Read a BOOK!Hey Vomiteers!  Like every Wednesday I found another special book to recommend.  Today’s book is, “Anya’s Ghost” By Vera Brosgolanyasghost1

 

Sometimes I regret not reading more comics in my youth.  I regret a lot of times I wasn’t reading for many reasons but I think one thing that kept me from reading comic books as a child was finding books I could relate to, or fully enjoy a wonderful story.

This book wasn’t around when I was a child, but I felt like a teenager reading it.  It’s a coming of age story by a very talented artist and brilliant story-teller Vera Brosgol.  I’ve loved her drawings on tumblr and her posts on twitter now I get to see her work in print.

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The story is about a girl named Anya who is dealing with a lot of issues that every teenager faces.  She feels like an outcast at school.  Her grades aren’t great, she only has one friend and she’s constantly worried about how people perceive her.  Things change when she falls in a well and discovers a skeleton and the ghost attached to it Emily.

The ghost helps her with her school and making friends and I won’t explain the whole book but of course there are difficulties and things aren’t always what they seem.  Anya is a Russian immigrant and has a hard time fitting in with her family and class mates.  This part of the story reminded me of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.  The line work is as impressive as well.  This book is much more creative and courageous than Yang’s work but I think they’re both stunning uses of the form.

AnyaGhost3I’m really impressed with how clean everything looks (always blows my mind) and the use of tones instead of color in the book.  It’s done in shades of gray but sometimes it appears more violet instead of gray.   (maybe I’m more colorblind than I thought).  The tones really fit the setting and the times colors are used, or taken out really makes a difference.  Emily is a great use of negative space, and even with sparse details each character has a known personality and the expressions are perfect.

The story is much deeper than a girl making friends with a ghost and it becomes a real coming of age story.  I really recommend this story to anyone who’s ever felt left out.