Ceej Says… Ghost Island #1 review

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Writer: Joseph Oliveira
Artist: Anabela Turlione
Letterer: Justin Birch
Release Date: On sale NOW!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.  A group of unrelated individuals are invited to a spooky island for mysterious reasons by an eccentric, reclusive individual.  Broadly speaking, that’s the general premise of Ghost Island, a brand new self-published release from writer Joseph Oliveira, artist Anabela Turlione and letterer Justin Birch.  Thankfully however, there’s a lot more meat on these storyline bones than just that, with the story focusing on one individual in particular – Josh Evans, a deeply troubled man who possesses a remarkable psychic gift that allows him to communicate with the dead.

The opening sequence which introduces us to Josh and his abilities is absolutely top-notch, with Oliveira gradually ramping up the tension as the reality of Josh’s latest job – a grieving mother wanting to communicate with her recently-deceased son – gradually unfolds.  As an attention grabber and a showcase of what this creative team is capable of, this sequence does its job impressively, while also helping us understand a little more about Josh’s gifts; gifts that he himself considers, perhaps rightly, to be more of a curse.

The middle portion sees Josh receiving an invitation to utilise his skills on the island of the aforementioned eccentric recluse, and introduces us to the other individuals who received similar invitations.  They fall into a variety of well-worn tropes, but Oliveira does his best to flesh them out as much as possible in the time allowed, making them feel like slightly more than one-dimensional character templates, if only just.   The reveal of the actual reason behind the group being invited to the island is, admittedly, a little hokey, but has the potential to deliver some interesting results if Oliveira handles things correctly.

Thankfully, the series is most definitely in safe hands from a visual point of view, with artist Anabela Turlione’s shadow-heavy black and white style really helping to underscore the lurking menace of Oliveira’s script. There’s a slightly exaggerated aspect to her characters’ facial expressions that emphasises the emotions on display, and the way her images combine with the work of letterer Justin Birch in the sequences featuring the titular ghosts makes for some truly striking visual beats.

Coming across as a heady blend of Ghostbusters and Jurassic Park, Ghost Island has a ton of potential that will, hopefully, be capitalised on as the series unfolds.  Visually striking and with a genuinely intriguing lead protagonist, this could end up being something truly special, providing writer Joseph Oliveira manages to carefully avoid the cliche minefield that these sorts of stories can frequently fall foul of.  Definitely one to keep an eye on, that’s for sure.

You can grab yourself a copy of Ghost Island #1, along with art cards and glossy posters, by CLICKING HERE.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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  1. Ceej Says… Ghost Island #2 review – BIG COMIC PAGE

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