Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ghosts Galore

Graphic novels have been flying off the shelves at both the elementary and middle schools since they hit the scene and have steadily gained in popularity.  That is certainly no surprise to those of us that have been readers and collectors of comic books for decades.

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel is one of the finer examples that this genre has to offer young adult readers. In 2000 Mr. TenNapel won The Will Eisner Comic Industry Award (Eisner Award) for his work on Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #5 along with several other contributing artists.  He is well known for his Earthworm Jim creation.

Garth Hale, a boy who has an incurable disease, crosses paths with Frank Gallows, a less than stellar wrangler for The Supernatural Immigration Task Force.  As a wrangler it is his job to send ghosts back to the afterlife.  When a stubborn as well as illusive horse, a nightmare, finally gets zapped back Garth inadvertently is taken along.

Even though he has been fired for this latest snafu, Frank is determined to bring Garth back.  He enlists the help of Claire Voyant, his on again, off again girlfriend and a ghost no less. By using her plasmapod they should be able to go over and come back without a hitch while rescuing Garth.

 In the afterlife, Ghostopolis, Garth and his new found nightmare friend are having problems of their own while making the welcome or frightening acquaintance of a whole cast of otherworldly characters including Cecil, his grandfather.  Vaugner, a former boyfriend of Claire is now the living ruler of Ghostopolis with a hoard of grotesque, enormous bugs that do his bidding.  By pitting the rulers of the seven kingdoms against one another Vaugner's rule is supreme or it was until the arrival of Garth.  Though dying in our world in the afterlife Garth has acquired super powers that could be the key to overthrowing Vaugner's rule.  Vaugner will do whatever it takes to make sure that does not happen.

Action-packed adventure, quirky romance, creepy characters, friendship and family that stand the test of time, and laugh-out-loud one liners combine to create a fast-paced tale.  Pair that with graphics that tell their own story and readers will be craving the next graphic gem by Doug TenNapel.  This reader will be checking out some of his earlier graphic novels as well as waiting for the Disney production of Ghostopolis starring Hugh Jackman.

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