Tarja: From Spirits And Ghosts (Novel For A Dark Christmas) comic book review

Peter Rogers and Conor Boyle's visual companion to a gothic yuletide.

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The battle between darkness and light has been a popular storytelling trope for centuries, but it’s given a new spin with Finnish soprano Tarja’s official festive comic.

Released to complement her haunting new LP From Spirits And Ghosts, this limited edition, glossy-covered graphic novel has been inspired by the melancholic album track Together and is best viewed while listening to the song itself. ‘Novel’ is the wrong word to describe it though – the 40-pager has no text but comprises illustrated panels that could be a storyboard for one of the singer’s videos. Featuring a sinister (dark) and angelic (light) Tarja, the story follows those who find Christmas a less joyous occasion: the homeless, the elderly, the grieving, and those whose Yuletide is spent in hospital. It’s bleak stuff, but keep going to the end. Although a nice souvenir of the album, The Amory Wars it is not, and if you’re after insight into Turunen’s recorded work or From Spirit’s concept, you won’t find it here. Fans will love the illustration, colouring and fairy tale tradition though.