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Ghost Island 1-5 Reviewed

Ghost Island

Agatha Christie meets Jurassic Park story with art as unnerving as a Junji Ito manga? Joseph Olivera, Anabela Turlione and Justin Birch deliver these elements and much more with the black and white supernatural-thriller Ghost Island.

With the spooky times winding down, I'd like to draw your attention to the Afterlight comics catalogue piece, created and written by Joseph Olivera with art by Anabela Turlione, Ghost Island. Let's start at the art. This art from its first page sets a mood and tone that grabs you by the throat and drags you into it. Using a very clever contrast between minimalist, shadowed, panels and finer, bolder, more detailed features, in particular faces when expressing emotion, which adds a real weight to these images. Anabela somehow manages to also capture that difficult uncomfortable eerie feeling good horror has, in a way that reminded me personally of Junji Ito's Uzumaki. This art compliments this series with great synchronicity.

Ghost Island preview

The story begins with a taste of our main protagonist Josh Evans, a “gifted” psychic battling with his abilities and a dark past. The opening seance scene does an excellent job of giving the reader everything you need to understand the nature of Josh's abilities, and is an excellent example of how the art and story compliment each other and set their definitive tone and mood. The story continues with Josh receiving an invitation to co-host a private and intimate spiritual reading for one Mr P. Deakins and a small group. Josh joins this group on board a boat piloted by its very own salty sea dog and they embark for their destination. Along the way we get a small glimpse into the group comprising of a father and inquisitive son, two reporters and a priest. As it is revealed that one of the reporters knows Josh we start to learn a little more about his dark past. The trip dramatically reveals the first sight of a foreboding, mansion dominated, island. The art and storytelling here of the groups arrival and entrance to the mansion is almost textbook in its dread inducing build to reveal of Mr Deakins and his intentions.

!##!STORY SPOILER PARAGRAPH: IF YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF THIS SERIES ALREADY, AND YOU SHOULD, GO GET YOUR COPY. IF YOUR STILL UNDECIDED, THIS SPOILER OF ISSUE ONE SHOULD SWAY YOU.!##!

So, Deakins has built a ghost theme park. Obviously. The group all have their individual parts to play, with Josh playing central role as a ghost “whisperer” of sorts. With everyone clued up they must retire for the evening. Cue the inquisitive boy to let strange noises in strange buildings pique his curiosity. As we all know curiosity's affect in the horror world, on small children, teenagers or anyone silly enough to go wandering on their own. Let alone its effect on the feline population, you'll probably see the issue cliffhanger coming, but you won’t enjoy the journey any less. That’s not to say there is anything predictable or formulaic about this story.

Ghost Island Preview 2

Across it's five issues Ghost Island presents an intriguing protagonist with an ever developing character mystery. Set inside a supernatural thriller with a dark plot and sinister surprises. So for lovers of the darker sides of comics and horror fanatics I highly recommend you try it out.

Rating: 4.5/5

You can purchase Ghost Island issues 1-5 at afterlightcomics.com

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