The clever structure and provoking themes in Cosmic Fish by Eliana Falcón (Cosmographia) make this a fantastic read that you shouldn’t sleep on. Eliana does a more than excellent job of seamlessly integrating themes surrounding grief and altruism.
Acantha and her friend Krazale (whom she calls Phil) help a child ghost to successfully reincarnate. Souls can become monstrous over time if they don’t reincarnate through a guardian. Bells (also called Raju), the Guardian of Children, leads the ghosts of children to safety and transition. However, things aren’t that simple and Acantha, a ghost herself, has to confront her past and herself.
The webcomic’s first chapter follows Acantha and Krazale’s mission to lead the child ghost to Bells. Afterward, the story navigates the lives of Acantha, the guardians, and other characters, from humans to ghosts to monsters. Eliana does fantastic with worldbuilding, naturally filling in the gaps (i.e., what happens to the ghosts who mature into adults?) as the story progresses.
As a Puerto Rican (Taíno and afrodescendent), I immediately recognized the seamless interweaving of my country’s lore. Significant characterization and narrative turning points fall into place during critical moments. Nothing feels convoluted or unintentionally vague. The story clearly unravels what’s at stake through engaging expository panels and character dynamics.
Cosmic Fish is impressive in several other ways. The unexpected but well hinted twists and amazing character development will draw you in, as well as its smart dialogue and balance of humor and action. What’s most astonishing is how the webcomic explores its themes of loss, grief, and altruism. The story questions the worth of helping other people (or ghosts and monsters), weighing the means of selfless actions. We see this with Acantha’s past and the questioning of Bells’s motives. Cosmic Fish is a gem that shouldn’t be overlooked for its great storytelling.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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