by Doogie Horner
Quirk Books, September 10 2013
review copy received via publisher (thank you!)
Ghosts aren’t that scary; they come in all sorts and types, just like humans. “A gallery of harmless haunts” perfectly describes this collection of 100 likeness of paranormal beings.The cover:
Not much to say; a bright, attractive blue background helps the jovial, hand-lettered font and simple ghost centrepiece (with shadow!) pop.
Novelty books are usually either hit or miss with little area in between (like the unfortunate All My Friends Are Dead). Thankfully, 100 Ghosts stays true to its premise and delivers. After an endearing, humourous introduction, the portraits start, with the title of each ghost hand-lettered in white on black on the page opposing each illustration.
And the illustrations are simple fun at its best. The most creative ones naturally are the most memorable, but even oddball like “pepperoni” and “vinyl” are pleasing to look at when divorced from the context of a gallery of types of ghosts. Then you have the truly clever and amusing ones: “ironic”, “fitted sheet”, “checking iPhone”, “marsupial”, “some assembly required” and my personal favourite, “all up in your grill”. The best variations take the standard bed-sheet-with-eyeholes concept and apply a clever twist.
The variations span the range, from pop culture references to animals, from vocations to randomsity (“filled with bees”???). 100 Ghosts is a very fun, well-drawn and sturdily-packaged little book, suitable for any reader at all.
Ethnic balance: N/A.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5