Horror is not a genre I’m typically into. The genre doesn’t do much for me as I rarely get invested in the story. That said, as of late I’ve been getting into some horror comic books that I’ve seen get good acclaim and new releases from this year. With that in mind, I’ve been interested to see how Cullen Bunn and Leomacs bring a story about a ghost together. Bunn is a writer I’ve been a fan of from his Marvel work and recent Godzilla Vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I was also very impressed with Leomacs work on DC Comics’ Rogues mini-series from last year. With this creative team together let’s see how Ghostlore #1 begins.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Leomacs and Brian Hurtt
Colorists: Jason Wordie and Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
“We’ve all heard of ghost stories… but what stories do the ghosts themselves tell us? An estranged daughter and her pastor father wander a haunted land; they only have the restless spirits, each with its own story to tell, as company along the way. After a deadly accident of which they were the only survivors, Lucas and Harmony Agate can see the dead–an overwhelming amount of the deceased, all with their own warnings, cries for help, and malevolence alike. But Lucas and Harmony aren’t the only ones with this ability; there are other nearly-deads, some of which have malicious motivations…” – BOOM! Studios
Ghostlore #1 is all about setting up the vibe of the series. There isn’t anything that is necessarily scared about. That’s not to say there aren’t horror elements in this first issue, because they definitely are there. But what Ghostlore #1 is about is getting you to ask questions about what is going to be happening in this series.
The beginning Ghostlore #1 works to establish the setting of the series, at least the opening, to take place in a town in the middle of the woods. There is an immediate sense of isolation as you get that in this everyone knows everyone with the church being one of the places the entire town gathers. In that you get the sense that there is already something off with how people are acting. The combination Cullen Bunn’s writing for the reverend lead character and Leomacs artwork for the people’s body language. You get a good sense of the community without the dialogue beyond the reverend’s speech.
From there this first issue does a lot to get you to get the voice of the two leads in the father and daughter characters. The daughter, named Harmony, is developed to have the voice of a teen ready to move on from her small town upbringing. How that comes into conflict with her parents leads to Bunn and Leomacs to develop a whole narrative around this family interaction.
In the process, because you become invested in the family dynamic, once the shift into the more horror elements come into play you are left immediately asking more questions. And like any good mystery, once Bunn does go about providing answers to the father and daughter, you’re left wondering even more about what is going on. That is really the sign of a successful first issue as you do wonder what reason Harmony and her dad ended up in the situation they find themselves in by the end of Ghostlore #1.
Leomacs artwork throughout Ghostlore #1 is fitting for the story that he and Bunn are telling. The vibe of the small town community is captured well. The darker color palette used by colorist Jason Wordie is fitting for this type of story. Especially once we get the ghost elements in play there is an unease that comes from Leomacs and Wordie’s artwork.
Brian Hurtt’s art, along with Bill Crabtree coloring, is utilized well with the direction the story takes. Ghostlore #1 is a great example of how to utilize two art teams that have a different style to capture specific tones the story sets out to have.
Cullen Bunn, Leomacs and company set a chilling vibe that leaves you wanting to learn more about what is going on in the world Ghostlore #1 creates. Even when questions are answered there are even more questions that are asked. A must-have comic for fans of horror.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10