Graphic Novel Review: Turning Roads: Irish Folklore Stories

by Paul Carroll (Editor)
Publisher: Limit Break Comics
Format: Paperback, received via Kickstarter

I first heard about Turning Roads thanks to Joe Glass promoting it, after I backed his comic The Miracles. And it sounded right up my ally – a graphic novel anthology with retellings of Irish myths and folklore. What is not to love?

I am so glad I backed this on Kickstarter.

Paul Carroll has drawn together some excellent talent here, with each story having its own artwork and its own twists on the folklore. The most memorable for me (“Changeling”) has a grandmother explaining to her granddaughter why she left Ireland, and about the dark forces that took over. It’s weaved in well with the ‘darkness’ she can’t fully articulate to the child, showing us the reality and actually leaving on a hopeful note.

There are stories that lean more towards sci-fi, some fantasy, and elements of horror. It’s a really good mix, and a few times I found myself wishing there was more of one particular story or another.  These anthology comics are such a good idea, as they really can help introduce a reader to new writers and artists, as well as showcasing a vast talent. The comics are short, but they cover such a wide variety of ideas and themes and folklore tales, it’s really worth checking out.

As a bonus, I also received a small Irish folklore booklet (not yet read) and a comic – Life & Death – which had four self-contained stories, as well as artwork and stickers. Again, this is definitely a project I am really glad I backed.

Some of the stories worth shouting out, mainly because they’ve lingered in my mind so long, are “Mythic Miners”, “Changeling”, as mentioned above, “Fairy Cakes” and “Poet & The Sidhe”. Overall, this is a fantastic comics anthology, and I hope to see more of this type.

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