Spooky Things: “Anya’s Ghost”

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All Hallow’s Eve is a-coming, and whether you’re planning on partying this year, trick-or-treating at the age of 27, or sitting it out all-together, it’s always fun to take a look at the creepier-crawlier side of things. So that’s just what I plan to do. On every remaining Friday in this October, I’ll be taking a look at anything regarding a more supernatural subject then our standard affair. Starting us off is a wonderful graphic novel that I just recently discovered: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol.

Anya’s Ghost tells the tale of a teenage girl named (you guessed it,) Anya, a Russian immigrant who sees herself as the sort of black sheep of her private school. Her best friend is kind of a jerk, she can’t seem to get the attention of her crush and she’s rather self-conscious about her look. One day, just as it’s all starting to overwhelm her, she ends up falling down a large hole in the middle of the forest.

It’s there that she encounters the titular ghost. A friendly-looking woman who’s been dead for over ninety years. After Anya is rescued, the ghost decides to tag along, developing a friendship with Anya while trying to help her improve her everyday life.

This is one really well told story. The dialogue is intelligent and witty, the main character is easy to root for and the story is charming, even while building up to a genuinely creepy third-act. The artwork is also top-notch. The black-and-white coloring suits the story well, and each character is well designed, while sporting an impressive range of expression.

Since the book was published in 2011, it’s won an Eisner Award and a Harvey Award, and it definitely deserves them both. Smart, eerie, charming and funny, Anya’s Ghost is an engaging read. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you seek it out.

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