Writer: Sina Grace
Artist: Siobhan Keenan
Colorist: Cathy Le
Letterer: DC Hopkins
Cover Artist: Siobhan Keenan
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
We’ve all had roommates from hell at one point or another, but what about roommates who are technically not even alive? This week’s Ghosted in L.A. #1 from BOOM! Studios offers a humorous ghost story for the 21st century.
At its core, Ghosted seems to be a story about learning how to live your life when you don’t have much going for you. By the midpoint of this first issue, our protagonist Daphne is on the outs with her best friend, dumped by her boyfriend, and stuck living with someone who doesn’t want anything to do with her — all in a new, scary city. That’s when the comic’s fantastical premise comes into play.
After a chance stumbling into an abandoned mansion, Daphne meets a menagerie of ghosts who inhabit the big house, each with their own personalities and perspectives. Perceiving that the girl can be trusted with keeping the secret of their existence, they unanimously allow her to move in with them, so long as she helps do their various biddings. Who needs living roommates when you’ve got dead ones?
As his first major work in comics since ending his Iceman run, Ghosted is an exemplary showcase for writer Sina Grace’s light-hearted sensibilities. When working with ghosts, you can either lean into the existential horror of the situation, or play it for comedy; Ghosted opts for the latter.
The spirits seen here range in vibe, but none of them seem especially mean or malicious. A few of them are actually excited about the prospect of living with Daphne. The specifics of their situation have yet to be explored by Grace, but it seems like the ghosts live under the same basic rules seen in various seasons of American Horror Story (i.e. they can’t leave the mansion). The condition that Daphne helps them tie up their “loose ends” feels very much like a plot setup for future issues, which I’m interested in seeing develop as it goes on. A sort-of procedural wherein a living person goes into the real world to help her shackled ghost friends could be rather unique here.
Ghosted utilizes the talents of Siobhan Keenan, a veteran of BOOM!’s youth-driven imprint BOOM! Box, to great effect. As seen in her work on Clueless: Senior Year (among others), Keenan’s art is perfect for this kind of story, giving off a vibe that’s somewhere between a cartoon and a romance comic. Cathy Le’s colors are especially fitting for Keenan’s style, featuring a wide palette of hues, most notably the cool blue-greens of the ghosts Daphne meets in the mansion. Letterer DC Hopkins completes the visual creative team with some great on-panel text message work and comical uses of sound effects and dialogue.