Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Pat Shand & Dave Franchini
Illustrated by Alan Otero
Coloured by Jorge Cortes
Lettered by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios
Ghosts and spirits have been with us since man first started walking the earth. What are they and what do they want? Why do some mean us harm? One team of paranormal investigators sets out to answer those questions, hunting the vengeful spirits that cross over into our world and facing the most terrifying hauntings man has ever known.
Unlike Tales of Terror this series of one shot issues uses the same investigative team in each issue. This gives us a chance to really connect with them as characters and people and see what each member of the team continues to bring to the page. If we’re going to continue to get these one shot stories then i’m happy for at this one constant as it does a lot to tie the whole series together. Plus the ongoing characterisation of these characters has so far been really strong. I do like that the one with the least formed mind is the one who insists on the most logical and scientific reasons for these things happening despite what he’s seen so far.
Another thing that I like is that with ghost hunting there are no rules. This means that this issue which focuses on a traveling carnival could either have mechanical issues, as we’ve seen this past summer on the news, or it could be localised result of a vengeful spirit. There are no rules so to say that it must be this and that adds a great sense of drama and thrills to what we see here.
Alan and Jorge do some really nice work on the interiors here. Yes it’s very much comic book style art and that’s great it doesn’t have to be hyper realistic to get the emotion off the characters faces and facial expressions. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds are wonderfully utilised. I like that the death and violence we see is more subjective to the reader’s imagination and not grossly shown on the page. Plus the creativity and imagination on display, particularly in the ghost itself is extremely well done.
That the team breaks off into groups allows for the boys to get more done in less amount of space. One team goes off to do interviews from the first hand viewers of what happened while the other investigates the scene itself. So when they meet back up and compare notes there’s a more complete picture and they don’t have to spend more than a single issue on any one story. That makes the structuring here rather strong as is the pacing as well.
I’m waiting for some event to weave throughout the run so that it directly affects the team in some manner. It probably won’t happen but it would make for a nice twist to have something affect them directly that could possibly follow them till the last issue. That however is just how my mind works.
With complete tales in one issue we still get great storytelling and characterisation which makes this fun to read.