At first, I found Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir by Bishakh Kumar Som a little confusing. You expect to get the story of Som, and while it starts off that way, you quickly go into a fictionalized version of who they are. With the character Anjali, we see who Som could be and in a way is, as their protagonist is a piece of them. This is a fun, informative and unique slice of life story that may not shatter the world but will rock it a bit.
And what rocks us is the art and text of Som. We follow Anjali trying to make it through the day. She has a job she hates, a boss she hates, parents who love her but are typical parents of her culture. She has a cat, friends, likes to drink, and make comics. she quits her job to do just that: make comics. By this time her parents have both passed away, but that does not mean their ghosts do not haunt her (sometimes, literally). Trying to find a girlfriend, making meals, and find a publisher for her book might not be something we all have done, but we can relate to Anjali’s struggle.
The artwork is very simple, but not simplistic. It is comfortable, but not necessarily relaxing. The colors are not for everyone, the details might be too much or not enough, and the pacing cold beawkward. The at least two pages to each chapter make this choppy, but also, do not really worry about that. The flow from Som’s part and Anjali is not the smoothest, but then again, neither is life.
This is an experience graphic novel that is exciting and a cozy up with your blanket and relax with book simultaneously. Teens and adults can enjoy, but there are some scenes with semi-explicit sex, and while minimal, some racist content.