I love reading graphic novels and comics. I especially love to discover stories in this medium from creators who are either self-published or independently published. One such comic is Spirits: The Soul Collector by Colin Lawler and Joseph Grabowski. Originally published on Webtoons, Lawler and Grabowski collected their first story-arc in one volume through Kickstarter back in 2018. I finally decided to pick up the collection and read it, and it was a lot of fun!
Will and Kenny live in the city with their single mother. When she brings them to visit their grandmother out in the country, deep in the woods, troublesome Will is not too thrilled. Kenny, on the other hand, can’t wait to spend time with his grandmother – an excitement that is only enhanced once he discovers that she, too, can see and talk to spirits. However, when dark spirits come to take his younger brother’s soul, Will is thrust into a supernatural world he never believed existed, and is forced to overcome his ego in order to save Kenny.
Lawler and Grabowski have crafted a world full of whimsy and heart, with some beautiful character growth. With excellent pacing, the authors manage to develop their characters in ways that feel both authentic and natural. In particular, the characters of Will and Norah – WIll’s traveling companion and guardian seer – each evolve as characters in this arc in ways that will help them move in positive directions as the story progresses in future volumes.
The plot itself is rife with mystery, discovery, and its fair share of suspense. It allowed me to discover this complex world within a world alongside Will. As he learned more about the spirits and seers that exist in the world, so too was I able to develop an understanding of just how the spirit world and the world of humanity can coexist; and as Will’s journey allowed him to uncover the truth behind some of the more powerful spirits and their predilections toward light or dark (good and evil), I was also able to wonder in awe at the world building and incredible possibilities.
Lawler’s illustrations fit this story perfectly. Intricately cartoonish characters, beautifully lush landscapes, and whimsical spirits help to present the tale as one for all-ages; dark tones mixed with ethereal colors and shading, and creepy wide-eyed spirits who hide in the shadows do wonders to enhance the hauntingly surreal nature of Spirits.
Spirits: The Soul Collector is a fun and imaginative world, rich with character, secrets, and suspense. This is one adventure you don’t want to miss – take my word for it.