Ghost Comics (edited by Ed Choy Moorman)
Sometimes I make these reviews overly complicated, and I probably will with this one too, so I wanted to sum it up simply: this is a collection of different takes on ghost stories from some of the best small press cartoonists around.Â Ta-da!Â What more do you need to know?Â There are all kinds of highlights to choose from, and somehow there’s not a stinker in the bunch.Â That’s a rare thing with anthologies, but Ed has put together quite a cast here.Â Things start off strong with Hob’s tale of a dinosaur ghost witnessing everything that follows its death and the eventual destruction of the earth.Â From there Jeffrey Brown talks about making a fool of himself to a member of a band he likes, Corinne Mucha implies that the “ghosts” in her dorm were really just an excuse to get people to sleep together for protection, Maris Wicks goes into detail about the creepy and non-creepy aspects of living with a ghost as a kid, Madleine Queripel relates the reality of trying to scatter ashes, Toby Jones (professional boyfriend) goes into how useless he is when confronted with death, Lucy Knisley visits an old school she attended briefly and is shocked by the sheer number of ghosts still around, Allison Cole finds a practical way to rid herself of ghosts, Evan Palmer tells the tale of a knight misguidedly trying to win love, and Jessica McLeod warns of the dangers of ghost tomatoes.Â Then there’s my favorite (among many “favorite”) story: Kevin Cannon’s tale of all the major landmarks of the world joining together into a Voltron-like creation to fight evil, how one member of that band is destroyedÂ and, as a ghost, sees a plot to destroy the world.Â Any more detail than that would ruin it, but trust me, it’s a purely awesome thing.Â If that still hasn’t convinced you, here’s everybody else involved: Ed Choy Moorman (duh), Aidan Koch, Mike Lowery, Sean Lynch, Sarah Morean, Jillian Schroeder, Zak Sally, Abby Mullen, Eileen Shaughnessy, Tuesday Bassen, Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig, Jenny Tondera, John Hankiewicz, Will Dinski, Mark Scott, Monica Anderson, Warren Craghead III and John Porcellino.Â Topping off that pile of talent is the fact that this is a benefit anthology, with proceeds going to the RS Eden, which started off as a chemical dependency center and evolved into helping community members at need in all sorts of areas.Â So it’s for a good cause, it’s packed with talent and it’s only $10.Â Sounds like a no-brainer to me.Â $10
I know I commented on Allison’s characters in the last review, but I should really show everybody something before I start rambling:
Those are all the characters in this story. They all wear the same outfit, they’re only differentiated by tiny things, and they all wear body suits that hide any trace of sexuality. Still, by the end of this, I had no trouble at all telling almost everybody in here apart. In my mind, and this might be saying too much for Allison’s first graphic novel, but that’s the mark of a master storyteller. This book is about a summer for Allison and her friends, and all the problems with boyfriends/girlfriends, jobs and the rest of the world. If it sounds like the kind of thing that you’ve already seen a hundred times, I’m just telling it wrong. It’s a complicated story that’s told in a simple way. How she has characters with no faces have incredibly expressive facial expressions is beyond me, but she pulls it off. Check it out, it’s good stuff. $11.95
Here’s a quick, cute little book from Allison Cole. The people in it look vaguely like Teletubbies, although I’m sure that’s unintentional. There’s a story about trying to get her comic sold at a comic store, one about Allison and her friend trying to cross the street and getting yelled at, and one about all the little things in Canada that weren’t bad. This was a travel journal, in other words. She has a spare, expansive style in a lot of panels that I like. This name sounded familiar to me when I saw it, but apparently I don’t have any more of her work. Is there more stuff in anthologies or something? I tell you, doing this every day (or when I can, which has been the case lately) really makes artists run together in my brain. Anyway, this is probably $2 and it’s an incredibly quick read, but still worth a look. Send her an e-mail or send cash to: 2 College St. #502 Providence, RI 02903.