Over The Garden Wall #2 features a continuation of the two stories from the first issue, blending a balance between cheerful adventure and solemn introspection.
“Dreamland Melodies”, written and illustrated by Jim Campbell with Danielle Burgos, finds Greg on the chase for his frog sidekick, Sheriff Funderburker. They’re in The Unknown and come across a squirrel panicking to stow away her acorns for the winter, only to discover that she and her ancestors before her have been constantly doing so for years! Greg, being the positive and innocent adventurer that he is, decides to help the squirrel get down to the bottom of this mystery.
The story is light hearted and reminiscent of the smaller moments in the cartoon series, with Greg and Sheriff Funderburker investigating what would otherwise be a non-event for other characters. The artwork in “Dreamland Melodies” fits very well with both the world of The Unknown as well as the story, featuring slightly childlike drawings of the characters and the world. It’s friendly and inviting, and highlights Greg as such. By the end of this issue, Greg and Sheriff Funderburker help the squirrel uncover the mystery of the disappearing acorns, meet an interesting cast of characters, and find a clue towards their next mission.
“Homeland”, written by Amalia Levari, illustrated by Cara McGee, with letters by Warren Montgomery, centers around Anna, the Woodsman’s daughter, who is often talked about in the cartoon but rarely seen. The story continues from the first issue, taking us through the daily routine of her life through diary entries. This format works well in capturing the intimacy of the tale. We feel sad when Anna feels alone, amused when Anna fights her desire to read romance novels, and cheerful when Anna is visited by a fat grey mockingbird, which she describes as “almost human in its obliviousness…a charming guy.”
The art by McGee is different than that of the animated show, but feels much more rustic than that of Campbell. It adds to the wistfulness of Anna’s story and works in both the solemn and happy moments. “Homeland” doesn’t have any major progress towards Anna finding her father, but much of her adventure is in the smaller moments of life, rather than what’s at the end.
Much of the charm of the Over The Garden Wall animated series comes from this mixture of light heartedness and maturity, and while the comic series has yet to get dark, the charm still remains all the same.
- Fun, light-hearted, kid-friendly reading that's reminiscent of the cartoon
- Beautiful artwork by multiple artists
- No overly compelling story as of yet