This volume reprints the comic-book series The Suicide Forest#1–#4 published previously by IDW Publishing.
In Japan there is a forest where people go to die. Aokigahara also known as the Sea of Trees has a historical reputation as a home to the ghosts of the dead in Japanese mythology. In recent years it has become internationally known as the Suicide Forest. El Torres manages to write a haunting and moving narrative surrounding this real life location. The main theme of it all is loneliness. There is nothing glamorous about suicide and El Torres together with artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, manage to tell a ghost story with respect and a degree of carefulness surrounding the idea of what pushes people to commit the act of taking their own lives.
The Suicide Forest is not a story with a happy ending or something to read for comfort. The narrative is there to expose the consequences of our actions and how they impact other people. The Suicide Forest is a story about forgiveness and moving on. Gabriel Hernandez Walta did a great job of capturing the right atmosphere with his colors. Gabriel’s art creates a haunting and dreaded feeling throughout the pages, which complements El Torres’s narrative perfectly. Gabriel creates the right balance between fear and tension through his use of creepy and sad imagery. The suicide scenes are unsettling and ugly, which is what they are supposed to be in real life. It shows that El Torres and Gabriel both did their research and did not want to glorify this delicate subject matter. Visually this book is as good as its story.
The Suicide Forest is a cautionary tale with ghosts. I highly recommend this book as it deserves all the praise it received. El Torres and Gabriel Hernandez Walta are an amazing team, which complement each other’s best skills.