New from Image comes Ghosted, a comic from Joshua Williamson. Now Williamson has had an up and down career with comics and some of his writing hasn’t been as well received as others. So is this a new title which will bring in the fans?
The comic opens in prison where Jackson T Winters is trying to keep his head down whilst avoiding the amorous advances of a fellow inmate. Something that isn’t shied away from in the very first pages in graphic detail. It is only during an arranged prison riot, that a female mercenary calls out to our “hero”, leading him away from life as a superstar criminal behind bars to a plush, slightly decadent, mansion and a meeting with Markus Schrecken.
Shrecken is the typical rich, bored, almost colonial hunter who needs to have the biggest and best trophies, especially those of a supernatural nature. So it comes of no surprise when he announces that the sole reason for Jackson’s removal from incarceration was for him to steal a ghost.
Jackson agrees, and sets out to select his crew. In dialogue that is akin to the first act of the Ocean’s Eleven film, we are introduced to these individuals - plus Edzia Rusnak, a pick made by Schrecken, which immediately puts the reader at unease with her. There is a lot of box ticking with regard to the characters, but this is also in keeping with my analogy to the Ocean's film franchise, and also means that you have a hint or idea of how they may all become useful in future issues.
So with the team assembled and briefed - although not entirely sure how to achieve the task - they arrive at the haunted mansion. Another round of exposition gives you the history of the house, explaining how it is the perfect hunting ground.
So with everyone in the right place and ready to go, how do you steal a ghost? I guess further issues will explore this basic premise further.
Goran Sudzuka is the artist on the project and his style fits very well. His background is hugely indie and the issue is given an almost retro style feel, making this feel even more like a rat pack film. It does vary a little throughout, with frames changing from soft to finer line work, but overall there is a strong feel to it. In parts it is very similar to a colourful Walking Dead. There is almost a little too much expression sometimes too - looking through the issue there doesn’t really seem to ever be a relaxed calm face. Tension is written all over them all and every face seems desperate to impart a motive, which becomes a little tiring by the end.
So as a first issue would I say it’s exciting? Honestly I probably wouldn’t, but is it interesting, most definitely. Regardless that the vehicle for this heist is tried and tested, the idea behind it all is certainly one that is worth taking a look at - how do you steal something that many refuse to believe in?
Matt Puddy is held together with wire a sticky-back plastic.