Graphic Novel Review – The Sad Ghosts Club Vol. 1

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m bringing to you my review of the graphic novel The Sad Ghosts Club vol. 1.

As usual with my graphic novel reviews, I’ll be talking about the illustrations and text separately, with an overall take on things at the end.

This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything.

Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

Illustration Review
Frankly, this graphic novel was absolutely adorable. The illustrations were simple yet effective, and they captured the sense of being ‘other’ so exactly. We see everyone going about their every day tasks – at the supermarket, at the party – as if it’s easy as anything, while the characters we’re focusing on are able stumbling along with a sheet over their heads. More than that, it demonstrates the sense of how indetififiable we feel with depression, standing out in our uniform of mental illness. It’s elegant, beautiful and highly relatable.

Story Review
Along with how well I thought the illustrations captured things, the storyline itself matched perfectly. It showed simple tasks as overwhelming. The pressure of decision making almost caused the lead character to crash emotionally. And the representation and sense of connection I felt to this was such a relief. Sometimes, we all need to see ourselves on paper.

The build up to the party of the story is so huge, and so is the connections that happen because of the party, yet the party itself hardly matters at all. This is so normal in mental illnesses – the utterly debilitating build up, versus the come down from the reality – that again, seeing it represented is a huge thing. We need to talk more openly about the way mental illness actually makes us feel, rather than blanket descriptions such as “depression” and “anxiety”. Instead, showing it like this helps not only people already suffering, but also those striving to understand them too.

I felt a huge connection to this graphic novel, and wanted to drape my sheet across my head to join the Sad Ghosts in their mission to connect with one another. I’m lucky that in the real world, I have a few fellow Sad Ghosts who help me keep ticking over when I’m struggling, but graphic novels like this are massively important for those who might not have found their fellow Ghosts in person just yet.

It’s a reminder that, out there, right now, someone is struggling in the same way you are. That you’re not alone, no matter how isolated you feel. And that, under all the layers of fabric, there is also hope.



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