Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Frank Gallows has some explaining to do. The burned-out ghost wrangler has just sent an innocent child into the world of the dead. The kid's name is Garth Hale. In the regular world, he's just your average boy...who also happens to have a terminal illness. But Garth discovers that he has some quite extraordinary powers in Ghostopolis.

No living souls have ever made it back to the regular world, so Mr. Gallows is losing his job for this big-time screw up. The fact that Garth didn't have much time to live in the first place makes the situation even worse. Gallows has to hang up hunting those ghosts who wish to remain in the land of the living. He'll never have the pleasure of capturing repeater offender Benedict Arnold. No, Gallows has to right this wrong. Luckily, his ex-fiancée Claire Voyant has a machine that can take you back and forth between the worlds. Frank is going to have to play nice.

Garth, meanwhile, is having the time of his life. Turns out that in the city of the dead, the living can fly, change size, and do other awesome activities like riding skeleton horses. Garth even meets his grandfather Cecil, who looks younger than him because in Ghostopolis, you're as old as you act. Needless to say that Grandpa Cecil is a little immature.

So what's the problem? Well, there's a new leader in town, and he's intrigued by Garth's powers. He wants to use them to become even stronger and rule all seven kingdoms of the afterlife. Garth is the one person who can make or break this dictator's rule, but he might need some help.

Doug TenNapel wrote and drew this comic book. He is best known for his character Earthworm Jim, a bizarre superhero who is actually just a worm in a muscular super suit. If that idea sounds funny to you, then Ghostopolis is the next best step. Its style comes off alternately goofy and grim. Some of the characters appear to come from entirely different books from others. The anarchy of it all is quite inspired. I particularly enjoyed the character of the Bone King, who kind of looks like a skeletal Santa Claus.

If you enjoy this book, TenNapel has a couple other comics you might want to try called Bad Island and Tommysaurus Rex. Frank Gallows may not be the best ghostbuster, but he definitely knows how to make things right.