Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Razzle Dazzle Unicorn gives readers a glimpse at the creator behind this series. Dana Simpson writes her own introduction for this fourth volume collecting her daily newspaper strip, explaining how it came to be: “One day I wrote a strip with a unicorn in it. It was a one-off joke riffing on a theme that was looming large in my life at the time … And then the unicorn wouldn’t leave. Being a unicorn, she wanted attention. She wanted to shine in front of an admiring audience. This dovetailed nicely with my own goals…” And at the other end of the book there is ‘Learn The Creative Process’, a look at how she writes and draws her comics using the strip featured on page 34 as an example. It starts with the rough idea she draws in her notebook which she sends to her editor. After it’s approved, we can see all the stages as she lays out her panels, adds lettering, draws and then inks her pictures before sending the art off to her colourist to add the final finishes. Fans will love the friendly, informative slices of background info which bookend this volume.
In between those two features is the typical blend of conversation, magic and friendly difficulties that explore the relationship between a little girl, a magical otherworldly being and the very normal world they live in. The action begins at Thanksgiving and then takes us through Christmas with lots of thinking about holiday rituals and into the new year with resolutions (and the strip which is examined at the end of the book) before plunging into another year of school, with appearances from friends, foes and a trip to summer camp. New things in this volume include a magical room cleaning spell that succeeds a little too well, Marigold coming down with sparkle fever and the challenge of performing a winning song in a competition that nobody has practised for.