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‘Ghostbusters Get Real:’ TPB Review

I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts.

Nostalgia is a huge part of many industries’ business plans right now. Sometimes, it works (Star Trek), and, sometimes, we get to watch our childhood loves burn like acid (Jem, TMNT, GI Joe, Transformers, etc.).  There are a lot of properties that are returning to much hype and typically much more criticism, and a lot of them can be misfires (Please let the Netflix Popples show be good. I don’t recall much other than owning the green, ungodly, self-pocketing marsupial monstrosity, but it’s a good memory.), but if there’s one shining example of getting things right on a consistent basis, it’s the folks creating the Ghostbusters series for IDW.  The TMNT crossover was handled exceptionally well, and this time they bring the ’80s cartoon version of their own franchise into the modern storyline.  If you had any love for the series back in the day, then this collection will absolutely blow your mind.  It’s handled perfectly, from nailing the characters’ looks to capturing the spirit of their dialogue and reactions. It’s as though we got a new episode of the show without any of the cringe-worthy moments one can experience when revisiting old properties.

I’ve not been following the newest Ghostbusters franchise much. The TMNT crossover was my first foray into the series, and I had to jump in for this crossover, but if the success of both of these storylines is any indication of the level of talent and creativity of this team, then this may well have to become a weekly pull.  The new version of the team is decidedly darker in tone, which is a fun, “gritty” version of the characters which seems to have a great deal of gravitas considering the source material without losing much of the comedic slant.  Throw into this mix the much more bouncy, goofy, ’80s Real Ghostbusters into the mix and, somehow, the styles create an oddly harmonic whole without a single discordant note throughout.  This isn’t a parlor trick combo; Erik Burnham manages to meet these disparate groups flawlessly and absolutely nails the dialogue of our displaced heroes from the past, so much so that I can hear the voices from the show as I read them. It’s freaking SPOT ON.  And, it’s not canned responses and one-liners. Burnham finds the voice of every character, and they react with truth and simplicity.  Every line makes complete sense; it just feels right, like seeing your favorite rerun but for the first time.  It’s an amazing thing to witness and brought me back to that time in my life with a vengeance.  Thank god I’m so much cooler now . . .

I won’t be able to find enough words to compliment Dan Schoening and Luis Delgado; these guys just absolutely know their medium.  The Real Ghostbusters seem pulled right from the animation cells – every angle and curve exacting in detail and filled with the rich life they exhibited on the screen.  Every one is right on the damn money, and it complements the script perfectly.  This is a book that’s hard to pull apart, because it just works so flipping well.  The joy continues with all of the various covers, margin silhouettes (Seriously, look at the title page, it’s fantastic.), and parallel world hopping we’re treated to, bouncing around between different versions of the team each with its own art style and tone. Each one is treated with the same love and care even without regard to the much reduced page time.  I have to also take a moment to call out my favorite alternate cover. (They’re all included.). Joe Quinones perfectly captured not only the spirit of what the IDW team was doing here but also just nailed the two sides perfectly.  It’s real, real good.

If you’ve been around long enough to have an affinity for the cartoon team, this is a must have, especially if you’re as sad as I get sometimes when good, old shows come back ugly. You can pick up this volume and see how it should be every time.  It’s a testament to the standards that this team holds itself to with regard to the quality and care they put on every page, and this is the kind of experience that makes nostalgia so very powerful.  If you’re new to the Ghostbusters U, then you’ll get to enjoy a solid, dimension-hopping team up that will make your elders all weepy and give you an idea of the goofy animation styles that the late ’80s/early ’90s kids got to experience all the time.  Whippersnappers don’t know what makes it good!  But, this team does, so check it out today.

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Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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