Ghost Projekt #1
Ghost Projekt follows two American weapons inspectors who have been sent to Russia after a break-in at an abandoned lab. They discover two things while at the lab: a cat and the words “Dosvidanya” chiseled into the wall of a sub-basement. The Anya, our friend with the gun from the cover, breaks up their party. She’s a Russian intelligence agent that had already gotten clearance from their director to learn everything they know. Specifically, she needs to know there are no chemical or biological weapons on site. What there is, is a strange cat and children’s cribs. Where does the “Ghost” factor into the issue then? That is indeed the mystery of the story.
Oni Press books have a certain style to them. For the most part, they are not riddled with caption boxes nor too heavy on the dialog. They always seem to have a great balance of dialog and art for the storytelling. Ghost Projekt is no exception. Joe Harris does a good job letting the artist, Steve Rolston, tell the story as much as it can and then adding the dialog to fill in the gaps. The characters all have unique voices, meaning it doesn’t feel like the same person talking when there is actually three. One thing that hurt the story was not having a set date or even year in which the story is taking place. The look of Russia and its occupants seems stereotypical post the communistic fall, and not a snap shot of how it is today. This is fine for the story but it was something that stood out.
The art fits the book. Everyone’s a little cartoony but they act serious because the subject matter is serious. The colorist, Dean Trippe, uses sharp color pallets to make the different scenes stand out. Most of the book takes place in two locations and the color works to give a sense of time in the story line. Perhaps setting the narrative up differently would have made the color stand out even more. There’s a lot of time spent at the lab and it would have been more interesting to bounce back and forth between the two scenes taking place there. It would also have explained the overall story quicker, allowing the readers to not feel behind the story. As far as mini-series go, this is a strong first issue and does a good job of setting up the world. It also maintains the readers interest, even if it doesn’t do it until later on in the issue. With most new IP’s (Intellectual Properties), the first issue is wasted explaining the world and why everything is happening to these characters as well as the characters’ origins. That is where Ghost Projekt succeeds. They make it a mystery and spend time setting up the mystery. You can actually read the first 13 pages at Oni Press’ website, or you could pick up the book and give something new a try.
Story – 8.0
Art – 7.0
Color – 9.0
Overall – 8.0