Brody’s Ghost v. 1
Written & Illustrated by Mark Crilley
Published by Dark Horse
Mark Crilley’s already created one of my all-time favorite series, the upbeat, hilarious and relentless imaginative Akiko, and his follow-up, Miki Falls, reinvented his art style and added emotional heft, yet retained the creative world-building of its predecessor. Crilley returned a few months ago with a new series, Brody’s Ghost, a six-book serial about a young man who is approached by a ghost. This ghost, a young woman named Talia, needs Brody’s help to accomplish a task so she can get into heaven – except callously indifferent Brody’s trapped in a funk after a bad break-up.
So Brody’s Ghost is a supernatural adventure, with emotional overtones and redemption themes. The art’s terrific – detailed and nuanced, with strong designs and a compelling world design; the mysteries of Talia’s death and afterworld travails hang over the entire book like a massive eclipse, yet Brody’s struggle to rediscover his own worth remains the emotional core through the first book.
Of course, it’s a six book cycle, so Brody’s Ghost v. 1 feels somewhat slight, concerned more with laying groundwork for Brody and Talia’s partnership, and establishing the baseline high concept for the series. As a result, the first book isn’t entirely satisfying, but it is intriguing, leaving plenty of room for readers’ imaginations to run amok with possibilities for the remaining five books. Mark Crilley’s previous work suggests he’ll keep me guessing through the series’ run, and despite a slightly slow start, I’m hopeful that the foundation laid in Brody’s Ghost v. 1 will lead to greater things in the future.