combines the magic with the first interaction between white mage students and Tom; who is the first bla
Steff Pasciuti
I have to admit, I was quite thrown within the first several pages of The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by D. J. Kirkland. This graphic novel is incredibly bold and immensely terrifying, blatantly exposing racism in a way that can shock the reader, and I think is meant to shock the reader. It's uncomfortable in its own right, but frankly, I think that if it were not uncomfortable, this book would not be doing what it set out to do in the first place. The truth is that racism is unc ...more
I received a free copy of this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was fantastic.

We met Token, a kid who’s supposed to be the first African American Mage in St. Ivory, a school of magic heavily inspired on Hogwarts. His journey is not easy because everyone sees him as the outsider, but something darker than that is waiting for him.

Let’s start: the art was glorious, so colorful, shiny and anime like. It was fast paced, and the plot was a nice way to introduce us to
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tom Tolken is a first black mage who was accepted to the St. Ivory Academy for your magicians. His first days at school are not easy because of the color of his skin. He meets Lindsay who keeps his company from the first day there. Besides the high rate of racism in the school, everything looks normal until someone sends Tom an I.D. student card of a black girl Summer who also was a studen
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got the e-arc of this graphic novel from netgalley and the respective in exchange for an honest review.
RATING :- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
What I liked :- I completed this graphic novel in one sitting I didn't even get up for a minute. It was a very quick and fun read. I liked how this book tackled issues of racism and how it was connected to what had actually happened in America in the past about Klan and how they treated people of color. The characters in this s
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: magic, graphic-novel
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

I really wanted to like this. The plot sounded incredible! A story about a wizarding school that is accepting it's first black student sounds incredible. I was so ready for intricate character development and watching the main character (Tom) face racism, while breaking down barriers, proving his worth, and maybe cursing some racists along the way.

Instead I got a black boy with his pet crow Jim going to a school r
Chloë Jans
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
First of all, this book is incredibly race-focused. That is not a negative nor a positive thing, although you need to know. I didn't and expected more of a magic school with a black kid who also needs to deal with some racism. That is not the case. The magic system isn't really explored. Another thing you should know: this is very inspired by anime so expect a lot of 'epic' battles between characters.

In this story, we follow Tom who gets accepted into the St Ivorys academy of Spellcraft And Sorc
Jill Kenna
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic graphic novel. It deals heavily with race and racism at a magic school called St. Ivory Academy. Our main character Tom Token, is the first black student at this school (that we know of). We start off seeing him get asked stupid, racist questions by his new school mates and dealing with people being horrible right off the bat. The rest of the book deals with Tom and his friend Lindsay discovering what the school is really about.

I really loved this book. It was very uncomfor
Sofia Blackthorn Of The Wild Hunt
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
5 stars!
ARC provided by Net Galley and the publishing house in exchange of an honest review.

This is an amazing graphic novel, that manages to combine racism,magic and fantasy in 153 pages. My copy was personalized, something I immensely adored.

The story follows Tom,a teenage boy who gets accepted into St.Ivorys school of sorcery and being the first minority accepted in this school.
I really liked Tom and enjoyed his behavior and manners very much (he was a badass so that helped 😂) and loved his f
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, african-american
The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Black Mage tells the story of Tom, a black teenage boy who is accepted in St.Ivory school of magic (witchcraft) as the very first black person ever to achieve that. Once there he will befriend Lindsay, a white teenage girl who was peacefully enjoying the many various privileges of her witness in a world crafted for people like her. I really enjoyed the way History met and mixed with ma
*thank you to Netgalley and Oni Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

3 stars.

I actually rather liked this Graphic Novel. It had a mixture of themes and people that I knew. Token which reminded me of 'Tolkien,' KKK, Harry Potter setting along with a touch of anime style illustrations. The use of colours and the details of the drawings I liked. There were also a few giggles and smiles and the main characters were really nice and likable. I'd have to say Tom was my favouri
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I think that this graphic novel was pretty good. The art was great and the story was pretty good! At the beginning I found the book a bit confusing, but as you keep reading you start to understand it more.
This graphic novel is about a boy named Tom. He goes to the magic school St. Ivory Academy for the first time. On that school are basically only white people. The black people weren't respected. Because Tom was black he got bullied.
As the story continues, we find out why there were never black
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

To start off, The Black Mage hits hard with its strong themes on racism. It's fast-paced (maybe even rushed?) and chock-full of tension. Although the art style is not my favorite, the colors, character design, and panels were very well done. It's definitely clear on its messages, so there's no need to dig around and find what the author truly means to tell you. However, the fast pacing resulted in
xueh wei
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley-copy
I thought this book was alright, you can tell that it was trying to draw on parallels with American Civil Rights History, the moment the black MC was called "Mr. Token" in an all-white school (lmao) while the headmaster was called Mr. Lynch — too obvious!

I appreciated the attempt, but felt the execution was lacklustre. But if you like magic and fighting the bad guys without much depth in plot, just a lot of action, this might be for you.

Thank you Netgalley for the free copy for review!
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
3/5 stars!

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I expected a magic school a lot like Harry Potter, with a new black student having face racism systematically and from the students, and where it was that, it was so much more. I really like how in your face the points of the story were, and the concept was really cool. The art and dialogue styles weren't my favorite, because I think they messed with the story's clarity, bu
Courtney’s Reads
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was sent this ARC in exchange for a honest review
3.75 stars**
Where to start, first off I want to say that this graphic novel had BEAUTIFUL ART, I loved the style, it was kind of drawn in a anime/manga art style and it was amazing. Now initially I was very excited to read this because the art was drawing me and the synopsis was promising. I was immediately thrown off my the KKK. It made me uncomfortable a lot of times. I thought it was going to be about a black mage that goes to an all white sc
Rhiannon Jackman
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an e-ARC from Netgalley for review and I really liked it! It was quite short, and I think if it had been a little bit longer it could have been drawn out a little more but it still covered a lot of race-related issues well in a short space. Reading it makes you very aware of what's happening in the world, especially the states.
The artwork was also really nice! Nice and colourful, so it kept you interested.

Overall it was a really quick read and I really enjoyed it!
Manon the Malicious
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Black Mage was a comic about racism, wizardry and friendship. It tells the story of Tom Token, the first black student in a school for mages. He is immediately bullied by his peers except for his student guide who take him under her wing. Then a lot of stuff happens.

I really liked this. This was short and interesting and entertaining. I liked the two main characters and the plot was pretty good. The only thing I found unfor
pia (pixiepia)
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
definitely the most impactful graphic novel that i’ve ever read. i really enjoyed how it handled the subject matter of race and racial superiority. it was a really unique story that incorporates important themes into a fantastical school setting that i really enjoyed. the art style was wonderful and i suspect a little romance is brewing as well. overall would definitely continue with the series.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I got a arc from NetGalley and I have to say I didnt like this. I loved the art work which was spectacular but the story itself was just something I didnt like. It made me feel super uncomfortable the entire way through. It just clearly wasnt a comic for me, but the art work I did love.
Amanda Perry
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this for review from netgalley.

What is not to like? I want to describe this as a mixture between Harry Potter meets avatar the last air bender. The magic system was really cool but what I really liked was that this showed the blatant racism that you would find in real life done in a satirical way.

This was about a boy named Tom who gets accepted to St ivory’s school for sorcery. He is the first minority in this school which causes some ruckus amongst the other students
Bree (alibraryforone)
3.5/5 stars
This graphic novel is a collision of magic and racial histories, which aren't normally featured in fantasy settings. The Black Mage is a quick read, that covers a lot of material, and keeps you interested. A lot of stuff seems to happen within a tiny window of time. Also, the art style is friendly and belies the seriousness of the topics that make up this book.

*Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.*
La Reine ✨
arc provided oni press via netgalley!

i was surprised by how much i liked the black mage. i really liked the illustrations (they were sorta anime but they also weirdly looked like the art from Totally Spies😂). i appreciated the diversity and the concept of the book and i really loved how racism and sexism were challenged, sadly unlike many books. overall a really enjoyable book!
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