Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anya's Ghost Review

I've been following Vera Brosgol's work since her web-comic Return To Sender. I was one of the many fans who signed the forums for her to finish it, which she will probably never do. I followed her work of a ghost hobo kidnapping a child and saw some of her pieces end up at Gallery Nucleus. I heard of her work as a storyboard artist for Coraline, which explains the quote on the top of the book that reads "A Masterpiece-Neil Gaiman". The must of met when she worked on his book turned movie.

When I started reading Anya's Ghost, I didn't stop reading Anya's Ghost until I put it down. It made me truly sad that Ms. Brosgol will probably never finish Return To Sender. What she wrote could easily be turned into a wonderful film not unlike Coraline, maybe for a older crowd.

Spoilers ahead

As I read the book I fell into a story of a young girl. Anya doesn't want much out of life as a typical teenage girl from a immigrant background, maybe a cute boyfriend at most. I wonder how much Vera pulled from her own life growing up, you can feel the teenage anxiety, every little nuance of being at that age.

Darker elements fall into play very fast as does Anya falls down a hole and meets a ghost girl early on. Well, first she meets her skeleton.The dialogue is a treat with the strange, yet funny things people say. An example would be Anya is pulled from the hole after lying to a random stranger about how hot she is.

Anya comes back from the hole with a little piece of Anya to remember her by. The piece allows Anya to join her and help her out. An odd friendship is kindled, one page stands out with the utterance "Ghosts Are Awesome!" , having a friend whose a ghost can rock. One if the darker elements like the ghost girl explains how her family and herself were murdered. Emily is the ghosts name by the way, we don't learn it for a while and you hardly notice it's missing, with how the girls connect with each other.

End Spoilers

Rather than the story taking the same root you"ll be surprised. A ending that would be remembered if ever made into an animated feature on par with Tim Burton and Henry Selick's work. It had my jaw wide open and my eyes fixated, than slowing down reading every bit and absorbing it.

The art style is black and white, but it isn't manga style. It has a cartoony style like you're watching a nice animated movie. The characters eyes and body language really pull of how they feel or the emotions they have.

Anya's Ghost is a well-crafted, realistic dialogue savvy book, greatly illustrated by Vera, whose probably watched and read some great horror movies.God, I'd love to direct it, maybe I"ll try a short making a short part of it during the summer, before it gets picked up.

Vera updated her blog just before her book came out and drew Emily and Anya freaking out. The post also reveals she's been working on the book since Caroline and through a interesting sound movie called Paranorman-"The film is about Norman, a 13-year-old boy who is the only person in a small town that has the abilities to prevent an attack from zombies"

Anya's Ghost $12.69 on Amazon