When world-weary ghost wrangler Frank Gallows accidentally zaps terminally ill Garth Hale into the in-between dimension of Ghostopolis, the boy finds himself with a new lease on life—or death, as the case may be. As a human being in this spirit world, Garth discovers he has incredible powers that are capable of overthrowing Master Vaugner, the evil Goth dictator of Ghostopolis. But Garth just wants to get back home. Aided by Skinny, his skeletal Nightmare and the friendly ghost of his dead grandfather, Garth almost gets his wish when Frank Gallows and the beautiful ghost mechanic Claire Voyant show up with a machine that can zoom him back into the land of the living. But Vaugner isn’t letting Garth leave until he finds out the secret of his strength and takes it for himself. Soon Garth, Frank and Claire find themselves caught up in the midst of an epic battle for the heart and soul of Ghostopolis. Folks, this is one of those “kitchen sink” books (as in, author and illustrator Doug TenNapel threw in everything but the kitchen sink) that shouldn’t work but it does. There’s action, giant lightning bugs, adventure, a mysterious Tuskegee Airman named Joe, romance, the ghost of Benedict Arnold, side-splitting humor, and a farting werewolf. Somehow, it all comes together and makes perfect sense. I enjoyed every manic moment of it. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself—it should be widely available at your local library as it was one of ALA’s 2011 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens. You’ll also want to be in the know before the planned feature film hits theaters!
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel