Blehhhhhh… That was your standard, middle-of-the-week, universal greeting, hope you are all blehing to the highest bleh of bleh. And as we bleh into the second half of the week, let’s mix it up with a new webcomic, so that we don’t bleh ourselves too hard.
This week’s webcomic is Paranatural, by Zack “MidnightTelevison” Morrison. A modern fantasy tale, it follows one Maxwell Puckett (that’s Max to anyone who values their life), a new resident of the small town of Mayview, having just moved there with his dad and little sister. Cynical and grumpy, Max rolls his eyes at just about anything that looks at him funny, but the problem is that there’s a lot more looking at him than he wants to deal with. Upon arriving at his new school, Max suddenly has the ability to see ghosts, spirits, and all other manner of supernatural beings, and it’s freaking him out. Fortunately for him, there’s a group that can help, right in his new school: The Paranatural Activity Club. With the help of the fiery Isabel, eccentric Ed and straight man Isaac, Max finds himself in a world he doesn’t fully understand, but one he is going to grasp by the throat and shake until he does.
What really grabbed me about Paranatural was the unique take it has on spirits and the mythology behind them. Max and his friends are “spectrals”, humans that can manipulate their own spiritual energy for various purposes, and are able to use “tools”. A spectral’s tool is an item that is possessed by a spirit, and can only be used by a spectral with energy of the same colour. These spirits can range from obscure deities, manipulative demons, or just pure savage ghostly beasts, which gives you a healthy appreciation for just how tough these kids are; Isabel in particular takes no nonsense from anyone. Another big factor that I enjoy is the art style; the characters are often drawn with over the top reactions in a parody of anime, and their personalities are similarly exaggerated for comedic value. Contrasting with the rather serious story, it makes for a plot that will make you laugh, but can throw you for a loop when you least expect it.
I first read Paranatural sometime last year, but lost the bookmark and thereafter the story for a while. I recently discovered it again and had a blast catching up on everything I’d missed, and I had missed a LOT. Paranatural has been running since 2011, and updates Tuesdays and Fridays.
That’s all for this week, go check out Paranatural, show the creator some appreciation, and don’t forget to leave your suggestions for future reviews in the comments.
Ciao for now.