Think teen dramedy with ghosts if you want a thumbnail of what’s in store in Ghosted in L.A. Vol. 1.
It collects four issues of an ongoing Boom! BoxTM series created and scripted by Sina Grace (Iceman) with art by Siobhan Keenan and Grace and colors by Cathy Le.
It’s all light-hearted, until it a few dark clouds gather. Then the tale rolls along into the outskirts of horror territory with some grim conflict.
The focus is on Daphne Walters, a Missoula high school grad who’s followed her boyfriend to Los Angeles for college. She’s estranged from her best friend over said boyfriend, giving ghosted an additional meaning. Said boyfriend promptly dumps her when she catches up with him, giving ghosted yet another meaning.
A churlish and holier-than-thou roommate with a judgmental Bible study group adds irritation.
So of course, Daphne stumbles on and takes refuge at Rycroft Manor, an elegant-if-aging apartment complex with a decent pool and an array of ghosts. They’re the literal ghosts.
The leader is the 1930s-fashionable Agi (Agnes). She’s the only one who has the power to possess humans, and she’s compassionate with a dash of sinister. Other ghosts have different abilities and needs, with a threat here or there. Sepia-toned snippets in later issues give brief views of the ghosts’ mortal lives.
Daphne represents a mixed bag of assistance and irritation for supernatural pals. She can deliver magazines and turn pages for bored residents hoping to keep up with news and trends. But she keeps bringing personal drama to Rycroft. That can be annoying to the likes of Maurice, an irritable type who’d really prefer peace and quiet.
For Daph, campus life and the Rycroft residents conflict and intertwine. Ghosts have insights to offer an 18-year-old just beginning to find her way through young adult life with its conflicts, choices and misunderstandings. Bernard, a gay lawyer in his earthly life, has a lot of advice to offer on some fronts, in fact.
The continuing arc here serves up engaging character development and conflict, and Keenan’s art captures the right blend of contemporary youth tales with an eerie overlay of the supernatural.
Many small plot threads wind through the volume and pay off, and it’s an enjoyable journey. Horror purists might find it mild, but those open to a glimpse of the human condition with a dose of the ghostly should find it fun and rewarding. Wander in as Daphne did and have a look.
The requisite extras are packed into the volume as well, including some interesting early character renderings and notes on the ghosts’ fashions.
This volume is now available.