2022 LA Comic Con Book Review: ‘Obituary Volume 1’ by The Barrytes

Fans of Ghosts will find a lot to love in Obituary Volume 1 from the Barryte siblings. The cartoon series follows June Carter, a teenager who is raised by ghosts. The series follows her adventures with people both living and dead. The Barryte featured their work at the 2022 LA Comic Con

The first volume is broken into six stories. Each features June and her spirited crew in a different setting. This is a coming of age story, and June embodies the deep uncertainty and boundless hope that characterize the teen years. June’s friend Blasty is an ever-faithful sidekick, who it’s too bad we don’t get to hear from. However, when they are present, they provide a lot of humour and heart. 

Lady Plume is the chaotic motherly mentor that helps June navigate her place in two worlds in Obituary Volume 1. She’s the equivilent of your Lady Button or Hetty of Woodstone Manor.  She is perfectly balanced by the faceless ghost. Both of these characters are essential to June’s growth. They guide June, and while their approaches may be different, they are both necessary for June as a character. 

The best story featured in this collection is entitled ‘Spectre Elector.’ Anyone who has ever gone through the horror of a student council election will understand this story on a visceral level. This is a brilliant commentary on elections in general, and how they become glorified popularity contests. It’s also an intimate look at how teenage girls in particular operate, and the class structure that is unique to high schoolers. 

Finally, it is impossible to comment on Obituary Volume 1 without mentioning the gorgeous animation. The transition from bright colour to black and white serves the overall story. Additionally, the webtoons at the beginning of each story set the scene, and give the reader further insight into the characters. 

The Barryte siblings have started an endearing coming of age cartoon with Obituary Volume 1. There are essentially limitless stories to explore within this universe. This delightful collection of stories pairs humour and heart with near-perfect balance. There is a lot to love about all of these characters, even the less-than-sympathetic ones. Hopefully, this is only the very beginning.

Obituary Vol. 1 is available now. 

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