Ghost is a self-published comic by writer, editor, and cartoonist Whit Taylor. The story beings with three ghosts telling the author’s cartoon self she can meet three of her idols. After some thought, she makes her choices and the ghosts grant her wish. She is advised that she will have one day with each them and can talk to them about anything, but she must follow one rule—she can’t ask them how they died.
After a night riddled with anxiety, she awakens the next day and carefully chooses an outfit, finally stepping outside to find Charles Darwin waiting for her aboard the HMS Beagle. They discuss Darwin’s theory of evolution, punctuated equilibrium, and what it all means in the context of the main character’s own life. She wonders if the history of life parallels our own individual life histories.
The next day, she meets famed mythologist Joseph Campbell and the day’s adventure involves a trip to the moon. They discuss monomyths and the hero’s journey, with Campbell lamenting how his famous quote, “Follow your bliss,” is always taken out of context. Campbell fears that humankind is destroying itself; however, he leaves our heroine with a nugget of advice about life and what he really meant by “Follow your bliss” before their day is over.
The following day, she should be greeted by the last idol she chose, but is instead greeted by another version of herself. This is the point at which we really get into the meat of the story. She is very angry about having to face herself and is at first reluctant to even look at her guest. We soon find out that she was sexually assaulted in the past. Consequently, we really start to see how the teachings of the idols she chose tie into her personal narrative and are helping her to grow, change, and heal.
Within the comic, there are two smaller stories that appear between each encounter with an idol. I won’t discuss them here because they are such absolute gems and I hope that everyone who reads this can experience them the way I did. Ghost really is a jewel of a comic overall. Whit Taylor’s storytelling is unique and mature, but somehow still playful. The story is amazingly well executed—combining fiction, fantasy, and reality in such a wonderfully interesting and touching way. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to step away from the standard superhero fare.
You can find Ghost and more of Whit Taylor’s work at her website: http://www.whittaylorcomics.com/
Cherra Hampton-Mitchell is a lifelong Blerd, internet junkie, and chronic sufferer of wanderlust after. She believes she is thoroughly prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse and has a moderate chance of surviving the Robot Apocalypse, but will surrender and accept her alien overlords should the Alien Apocalypse happen. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram – @WildYoungCharm