Everyone has heard of a ghost story, and Ghostlore, from Boom! Studios, gives the ghosts themselves an opportunity to tell their own.
Ghostlore comes from horror mastermind Cullen Bunn. Together with artist Leomacs, Bunn continues his run of spooky stories. This issue also features art from Brian Hurtt, with colors from Bill Crabtree and Jason Wordie, and Ed Dukeshire on letters to round out this creative team.
A Classic Ghost Story… with a Twist
The issue opens as many in the horror genre do, a small town, a dysfunctional family. Initially, this slow start can feel burdensome to stick with, partly due to these cliches. Most of this issue is spent painting the scene for who these characters are and their relationships with one another.
The town’s reverend is Lucas Agate, who begins the issue with the words defining this tale. Lucas’ relationship with his children is deteriorating. His daughter, Harmony, wants to leave the small town, and his son hasn’t talked to anyone in months. The lack of any conversation between residents and the main characters continues to create this aura of seclusion. This makes the introduction of ghosts and their ability to talk much more striking.
A tragedy results in Lucas and Harmony gaining the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. This is the moment where Bunn shines. When the supernatural element finally kicks in, the story moves up a level. The first ghost reveals that there is more to the world than ghosts, which is tantalizing to explore.
Beautiful Ghost Art
The ghost’s story is built by Hurtt’s art which, with Crabtree’s warm colors, contrasts the moodier tone of Leomacs to that of a bright sunny day. This contrast works really well because it’s the first sight of the light in the issue while also introducing the darkest element so far.
Throughout the issue, Leomacs art sets the haunting tone. His designs for the ghosts are eerie, showing them as specters with veins or nervous systems also highlighted. This veiny design is prominent throughout the issue, constantly encroaching over the town or characters. Leomacs also excels at drawing people; whether they’re sitting or standing, they do so naturally. Emotion is also conveyed very well in this manner. The cool color palette of Wordie is essential to this story, making the world bleak and cold. Some characters’ emotional detachment is appropriately reflected in these blues and teals.
This first issue is a solid beginning, but it lacks some punch because the creators spent so much setting up the characters. Part of that may just be the fact that so many ghost stories exist, but this still has time to separate itself from others. When it gets time to be in horror, it works effectively, building the right tension, which is the most critical part.
Ghostlore #1 is out now!
Horror fan? Well, then why not check out this Advance Review for The Sickness #1!