Written by Birdie Willis, Main Cover Art by Keezy Young, Variant Cover by Gavin Fullerton, Preorder Cover Art by Missy Peña, Interior Art by Rowan MacColl, Colorist Dean Stuart, Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Thanks to BOOM! Studios for providing a review copy of this title!
While traveling through an abandoned town in the Unknown, Greg’s singing catches the attention of a mysterious young woman named Sophie who requests the song as a gift. Greg gives her the song, and in exchange, Sophie leads the group to an old theater where her family convinces the boys to audition for their new play! Suspicious, Beatrice warns Greg and Wirt about the mysterious circumstances, Wirt almost sides with her—until she also says that Wirt would probably be a terrible main lead anyway. Determined to prove her wrong, Wirt decides to stay. After all… the show must go on.
When I heard there was a new Over the Garden Wall title on my review list, I was very excited! These comic arcs never disappoint, I will never get enough of this cast of characters. They could just do an entire comic about Greg & Wirt walking through the woods in silence and I would be happy.
For anyone new to Over the Garden Wall, it began its life as a Cartoon Network show back in 2014, and its legacy has been carried through graphic novels since 2016. Soulful Symphonies takes place in the midst of the original animated show. I would highly recommend watching the show prior to picking up this particular title, as there is not a lot of exposition about the characters or their unique predicament.
The story opens with brothers Wirt & Greg exploring a new town never seen before. It’s immediately apparent that something is wrong, as there appear to be no inhabitants of this strange town. After Greg sings a funny Greg song, a woman appears and relays her struggles in the nearby theater to Wirt. Wirt decides to help her out, which may not be his best choice.
As always with Over the Garden Wall, the atmosphere of the story is stellar. I simultaneously have the desire to jump into the book and live in a world of perpetual autumn, but also to run far away as fast as possible. Such is the charm of this world.
Greg is delightful as always, and even gets to come up with a few new names for his pet frog. He brings an air of levity and humor that never goes amiss when surrounded by danger and The Unknown. Wirt means well, but it seems likely that his attempts at selflessness will only lead to trouble.
The art style of Soulful Symphonies is quite different than other comics set in this world. The character designs are spot on, and I appreciated the subtle differences in the appearance of familiar characters. Though the town in this story arc is quite bare, it still has a lot of character. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the dangers lurking just around the corner in future issues.
Once again, if you are already a fan of the show I highly recommend picking up one of the graphic novels available now. Soulful Symphonies is available for purchase now from your favorite comic shop or at the BOOM! Studios webstore.