They say you can’t go home again, and they’re right. For most of us, home isn’t just a house or a place we used to live. It’s a precise configuration of time and place where we felt safe and loved. But time marches forward and the world we used to live in isn’t here anymore. All we have of our old homes are sweet fragmented memories of gentler days. But memories can cut deep and in IDW Publishing‘s Ghost Tree #2, written by Bobby Curnow, with art by Simon Gane, colors by Ian Herring and Becka Kinzie, and lettering by Chris Mowry, we find out what happens when those fragments get under our skin.
Ghost Tree #2 picks up shortly after where the last issue left off. Drawn to the Ghost Tree, Brandt finds himself the confidant of troubled spirits. They tell him about their lives and the pain that holds them back from crossing over. Listening to the dead is tough work but Brandt takes to the task with an eager ear. But there’s more to the Ghost Tree than just visits with the dead because in the woods lie ancient creatures with a hunger for more than just a good story. And when a spirit from Brandt’s past appears asking for help, he will find just how deep the Ghost Tree’s roots lie.
Ghost Tree #2 takes the series in a promising new direction. While issue #1 was contemplative and wistful, issue #2 find its heart in conversation. Nearly every page is full of dialogue as both the living and the dead share their stories with one another. It’s a big shift, but one that I enjoyed. By spreading the emotional investment across multiple characters and storylines, Ghost Tree shows us that its world is bigger than Brandt. Also, it gives readers the chance to experience conversations with headless samurai and faceless workers, which is always a plus in my book.
While Simon Gane’s art remains fantastic, Ghost Tree #2 showcases Ian Herring and Becka Kinzie’s exquisite color work. With the book’s shift from naturalistic landscapes to the supernatural comes a host of opportunities to play with bold color design. Herring and Kinzie make the most of this chance, breathing vibrant life into Gane’s art. Ghost Tree #2‘s vivid color pallet calls to mind Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock art, which only adds to the book’s timeless aesthetic. There’s so much detail that readers can get lost just from reading the book’s wooden panels.
Ghost Tree has quickly become one of my favorite reads and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It has heart, ghosts, and human longing to go home. That’s how you do a ghost story justice. I don’t know where this series is headed but I can’t wait to find out. The dead have many stories after all, and Ghost Tree #2 is one of the good ones.
Ghost Tree #2 is available now everywhere comic books are sold.
Ghost Tree #2
Ghost Tree has heart, ghosts, and human longing to go home.