Review – Ghostbusters: Year One #1 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artwork: Dan Schoening
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado
Lettering: Neil Uyetake
Release Date: 22nd January 2020

Openly publicised by IDW as something of a ‘cash-grab’ riding upon the “anticipation of the new Ghostbusters feature film coming to theatres Summer 2020”, this twenty-page periodical delivers  a refreshing insight into Winston Zeddemore’s first few days working with the Boys in Gray. Not only that, but it also delivers an engaging sense of nostalgia, courtesy of Erik Burnham cleverly weaving the former marine’s battle against Edgar Allan Poe’s ghost in amidst the events of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 American supernatural comedy film. Indeed, the Minnesotan writer’s script for issue one of “Ghostbusters: Year One” is so enjoyable, that in many ways this comic feels like some sort of DVD or Blu-Ray extras documentary, featuring a whole host of “never-before-seen” authentic extracts simply chopped from the movie and left on the cutting room so as to reduce its running time.

Just as compelling is the American author’s decision to focus this mini-series’ opening instalment upon “the first person hired to strap on a proton pack outside of the founders themselves”, rather than taking an arguably safer option of concentrating upon the smart-mouthed antics of Peter Venkman, or infectiously enthusiastic shenanigans of Doctor Ray Stantz. Described as “a deeply spiritual man who will become the soul of the team”, there’s a great deal of humour to be had watching Zeddemore’s incredulity at being armed with a potentially lethal proton packed “weapon” after just fifteen minutes of firing at pumpkins, and it soon becomes clear why artist Dan Schoening felt it was “really easy for readers and viewers of the films to pop yourself into his position and experience it through him.”

Burnham also arguably masters the close relationship Winston quickly develops with “the heart of the Ghostbusters”, and their chit-chat concerning the new hire’s curt perspective on “sasquatch migration in the Pacific Northwest, and how that ties into extra-terrestrial visitation patterns” proves a genuine laugh out moment within this publication. In fact, this book’s banter between all the leading cast is pretty much spot-on, and as a result it’s really easy to hear the voices of actors like Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd whenever a quick one-liner or gobbledygook explanation is delivered.

Elevating the immersive reading experience even further though, has to be Schoening’s mouth-wateringly good pages, which genuinely look like stills taken from an animated motion picture. “Dapper Dan” clearly sees Zeddemore as a “really lovable character” and does a terrific job of imbuing Winston with all the fears and uncertainties one might expect from a novice Ghostbuster solely through the man’s expressive eye movements.


The writer of this piece was: Blax Kleric
Blax Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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