On a cool evening on the swamp, a figure appears dancing across the water. A human figure, but far from a human form. A Ghost, a young girl spirit that seems to have lost its way. A good Samaritan owl decides to help against the wishes of his animal brethren. What mysteries does the ghost girl hold the secrets to and what will happen when she and the owl unlock them together? Will they find out what happened to her? Will she find her way to where she needs to be? What will happen to the animals in the swamp and surrounding forest? An adventure with the most unlikely of pairs, The Ghost, the Owl.
TW: abuse, assault, attempted sexual assault, violence
I love graphic novels and comic books. While I was in New Hampshire for Free Comic Book Day (click this link to read how my FCBD went this year and what I got!) I saw that Sara Richard, the illustrator, had a new book and it was focused around owls. I have met Sara Richard before at previous Free Comic Book Day events and I actually have two of her owl prints on my walls.
I love her art so much, especially her owls. So when I saw The Ghost, The Owl, on the shelves in Double Midnight Comics I knew I needed to swing back into the store once I got my free comics. I happy to say her art does not disappoint. The ghost in the story has these tealish/lime green stripes flowing through her and she's incredibly adorable. Obviously I love her art when it comes to the owls and the other animals in the story. Her art flows beautifully and because there is so much dark or light areas in each page, the ghost and the owl''s eyes illuminate the page and it is so striking. I cannot recommend this illustrator enough. I have her children's book, Kitty & Dino, another one of my favorites for hers.
However, The Ghost & The Owl is not a story for young readers. It has themes of violence, and attempted sexual assault. Which was surprising to me but I think it was handled well. The story is a bit underdeveloped and I wish we got more of the story because what we do get is incredibly heartwarming. If I had to describe what the story was about without giving away any spoilers, I'd say it was about kindness, gentleness, and doing what is right and standing up for others despite the consequences. It's about helping others without any expectations or wanting to gain anything for it. I honestly wish we got more. The story is only about fifty pages long and the art, although it being absolutely gorgeous, overpowers the story because we get such little actual dialogue in comparison to the art. However, I like what we get. There is this great atmosphere when the art and the story work together. I felt like I was in this dreamlike world and there are moments while reading I felt my heartbeat quicken when things get kind of intense. So what's there is great, I just would have appreciated more.
Despite the story not being as fleshed out as maybe I'd like it to be, I really love this graphic novel. I am easily won over by beautiful art. I would easily buy prints of this story to add to my wall because I just want to look at it all day. I'd easily buy more graphic novels or comic books with Sara Richard's art no matter who was the writer and I'd definitely give the writer another shot. From what I could tell, Franco does a lot of writing for DC comics, so maybe I have read something by him in the past.
Overall, if you get a chance to get your hands on this graphic novel I say pick it up. It's a very quick read and the art is worth fawning over. Like I said, I am a easily won over by beautiful art so with this artwork, it wasn't hard for me to fall head over heels with this graphic novel. If you're similar to me when it comes to art, I couldn't recommend this enough.