I was offered the opportunity to read a beautiful graphic novel recently, Megan Hutchison and Tom Hammock's "An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O' The Wisp". Personally I have always gravitated towards comic book stories that skew unconventional, so the description alone intrigued me enough to start reading. I enjoy beautiful, dark stories and now that my own daughters are getting older, I really like stories that they can read and enjoy as well. This is definitely a book that fills both those requirements nicely.
This is the description from the artist Megan, "After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried."
I read it all in one go because I really did want to see what was going to come next in Aurora's adventure. While there were a few points in the story where it slowed and a few others where I would have appreciated a little exposition, the story flowed fairly smoothly and felt just the right length. The art is gothic and dark with just the right amount of whimsy for the mood of the piece. I would honestly love to visit this little island and live in her grandfather's house. The art and dialogue were evenly balanced and worked well together to tell the story.
I thought a lot about why I really liked the story and what I came to realize was it was a cross between an episode of Supernatural and a Hayao Miyazaki movie. No, really that's a good thing. The adventure is definitely one I could see the Winchester brothers undertaking complete with real peril. It's both fun and a little scary with mysteries that need solving. I could also see Aurora as a Miyazaki heroine. She is smart and thrown out of her element into a world of magic which she embraces. She feels like a real girl whose bravery is rooted in caring. She does what she does to save the people she has come to care about. There is magic and mystery, detailed art and a set of characters that I certainly wouldn't mind spending more time with.
So, yes I recommend this one for anyone with gothic inclinations or a love of dark, whimsical art. So here are some pretty pictures of the physical books and a few details you'll need to make it yours:
- Original Graphic Novel
- 216 Pages
- 6” x 9”
- Full Color
- Diamond Order Code:
- Publication Jan. 28, 2014
Rated for Teen readers
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