I’ve mentioned previously that Comixology have a great programme of small press publishers submitting their work for publication on something cunningly called Comixology Submit. Sadly much of it is sheer unmitigated shite. Far too many crap elves, spandex clad superheroes or just bad bad crap. There’s also been work from established big name mainstream creators which to me somewhat gets in the way of the work on Submit which is can be great but not as smooth as more professional material.
There’s not such concerns over Jamie Tanner’s splendid We Were Like Ghosts. The fact it shares a cover typeface/design as The Wicked and the Divine caught my eye along with the synopsis.
Two stories (sort of), each the inverse of the other. In “We Were Like Ghosts”, three friends repeatedly visit a strange favorite place. In “We Ghosts Were Like”, the denizens of that place watch as these friends come and go.
Tanner’s style on the surface is manga-esque but there’s a lot going on here with these pages that are reminiscent of Charles Burns with a wee hint of Herge/ Like Burns, Tanner has a grasp of using shade to create a mood which isn’t exactly unsettling, more sort of curious in its naive Lynchian strangeness.
There’s also a sly commentary on gentrification and aging that having read it a few times I’m not sure could do with expansion or is perfect in the handful of pages Tanner has to use.
The almost palindromic story structure jars in a good way as this little story ends up in a very fascinating way. Yes, second half of the book is weaker than the first but overall this is a strong release from a creator I’d never heard of and will now be making the effort to find out more about his work, and that’s the joy of Comixology Submit as for 69p I found a great comic from a creator trying to do more with the medium than repeat the mistakes of mainstream comics, For that I’m very thankful….