I recently read this creepy graphic novel called, The Crows. At first, it acted like it might be one of two things: either a ghost story where the main character is haunted by the ghost of (fill in the blank) a parent(s), grandparent(s), their former self, or some real monster/ghost. Or it would be a descent into madness and everything was hallucinations, just in the characters head. There was the possibility of lots of gore and blood, but that only came into play once physically; though we hear about the death of a character via a truck hitting the teen on a bicycle.
The surface and deeper meanings of the story by Anders Fager and Peter Bergting mix. Dark, lovely, cruel, and gentle images weave the story of mental health, family, and belonging in a creepy, odd manner. You see the narrator/character, Kim, as they are dealing with the ghosts of the past and that of an odd and unhappy childhood. A childhood where memories are more alive than the actual living. And they are dealing with parents who not only did not love themselves or each other, but they do not love Kim. They are physically and mentally haunted by their own memories and the ghosts that haunt around the old homestead.
Things are awkward, they are dark and they are really mixed up. The horror comes into play with the dog of the father being killed/picked apart by the crows (it is a graphic image) and the stalking of the plague-doctor-crow beings. You can take it as the surface story, Kim goes home to deal with the leftovers from their grandmother’s death. Or you see how the mental aspects are forming. There is madness, the memories, the real monsters vs. the ones that might be not real and more. The pages are set up in a manner that means you need to read them slowly, and the images are their own character and must be read as well. Set in rural Sweden, there is no year given, but things feel like it could be the past or present.