Kat Leyh's Snapdragon is a magical realist graphic novel about a young girl who befriends her town’s witch and discovers the strange magic within herself. The story goes like this:
“Snap's town had a witch.
At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online―after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too.
They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic―and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.”
In addition to this story being an excellent example of character-driven plot, one of the reasons Snapdragon is so great is because there are multiple subplots that keep the reader engaged. These subplots do a masterful job of revealing character growth, as well as drive the main story forward.
Leyh supports this story with an interesting array of characters, whose personalities are revealed with incredible character acting. Snaps, the spirited protagonist, wants nothing more than to be accepted for who she is, and has no qualms about hiding her expressive personality. Leyh characterizes Snaps with big gestures, loud exclamations, and a tender heart. Jacks, on the other hand, has a much calmer facade and tries her best to be aloof, but in the end softens from Snaps persistent charm.
Snapdragon is also an excellent resource to analyze for coloring. She supports the mood of the story by pushing the local colors with something a little extra, such as filling the panel with hot pink if Snaps is angry. There are flashbacks, there’s scenes of anger, and there are scenes that are a little bit spooky, and all of these can be identified by the use of color.
Overall, Snapdragon is a fun, queer story that would be an excellent addition to anyone’s shelves.