Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
4 out of 5
When Garth Hale is accidentally zapped into the ghost world by Frank Gallows, a washed-up ghost wrangler, he discovers that he has special powers. Soon he finds himself on the run from the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who wants to use Garth's newfound abilities to tighten his grip on the spirit world. After Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, nearly losing hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.
This is a fun, paranormal story with a slight twist. Instead of ghosts coming to humans for help to get to the other side or what-have-you, the ghosts are on the run from ghost hunters who force them back to what amounts to purgatory. It's a neat twist and the reason I picked up the book in the first place.
Like a good novel, there were subplots. Not mentioned in the description is that Frank Gallows arrives in Ghostoplis with Claire Voyant--his ex-love and a ghost. Hints about the relationship pop up throughout the novel, but it doesn't turn the tale into a romance. Also, Garth meets his grandfather for the first time. All I can say without giving things away is that it's more interesting than Frank and Claire.
The images in graphic novels are meant to add to and help tell the story, and indeed they do. I would call the style relaxed. The images do what they should. From the moment you meet Frank Gallows, it's easy to tell that he's a man who's given up. Even though I enjoyed the book as a whole, the opening sequence is definitely my favorite.
This title could be a good introduction to graphic novels if you're thinking of testing the waters. Otherwise, it's a good recommendation for those interested in paranormal that might just be a little different from your average ghost story.
It seems Ghostopolis is being made into a movie starring Hugh Jackman.
Disclosure: I borrowed this title from my local library.