Meesh the Bad Demon

Magic, adventure and danger abound in Meesh the Bad Demon, the friendship-forward, confidence-affirming first installment in a graphic novel fantasy series by debut author Michelle Lam, a storyboard artist who has previously worked for animation studios Netflix Animation and Tonko House.

Plum-haired, mauve-horned Meesh wishes she were a fairy, because she isn't cut out for life as a demon. Her classmates at Mount Magma Middle School bully her for talking to flowers, and she fails lessons in breathing fire, vomiting acid and sharpening her horns. Her grandmother tells her, "Being different really isn't as bad as you think," but Meesh isn't so sure. Then a poisoned lava spill turns most of the demons, including her grandmother, to stone. Meesh sets out for the fairy domain of Plumeria City, hoping to find a magic stone that can heal the other demons. A meeting with her hero Princess Nouna goes terribly awry and lands Meesh and the fairy princess in danger. Meesh learns that fairy life isn't always magical, and that the secret to unlocking her untapped demonic potential might lie in accepting herself as she is.

Lam's digital illustrations are pillowy soft as she whisks readers through a whimsical world of volcano-dwelling demons, enchanted items and cities in the sky. She balances her frequently adorable aesthetic with a high-stakes plot and a message of self-acceptance, often much needed by middle graders. A cryptic figure at story's end foreshadows more adventures for Meesh and friends beyond this successful series kickoff. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth experience manager, Dayton Metro Library

Powered by: Xtenit