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Ghostbusters: Back in Town Comic Creators Q&A

 By Paul Rudoff on Apr. 15, 2024 at 8:15 PM , Categories: Books

A few weeks ago, Dark Horse Comics released the first issue of the four-part Ghostbusters: Back in Town comic book series. I had the opportunity to submit a few questions to writer David Booher and artist Blue Delliquanti. Let's find out what they had to say...

Here is the synopsis for the issue.
A year and a half after the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Ghostbusters are officially back in business and headed to where it all began: New York City! Callie, Gary, Trevor, and Phoebe are moving into the Firehouse and ready to take on the Spengler family business... or are they? Ghostbusting on top of changing family dynamics has a way of going awry -- and that's exactly what one paranormal force is counting on.

(Pages 1-3, click to enlarge)

Writer David Booher grew up in a small Ohio town reading Stephen King, watching The Goonies and Nightmare on Elm Street, eating Lucky Charms in front of He-Man, trading Garbage Pail Kids, playing video games, and going outside. David loves Star Wars, the 80's, and indie comics...and still plays original Nintendo.

Was this series always planned to be 4 issues long?

Yeah, this was always conceived as a 4-issue mini-series. For lots of reasons, a closed-ended mini-series worked best. The challenge for a short series like this is telling a tight story that's compelling and fun. There's no room for extra, well, anything. It's been a blast to come up with a character-driven, action-packed story that fits into these four issues.

What did the writing process look like? For example, did you have to write and submit several pages at a time or did you submit the whole script? Would the editor give notes before Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan?

First, we worked up an outline for the story. Once everybody gave the thumbs-up, I wrote each script entirely. I'd send each script to my Dark Horse editors. They passed it along to Jason and Gil and the Ghost Corps team. I'd get notes back all at once. No writer ever loves getting notes, except in this instance. Jason and Gil had so many funny lines and great dialogue suggestions that I'd laugh out loud as I worked them in.

Did you help mold the story from the start or was there a set story that Jason and Gil wanted to tell before you joined the team?

One of my favorite parts about working on this series was the freedom we got to craft an entirely new Ghostbusters story. Look, I've been a Ghostbusters fan since I was old enough to sit in front of the TV and eat the Ghostbusters cereal (yes, I love the 80s!). Ever since I watched Ghostbusters: Afterlife, I've loved the Spengler family. When I jumped in to tell a story in this universe, the priority was staying true to the character voices and personalities. Beyond that, Jason and Gil let us run wild. We got to create new ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. For this grown-up ghostbusting kid, it's a dream come true.

(Pages 4-6, click to enlarge)

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based artist Blue Delliquanti drew and serialized the Prism Award-winning science fiction comic "O Human Star", created graphic novels and novellas like "Meal" (with Soleil Ho), "Across a Field of Starlight", and "Adversary"; and teaches comics courses at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

What was your art/character design process like?

Much of my design process was informed by what already exists in the Ghostbusters world. One thing about working on Ghostbusters specifically is that there was no shortage of reference material, both from the folks working on the film and online. Ecto-1 is a good example - I received photos of the car on the set of the new film so I could study the details, but if I wanted to draw it from an unusual angle I looked up Lego models built and displayed by fans over the years. That let me be a little braver with my page and panel compositions. I also had architectural diagrams and behind-the-scenes photos of all the rooms, and there were a lot of fun details that went into the movie crew's work on the firehouse that I tried to include in the background.

Capturing character likenesses is a different kind of challenge because I want them to be recognizable as the actors playing them, but I'm also simplifying and exaggerating them to make them more expressive in the comics format. The legacy characters are easier to make recognizable because they've already got very distinct features.

Which character(s) did you have the most fun working on?

Phoebe and Trevor were very easy to adapt into character designs because they visually contrast each other as brother and sister very well. Phoebe's got a lot of soft, round features, while Trevor's angular and all arms and legs, so I got to make them cartoonier and more expressive. Of the legacy characters I had a lot of fun drawing Winston, especially.

What are some stories or characters that you'd like to explore more in potential future miniseries?

Coming up with designs for ghosts and creatures and drawing them wreaking havoc for this miniseries was really fun! I'd like more opportunities to do that in future projects.


Special thanks to Michael Tanaka, Jimmy Dresch, Lars Karlsen, and Mitchell Epley for submitting questions; and Kaitlyn Nash at Dark Horse for her help.

Ghostbusters: Back in Town issue #1 is available now where ever comics are sold. The digital version of all four issues can be purchased/pre-ordered for the Amazon Kindle: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, and Issue #4. A physical trade paperback containing all four parts will be available in October from Amazon. You can also purchase it from many other fine comic shops around the world, too.

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