Ghosted

Ghosted 20 (May 2015)

Ghosted #20Ghosted ends. Rather abruptly. While Williamson does discuss ending the series in the back matter–and he pretty much brings back every slightly sympathetic character for a farewell of sorts–the pacing doesn’t feel right. Even if he meant to work towards a reveal and then go another route… it’s not a successful destination.

Some of the problem is Goran Sudzuka trying a different style for his brief return to the comic. And then Laci and Williamson pretending they’re doing a desperately romantic Vertigo comic from the nineties. The tone is just off.

Still, even if it’s not a compelling read, the final issue of Ghosted is a pleasing one. Williamson doesn’t take enough time with the characters but he gives them all fine farewells. The ties back to the series’s first arc just show how constrained Williamson envisioned the comic, which is too bad.

Ghosted finishes acceptably, nothing more.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artists, Goran Sudžuka and Vladimir Krstic Laci; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Michael Williamson and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 19 (April 2015)

Ghosted #19Okay, Laci’s art isn’t working out for Ghosted, especially not this issue. It’s talking heads–with one important bit of unexpected actions and one hinted one; so it’s mostly talking. And Laci can’t do it. His art works on a macro creepy level, but he doesn’t get into expressions enough for the characters to “perform” their fear and discomfort.

Williamson has quite a bit of fun with the script. He starts off with something entirely unexpected, then sort of avoids it. The issue takes place over twenty minutes at the most, following two and then three sets of characters. If the issue didn’t have such a surprising (though maybe it shouldn’t have been) development, it would have been fine with five or six pages.

And being able to make something a big deal is one of Williamson’s strengths. He does the character work to make his big plot developments succeed.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Vladimir Krstic Laci; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Michael Williamson and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 18 (March 2015)

Ghosted #18Very unexpected turns in this issue. Williamson almost seems to be getting to a place where he might wind Ghosted down. Soon. I hope not.

This issue–this arc–is the greatest hits of the series so far. He brings back the first villain, he brings back cast members from subsequent arcs. The interplay between these characters, who came into the series in its wholly different phases, is great. Even when it’s a little aside or a character talking under his or her breath, it’s great. Williamson’s got a vision for how the comic plays out.

Again, hope it’s not winding down.

But this issue, which has the characters tasked with getting from point A to point B (albeit through a field of angry ghosts), goes somewhere unexpected. It’s a nice, gentle move from Williamson.

It’s Ghosted so it’s not gentle in action, just in how he gets to it.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Vladimir Krstic Laci; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Helen Leigh and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 17 (February 2015)

Ghosted #17Ghosted feels like a much different comic book with Vladimir Krstic Laci on art. It feels like a seventies ghost comic, slick in a classical sense, not a hip sense. It works against a bunch of the book’s concepts and makes Ghosted a much more entertaining read this month. Just the way Laci breaks out the action alone changes the experience.

The issue has Jackson going over to the ghost town to fight his nemesis. It’s a lot of great talking heads because Laci makes everything feel a little uneasy and Williamson’s ominous dialogue is strong. When the supernatural does come in, Williamson and Laci handle it really well too.

I’m not sure if Laci’s the best fit for the book, which doesn’t have to be homage to seventies horror comics, but it’s a nice approach to this particular story line. It fits it better. Realistic fantastical stuff going on.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Vladimir Krstic Laci; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Helen Leigh and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 16 (January 2015)

Ghosted #16It’s a done-in-one setting up the next story arc, with Williamson following the villain through his evil plans in a small German town. Juan Jose Ryp does the art, which leads to some crazy riot scenes, but the best moments of Ryp’s art are actually the kids playing. It’s a strange thing to see from Ryp (and in Ghosted) and it’s rather nice.

Actually, Ryp now does a lot of points for shading on faces and it gets annoying fast. Like it’s a Photoshop filter or something.

The story’s decent. Williamson has a lot of fun not just with the villain but setting up the situation in the town. When Jackson finally does appear towards the end of the comic to get the set up going, he’s out of place.

Williamson doesn’t just have fun with the issue, he crafts it very well. It feels enthusiastic and finished.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Juan Jose Ryp; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Helen Leigh and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 15 (November 2014)

Ghosted #15Gianfelice has some great expressions this issue. Wonderful moments with the characters mid-thought. These moments occasionally make Ghosted seem to light while also making it more accessible. Williamson goes for a lot of exposition this issue. There’s so much talking, the word balloons obscure important visual details (the pacing of the big action scene is all off because of them). It’s too much to digest, especially since most of it’s fluff.

There are some excellent moments throughout the issue but almost as many mundane ones. Williamson tries way too hard to make callous protagonist Jackson lovable. Gianfelice does it in the art already, far more discreetly. Though, to be fair, Williamson doesn’t exercise any restraint. He goes overboard.

The excesses hurt the issue. It reads like Williamson’s asking the reader to come back next time instead of being confident. Bad kind of excess. But it’s still more than adequate.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Davide Gianfelice; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooten; editors, Helen Leigh and Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 10 (May 2014)

Ghosted #10Busy, busy issue. Very busy. So busy Williamson can kill people off without it resonating just because there’s so much other stuff going on. And a lot of it goes on at the end; this issue has two cliffhangers, one hard, one soft. Very busy.

But the rest of the issue is awesome as usual. And the busyness is just overkill, it’s not bad. Williamson does a whole lot of callbacks in the last few pages, even for the resolution to the story arc.

What remains to be seen–since Williamson hasn’t exactly established a cast outside Jackson and his ghost–is where Ghosted will go next. This arc certainly shows it can go unexpected places, but with the flashbacks shining light into Jackson’s unrevealed backstory, I hope Williamson doesn’t choose to dwell too much. Constantly looking backward is boring.

The series continues to be a lot of harsh fun.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Davide Gianfelice; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 9 (April 2014)

Ghosted #9Williamson gets away with a lot of exposition. Jackson and the kidnapped, possessed girl are on the run through the jungle of ghost animals–which turns out to be somewhat cute, in an amusing turn–and the girl just talks and talks. But the way Williamson paces out the conversation, it works great. There’s danger and tension and the dialogue fits between. Very nicely done.

Also cool is the finish, when things are looking bad for the heroes. The first person narration is sparing and Williamson usually uses it for humor. Why overuse the acerbic wit, especially when the characters are in great danger. It’d be too jokey. There’s a lot of control with the script.

The ending–and the jungle–wouldn’t work without Gianfelice’s art. He’s got the expressions down, which is important, because so much of the characters’ motivations are unsaid.

The comic’s sturdy, reliably and very entertaining.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Davide Gianfelice; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 8 (March 2014)

Ghosted #8Gianfelice’s art stands out this issue. Maybe it’s because everything Williamson does–Jackson is being held hostage–needs to be a surprise. There’s the villains taunting him so their taunts need to be visually rendered, there’s the allies doing a surprise attack, the surprise needs to be rendered. Even though there aren’t any huge set piece fights (I think they average three or four panels), the art’s essential.

Also essential is giving Jackson someone to talk with. Williamson can run him through the Bond henchmen and Bond villain–a comparison the comic itself raises–but giving him a chance to connect with a “regular” character is necessary to jump start the arc. Ghosted has been doing fine, but once Williamson unveils the damsel in distress’s secret, it improves.

While the flashback stuff is calculatedly compelling, Williamson hasn’t introduced complicated intrigue in the arc until now. It seems worth the wait.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Davide Gianfelice; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghosted 7 (February 2014)

Ghosted #7Trick is okay. I’m a little surprised, since he sort of ominously disappeared for a bit last issue. He’s in sidekick role, self-proclaimed dirty old man to Jackson’s more sympathetic narrator.

Williamson gives the issue a speedy pace. It’s maybe three or four different sequences set in the same night. But there’s something too speedy about it. Williamson forecasts the cliffhanger too early. Not the exact details of it, but how he’s going to use it. Hard cliffhanger, just after Jackson has discovered a big detail in the story arc.

It’s too bad the comic gets predictable for the last few pages, because, otherwise, Williamson’s pacing is good–pulp, ghosts and action all play a part. There’s even a flashback to some mystery woman. I’d forgotten Williamson might want to develop Jackson a bit more; even though the character narrates, he’s distant.

The issue meanders, which is a shame.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Davide Gianfelice; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Scroll to Top