Tuesday, February 15, 2011
TenNapel, Doug. 2010. GHOSTOPOLIS. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780545210270 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
Frank Gallows is a ghost wrangler, a special agent whose job is to capture rogue ghosts roaming the earth and zap them back to their proper world-- Ghostopolis. During an ill-fated chase with a horse ghost, Frank accidentally blasts a terminally ill boy, Garth Hale, back to Ghostopolis along with the horse. Feeling guilty about this latest mistake, Frank vows to enter the after-life, retrieve Garth, and return him to his anxious mother. Frank, along with his ghost ex-girlfriend, arrives in Ghostopolis to find Garth being pursued by the evil ruler who is threatened by Garth’s abnormal powers. Garth finds a friend in his deceased grandfather who helps Garth and simultaneously “grows” his own soul. Readers will find themselves rooting for many characters beyond Garth and Frank throughout this adventure.
TenNapel’s colorful and detailed cartoons make this graphic novel appealing to fans of the format. The strong plot and interesting characters provide a depth that will entice adventure-lovers, and ghost-story enthusiasts will appreciate the depictions of the dead. A forth-coming movie by the same name is sure to further enhance the book’s popularity.
Graphic novel devotees appreciate the art of a work as much or more than the text. Analyze with readers TenNapel’s use of shadows and color in this book. In what ways do his artistic choices enhance this atypical ghost story?
Other graphic novel adventures:
Kibuishi, Kazu. THE STONEKEEPER (AMULET series.) ISBN 9780545208857
Naifeh, Ted. COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE NIGHT THINGS. ISBN 9781929998609
By Rebecca S. McKee