Written by: Erik Burnham
Art by: Dan Schoening
Colors by: Luis Antonio Delgado
I’ve always been a huge Ghostbusters fan. I loved the movies; yes, even the second one. I watched reruns of the cartoon show over and over again as a kid. I owned the proton pack and PKE reader. I love Ghostbusters. For some reason though, I’ve never really had an interest in their comics. Perhaps it was the idea that they would be childish like the cartoon or they would vary too much from my nostalgic view of them. I decided to throw caution to the wind and give Ghostbusters International #1 a chance. I wasn’t disappointed.
The story of Ghostbusters International #1 is very simple. The group gets a call to trap a ghost at the U.N. where they meet a mysterious benefactor that pays for their services and wishes to have a future consultation that could very well rock the foundation of the team. It isn’t necessarily the main plot of the story that pulled me in. It was Erik Burnham’s writing and use of the characters. Everything about it screamed Ghostbusters. Ray, Egon, Winston, and Peter were all written perfectly. I could actually hear Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Hudson’s voices in these characters. Especially in the scenes with Egon needing stacks of books and paranormal readings just to occupy his mind or Peter making a crude joke about hot dogs. Burnham did an absolutely amazing job handling these characters and giving them life. I honestly felt like I was looking at an extension of the original Ghostbuster stories.
The only thing that bothered me about Ghostbusters International was the art style. Schoening and Delgado are a very good pair as the colors suit the feeling of Schoening’s style. Its his style that seems off though. The actual Ghostbusters themselves look very cartoonish and overly caricatured. However, all the other characters in the book have a more normal look to them. This seemed to clash and bothered me. Even the ghosts that appear in the U.N. have a more human look to them than the Ghostbusters. Aside from the cartoony feel of the Ghostbuster’s design, the remainder of the art is fantastic. I loved how the floating ghost wolf looked and the ghostly blue U.N. members were great. All of the locations and backgrounds are well drawn and consistent in the book.
Perhaps one of my favorite things Ghostbusters International did as a title though had almost nothing to do with the main story. IDW actually took the time to add in a backstory at the beginning of the comic. This helped me understand how the Ghostbusters had reached this point and where I could go to learn more. This is a fantastic way to help a new reader learn about the created universe. I would love to see other companies take this initiative. Even the back of the book showed how to read the IDW Ghostbusters line from beginning to their most recent title, Ghostbusters International.
Reading Ghostbusters International has given me faith that IDW can do this treasured franchise justice. Burnham seems to truly understand the mechanics of the Ghostbusters universe and it shines in the dialogue. While the art style seems a bit off to me, perhaps Schoening uses it to show the lightheartedness and comedic offerings of Ghostbusters. If you are a Ghostbusters fan, I definitely suggest checking out Ghostbusters International. It felt like meeting up with an old friend I haven’t seen in years.