This issue of Over the Garden Wall isn’t quite like the rest. We don’t see our normal two protagonists. Instead, George Mager presents us with a touching story about an elephant, Pooree, who doesn’t fit in at school—so much so that he runs away. But before he does, he leaves a nice treat for his classmates. Feeling like crap for being so rude to Pooree, the kids decide to find him and bring him back to school. When they do, they all get along much better, and Pooree finds his place among his peers.
Mager writes this issue with a lot of narration and very little dialogue. It reads like a children’s book, which is both frustrating and refreshing. With such a simple script, it’s easy for us to feel like there isn’t enough substance. On the other hand, it’s really amazing to see a script so straightforward, with a beautiful moral at the end. Stories like that don’t come around too often anymore, so it’s great to see them when they do.
Mager’s illustrations are simplistic, with clean line work. They don’t have much detail, but definitely show a good amount of detail. Each of the animals looks different and stands out in their own way. Seeing animals in clothes is always cute, so this issue already has a really lighthearted tone to it.
The illustrations are colored perfectly, with vibrant colors that aren’t all too realistic. The book has quite a surreal feeling to it, like when the red sky contrasts with its complementary green colored trees. These colors definitely help the artwork stand out with a style that we don’t usually see in mainstream comics.
I’m not too sure why the usual protagonists aren’t featured in this issue, but I’m not complaining. As much as I wanted to see more about their stories, this issue was surprisingly pleasant to read. I recommend this issue for anyone who wants a light read. For children who are just getting into comics, this is perfect for them to start out, too. It’s an adorable, moralistic, and upbeat story that is truly a joy to read through.
Written & Illustrated by: George Mager