Daphne Walters is off to college in L.A., to live her life to the fullest – until life doesn’t cooperate. Find out what happens to her after she meets some actual ghosts in Ghosted in L.A. #1!
Writer: Sina Grace
Artist: Siobhan Keenan
Colorist: Cathy Le
Letterer: D.C. Hopkins
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $#.99
Release Date: July 10, 2019
Daphne Walters is at that momentous time in a young person’s life – fresh out of high school and going off to college. She’s following her boyfriend to a new city, new experiences, and new friends. But life doesn’t always turn out as we expect, and sometimes one can find friends in unexpected places.
PLAYING WITH A DOUBLE MEANING
Between the title and the cover art, we have a suspicion where Ghosted in L.A. #1 is going to take us, but I like the way this journey is set up. The BOOM! Box imprint keeps coming out with cool titles, and this is a good one.
It opens on a flashback as our main character, Daphne Walters, is packing to go off to college along with her friend Kristi. They aren’t going to the same school, so this is going to shake things up between them. Daphne is going to L.A. so she can be with her boyfriend. Then Kristi drops a bombshell – she tells her friend that she’s ruining her life doing this. As is so often the case with romance, sometimes it is the friend who sees things more clearly. Daphne gets a boyfriend, then takes on his personality instead of being her own self, and she’s doing it yet again. We all say we appreciate honesty, but how often do we really mean it, especially for affairs of the heart? Daphne and Kristi do not part on good terms.
Daphne gets to L.A. and takes an Uber to her dorm, passing through an interesting neighborhood, and sending Kristi an inconsequential text. Then she’s settling in with the new roommate, and of course they have nothing in common. Michelle’s side of the room is stark, decorated with only a cross, and she’s wearing black. Daphne’s side has all sorts of remembrances from home. Daphne has met a couple girls who invited her to a party; Michelle is not interested, and won’t let her bring Ronnie, her boyfriend, back to the room.
Daphne is so bright and optimistic, and her expectations keep getting dashed. The friends she was meeting don’t show, then they text her insinuating that she followed the wrong social media for their messages. She’s missing the party. She goes back to her room, and the door is locked. Michelle is holding Bible study in their room. (Eventually we find out that Daphne is Jewish.) She goes to see her boyfriend, who’s been avoiding her, and he breaks up with her. Throughout all of this, she keeps almost texting Kristi, and having double thoughts, which is so sweet.
Wandering around with her attention on her phone, she bumps into a gate and finds herself at the interesting house she passed earlier. She wanders around to look at the elegant grounds, finds a swimming pool, and can’t resist stripping to her underwear and jumping in. This is the perfect way for her to start thinking things out, when the ghost of a girl appears and talks to her. She isn’t the only one – more and more ghosts appear until Daphne passes out.
This is not your typical haunted house. Half a dozen diverse ghosts live here, and they’re almost as puzzled as to what to do about Daphne as she is terrified that they will do her in. Then her past several days hit her, and she collapses – and realizes Kristi was right all along. She’s hopeless. The ghosts agree to let her go and she agrees to keep their secret. Then we get the interesting twist. Daphne feels more comfortable here than she has anywhere in L.A. She asks if she can move in, do physical errands for them, help them out. I love this concept, and I like the variety of ghosts.
OH, THAT AWKWARD AGE
The art in Ghosted in L.A. #1 is crisp and clear. The characters have plenty of character, and there is a fun balance between having them look naturalistic and giving them emotional moments with more exaggerated expressions. I think this does a couple things. We really get what everyone is feeling. It adds a light touch to some moments that, for someone of Daphne’s age, feel devastating at the time. Life is slightly larger than life when you’re on the cusp of 20.
Most of the backgrounds are pretty simple with only a few establishing shots to set the details in a scene. That’s okay, because this story is more about the people. More attention is given to the house, which frankly is super cool looking: balconies with wrought iron railings, fountains, potted plants, fancy looking furniture. As I mentioned before, the ghosts are an interesting group, and I hope we find out more about them.
BOTTOM LINE: STARTING OVER WITH A TWIST
Ghosted in L.A. #1 takes its title to heart in a couple ways. Daphne is a delightful heroine. She’s cute, plucky, and optimistic. I like the way she bounces back. I think this is an enjoyable take on the drama of becoming an adult with a plot that makes it much more fun than in real life.
Ghosted in L.A. #1
An earnest and humorous take on growing up with a twist of the supernatural.