REVIEW: ‘Ghosted in L.A.,’ Volume 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ghosted in L.A Volume 3

Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Sina Grace, art by Siobhan Keenan and Grace, inks by Lea Caballero, colors by Cathy Le, Jeremy Lawson, and Natalia Nesterenko, with lettering by DC Hopkins. All is quiet in Rycroft Manor. Well, at least for the moment. But with strange happenings occurring in the Manor, there may be more haunting the old house than what the current occupants know about. On top of that, Michelle realizes that ghosts are truly real and decides she needs to do something about it.

Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3 suffers from a bit of a split personality. On the one hand, it feels like a light-hearted tale of interpersonal drama. On the other hand, something is haunting the manor that seems to pose a significant threat to those who occupy the house. And while it is by no means impossible to have large scale threats and small interpersonal problems coexist in a storyline, the dual natures of this particular plot never really come together in any harmony for me. Let me explain.

After a brief opening that explores Michelle’s past before she came to L.A., we find ourselves at lovely Rycroft Manor. Here a laid back day is in progress for the many residents. That is until a series of unexplainable incidents lead the occupants to a bewildering discovery. They may not be the only ones haunting the house. With ghostly writing showing up, and some soon to be jam exploding, something is clearly up. But when Agni learns that an odd door in the basement has opened, she seems to go into a panic and heads to the basement. And the situation quickly escalates, with Agni soon out of the others’ reach.

While this is Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3’s primary storyline, concurrently, we see Michelle having a struggle with her sense of place. Feeling lost, she seems desperate to find some purpose to put herself to. When she stumbles upon one of the ghosts, she realizes Daphne has been telling the truth about their presence. And, deciding ghosts don’t have a place in our world, she takes it upon herself to do something about it.

While these serious issues of life and death(undeath?) are going on, there is also a prom about to happen that Daphne has promised Ronnie she would attend. As the Manor situation continues to worsen, this prom keeps getting brought up as being important. This feels so out of place for me. Someone significant is missing. A threat exists that no one knows what the result could be, and yet people keep bringing up this dance. It feels like too much that this dance would keep so much mind space for these characters when a threat of unknown proportions lingers in the basement. This is where I feel like the story can’t balance its slice of life aspects with its otherworldly dangers.

While I struggle with Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3’s main plot, I genuinely enjoy the characters who live in it.  All the occupants of the house are brimming with personality. The writing really works from moment to moment as all the various characters interact and struggle to handle the developing situation.

The artwork present here does a good job of reinforcing the strong characters within the story.  When the story gets emotional, the art does a great job of showing it within the panels. Along with this heartfelt line work, the colors that bring the story to life are vibrant and strong.

My biggest complaint with the art is how flat it always feels. Between little shading and depth being applied to the subjects, and backgrounds being highly simplified, if present at all, the world of the story comes across extremely two dimensional from a visual standpoint. I would’ve liked to have seen the art match the depth of the characters.

Lastly, let’s talk about lettering. The letter work here does a solid job of delivering the story. With lots of big panels, and plenty of free space therein, it is unsurprising that the letters are always able to fit comfortably within the frames of the panels.

When all is said and done, Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3 is an enjoyable, if somewhat muddled, read. While I thought the main plots didn’t quite land, the characters went a long way to making the read enjoyable regardless.

Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Ghosted in L.A. Volume 3 is an enjoyable, if somewhat muddled, read. While I thought the main plots didn’t quite land, the characters went a long way to making the read enjoyable regardless.