Published by Vertigo, a division of DC Comics, The Books of Magic was created by Neil Gaiman, who wrote the first miniseries. Later, the
title was taken up by John Ney Reiber, and then by Peter Gross. Artists working on the
title included Peter Snejberg, Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, Temujin, and
Barbara Schulz, as well as Phil Jimenez and various others on the annuals.
The story follows the magical and emotional development of a young mage, Timothy Hunter.
In the original miniseries by Neil Gaiman, young Tim is asked by John Constantine, the
Phantom Stranger, Mr. E, and Dr. Occult if he believes in magic. They take him on a
journey through time, space, and possibility, awakening him to his nature.
In the main body of the series, Tim begins to discover magic, both in himself and in the
world around him. He finds figments of his imagination coming to life in the personae of
Awn the Blink, the Gnarls, and various other manifestations. He also deals with the magical
residents of London, as well as traveling to such exotic places as Faerie, Hell, and
America. He faces demons, hostile magicians, and girl trouble, as well as questions about
A major thread deals with the junk food-obsessed demon Barbatos, who has enslaved one of his future selves as
well as a self from an alternate world. Barbatos wants to give Tim power in exchange for his
memories, starting with his memory of his first kiss. This plays in to the issue of Tim's
Other, a theme recurring throughout the series but not clarified until fairly late on.
Tim's dealings with other magicians are many and varied, including encounters with Zatanna,
John Constantine, and Circe, and groups like the Cold Flame and the Order of the Golden
His girl trouble starts with Molly Reilly, a girl he goes to school with, continue with
Alleatha, a demon from America, and then Joh, a girl he befriends while on the run.
Books of Magic was followed by a miniseries, Names of Magic, written by Dylan Horrocks, and then by
Hunter: Age of Magic, which is ongoing.