THIS REVIEW OF ‘GHOSTED IN LA’ #1 CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS.
by Sara Mitchell. Daphne Walters, with beautiful flowing hair, hipster specs, and a Star of David around her neck, just moved to LA. She’s a freshman in college, and more isolated than ever. A young woman on the cusp of self discovery, who don’t need no man. No living man, at least. In Ghosted in LA we follow Daphne as she navigates loss, rejection and isolation on a journey towards independence and identity.
I can’t help but see some parallels between this story and its creator, having also recently found himself facing the pangs of loss and rejection, and asserting identity. Sina Grace has made headlines, first for writing on Marvel’s Iceman after the decision was made for Iceman to become an openly gay super hero, and then most recently when he wrote his open letter to Marvel leadership on how to better handle LGBTQ+ employees and characters. Specifically Grace cites Marvel’s lack of courage and solidarity on the matter after he started receiving threats online in the wake of Iceman’s coming out, and the book’s subsequent cancellation. It’s a bold, brave decision he made that we can only hope resonates beyond his readership. It’s a tale of David and Goliath, Lyanna and the giant.
The art in this book is so fun and bouncy. Artists Siobhan Keenan and Cathy Le are working together seamlessly. Their work sets the comedic timing and overall pacing of the entire story, injecting each panel with energy and humanity. And kudos to Keenan for such a keen eye for fashion. Everyone’s in their basic day-to-day but every detail, accessory, hairstyle tells me something about that character. It’s great work that you don’t always see pulled off. She makes it look easy.
Embarking out into the world on your own for the first time is an extremely challenging situation for many people. Our leading lady Daphne here is absolutely no exception. Her roommate is totally standoffish, her new school friends didn’t bring her along to the first party of the year, her relationship with her best friend is on the rocks, and her relationship with her boyfriend—who, by the way, doesn’t even understand her at all and got her a purple bike even though she hates purple—is at an end.
So, when Daphne stumbles upon a beautiful empty home, it makes sense that she wants to stay there forever and forget the rest. Where you live, the roof over your head, is integral to your well-being. I remember being a freshman in college and sharing a two-by-four cardboard box with my university-assigned roommate. I hated my roommate. I relate heavily to Daphne’s predicament. If I found a mansion full of ghosts to live with instead of my roommate, especially if those ghosts had a pool, I’d be trying to move in with them, too.
Oh, yeah: If you haven’t caught on yet, our story is called Ghosted in LA not just because little baby Daphne has been ghosted by literally everyone in her life, but because her new friends are ghosts. Caught between this world and the next, floating, passing-through-walls ghosts. They are fabulously old-fashioned Hollywood types haunting a deserted mansion. They don’t all seem to have known each other in their lives, or even be from the same time, so I’m curious to learn what it is about their lives, or deaths, that has sentenced them here together.
Let’s face it—death is terrifying. At the same time, however, it’s truly the only thing we all have in common. We will all die. Beyond receiving the gift of people who might actually want to spend time with her, Daphne has received the distinct privilege of getting a chance to see her life in a whole new perspective. I’m rooting so hard for her, I want her to get a handle on this thing that is living. Sure it’s hard and it’s lonely, and Daphne’s at an all-time low, but it’s difficult to be down on your own life when you’re surrounded by people who’ve lost their chance completely. Ghosted in LA is the story of a young woman learning the beautiful lessons of living while she’s still alive, learning to be her “own friggin’ person.”
BOOM! Studios / $3.99
Written by Sina Grace.
Illustrated by Siobhan Keenan.
Colors by Cathy Le.
Letters by DC Hopkins.
7.5 out of 10
Check out this 6-page preview of ‘Ghosted in LA’ #1, courtesy of BOOM! Studios!
Variant cover by Sina Grace.
Unlocked retailer variant by Kris Anka.