Wendy, and her family have suffered tragedy. She was driving home with her two brothers on a rainy night and is involved in an accident. Once Wendy awakens, she discovers her youngest brother, Michael, was never found. She tries to convince her family and the police she knows where he is, but her story is difficult for them to believe. The Wendy Project (written by Melissa Jane Osborne, art by Veronica Fish) draws its power from the human ability to reconcile our grief in deeply personal ways.
The author borrows from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and uses some themes from his classic story, as well as somewhat modified quotes from Barrie, to introduce us to the fragile emotional state of Wendy. Osborne has given us a glimpse of how one may process grief, as well as the coping mechanisms we hide behind as we try to avoid dealing with it. This is not a light summer book to be enjoyed by the pool, but it is a story that lets us look through the window of a grieving soul trying to find a way to understand how to move forward.
The art of Veronica Fish sometimes comes across as sketchy and unfinished, but this only adds to the raw emotion of the mood that has been set by Osborne. It gave me, as the reader, an opportunity to pause and witness the emotional state of Wendy and how she was walking through the world while processing her pain. I don’t believe I’ve seen the use of color used as such an integral part of a story as Fish made it here. In a world that had become almost completely black and white for Wendy, color is used to show the glimpses of hope that find a way to filter through her pain.
As the story unfolded, I found my heart holding onto hope for a resolution my mind knew would not come to pass. Osborne and Fish give us an uncomfortable look into the long process of returning to life after a traumatic event. The Wendy Project may touch closer to home than you are comfortable with. It shows us that accepting what is, is not always easy. Rarely are the hardest lessons in life explored in such detail. The story brings forward no cliché’s, and no antagonists allowing you to only hope for the best for everyone involved.
Actress, screenwriter and THE WENDY PROJECT creator Melissa Jane Osborne
Art by Veronica Fish