Who ya gonna call?
Or in this case, read? Why, Ghostbusters, a 192-page one-shot from TokyoPop this fall, of course.
Find out what happens between the Ghostbusters films and the video games as Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddemore and the Ghostbusters team make their first manga appearance! The phrase "Everyone's a critic" takes on a whole new meaning when the crew is called in to help out a troubled Broadway production. Later, Ray learns that being a Ghostbuster isn't always the thrill-a-minute job he'd imagined it would be. And Egon has a touching interlude with a former instructor who still has a thing or two to learn about the afterlife. Then it all comes down to the ultimate showdown between our heroes and a team of peeved poltergeists.
TokyoPop’s Ghostbusters manga, which was officially announced at a panel at Anime Expo 2008, is due to be in stores in October to coincide with the release of the new Ghotbusters: The Video Game to be published by Sierra Entertainment, written by Dan Aykroyd (who played Stanz in the movies) and Harold (Spengler) Ramis , who will also lend their voices and likenesses to the game together with Bill (Venkman) Murray and Ernie (Zeddemore) Hudson, and developed by Terminal Reality for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, while the PlayStation 2, Wii and Nintendo DS versions are being developed by Red Fly Studio.
TokyoPop editor Bryce Coleman still thinks fondly of the first two Ghostbusters films from the 80s and says that the franchise still appeals to him even to this day. “I think it's the same reason it appeals to any fan of the films. The magic formula of scares and laughs. Not that anything in either of the movies is what you would consider truly frightening, but you've got classic monster movie images of ghosts and animated corpses and monsters,” he told Newsarama. “And they did it all with reverence for that genre at a very high technical level for the time. The visuals are fantastic and still hold up today. And then you've got classic Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd at top form. Some of the best of that 80's era comedy. Put it all together and you've got absolute geek ambrosia. At least that's my opinion.
As for why would the Ghostbusters in manga form would appeal to today's readers and how is TokyoPop planning to capture the essence of the Ghostbusters in the manga? “Not to sound trite, but largely for the same reasons as above,” he said. “Horror visuals and comedy writing. The writers of the stories in this anthology are die hard Ghostbusters fans, and they've got killer comedic instincts, and the artists are all having a blast with the ghouls, ghosts and zombies they're getting to create.”
The writers attached to the project are Nathan Johnson and Matt Yamashita. “Both Nathan and Matt have worked very hard to make the stories feel like an extension of the movies. They've keyed in on certain second tier characters for material and are using the anthology structure to give characters like Egon or Ray an opportunity to take center stage in stories largely all their own.”
The artists include Maximo V. Lorenzo, a runner-up of TokyoPop’s Rising Stars of Manga 4 with his entry, "Hellbender" and artist of the global/OEL manga, Bombos Vs. Everything as well as creator of the Manga Pilot project, Secret of Noumenon; Hanzo Steinbach, creator of A Midnight Opera and artist of Poison Candy with writer David Hine; Chrissy Delk, finalist of RSoM 7 and co-creator of Paintings of You from Iris Print; Michael Shelfer, People’s Choice winner of RSoM 5, artist for short story in Star Trek: The Manga anthology and Dead Already from Seven Seas Entertainment; and Nate Watson, artist of Boom! Studios’ Scream Queen. “For their part, the artists have been watching a lot of Ghostbusters I & II, and then the joy is watching them interpret the world of the Ghostbusters in their own individual styles,” Coleman said.
“We've got two writers and four art teams working on six different stories, and yet it feels very much like a collaborative effort and reads more as a complete package as opposed to individual vignettes. And for that, I really have to give credit [former editor] Luis Reyes, my colleague, who's responsible for putting this whole thing together.”