Comic: Archival Quality
Release date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Oni Press
Comic: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call
Run: 2017-2018 (miniseries)
Archival Quality: “After losing her job at the library, Celeste “Cel” Walden starts working at the haunting Logan Museum as an archivist. But the job may not be the second chance she was hoping for, and she finds herself confronting her mental health, her relationships, and before long, her grasp on reality as she begins to dream of a young woman she’s never met, but feels strangely drawn to. Especially after she asks Cel for help…
As Cel attempts to learn more about the woman, she begins losing time, misplacing things, passing out—the job is becoming dangerous, but she can’t let go of this mysterious woman. Who is she? Why is she so fixated on Cel? And does Cel have the power to save her when she’s still trying to save herself?” (via Goodreads)
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call: “On a routine house call to dispose of a simple Class III spook, the team encounters a truly terrifying Class VII that appears to be feeding on terror. Able to conjure illusions to prey on their greatest fears, it can divide and conquer, and with designs on turning the world into its own nightmare dimension, our ladies may have finally met their match!” (via back cover)
Now, as someone who was an archivist for the better part of a decade, who lives with anxiety and depression, and who loves SFF comics, Archival Quality is perfectly tailored to my interests. So it’s a good thing it’s such a good comic. This was clearly a deeply personal story for Ivy Noelle Weir, and Cel’s journey feels genuine. Her experiences and the ghost girl’s mirror each other in a way that could come off as heavy-handed, but Weir’s touch keeps it sincere and frank. Steenz’s cutsey, cartoonish art style blends well with Weir’s tone and keeps the tale from veering too far into the dark. And thank Hera for a diverse cast and crew! Nearly everyone in the comic are people of color and/or queer and have distinct body shapes. Trust me, in the real world a WOC and QWOC aren’t that common in librarianship, even less so in archives stewardship, so yeah, I was pretty happy about the good representation…
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call
It’s no secret that I stan for Kelly Thompson. Like, majorly. I have loved every comic she’s written, and I already have her newest one, Nancy Drew, on pre-order. Her stories are light and airy, but imbued with wit, heart, and respect. Reading Kelly Thompson is like spending the day at the beach with your best friend. I knew Ghostbusters: Answer the Call would be fantastic before I’d even read it, and Thompson did not disappoint. It’s a funny, sweet miniseries that not only ports over the charm from the 2016 movie (which is way better than the original Ghostbusters, don’t @ me) but adds her own flair to make it even better.
Corin Howell’s art is all kinds of delightful. The amount of detail crammed into each panel is incredible, yet it never feels overloaded or distracting. Howell plays with evocative angles and knows when to mess with the panel layout for maximum effect. In other words, she understands the hell out of her craft. I love every single thing about Howell’s style, but especially her use of sound effects. They spark around particle beams, loom behind nightmare machines, and get sucked into proton packs. It adds a playful layer to an already supremely enjoyable reading experience. How the Big Two aren’t battling over who gets to hire her is beyond me…
To read the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.
Do the world a favor and buy these comics from your local indie comic book store or borrow it from your public library.