cover image Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Whit Taylor. Rosarium, $17.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-9967692-9-7

In three semiautobiographical vignettes, Taylor (Madtown High)—known for her comics journalism on websites like The Nib —navigates a haunted past, conjuring up former friendships, versions of her more innocent selves, and youthful memories of strange connections. In “Ghost,” Taylor’s alterego meets and interrogates the spirits of two famed figures in world history—Charles Darwin and Joseph Campbell—and finally a third and unexpected conversation partner, recalled from before a traumatic transition point in her personal timeline. “Wallpaper” employs a child’s eye-level perspective to portray the losses incurred in a family move. And in “Makers,” the most coherent and satisfying tale, two young girls form a strong kinship that, ultimately, does not stand the test of time. Taylor’s childlike illustrations—reminiscent of coloring books, complete with visible marker lines—suit her whimsical storytelling and lighten her bittersweet themes. Although “Makers” successfully conveys the magic and sorrow of a connection found and then faded, “Ghost” and “Wallpaper” feel like experimental pieces. Taylor’s collection offers fleeting moments of visual poetry, but the brevity of her tales leaves readers wishing for more time to fully explore the deeper issues they raise. (Jan.)