Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spooky Help: Anya's Ghost


My seventh grade son passed me Vera Brosgol's Cybils Graphic Novel finalist Anya's Ghost with the admiring caveat "it's creepy!"  I almost forgot that as I read the first few sections, which grounded Anya as a fairly shallow and spoiled girl who disdains her immigrant mother and longs for a better social status at her ritzy private school.  She finds a ghost after falling down the same sink hole that created the spirit, and at first she's happy to give the ghost a chance at seeing a bit more of the world, especially the bits that include cheating on tests and helping Anya get an invite to the best party of the year.

But things turn dark when the ghost starts making demands that Anya doesn't want to meet, and suddenly Anya finds herself forced to make stands that she's deliberately avoided for years.  The ghost turning creepy gave Anya a good place to take a position instead of slowly sliding down a path of lazy compromises and easiest shortcuts that nibbled away at her integrity. I liked that she got mad when her family was threatened, and got furious when the ghost went after her little brother.
Also, I could mostly tell all the characters apart (not a given for me with graphic novels!), with one small shock when someone referred to her best female friend and I had no idea what they were talking about because I had read that character as male throughout (I just thought Siobhan's parents accidentally saddled him with a girl's name because it was foreign).

I'm glad I read this before I got to Nursery Rhyme Comics, because I recognized Brosgol's style and felt very in-crowdy. I'm so hip!

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