Queer Witches in 1930s South


Written by Jasmine Walls and illustrated by Teo DuVall, with colors by Bex Glendining and letters by Ariana Maher, Brooms brings vivid characters (queer, broom-racing witches) to life in an equally vivid setting (1930s Mississippi). The graphic novel will release in October, but io9 has a special preview to share today.

First up, here’s a summary of Brooms, including some quick introductions to the protagonists:

It’s 1930s Mississippi. Magic is permitted only in certain circumstances, and by certain people. Unsanctioned broom racing is banned. But for those who need the money, or the thrills…it’s there to be found.

Meet Billie Mae, captain of the Night Storms racing team, and Loretta, her best friend and second-in-command. They’re determined to make enough money to move out west to a state that allows Black folks to legally use magic and take part in national races.

Cheng-Kwan – doing her best to handle the delicate and dangerous double act of being the perfect “son” to her parents, and being true to herself while racing.

Mattie and Emma — Choctaw and Black — the youngest of the group and trying to dodge government officials who want to send them and their newly-surfaced powers away to boarding school.

And Luella, in love with Billie Mae. Her powers were sealed away years ago after she fought back against the government. She’ll do anything to prevent the same fate for her cousins.

Brooms is a queer, witchy adventure that shines light on history not often told.

Brooms is our way of exploring what a world with magic might be like in the context of history, especially in the American South,” writer Walls said in a statement provided to io9. “What would be different, what would stay the same, and who gets to enjoy the benefits? These six young witches aren’t about to let anyone tell them what they can or can’t do, if that means learning magic in secret and sneaking out in the night to participate in illegal broom racing, then so be it. They can’t dodge trouble forever though, and sooner or later spells, curses, or the law are bound to catch up.”

Added illustrator DuVall, “I fell in love with the magic of the young witches of Brooms. What they do is wild and powerful, strong in the face of their adversity. Their magic is beautiful, and they reflect a history of those who have always stood up and rebelled.”

Brooms will be released October 10; you can pre-order a copy through Bookshop or Amazon. Click through for an exclusive preview now!

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