Spending Too Much Time With The Dead In Ghosted In LA #7

by James Ferguson

Daphne is fascinated by her new roommates and understandably so because they’re all ghosts. Wouldn’t you want to know more about them and why they’re all tied to the mysterious Rycroft Manor? That’s all well and good, but it’s distracting from crucial freshmen activities and responsibilities. She just started college and is still figuring out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. It seems she’s bounced from one obsession (her now ex-boyfriend Ronnie) to another.

There are still many questions in Ghosted in LA, mostly with revolving around the ghosts and their very existence. Funny enough, that’s not what really drives this series. That comes from Daphne as she struggles to find her place in the world. This is a difficult land to navigate and others are definitely starting to notice. Ronnie even calls her out for avoiding these elements. She’s getting wrapped up with the past when she should be concerned about her future.
Ronnie’s journey through this series has been interesting because he’s gone from a complete villain to a solid and fascinating main character. This issue has him realizing that he’s spending too much time at Rycroft and needs to figure things out for himself first. This is detrimental to his relationships there but it could be healthy overall. He’ll have to find the right balance.

All of the characters in Ghosted in LA, alive or dead, have some of the best dialogue in the world. I wish we all spoke like this. Writer Sina Grace fills the conversations are filled with insight and puns. This is just part of what makes this book so enjoyable. There are some instances where the dialogue can be viewed from multiple angles, so based on who and where a character is, they can interpret what’s happening differently. This adds interesting layers to every conversation.
Grace illustrates the opening pages of Ghosted in LA #7, giving us a flashback to Zola’s last days on this mortal coil. These have a different vibe to them, like we’re peering into her memories. Since most of us don’t know exactly when we’re going to die, it makes you wonder what mundane and basic things will fill your final weeks. Zola was obviously not expecting to pass away so it makes these pages rather sad in hindsight.

This comes to a head in an emotional scene later in the issue where Agi has to talk Zola down. She is every bit the stern matriarch of Rycroft, but you can tell she cares deeply about this place and the people within. She’s also clearly hiding some things which adds a layer of mystery to the whole book.
Artist Siobhan Keenan handles the rest of the issue, filling it with life, which is funny because half of the characters are dead. There’s an energy to every single person on the page. I love the range of emotion on display with each facial expression giving a deeper insight into what’s going on in someone’s mind. This is especially true for Ronnie, who is not yet comfortable with is new status quo now that he’s out of the closet.

With Daphne and Ronnie coming by, the ghosts have a chance to interact with the outside world again. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Before they were isolated, so they didn’t necessarily realize what they were missing. They had come to terms with their afterlife. Now they realize what else is out there and it’s breaking their hearts. They long for family and friends, hoping to get one last glimpse of what they left behind. It’s beautifully tragic.
Colorist Cathy Le shades all the ghosts in a light blue color. It’s not translucent. They all appear solid, but clearly unnatural. I like how Agi is shown in a darker color, like she holds more power within her than the others. Letterer DC Hopkins matches this quality with similarly shaded word balloons, differentiating them from the living characters.

Ghosted in LA has worked on multiple levels and continues to deliver on each and every one. Daphne’s story is enthralling and it’s joined by a multitude of characters, both living and dead that create a robust and riveting ensemble. It’s funny that a book so full of life centers on so much death.
Ghosted in LA #7 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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