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I Wish ...: Volume 1    by Hyun-Joo Seo order for
I Wish ...
by Hyun-Joo Seo
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Although the premise of I Wish ... is not new to graphic novels, author Hyun-Joo Seo puts a typical manwha spin on this tale of a wizard who can grant wishes ... for a grave price.

Left alone while her family went on vacation, Jin Ryu wished in anger that their plane would crash. Now she blames herself for the death of her family. Hoping to make amends, she follows the advice her mother gives her in a dream to speak with K, a mysterious wizard who can grant wishes. Since K is unable to grant wishes that bring the dead back to life, he forces Jin to work for him until she can come up with another wish. Jin is appalled by K's practice of granting wishes in exchange for what is most precious to the asker, but she has no other choice - although she tries at every opportunity to make the wishes not come true. This is the framework that ties together all of the shorter stories in I Wish ...

Volume one contains three separate stories: one about a rich father who does not want his son to marry a poor girl; another about a girl whose boyfriend is being attacked by his memories; and the last about a boy who thinks his possibly gay friend has a disease. While each of these stories features different main characters, Seo uses them to brings out a little more about Jin, K, and their mysterious relationship. Seo also does a good job with the artwork, which has the typical Korean style of depicting characters as impossibly tall and willowy. The graphics are pretty consistent throughout I Wish ..., helping to make it a good read.

While there are many other graphic novels out there that deal with similar story lines, I Wish ... is a good entry in the genre, as there is plenty of mystery in the framing story to keep it going for quite a while. Hyun-Joo Seo's typical manhwa style also helps her version stand out.

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