I have started and included in reviews that I am not a religious person. I respect people’s different faiths, but I have never been one to believe in a God or even Gods (though plural gods do make more sense than a single god or goddess to me). I would like to think I am spiritual though and try to be a good person (the book mentions this, more on that later), and I do enjoy the experiences of different books. And when I first found The Holy Ghost: A Spirited Comic I was not sure what to think, but I assumed a heavy Christian based tale, and something I would totally disagree with.
And, while yes, this is a graphic novel by John Hendrix that is heavy on the concept of “God is the reason” and we should honor them, much of what happens can take that element out and the philosophy is the point and can be utilized in that manner. This is a book full of humor (sorry, yes there is a fart joke, but also sophisticated humor), thoughtfulness and yes, religious spirituality. However, you can take the word God out of the panel, and instead of “God lets it rain on the just and unjust” and make it, “It rains on the just and unjust.” And you can take God out of the idea of a good vs. a bad person. I like how Hendrix takes it out of the “hot button topic of God and good vs evil” and uses a baseball. The baseball is neither good nor bad, but it is a bad typewriter and a good toy. It is about the purpose of the item.
Overall, well-illustrated and presented. The three characters are thoughtful and allow the book to be an experience. The first character, of course, is Holy Ghost and they guide us through the story as we see Squirrel and Badger. Squirrel is the one who questions, does not always believe in God, and has some interesting thoughts. Badger is the ultimate believer, to the point of never question their thoughts, faith (to the point there is an interesting story about the idea of religion vs. faith and what is “right”), or beliefs. HG is the middle ground to that, but also the representative of God.
The set up is interesting as each page is its own story with a handful of panels. The art is basic and simple, with the simplicity of being just what is needed when it is needed. The introduction by Patrick McDonnel does color your thought process a bit about the final text, but it is something I think you should read after reading the rest.