Bizenghast is a must-read comic if you like original English manga-style comics. It deals with depression, death and mystery in a whimsical environment.
|Creators||M. Alice LeGrow, Punko|
|Licensed||Yes, TokyoPop. INKR|
|Genre||Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mature Warning: Depression, Psychological, Supernatural|
Meet Dinah, a disturbed young girl who has been sent to the small town of Bizenghast to live with her aunt following the tragic death of her parents.
She is thought by her aunt to have some sort of mental illness, as Dinah believes the house to be haunted.
Only Dinah is aware of the restless spirits, which only feeds the doctor’s and her aunt’s suspicions about Dinah’s well-being. The house was a mental hospital, then a school for juvenile delinquents.
The ghosts know Dinah can see them and they won’t leave her alone. A recluse, she sneaks out with her only friend, Vincent, and together they discover a lost graveyard. There they find a sunken mausoleum, where Dinah reads from a stone engraving.
This act binds her to a contract requiring Dinah to release spirits stuck somewhere between an unhappy life and a peaceful afterlife. If she refuses, she will face an eternity of hell.
So Dinah begins her quest of “cleaning” the vaults, crypts, and graves of lost souls, all the while struggling with the haunts at home and suspicions of her growing mental illness.MU
Bizenghast is created from a German/American comic-book artist.
If you don’t know, she recently made Stagtown which means she’s still active.
However, Bizenghast is a few years older, which means the art may not be appealing to everyone. The comic is black-and-white, with some really nice whimsical illustrations. Like for instance, a birdcage instead of a ribcage.
I quite like the story, especially since it does deal with mental illness. I will say I haven’t finished the story fully, but there are some split opinions about it.
Needless to say, this story was created in the early 2000s and things have changed. So what we may think is good now wasn’t necessarily good in the past.
I do like the tragic backstory of Dinah and how the whole solving mysteries is introduced. I’ve read the author subjugates expectations and surprises us.
Final thoughts: Overall I think the story is really interesting. If nothing else, it’s worth checking out just so you know what Bizenghast is!
This is part of Otomenai’s horror month, where we share some interesting horror comics during the month of October.