There are fairy tale stories that are cute, weird or scary and then there are drama heavy fairy tale that are more soap opera than not.
Where does Over the Garden Wall a new cute looking series from BOOM! fall? Is it for all ages? Is it good?
Over the Garden Wall #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)
At first glance Wirt and Greg look almost like marionettes, but quickly you realize they are children. This is due to the cartoony and simple detail of the characters. A little research reveals this is actually based on Cartoon Network’s first original series and set between episodes 3 and 4. I haven’t seen a single episode of this show and can safely say it wasn’t any trouble getting into the characters.
It’s immediately obvious writer Pat McHale is giving these characters a bit of an edge. It’s still friendly to kids, but there’s also a bit of darkness behind what happens. After failing to hail a cart Wirt and Greg run into some bonnet wearing girls who make Wirt fold their laundry. He does this because their father may hurt him badly. They’re weird though and don’t give very good instructions. When they tell him to burn “them” Wirt is confused. The fact that he complies and they’re shocked is a running joke in the issue. Like something out of the Mad Hatter’s tea party these characters are odd and live by a different set of rules. It’s great fun to see Wirt try to comply with their demands only to screw up over and over. Eventually there’s a bit of a twist that Wirt and Greg leave behind that’s right out of a fairy tale. This culminates into something that feels like a classic fairy tale because, even though everything seems okay there’s something brooding underneath it all.
The bird is a dick!
On top of this the dialogue is quite nice and easy to read. It’s clever and fun and keeps the action moving. There’s an innocence to Greg and Wirt that’s believable. It draws you in and makes you want to follow them along and the banter from the bird, mostly rude banter at that, jives well with their demeanors.
The only thing I could find that was a negative would be the length. Wirt and Greg basically go through what could be compared to the first 15 minutes of a film. It’s a nice intro to their adventure attempting to get a ride, but it’s more of a side mission than a main one.
The art by Jim Campbell is very nice and imbues a sense of wonderment when necessary. It’s mostly Wirt and Greg and they aren’t so magical, but these bonnet girls are almost creepy in their expressionless delivery. The style is still overall very simple seeing as it’s really just a comic book form of the cartoon, but still rife with nice details such as in the flower garden and the leafy forest surrounding them in their travels.
Those bonnets are creepy.
Is It Good?
This is a nice surprise that those new to the series can enjoy as it captures a fairy tale story fantastically. There’s an undercurrent of odd that’ll tickle most peoples fancies.
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