Good source material getting adapted to a different medium is sure to cause apprehension. Sometimes though, it works out great, and in fact it did with the first issue of Over the Garden Wall. That doesn’t mean it’ll be a solid series. I take a look at issue #2 to answer the question: is it good?
Over the Garden Wall #2 (BOOM! Studios)
Last issue writer Pat McHale made me laugh, got me invested in the characters and outlined a captivating fairy tale world. I was hooked rather quickly due to the weirdness of the characters the protagonists, Wirt and Greg, ran into. The dialogue sounded natural and there were some surprises to be had. This issue opens and focuses on Fred the horse as he recounts his harrowing back story.
The general story works because the backstory of the horse is sort of silly. He’s a very kind and always truthful horse, at least he was, but now he’s all about lying and doing bad things. The backstory is a bit spooky so it fits right in with the Halloween season. I haven’t seen a single episode of the series, so I’m not sure the horse ever made an appearance, but my best guess is he’s a major character. I say this because I was a bit lost as to why I should care about the character. That said, any time a character tries to play against character badly is a good time. I wasn’t that interested in the story and much of the humor fell flat for me though.
McHale appears to be setting up a major story for the jerk of a bird sidekick. Fred is on to him it appears, and this story element bookends this issue. I’m not sure what to read into this element of the story since I haven’t seen the show, but I can only imagine the bird is up to no good. The fact that I’m not so sure is a sign the story is either not giving us enough or trying to drum up some drama. I didn’t quite care either way though, so again, I was a bit underwhelmed by this story element.
The art by Jim Campbell continues to be very nice and akin to an animated series. There is a courtroom scene with the horse defending himself that works wonderfully. Considering how difficult this scene must have been to build it’s no small undertaking that it worked well. I also like the comic book cover Fred got for his backstory which helps increase the drama of his fall from grace. The opening fall scene perfectly sets up the very fine and good times Wirt and Greg are having. This helps set the story on a good mood before delving into the backstory of Fred.
Seriously, burgeling is a word?!
Is It Good?
The premise is good, but falls flat for me as Fred’s backstory doesn’t work to make the laughs come and instead feels shrug worthy. The story progresses though and the art excels.