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Ghost Hunters by Eunice P., reviewed by Kelly J. Cooper

There's nothing like a prolonged and pointless war to get a good story going. In the world of Eunice P.'s Ghost Hunters, the Conicians and the Atinians have been at war for so long that the violence has unleashed a supernatural evil upon the land.

In this world of Eunice's creation, there are good and bad spirits – some with bodies and some incorporeal. Human souls can be trapped by whatever or whoever kills them, causing them to eventually become the same sort of evil creature as their slayer. This imbalance necessitates forces of good to deal with the awful badness. That's how we get Ghost Hunters like Roi, our main character, a twelve year old Conician boy.

Ghost Hunters is comprised of five chapters (so far) and totals over one hundred pages, twelve of which are a guest comic run. Navigation of the archives is relatively smooth, mainly interrupted by the site host's occasional failure to deliver a page. The story is an interesting synthesis of Asian folk tales and Eunice's imagination. For instance, the first monsters we encounter, right on page one, are Langsuyers, nonmaterial vampire spirits whose victims eventually become Langsuyers themselves. The name Langsuyer, per the helpful JavaScript glossary on Eunice's main page, is coined from the Malaysian word Langsuir. A Langsuir is a type of female Malaysian vampire - same realm of wrongdoing but very different from Eunice's Langsuyers.

Eunice works in standard comic-page format with neat and clear lettering. Her art generally consists of simple ink lines with a bit of shading, although that doesn't really do justice to the level of detail she sometimes achieves – as with this exterior view of a house, for example. To be fair, she also achieves excellent details in the most gruesome and affecting scenes as well. Some pages, however, consist of unfinished pencil sketches. No ink, no shading, but the dialogue is clear enough to read. Since they were posted over a year ago, they may never be finished. Eunice has experimented with color once or twice, but doesn't really seem to have the time to do this more regularly.

The good guys are depicted as Cute and, well, Really Cute. The monsters are scary and dangerous. And the bad guys are sneaky and chock full of maleficence.

In reading Ghost Hunters, one senses that there's a much larger and more complex story behind the pages than what is being shown to the reader. There are times when this complicated backstory, which is not detailed anywhere, requires Eunice to insert explanatory material below the comic – sometimes to guide the reader on what order to read the panels, but usually to elaborate on some detail pertaining to history or magic. This is both intriguing, as it inspires the reader wanting to know more, and frustrating in that it can cause confusion and leave the reader wanting to know more.

That sense of mystification, coupled with the long delays between updates (best case a week, worst case months), can make for a very disconcerting reading experience. It may be that much more frustrating because the story is appealing, and the delivery well executed. The JavaScript glossary, available off the main page, alleviates some of this pain. When the site is actually delivering pages, re-reading the archives can be helpful as well. And, finally, Eunice's own exposition at the bottom of the screen can save a page from completely baffling the reader.

Eunice is creating a compelling story of the epic struggle between wicked evildoers and cute heroes that is worth reading, and hopefully worth waiting for through both the temporal delays and the deliberate, perhaps even slow, pacing of the narrative. Still, one hopes that the updates will someday be more consistent, before Eunice’s readership pines away to ghosts themselves.

Ghost Hunters is part of RazorComics while Eunice's forum is at the Piggy Farm. Eunice has at least one issue of a print comic version of Ghost Hunters available for purchase.

Kelly J. Cooper is the Executive Editor for Features.


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Re: Ghost Hunters by Eunice P., reviewed by Kelly J. Cooper

I'd like to mention that part of the delay in the Ghost Hunters update cycle is due to the fact that Eunice took some time out to get it published. :)

http://ndpcomics.com/titles/ghosthunters.html
So if you enjoyed the online version - please do consider supporting Ghost Hunters and order the print version!