Set in Felling, in Newcastle, it describes an episode in the life of Davie, whose little sister has died. He hangs out with his friend Geordie, watches the girl he fancies play tennis, encounters Joe, another unhappy boy who claims his home is haunted, as well as Joe’s unconventional mother, and a wavering priest. Combining the demotic and the lyrical, Almond continues to mine the language and circumstances of his own youth, and to reveal the weighty emotional and spiritual moments of young lives. McKean’s edgy images also express fear and wonder with their fragmented layouts, angular figures and evocative atmosphere.
Billed as a graphic novel, this is more accurately a book that straddles the line between comic book and illustrated short story. The result is, nonetheless, a wonderfully immersive tale, told with David Almond’s trademark melancholy grit and wit...This is artist Dave McKean’s fourth collaboration with Almond, and his extraordinary, unique, digitally manipulated collages bring out the weirdness and darkness of the narrative. Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist is less about ghostly presences and more about the phantoms of guilt, remorse and sorrow we all carry around inside us.