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.
“Helping is what is necessary. It shouldn’t matter whom or what you are helping.”
What a marvelous little graphic novel this is! I was expecting a simple ghost story when I picked up The Ghost, The Owl but what I got was a surprisingly dark tale about man and nature. The story is told from the point of view of the owl, who decides to help a lonely ghost.
The highlight of this graphic novel, of course, is the artwork which was gorgeous. Every page is extremely detailed and begs to be admired, I spent a lot of time marveling at how beautifully the story is illustrated. I loved the mix between very realistically drawn animals while the world and the non-animal characters were very whimsical, every page had a dream-like feel to it. The color palette was wonderful, brilliant colors that were a feast for the senses.
I wish the same amount of detail could have gone into the story itself, which wasn’t bad, but it was pretty simple and not all that detailed. While there is a major conflict it’s sort of glossed over, you get just enough to get the gist of the story but the world was so interesting I would’ve really loved if there was more to it. It’s an extremely fast read that can be done within fifteen minutes and most of that time will likely be spent looking at the pictures than reading any of the dialogue.
Even so, the manga is definitely an experience and one that I can comfortably recommend for all ages, though it may be a tiny bit scary for younger readers. Even if it won’t go down as the most memorable graphic novel out there, I do feel it’s worth the price of admission for the art alone.
Strengths: Astounding artwork
Weaknesses: Simple and bare bones plot
Warnings: Mild violence, death
Where to Buy
A big thank you to NetGalley and Action Lab Entertainment for the review copy!