Ghosts and Ruins (Fantagraphics) comic book review - Ben Catmull | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Ghosts and Ruins


Ben Catmull

Oct 15, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Bookmark and Share

Edward Gorey imitators come and go, but few ever get the macabre illustrator right. Enter Ben Catmull, a Californian cartoonist whose wordless, black-and-white illustrations marry the surreal and ghostly with a markedly grim gallows humor. Ghosts and Ruins is a “compendium of old, forgotten haunted houses,” with short descriptions accompanying Catmull’s stirring, full-page artwork. Through the 84-page hardcover, he shows us places such as the “The Crawling House,” which moves 10 feet every year and where anyone who spends a night inside will be a skeleton by morning, and introduces us to specters like “Drowned Shelley,” who, if you mispronounce her name 13 times while near a lake, will kick you somewhere delicate at the stroke of midnight. It’s to Catmull’s credit that he can depict a nut shot from beyond the grave that’s somehow as haunting as it is humorous, making him a rare artist worthy of the Gorey comparisons. (

Author rating: 8/10

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