We’ve had a blast hanging out with the ghosts at Rycroft Manor, but we haven’t spent a ton of time understanding why they’re all here in the first place. The very definition of a ghost is a spirit that stays in this world due to unfinished business. In Shirley’s case, she feels that she’s done everything she’s needed to do and she’s ready to end her afterlife. That’s easier said than done. Daphne will have to let Agi possess her body to perform a complicated spell severing Shirley’s tie to this world.
Ghosted in LA hits on so many levels. Yes, the quirky premise may grab you when you see a girl talking to ghosts, but what really stands out are the deep interpersonal relationships between the characters. Writer Sina Grace does a phenomenal job here, developing multiple characters at once. Someone like Shirley, who has been around but without a lot of backstory, gets a tremendous boost in this issue and we instantly understand her and where she comes from. It’s amazing to see how much Grace can do with just a few pages.
Daphne is still at the heart of Ghosted in LA as she continues to try and find herself. This comes to a head after Agi’s possession when she is not happy with what she sees while the ghost is controlling her body. It’s not that she is upset with what Agi does with it. It’s more that Daphne was shuffled to some other plane of existence that finally made her realize how her personality is built of the feelings, hopes, and dreams of those closest to her. This is a very poignant idea, not to mention fascinating.
Artist Siobhan Keenan captures that wide-eyed look of uncertainty in Daphne’s face. She’s not quite a deer in headlights, but you can see how she wants to please those around her, but is unsure as to what she really wants in life. It takes meeting a bunch of spirits for her to start to realize what she wants to live for.
This is showcased well when Agi possesses Daphne. While she may look the same physically, her entire demeanor changes. Agi exudes confidence, walking with her head held high and with an abject purpose. This changes the instant Agi leaves Daphne’s body. I love how Keenan differentiates the two different phases.
Ghosted in LA inches closer to the secrets of Rycroft Manor with this chapter. To be honest, I don’t entirely need an origin here. Yes, it will be cool to learn more about this place and what has attracted the ghosts to it, but that’s not why I’m loving this comic. It comes down to the characters and how they interact. That being said, there’s a spooky tone by the end of this issue that I’m looking forward to exploring further.
Colorist Cathy Le uses cool blue tones for the ghosts to differentiate them from the living. This gives them a welcoming glow. They’re not threatening or menacing in any way. This is what makes Agi’s spell all the more frightening as it comes as an abrupt and shocking change to the tone. Candlelight casts the scene in an eerie yellow creating an uneasy feeling.
Letterer DC Hopkins adds to this as well with some big, bold word balloons. You get the sense of the raw power at work as Agi plays with the dark arts to help her friend. Hopkins goes from the bombastic here to the more subdued elsewhere, adjusting the font size to match up with the volume of a character’s voice and their personality. These small touches help provide each character a real voice in the comic.
With the amazing character development, beautiful artwork, and snappy dialogue, I sincerely hope Ghosted in LA runs forever. It’s a fun read that has just the right mix of comedy and drama with just a pinch of horror.