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‘The Ghost, The Owl’ (review)

Written by Franco
Illustrated by Sara Richard
Published by Action Lab


The Ghost, The Owl is written by Franco and illustrated by Sara Richard.

It’s very pretty but very, very confusing. As you might imagine from the title, it’s the story of a ghost…and an owl. The owl attempts to help the ghost find out who she is and gets in trouble for it. The ghost attempts to protect a woman she doesn’t know and the owl helps there, too.

Oh, and there’s an evil man and a fire and a dying plant and a really creepy looking parliament.

The whole thing has a vague fairy tale feel and there’s probably a fairy tale type moral that the reader is supposed to take away from it all, but I’m afraid I missed it. I honestly can’t tell you exactly what happens in the book and I’ve read it twice.

In the long run, I guess whatever does happen isn’t really something that the creators managed to get me all that interested in.

That said, let me repeat. It’s VERY pretty. The painted pages are by Eisner-nominated Sara Richard whom I see has done a number of children’s comics including My Little Pony. This was my first exposure to her work and I will say I was quite impressed. Her illustrative style brings to mind that of underground artist/writer Melinda Gebbie.

Smoke, wind, hair, fire—everything is swirling throughout the pages, beginning right on the cover. The ghost is depicted in a big-eyed cutesy style, the humans semi-realistically, but it’s the wildlife that stands out, particularly, of course, the owl, in a number of full-page lovingly detailed, feathery closeups.

There are plenty of books where the art is the whole point, and the story isn’t meant to matter as much, but this is not being marketed as one of those. The art is absolutely lovely but as far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty much all there is, and I was led to expect more. I can’t really recommend it for that.



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