Review: Ghosted in L.A. #1
Wow, Ghosted in L.A. #1 was incredibly and painfully relatable for me. Like our heroine Daphne, I went to my first year of college thousands of miles away in L.A. I kind of flamed out mostly because I didn’t have a car. And maybe a conservative bible college wasn’t the best choice for a flaming bisexual and progressive. Like Daphne, who found her own otherworldly tribe, I got into comic books, podcasts, and even criticism big time. I don’t have as many regrets as I used of my “lost year” as an Angeleno.
But enough of me. Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan, and Cathy Le put a cute, wholesome spin on the mysterious, paranormal side of L.A in Ghosted in L.A. #1. The empty mansions, swimming pools, and things that make David Lynch crack a smile. However, we’re seeing this side of L.A. from the POV of a college freshman, Daphne, who is in that critical identity forging stage of her life. She gets her music taste from her (Currently estranged) friend Kristi and her college choice from her (now ex) boyfriend. Daphne is trying to develop her own personality. It’s not working out until she takes a dip in an abandoned pool and then cries against a wall after interacting with the house and pool’s ghostly denizens.
Le uses soft colors to show the weightlessness of Daphne floating. Keenan eases up on the hyperactive facial expressions that drew me into the story for a second to give her a moment of peace. Grace even gives her a “cool” and steady inner dialogue for two panels until the cartoonish facial expressions and anxiety are back with a side of a young ghost woman. Throughout Ghosted in L.A., he has crafted a signature voice for Daphne. She is desperate to fit in and wary to share her feelings, hence, all the text messages saved in drafts.
However, Daphne is no pushover and confronts her boyfriend when he breaks up with him to spend more on “self-discovery”. Cathy Le punctuates her rage with red backgrounds. Sina Grace adds a great line about how she doesn’t like the bicycle he gave her. Letterer DC Hopkins accentuates Grace’s dialogue by making the words in Daphne’s balloons smaller after her douchebag of boyfriend makes his breakup excuse.
Ghosted in L.A.‘s creative team fires on all cylinders in this issue. The book is a wonderful fusion of memorable character designs and facial expressions, well-paced plotting (Daphne discovers the ghosts after she hits rock bottom.), and a protagonist that is easy to connect to. Sina Grace and Siobhan Keenan explore the universal themes of loneliness and belonging through Daphne’s specific trials and tribulations with L.A. and a (mostly) kind family of ghosts as the backdrop. It’s what I want out of a good magical realism story. I can’t wait to learn more about Daphne and the world, no, the community that she has joined in this adorable comic.
Story: Sina Grace Art: Siobhan Keenan with Sina Grace
Colors: Cathy Le Letters: DC Hopkins
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review