The best advice I’ve ever received as a prose writer is to read a lot. Read poetry to enhance imagery. Read short stories to learn conciseness in world building and pacing. Read creative non-fiction for the narrative voice. Expose yourself to different forms of storytelling in addition to the three-act structure like kishōtenketsu and garland. The diversification has been beneficial, but recently I’ve been wondering: what about visual storytelling? What can film, television writing, video games, graphic novels, manga and comics teach prose writers? Apparently, Wandering Souls, a short story webcomic by Diana (greyolle), proves you can tell a thrilling tale with a familiar premise.
In my case, exploring and reading webcomics over the past few months has taught me a lot about storytelling. As with all genres and mediums, there is so much to explore, tropes and genre conventions to tackle and subvert. The talent and effort of the creators to tell captivating stories in a variety of genres and styles amazes me. A while ago I rewatched the webcomic A plant called Milo by anana alog, a quiet story that leaves an emotional impact. wandering souls does the same, demonstrating the power of visual storytelling.
wandering souls tells the story of two souls in the afterlife finding their way home and reuniting. Yes, there are countless stories with a similar premise; however, Diana crafted a memorable and emotionally resonant narrative in just four episodes. Also, there’s no dialogue, which can be hard to pull off, but Diana knows what they’re doing. Their execution eliminates any idea that the story has already been told. Instead, Diana unveils a new perspective for her readers.
Diana’s fluid art style provides a unique reading experience. To me, the dynamic landscapes and character expressions feel like watching an animated short. The story, easy to follow, leaves an emotional imprint at the end. While reading, I could feel the desires of the two main characters, their search for each other, then their reunion. The level of detail and consistency impresses me.
Wandering Souls transcends boundaries when it comes to art and storytelling. Diana has created a refreshing and unforgettable story about the persistence of love during difficult times.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics Archive! You can also read more about black creators and their works on The Geekiary here.
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) with Mason Jar Press.
Location: DC Metro Area
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