Five legendary creatures lurking in Taiwan’s recent past are catalogued in five short graphic novels. This collection puts on display the colorful variety of Taiwan’s traditional tales of the supernatural by blending spooky thrills with human pathos.
Water ghouls that were once human but remain bound to rivers in death, a child-like spirit that dispenses advice via a Ouija-board-like ritual, a pair of fearsome guardians that escort the dead to the Netherworld to face judgment… readers will veer between fascination, sympathy, and terror as they learn about the unlikely creatures that inhabit Taiwanese myths and legends.
These supernatural creatures vary in type and origin. Some began life as humans, but in death were transformed into spirits that remain in contact with the human realm. In certain circumstances cats and dogs are said to lead a second life on this earth in the form of cat-demons or hell-hounds. Other creatures introduced here are entirely other-worldly, such as the ox and horse-headed generals that serve King Yama of the Netherworld. Far from being purely malevolent, many of these entities have feelings and even a sense of morality, righting the wrongs of the human world, or providing guidance to those in need.
Artist Ticker’s ink-painted panels perfectly capture the rich and darkly alluring atmosphere of the macabre that permeates these supernatural tales.