Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Goran Sudzuka, Miroslav Mrva
Release Date: August 14, 2013
Publisher: Image Comics
Ghosted takes our fascination with ghost stories and our love of dubious criminals and twines them together. While the first issue opened with humor of questionable taste, the interesting premise and varied cast (including Jackson Winters, the center of the story and our dubious criminal in question) marked the book as worth following.
The most immediate trait that sets Ghosted apart, particularly in this issue, is not its writing, but its art. Sudzuka’s thick inking style is dense and distinct, with charcoal-like feathering that gives the book a dark, ruddy feel that is well-complimented by Mrva’s colors. While Sudzuka takes no risks when it comes to panels and camera angles, his presentation is solid enough to not need extra tweaking to keep the reader engaged with the art. The visual presentation of the book is solid, and Sudzuka’s style – particularly in his backgrounds work – is perfect for this kind of story.
Mrva is also a great fit, sporting colors that enhance the art and are powerful enough to be distinct without being too complex and stealing the show. The shadowing occasionally seems to spill in odd places, but the light-source inconsistency is likely mostly a matter of taste and is slight enough to be nearly unnoticeable.
Williamson uses several methods to paint our story’s full setting and mood, from narration boxes to allowing our cast to wander separately through the haunted mansion that contains their intended prize. We are given several glimpses of the bizarre things the house is hiding, and the plot doubles-down on itself as the cast hashes out the best way to achieve their goal. He sets the reader up for what feels like the end of the issue, an assumption compounded by rich sunset tones by Mrva, then presents another layer of the book’s dangers before clicking the light off.
Ghosted walks the line between cliche and setting itself apart, and has thus far done a pretty okay job of the latter. Much of the book feels very business-as-usual for the genre. But while the story will likely take some fairly predictable steps in the future, it’s doubtful that Williamson will let it happen without at least a few surprises along the way.