This book has an odd backstory. I was looking at the library website and noticed several graphic novels I would like to read. I went to the library to pick up the sequel to the book I was reading and pull other books to look at. Maybe take one more home as I still had three that I had taken out the other day and was checking out the sequel.
I picked up Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel. The cover was what had caught my attention, allowing me to remember it as one of the books I was interested in. The swirls, the colors rich, purple, blue, greens and dark with the light teasing in places. It is clever, fun and while spooky, not scary in the least (that comes a little later). I did not realize there was a skeleton horse on the cover at first. This is a good hint to what is to come with the twists and turns and things are not always what they seem. It shows the realism and fantasy right off. Around an hour and half later I had ordered some interlibrary loan books, picked out books, finished Ghostopolis, the library was closing in about 20 minutes and I needed to check out the books I was also going to look at, but never got around to, as Ghostopolis was so engaging.
Ghostopolis is more of a 4.5 than a four or five. The predictability of the story makes it more of a 4, yet the funny pieces of the story and the adventure itself, the “boy humor” (they mention toots and you know how I love a good toot) and puns make it more of 5. There are ghosts, the living and some are in-between. Ages 10-14 are the main audience, but strong 8-9-year-olds could handle it well as the story is simple: Grant finds himself accidently sent to the world of ghosts. He, his new friend Skinny the skeleton horse and his Grandfather must find a way to stop the evil leader of the city and get Grant home. Luckily, they have two other friends, Frank Gallows and Claire Voyant (Frank is a Ghost Hunter and Claire is a Ghost who are in love, but both know it cannot be). The motley crew will meet goblins, Bone Kings, Mummies, really big bug-minions and much more. A superhero ending, images and story plots that can remind you of a multitude of different science fiction staples all come together to make a fun and cozy read. I would read this again as I am sure there are things missed. Plus, I want to meet the blind-gypsy-werewolf-uncle once more.
The illustrations are simple but not simplistic. The encompass the typical colors and details of graphic novels. There are some details where needed, but not as heavy as could be in others. They move the story as much as the text, which is light on, but perfectly given and tells the story without being pushy. I am looking to see if there is a sequel as some of the ending was left open.