Over the Garden Wall is easily one of the best pseudo-children’s show to come out on TV in a long while, dare I say ever. Why yes, yes I do dare. It’s centered around two brothers who are lost in the woods, and has a lot of 19th-20th century Americana references thrown in. Anthropomorphic creatures and interesting characters, one of the main themes of the show is that not everything is what it seems.
Pat McHale’s imaginative creation takes on a different form in the comic book Over the Garden Wall Vol.2 #10, and this particular issue is vastly different than what the audience is used to seeing on television. It’s all about Kitty, a cat that just doesn’t do cat things to her parent’s liking. Her cat mom and dad try their best to teach Kitty their ways, but she’s just different than all their other children. Sounds like another Kittie I know.
I particularly like this premise because it goes paw-in-paw with the tones of the show, but I could see this as a standalone published children’s book sitting on the shelves of any book store. George Mager goes solo, and is responsible for both the writing and illustrations. For a one-man operation, the finished project is coherent, colorful, and simply delightful.
The art style is whimsical with wavering lines and rounded asymmetrical panels, but it all paints a very clear and stimulating picture of Kitty’s world. The writing does not follow any strict rules, and breaks away from the pack, doubling up on words in the same sentence and throwing down words in a pattern that you can easily see coming out of a child’s mouth. It’s unique, it’s genius, and the story doesn’t suffer at the sake of merely being different. It just simply…is.
For fans of the show, you will recognize the school from the first season, episode three, complete with Ms. Langtree and the animal children.
Wirt and Greg are nowhere to be found except for on the cover, but this book doesn’t lack anything because of their absence. The cover lets the reader know that yes, this is in the same universe that we see the brothers, but the lovely contrast between a scribbly child-like drawing and clean bordering lets us know that this will be something else entirely new and fantastic.
It’s in the same world but seen through different eyes, and is truly a beautiful book.
Writing: 5 Stars
Artwork: 5 Stars
Colors: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Writer: Danielle Burgos, Kiernan Sjursen
Artist: Jim Campbell, Cara McGee
Publisher: Boom Studios