Taproot is a graphic novel by Keezy Young that prides itself on being a story about a ghost and a gardener, a pretty unique premise that lends itself to being fun. Taproot is a goody bag of wonderful themes mixing supernatural with a loving story that gives the spotlight to LGBT characters that are still very underrepresented to this day. So, without further ado, here’s why I think Taproot’s innocent love story blossoms into a unique blend of genres in a garden full of comic book stories.
Taproot follows Hamal the gardener, who lives a mostly normal life with a few exceptions. He can see, speak to, and hear ghosts. This, of course, makes the living wary of a guy who constantly seems like he’s talking to himself, but this wariness is often eased by his wonderfully kind and caring attitude. Throughout the story, we’re introduced to a variety of ghosts ranging in ages and personalities. Each one feels unique and all of them have personalities that reflect well with their apparent age. The main one out of the ghosts is Blue, a young guy who’s slightly mischievous, kind, and loving. Both Hamel and Blue take us through a journey of exploring their feelings for one another as well as the situation they find themselves in due to the trappings of being a ghost and someone who can see ghosts.
The story focuses on many themes such as death, loss, love, community and responsibility which are explored to a satisfying degree within the pages of Taproot and handled well by being interwoven throughout the overall narrative of the story. Each is enveloped in the warm and comforting vibes given out by the well written dialogue. There wasn’t a single moment through the story I wasn’t smiling or feeling for the characters, rooting for them throughout their adventures. They’re simply so well written you can’t help but want to turn each page and get to know more of their lives.
Keezy Young does an excellent job with the dialogue of Taproot. None of it feels out of place or a stretch of the imagination. It flows perfectly and the dynamic between all the characters is interesting. They’re relatable, fleshed out characters with their own thoughts, emotions and feelings and this truly shines through in each page.
The art of Taproot is beautifully detailed, with its use of lighter colours and warm tones. When Hamal and Blue are together, it brings a sense of hope and happiness that’s contrasted by the darker shades of the forest gloom scenes and the emotional turmoil that comes along with some of the darker events. The characters are all well-detailed, facial expressions are simple to understand without the assistance of dialogue, and the world feels truly alive due to the large variety of environments ranging from the calming to the creepy.
This is truly a graphic novel worth picking up. Whether you’re looking for a great story about love, the supernatural, enjoy looking at wonderful art, or even just appreciate more LGBT representation in your comics, I heartily recommend you pick up Taproot and experience it for yourself.
Taproot is available September 13th.