Creator: Joey Weiser
Publisher: Oni Press
When I first opened Ghost Hog, I didn’t know what to expect. The all-ages graphic novel features colorful art that is a blend of Sunday paper ‘toons and manga. The main characters are cute woodland creatures with great comic timing. But the story runs much deeper and offers a complex yet approachable way of dealing with death, vengeance, and accepting another’s perspective.
Ghost Hog centers on a young boar named Truff who was prematurely struck down by a hunter while searching for luminous plums for her parents. She now haunts the mountains where she died as Ghost Hog, seeking vengeance on the human responsible for her death. In her quest for revenge, she encounters two forest spirits, Claude and Stanley, who help the young boar navigate life after death. They are also by her side when she learns her parents and other animals from her village have been kidnapped by the demon Mava, who is using his captives as slave labor to free him from his mountain prison.
Truff loses focus easily, especially when the hunter she’s been chasing is within her grasp. Her need for revenge blinds her to what is really important, and she almost forgets about her trapped parents. After following the hunter home, she encounters a most unexpected scene that changes her perspective on why he does what he does. This sight extinguishes the fire that has fueled her, and she and her friends soon realize it is not the hunter that has kept her tied to this plane, but her love for her family. That attachment eclipses any anger she has and finally sets her on her real mission—save her loved ones from the demon.
While the intention of the book runs deep, there are plenty of comical moments, specifically from Claude and Stanley. As they guide Truss away from her vengeance plot and help her refocus her energy, they lighten the mood with catchy one-liners and good ol’ physical comedy. Readers can also relate to Truss’ myriad of emotions. She was young with her whole life ahead of her and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fury can be overwhelming and we often forget what is really important when we are so absorbed in our own emotions.
I truly enjoyed reading Ghost Hog. The graphic novel provides an easy-to-follow plot that can open up discussions on topics many people—young and old—struggle with. It’s a book that parents and kids can enjoy together filled with life lessons, humor, and heartwarming moments.
The Ghost Hog all-ages graphic novel is set for release on May 7. Two all-new short stories about Truff will also be available for Free Comic Book Day on May 4. Check out The Ghost Hog Silver Offering at participating comic shops. You can also check out a preview of Ghost Hog below.