Ghostopolis

GhostopolisSummary: A page-turning adventure of a boy’s journey to the land of ghosts and back.

Imagine Garth Hale’s surprise when he’s accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don’t have, and he’s stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth’s newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather’s ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

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Ghostopolis, by Doug TenNapel 7.0

Frank Gallows is an agent at the Supernatural Immigration Task Force, chasing after ghosts who have escaped back to Earth and sending them back from whence they came. Unfortunately, on what should have been a routine job, he mistakenly sends a ghost back along with Garth, a pre-teen boy. Fired for this and a string of previous incidents, Gallows now has to find a way to get the boy back.

He goes after him… in Ghostopolis, a huge metropolis in the afterlife.

Frankly, I enjoyed the whole set-up, even if it’s actually nearly impossible for the boy to have been sent back (it was totally contrived to happen), but my mild enthusiasm came to a screeching halt when we started to follow Garth, and he gets accosted in the afterlife by the spirit of his grandfather. It was too much of a coincidence and the story started to bog down at this point.

Then it became a chase, as the Frank tried to find Garth, who’s wandering about Ghostopolis trying to avoid Vaugner (the ruler of Ghostopolis) and his insect people. Then came a simplistic love story between Frank and his ex, a ghost, Vaugner’s jealous reactions to their relationship, Frank’s redemption, and Garth saving the day (because, inexplicably, he has growing super powers!!!).

It all ended in a Hollywood style finale that reminded me of something along the lines of ‘Transformers’. Le sigh. Basically, it was vacuous, eye-catching excitement – and none of it made sense. Add to that the fact that the few values being tossed into the book are ill-placed and/or ill-defined, and it made for a fairly uninspired read. Only the slick artwork kept me turning the page.

Still, some people (likely young teens) will enjoy this.

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