Title: My Ghost, Where’d You Go?
Author: Dione Kong
Genre: Comic, Contemporary Fantasy, Mythic
“My Ghost, Where’d You Go?” is a book written by Dione Kong about a bittersweet journey in navigating the lightness of memory and the depths of the human experience—presenting a narrative with simplicity in art, entangled with the complexity of life itself. This comic interweaves such child-like wonder with the heaviness of emotions, which is often hard to portray merely with words.
The comic follows the journey of a little ghost traveling through alleyways and sari-sari stores, flowing along the streets and swinging around the playground—doing things they never did alone before. There is this deep yearning for purpose despite being such a young spirit as it continues on its adventure—seeing otherwise mundane things in an enthusiastic and youthful perspective. Eventually, they come across a path littered with familiar traces of laundry lines and numerous potted plants, leading to an old home—their home from when they still walked among the living.
Dione's "My Ghost, Where'd You Go?" weaves such masterful storytelling with simple and meaningful artwork that is accompanied by a limited color palette: black, white, and yellow. These comic panels appear alongside short journal entries written by the little ghost that carries such weight. Implementing these limitations allows for more impact within the story, giving the readers enough information to satisfy their curiosity while also providing room for their imagination to flesh out the story even more. This all the more showcases how there is such beauty and wonder in simplicity.
And it was all yellow
The usage of yellow in “My Ghost, Where’d You Go?” is a defining symbolism. This color often represents joy and better days ahead. In other times, it expresses danger and disloyalty. It is a break from the black and white of the comic, drawing the gaze towards finer details and overarching narratives.
From the small yellow buntings to the bright yellow balloon—the color feels like a guiding entity in the storyline. It is finding such pure joy in the little things, the changing skies, the flitting butterfly, and even seeing the birds snack upon leftovers. Yet, it is also the betrayal in the balloon that had slipped from their hands—of the color last seen with wide and curious eyes.
It is a stark contrast from its serene beginning of trying things for the first time on their own—from finally finding their way back home to finding their corpse. There is that metaphorical burst of yellow in the black and white, a disturbance—an inevitable truth bound to be discovered by the little ghost.
To have lived is to have loved
From the start up until the end of this journey, they try to find purpose; a familiar sight or feeling in this new experience. In the process of finding meaning for this strange phase, they find the painful truth of how they got to this point.
Though reality aches for this spirit, there is this quiet acceptance of what happened and what will happen next. That is to hold onto the balloon without any resentment, knowing that this symbolizes all and even more to those close to them.
"My Ghost, Where'd You Go?" is a story for those who feel lost in navigating the complicated feelings that come with being human. It approaches these complex feelings in a way a child would—forgiving of oneself and the world.
There is no lingering regret in the life that they had spent. Instead, they choose to remember.
“My Ghost, Where'd You Go?" is sold physically in conventions such as Manila International Book Fair and Komiket. It is also available nationwide online through Adarna House Online, Lazada, and Shopee.