September 9, 2020

Review: Ghostwriter

GhostwriterWritten and illustrated by Rayco Pulido
Available now from Fantagraphics
Review copy

In 96 pages, Rayco Pulio delivers a taut thriller that makes excellent use of the graphic novel format. I can see why Fantagraphics decided to translate Ghostwriter from the original Spanish.

Set in Barcelona, 1943, Ghostwriter follows Laia, a scriptwriter for a popular advice program on the radio, as she hounds the detective she hired to find her missing husband. Laia's advice is constrained by religious control and patriarchal oppression; she has to write that women should stay by their husbands and try to be better wives, no matter what horrors are in the letters sent to her. Laia's dead-eyed rage is a simple thing to understand.

I adore how the words and images work together to tell the story in Ghostwriter. Many things are shown before they become important, but since they were shown, the connections make sense and everything feels intentional. One of my favorite bits is when Laia throws a coin-like object in a jar in the first few pages. It gave me pause at first, trying to figure out this small object in black and white. Later, it became sinister.

For all the twists and turns it takes, Ghostwriter is not a very complicated story. Laia's motives are simple, no matter how convoluted her methods. There is a delightful economy to this dark little tale. Ghostwriter also isn't afraid to be a little silly or to include moments of juvenile behavior.

I quite enjoyed Ghostwriter and hope more of Pulido's work gets translated.


  1. Ooh sounds good. I love translated books, and graphic novels!!!



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