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Archaia Introduces Aurora Grimeon, A New Gothic Heroine In ‘Will o’ the Wisp’ Graphic Novel

An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will o’ the Wisp is the first in a presumed series of original graphic novels starring a charismatic and curious teenage heroine who should appeal to fans of Locke & Key, Courtney Crummin, the films of Tim Burton, the stories of Neil Gaiman, and other works of contemporary spookiness in which plucky young women find themselves in the center of a ghostly goings-on in mysterious locales. That’s auspicious company for first-time graphic novelists Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchison, but their 200-page book about a young orphan who goes to live with her elderly, thanatologist grandfather in the supernatural swamps of Louisiana demonstrates a real gift for the kind if creepy yet quaint tone and straightforward storytelling that characterizes those works.

The Archaia book will be available for pre-order at finer comics shops starting tomorrow, but I had a chance to read a big chunk of Aurora Grimeon in advance and thought you should check it out. Below you’ll find a handful of pages from the new graphic novel, published here for the very first time.

Both Hammock and Hutchison come from the world of motion picture production design, where the trick is often to make something look at once real and unreal. This probably accounts for how visually immersive Will o’ the Wisp is. Aurora herself strikes a great balance between a comic book or animated character with her exaggerated features and fanciful color palette, and someone who could actually exist in the real world with her realistic dresses, shoes and jewelry. The same goes for the other characters and rich environments of the story, which is inspired by Hammock’s family history with Hoodoo — a kind of folk magic — in the American south.

I haven’t yet finished my digital advance of this book but I’ll definitely be picking up the print edition in November to see how Aurora, her grandfather and her weirdly adorable raccoon solve the mystery behind the disappearance of some of the swampy town’s oldest residents.

An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will o’ the Wisp goes on sale in November from Archaia.

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