Ghosted #2 [Kamak's Corner]

By Contributing Writer Brian Kamak

Ghosted #2 (Image): I’m on business in Atlanta [Editor’s Note: Kamak in the ATL! Psh, define “business."] and what better way to celebrate Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead success than to review the latest release from Skybound; Ghosted.

A lot of artists fall into a rhythm of sticking to what they’re good at. Warhol silk-screened pop culture, Willie Nelson smokes pot writes country songs (please listen to his rendition of Coldplay’s The Scientist), [Editor’s Note: Please, no.] Michael Bay makes movies with too many explosions [Editor’s Note: It’s that close-up shaky cam I don’t like.], and Kirkman is no exception. By no means do I consider this a bad thing. I don’t like surprises that are out of the ordinary because I’ve, apparently, quickly turned into a cranky old man. I read Invincible (our super hero book), The Walking Dead (our horror book), and Thief of Thieves (our “reality” heist book). It’s a well-rounded group.

Ghosted? Maybe Kirkman has started to run out of gas, and here’s why. This quasi-bashing of Kirkman is due to The Walking Dead/Thief of Thieves mash-up I’m reviewing. [Editor’s Note: Oh, I always thought it was just a derivative and expositional Ocean’s Eleven meets Paranormal Activity.] The first issue opened with The Walking Dead’s precise sense of shock and awe, then followed up with a Thief of Thieves style story and team building exercise in literary composition. Issue two is the opposite; we gain greater insight into the team, Thief of Thieves style, and then conclude the issue with a Walking Dead style shocker. I loved it in spite of my poking at Kirkman. He actually took two of my favorite books and merged them into brilliance.

The set is a creepy-ass mansion where the Trask family had redrum’d numerous unfortunate victims. The cast of characters are all very different, counterbalancing each other like a see-saw. As introduced on the second page, there’s Edzia Rusnak “Professional Medium,” Robby Trick “Professional Con Artist,” Jay and Joe Burns “Professional Ghost Hunters & Reality TV Stars,” Oliver King “Professional Skeptic,” and the leader of the group, Jackson. Additional players include Markus Schrecken, the bored rich collector who hired Jackson to steal his ultimate prize from the mansion, a ghost, and his totally badass hired gun, Anderson. Yes, the mansion is Ghosted. Only one of the squad members witnesses the paranormal activity firsthand, but doesn’t speak of it. A number of stealthy wraiths tip-toe amongst the others. I found myself behaving like that obnoxious moviegoer sitting in front of you, yelling at the characters to look behind them, don’t go in that room, and get the hell out of this particular Bates Motel!

The art is nothing to mention, but Justin will make me tell you something, so here we go. [Editor’s Note: Yeah, there’s something poor about a comic book review that never mentions the art, yes, I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere…] Goran Sudzuka handles art and Miroslav Mrva the colors. It’s good, but it may as well be the interchangeable staff from Invincible, or The Walking Dead, or you guessed it, Thief of Thieves. Sure, The Walking Dead is done in black and white and adds some creepiness because of that, but having a “Wrightson” on your payroll would do wonders for this book. [Editor’s Note: Kamak, you should review the book you’re given, not the book you want.] Check out the book that took 6 months to create, Frankenstein Alive Alive #2 (IDW) for the finest art in a book… EVER. [Editor’s Note: I... just... don’t even know where to start with this now I'm going to get a Wrightson lecture the next time I see Kamak in the LCS.] Kirkman, I get it, you like this art style, but for my own selfish reasons, change it up! Get Ribic to do a cover [Editor’s Note: I think Esad Ribic is, like, Kamak’s favorite mainstream artist working today?] and Rob Guillory to do the comedic variant [Editor’s Note: Kamak cites Chew as his favorite book, I’m so confused right now.] USE SOME WALKING DEAD ROYALTIES TO STEP UP THE ART TO THE LEVEL THE BOOK DESERVES!

I do recommend this book, but like JMS’s Sidekick (shameless plug for a previous review I did), I don’t know how long one can keep this storyline going. Due to doubts of sustainability [Editor’s Note: Go Green.] and, more importantly, average art on a brilliant horror book (Hitchcock would not approve), Grade B+.


At 9:10 AM, Blogger Justin Giampaoli said...



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