The Critical Optimist

Home » Graphic Novels » Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray

Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray

Five Ghosts is one of the most derivatively original books I have ever read.  It boldly tears a page straight out of the 30s adventure story book, much like Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones.  the Story —  written by Frank Barbierre and illustrated by Chris Mooneyham — follow’s Fabian Gray, a treasure hunter who was not blessed, as indy always was, with a despicable nazi readily on hand to interact with the cursed treasure before he, thus making him aware of its detrimental effects.

After touching the mystical “Dreamstone”, Gray is possessed by five ghosts, A wizard, and archer, a samurai, a detective, and a vampire (read: Merlin, Robin Hood, Miyamoto Musashi, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula).  With this possession, he also gains the abilities of each.  Holmes superior deductive skills, or Musashi’s powerful sword skills are a great aid for him throughout his journey.

The images this series contains are perfectly magnificent.  Done in a far from realistic style, the artwork is itself a sort of nod to the genre that spawned this work (especially the cover pages) but is far more than basic homage.  The way that darkness and minimalism are used to portray combat is mercilessly intense.  Observe the panel below, particularly the artist’s use of blood as an aesthetic.  Several panels are framed in red, so the combatants stand out starkly.  The panel that is only a shot of a blood spatter is also striking.

With “Five Ghosts” you don’t get colorful quirky characters.  You get a hazy story with a heavy intrigue factor, and minimal background knowledge.  I’ve only read vol. 1 of Five Ghosts so far, but I’ve been extremely impressed.  Despite coming from a lesser known publishing company, Five Ghosts is a work of extraordinarily high caliber, and a must read for any lover of literature, graphic literature, or simply a good story.


6 Comments

  1. film4fan says:

    Good review! Never heard of that series, but it seems interesting. Might check that one out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy says:

    The artwork and lettering is superb, and the storyline is definitely different from other graphic novels I have read. I wish some of the issues that I mentioned in my review were rectified, so I would want to read further into the series.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: