Busting Makes Me Feel Good: The Ghostbusters in Comics


Who you gonna call?  As we’re all well aware by now, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of everyone’s favourite professional paranormal investigators and eliminators, the Ghostbusters.  To mark the occasion, I thought it might be fun to take a look at something that a lot of people wouldn’t immediately come up with when they think Ghostbusters: the comic corner of the franchise.

What follows will be an all-inclusive countdown of every single Ghostbusters series to be published since the property’s re-emergence as a beloved source of nostalgia (as opposed to simply being an old thing that people still like).  According to very scientific studies (trust me, I’m a doctor), it takes precisely 20 years for this shift to occur, so we’ll be looking at every Ghostbusters comic released in the last ten years.  While there were Ghostbusters comics published prior to 2004 (namely NOW Comics’ The Real Ghostbusters and Slimer! cartoon tie-ins), they fall outside the purview of this list.  So without further ado, starting at the bottom of the barrel with lucky number 13 and working our way forward, let’s light ‘em up!

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Art Love: Psylocke by Mike Maihack

Psylocke by Mike Maihack

Psylocke by Mike Maihack

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Sarah Goes to Montreal Comiccon 2014

Montreal Comiccon 2014. The convention floor.

Montreal Comiccon 2014. The convention floor.

As one of GRCT’s two Canadians — and between Leshia and myself, we cover two out of three coasts — I consider it my patriotic duty to bring a little international flavour to the site. This weekend is Montreal Comiccon, an annual small-to-medium sized convention held at the Palais des congrès in beautiful downtown Montreal, Quebec. With a focus on comics, gaming, anime, horror, and genre television, Montreal Comiccon is a somewhat more intimate affair than Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada or the fast-growing Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo; it’s also newer and therefore still experiencing some growing pains. This was my second time attending the convention, and while there were definitely improvements from when I went two years ago in 2012, there remain some weak spots.

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pick of the week:

Hawkeye 20Hawkeye #20
Story: Matt Fraction
Art: Annie Wu, Matt Hollingsworth



• This is… THE BIG ONE. Fraction and Wu and Hollingsworth too — OH MY!

Keep reading for our picks!

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Review: Bodies #1 – 2

Bodies 001 cover by fiona stephensonBodies #1 & 2 (of 8)

Story: Si Spencer 
Art: Meghan Hetrick, Dean Ormston, Tual Lotay, Phil Winslade
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Dezi Sienty and Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vertigo

When it comes to comics, my taste can charitably referred to as “varied”. I will admit that I was drawn to the cover first (a lovely piece of gory pin-up art by Fiona Stephenson) and then to the solicit later. It checked all of the mental boxes that I have a soft spot for when it comes to miniseries (multiple artists, a mystery or two, murder, almost too many time periods). I just knew that Bodies wasn’t going to be a book I wanted to miss.

First issues can always be a little rough, especially when they’re building a new world from scratch. Much like pilots of new television shows, they’ve got hook the audience and set up what’s to come, often having their own little mini-arc as they introduce the focal characters. All too frequently first issues come off a little rushed and sloppy. When a first issue doesn’t have some serious kinks to work out, I almost become a bit wary, ready for the series to rapidly derail and destroy my hopes.

Bodies jumps right into the storytelling fray. It catches you off-guard, leaving the audience scrambling to catch up. The boldness of the storytelling is impressive, taking no prisoners which is exactly how a short-run series should approach. There’s no time to waste easing your audience into what’s going to happen. Better to explain as we move along.

Spanning four distinct time periods (2014, 1890, 2050, 1940) and with it four distinct art styles, the book is a collection of well-crafted visual cues that start to connect the dots even as you slip from 2014 to 1890 (the first time jump). The connections continue from there, with the bodies crossing paths with our detectives in the same location and same apparent cause of death, decades apart. Each detective feels separate and unique, their worlds lived in and fleshed out even if we meet each of them in the middle of their lives. This is just another case to them, each approaching their particular corpse in a way that fits their “brand” of detective work. It’s up to the audience to start to piece together the similarities that the detectives can’t. And honestly, it kind of makes it more of a fun read.

If issue one is the four variations on a single set-up, with the final scene leaving us with a cliffhanger, then issue two is layers on it. Second issues are equally difficult (if not more so) to first outings, trying to pushing forward what they started as well as keep everyone informed. The timelines are jumbled a bit further, with another untouched point in time mentioned in the news reports that seems like it could tie in.

The second issues confirms what I suspected to be true: this is a series for those love murder mysteries. It’s not a straight forward who-or-why done it, but it has enough of those familiar tropes in play to make it interesting. I want to roll around in the worlds that we’re being shown (especially London of 2050 — an entire future where everyone’s forgotten everything? Sign me up!). Right now I’m keeping my guesses as to how everything ties together mostly to myself in this post, but part of me hopes I’m wrong. Bodies 002 francesco francavillaI don’t want this to be an easy case to crack, but even if it is the diverse visual storytelling and the one narrative voice make it worth the read.

I should warn that it’s not a book for those who are averse to graphic violence, especially when that aftermath of that violence is handled in a pretty realistic matter. This isn’t a book where the some gets the crap kicked out of them, only to rebound three pages later. When someone goes down, they’re down.

Bodies is definitely worth checking out, though those who are a fan of mysteries and/or uses of different art styles to tell the story in a single book might find more to love. No matter what, I’ll be checking out what comes next. Let the speculation begin!

Bodies #3 will be available from Vertigo comics on 9/24. 

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Random Awesome: Thor #1 Cover

The cover to Thor #1, by Russell Dauterman with colors by Frank Martin Jr. is completely rocking my world, as is the new Thor logo, which is so clever that I have no idea how they hadn’t done it before now.

Thor #1 is out on October 1st, from Marvel Comics.

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Post-Mortem: Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

Since I saw the sequel to 2005’s Sin City the Sunday of its opening weekend, in a theater of less than ten people, I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel ever since I saw the first film in a theater back in 2005, and after what seemed like endless delays as this film circled the drain in development hell, I didn’t think it was ever actually going to happen. The jokes I’ve been making on twitter about not believing this movie was actually going to be released weren’t far from the truth, to be honest. I’d gotten my hopes up about it again and again, only to have the release date pushed back over and over again.

So when I saw the lackluster reviews for A Dame to Kill For, I wondered how this film could go so wrong.

The answer is that it didn’t.

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pick of the week:

Death of Wolverine #1
Story: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven
Publisher: Marvel Comics


•  The beginning of the end is now here … THE DEATH OF WOLVERINE!

•  THREE MONTHS TO DIE, the loss of Wolverine’s healing factor–all led to this, the single most important X-Men event of the decade.

•  Logan has spent over a century being the best there is at what he does…but even the best fade away eventually.

Keep reading for our picks!

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pick of the week:

Cyclops 4Cyclops #4
Story: Greg Rucka
Art: Carmen Carnero, Terry Pallot
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Publisher: Marvel Comics

• Scott and Corsair are stranded on an alien planet with no hope of rescue

• The indigenous species are none too happy with them

• Not that they’re very happy with each other, either — what bargains will need to be struck to get either or both of them out alive?

Keep reading for our picks!

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Review: Sundowners #1

Sundowners 1Sundowners #1

Script: Tim Seeley
Art: Jim Terry
Colors: Sean Dove
Lettering: Crank!
Publisher: Dark Horse

With a title like Sundowners, I’ll admit I was expecting a vampire story, but this new offering from Dark Horse Comics owes more to Fight Club than Dracula. While undoubtedly an ensemble piece, we’re introduced to the world of the Sundowners through the eyes of disgraced psychologist, David “Shreds” Shrejic, who’s taken to running support groups as an alternative to his old job. The Sundowners Support Group is for individuals who believe they are superheroes of a sort, some of whom possess extraordinary abilities. David dismisses their claims with a laundry list of possible causes for their delusions, hoping to make a study of what he sees as a new, undiagnosed disorder.

It’s an interesting premise, if not necessarily a new one, but the narrative creates just sundown1p2enough tension that the reader is left wondering if David’s right or wrong in his assumptions throughout the issue–not an easy feat. While there’s a fair bit of world building at play, everything feels very lived in, eschewing some of the awkwardness that often comes with first issues for new properties. I’m a stranger to Seeley’s work, having only read an issue of DC’s Grayson prior to this, but he delivers a solid story supported by Terry and Dove’s clear artwork. Although it’s not an especially pretty book, I’ll always sacrifice beauty in the name of knowing what the heck’s going on, and to that end, Terry is a great storyteller.

My one real critique is reserved for the handling of most of the female characters, whose stories, with one clear exception, seem to revolve more around what they’re wearing than anything else. While I hope this approach is dropped in future instalments, as these women are otherwise intriguing, the concept of Sundowners and the character of David are strong enough to keep me interested through at least the first arc.

Sundowners #1, from Dark Horse Comics, will be available August 27, 2014.

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