Spooky Abigail is an all-ages comic book from Paul R. Michaels, the creator behind the more adult The Rise of Red Moon. Along with Nick Davis and Veronica Smith Michaels, he crafts a warm adventure story about growing up and trying to fit in, which everyone will find easily relatable. The entire tone of the world is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as the setting is a country known as Odly Not which exports leeks and sometimes smells of onions, when the wind is coming from the wrong direction. The heroine, Spooky Abigail, is an awkward pre-teen with unruly red hair and large, dark-rimmed glasses who longs to be noticed by the school idol, Johann. The resident crop of mean girls, who are better dressed and wealthier than Spooky, have no problem putting the young girl down, and some of her instructors love to point out that Spooky’s mother was a much better student. Fortunately, her roommate Bella is a solid friend, and some of the teachers admire the red-headed witch’s impulsivity and passion. The final pages of this volume start a quest by Bella and Spooky to track down a spell book that may contain magic that will fix Spooky’s poor eyesight, but it’s definitely not on the approved list of student activities! Will they succeed? Only future installments will tell!
The preview copy of Spooky Abigail consists entirely of black-and-white pencil sketches, but the world of MacGiven’s and Odly Not are adequately expressed with the light style. Spooky Abigail and her companions are all readily identifiable in the pages, as well, and between the artwork and dialogue, I had no problem working out the relationships between the various characters. My favorite bit of art has to be Spooky’s fantasies of Johann in the school hallway, where her rat familiar harshly pops the fantasy bubbles with a pin!
Spooky Abigail is intended to release three comic book versions - pre-teen, teen, and adult - but I’m not sure how many volumes of each age will be available. This issue is the pre-teen or tween version, where the hormonal changes of almost adolescence are full swing!
I think that Spooky Abigail is a fun read for anyone who loves fantasy worlds or stories on the trials of growing up. The young protagonist is a plucky, cute underdog who may not be a chosen one, but you can’t help hoping things go well for her. Of course, if Spooky’s quest to ditch her glasses goes perfectly, there’s not much room for a story, so I’m pretty sure there will be some adversity in the near future. How will it play out? Only future issues can tell!
4.5 Hilariously out of Place Unicorns out of 5