I have a line of students who are waiting to read Ghostopolis (Scholastic Graphix 2010). Many of them have already read and enjoyed Bad Island, the other graphic novel by Doug TenNapel that I have in my classroom library. They are not going to be disappointed. I liked Ghostopolis even better. I frequently chortled out loud while reading this one!
Garth Hale is sick, with doctors offering not much hope. Even though he is waiting to die, he doesn’t expect to be accidentally zapped to the ghost world by a washed out ghost wrangler named Frank Gallows. While Frank desperately tries to explain and find a ride into the ghost world to rescue him, Garth discovers that he has special powers in Ghostopolis. He befriends a skeleton horse he calls Skinny and meets his grandfather, who is a twelve-year-old. (You see, time and physics don’t work the same way in the afterlife.) Before long, though, the evil leader of Ghostopolis gets word of Garth’s arrival and starts to hunt him down. In the final confrontation, secrets are revealed–but I’m not telling.
I loved the word play and the pokes at culture and history. How can you not love a ghost named Claire Voyant? All of Ghostopolis was created by the mysterious Joe, a Tuskegee Airman in life, who built this place for ghosts to live. It either took him six days or a billion years. No one really knows since time is all mixed up in the afterlife. The pictures are saturated with vibrant color. My favorite, though, are the facial expressions on the characters.
I don’t expect to see this one on the shelf once I put it out. Now what TenNapel book should I get next?