Gloaming is a graphic novel by the artist/musician Keaton Henson. The book’s concept is essentially a field guide to a spirit world beyond our reality. Its melancholic narrative shows spirits that are lost in the city, lonely and seeking escape. As a result they move to the countryside but find they are still lost, so consequently decide to leave the planet, which in turn is but another creature continually searching for something it cannot find.
Keaton’s inspiration is born from old Scandinavian folklore and Japanese Kwaidan (ghost stories) from the Edo period, to the more contemporary Miyasaki “Spirited Away” films. Often we can find Ukiyo-e prints depicting the ghosts of scorned wives returning from the dead; these female ghosts called Yurei have extraordinarily long black hair, a device used to symbolize death, as a woman would rarely be seen at that time with her hair down until she was buried.