Publisher: Alterna Comics
Released: March 23rd 2016 (print)
Last week I reviewed Massie's 'The Deadbeat' and this week I continue the Massie trend by having a look at 'All My Ghosts'. I've know this paperback was coming for a while, I've seen the buzz on Twitter as I follow Massie (@jeremy_massie if you're interested), but truth be told I haven't read it until now. To be quite honest I never thought it would be my sort of read, I'm pleased to say I was rather wrong.
Massie tells the tale of a small newspaper business in a small town struggling to stay afloat in a strangulating economy. Forced to sell his family business Joe Hale begins to experience strange supernatural occurrences-as the title would suggest.
Massie is a talented writer, his character work is excellent, as is the dialogue. Importantly he crafts believable characters in a world of hyperbole. All My Ghosts is no exception, although that doesn't necessarily mean you lie the characters.
I didn't like Joe Hale, not consistently, he is a fundamentally flawed character, he does some reprehensible things and is the perpetrator of some odd choices.
He is great fun to read, besides I came round to him in the end.
We don't all want perfectly polished paradigms of character surely? We've grown up enough to not expect protagonists without fault. I certainly don't, they make for rather tiresome reading. I don't know what goes through Massie's head in his creative process, but he makes great flawed characters that are interesting and compelling reads. Maybe he sees them as a reflection of the fundamental flaws that all humans have, maybe he doesn't, that's only my opinion. Either way, his characters don't disappoint.
As usual Massie's mind and pencil work in wonderful synchronicity and his style of art is a great pleasure to gaze upon. I read somewhere recently, the exact location eludes me, that independent comics are poorly drawn and lack detail. Preposterous. Anyone who shares that opinion needs only to look at the opening page, a wonderful splash panel of an incredibly detailed printing press. It really caught my eye, a printing press, if Massie can do that with something like a printing press then you can get a clear indication of the point I'm trying to make.
This is a wonderful book to immerse yourself in, you won't always see eye to eye with the protagonist but you'll feel richer for it. Do yourself a favour and go and buy this book, the story is great and the artwork is sublime. I'm seriously tipping my cap to Massie, he's done it again.