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Ghostopolis Paperback – July 1, 2010

82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up When readers first meet Garth Hale, he is about to receive the fifth diagnosis that his disease is incurable. How fitting, then, that a boy who thinks about death more than other kids his age should be accidentally zapped into the afterlife. When washed-up ghost wrangler Frank Gallows realizes that he accidentally sent Garth through to the other side, he does everything in his power to rescue him. Meanwhile, Garth explores the spirit world with a skeleton horse, a variety of terrifying and fantastic creatures, and some family members whom he never expected to meet. TenNapel mixes emotional epiphanies with humor in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Characters experience personal growth and learn lessons about themselves throughout the course of this book, but these lessons feel integral to the plot rather than forced down readers' throats. TenNapel's colorful illustrations are filled with energy and life, and they use shade and silhouettes to great advantage. The planned film adaptation made by Disney and starring Hugh Jackman means that this book is bound to have an extra surge in popularity, so it's probably a good idea to buy it now and get in on the ground floor. Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Frank Gallows, a weary officer from the Supernatural Immigration Task Force, and Garth Hale, a young boy with an unspecified incurable disease, are the dual heroes in this ghost-driven graphic novel. When Frank sends a troublesome horse skeleton back over to the afterlife, he accidentally zaps the boy along as well. The sinister ruler of Ghostopolis feels threatened by the boy (who, naturally, has all sorts of off-the-charts latent powers) and sends his buggy minions after him. Frank enlists the help of an ex-flame (who’s also a ghost) to cross over to the other side and rescue the boy. Sure, there’s a lot of characters with not a lot of characterization and a few too many good-for-you messages poking out from all the madcap antics, juvenile jokes, and overblown dramatics, but all in all, the story is a good blend of creepy, grotesque, and wacky. He’s got a few lumps to work out as a storyteller, but TenNapel—best known as the creator of the cross-platform character, Earthworm Jim—is a terrific cartoonist and in fine form here. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: Ghostopolis
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: GRAPHIX; 1 edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545210283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545210287
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was in 6th grade, I thought I wanted to be an animator. But doing 24 drawings to make a character take two steps across the room was more an act of micro management than an exploration of life. I told stories through movies, video games and television cartoons before finding paradise in the art form of making books.

I'm 6'8" so that makes me stand out of the crowd in a literal sense. My artwork naturally followed suite by coming out a little off center. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to sell out just a little bit more and fit in better with the crowd. If I was happy sticking out I wouldn't spend so much time slouching. But I can no more write different books than I can stop being 6'8".

Once you know that I'm a convinced Christian, married 20 years to the most amazing woman I've ever met and trying to be a good father to four kids that are every bit as miraculously unique as you are, there isn't much more to learn about me. Okay, that and I like newts. Wait, and that I read G.K. Chesterton and smoke a pipe every Sunday afternoon with my friends. Hold on, I also ran two Marathons this year, mostly because I didn't think I could do it. I play loud music from the 70s when I write and listen to lectures while I draw. There's nothing better than ice cream buried in caramel.

http://tennapel.tumblr.com/post/22060513332/doug-tennapel-books

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Drescher on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Mr. TenNapel's work for many years. Books like "Gear" and "Iron West" are among my favorite graphic novels and my copies bear fuzzed corners and worn covers earned by countless loans to friends and family. The mix of funky (sometimes vaguely naughty) humor, dynamic action and underlying (and usually spiritual) moral lessons make for a potent, readable mix in most of his books.

In the interest of fairness, I must admit that I have, on occasion, been put off by some of the more blunt and humorless manifestations of political or religious messaging in some of his work. Most notably, "Earthboy Jacobus" - an otherwise rollicking and bombastic adventure - was ruined for me by the overt and mean-spirited political commentary that is shoehorned into the beginning of the book. It's the only one of Mr. TenNapel's books that I won't loan out. Thankfully, such lapses are rare.

"Ghostopolis" is a great read. It's filled with the kind of humor and heart and action that Mr. TenNapel is so adept at delivering. The story is a lot of fun and is certainly safe for young adult readers without pandering to them either. The initial set-up and establishment of the Ghostopolis as a setting are wonderful. The cast of characters is diverse and distinct and the reader will be hard-pressed not to feel invested in their adventures. That being said, after the rather luxurious trip through the first 3/4 of the book, the VERY end of the story winds up feeling a little rushed by comparison. A lot of loose ends get tied up in the final pages and it sometimes feels like things are being glossed over.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mrsszende on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I totally enjoyed this book. Who can resist having a pet skeleton horse. It did not have too much violence. Just plain fun. The sense of humor in it was wonderful. I was looking for something for Christmas for a boy who likes "sci fi stuff" and I think I will get him this graphic novel. It's the first I have read of this author but I think I will want to read more!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Evan Day on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love Doug TeNapel's work, and was excited to see a full color book by him. Ghostopolis is a fairy tale of sorts. An officer in charge of sending ghosts back to the afterlife loses his badge when he accidentally sends a boy, who has a disease with no cure, into the ghost world, a place of spirits, skeletons and mummies and other creatures, which has been taken over by a shadowy figure.

In order to get the boy back, he enlists the help of his ex girlfriend, also a ghost. Meanwhile, the boy befriends a skeleton stallion, and another young boy, who turns out to be his grandfather.

It's a mixture of poignant, sad, funny, and action filled moments. I will say the toilet humor isn't really my cup of tea, but it's a small complaint amidst the fun characters and imaginative artwork. Those paying attention will catch TenNapel's Christian symbolism, a common theme in his books.

This is probably the best from TenNapel in awhile. Sadly, the youth of the boy may cause some older teens to lose interest, I'd say 6-9 graders and the young at heart, will be most receptive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bridgit Scheide on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough about how much I love this graphic novel. It's the first book I've read by Doug TenNapel and I've been diving headfirst into the rest of his work ever since. The entire plot is an absolutely beautiful journey, the main story is about the rescue of a young boy from the land of Ghostopolis, but there are many other creatively developed characters and storylines that TenNapel so vividly weaves through the book. His inks are so full of life... one of my most favorite books by far!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenya Starflight on December 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Before beginning this review, I have a confession to make -- I am not a big fan of graphic novels. I don't hate them -- on the contrary, I have read and enjoyed "Bone" and some of the Star Wars, Transformers, and Avengers comics -- but I don't avidly follow comics or graphic novels as a medium. When I look for a good read, I tend to gravitate toward books where text pages outnumber illustrated pages.

That being said -- I greatly enjoyed "Ghostopolis," and dearly wish there was a sequel. The world Doug Tennapel has woven drew me in that much.

Garth is a 12-year-old boy who has resigned himself to a hard fate -- he has an incurable disease. But he faces death, in a way, much sooner than he anticipated when Frank Gallows, a washed-up and cynical ghost wrangler, accidentally transports him to the afterlife, a grim yet fantastic land inhabited by the dead. There, Garth meets his grandfather, befriends a literal "night mare," and discovers that as a living human among the dead, he has amazing powers... powers that mark him for capture/death by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis and his horde of insectoid henchmen. Now Garth, with the aid of his new friends, grandfather, and a mysterious being only known as Joe, must find his way back home, even as Frank Gallows and his ghostly ex-girlfriend Claire venture into the afterlife to find him.

As this was the first work I'd read of Tennapel's, the art style took some getting used to -- the lines are scratchy rather than clean, and his humans have a stylized yet "real" look to them, rather than the generic/supermodel looks that you tend to find in most comic books. But once I got used to the art style, I found myself greatly enjoying it.
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