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THE GHOST IN JOSHUA WILLIAMSON’S MACHINE

THE GHOST IN
JOSHUA WILLIAMSON’S MACHINE
BY: EDUARDO TEXIDOR JR.
So today’s “diggin’” brings up a series I love and such awesome writing that I follow the writer today.  Now, it’s funny how this book came up in my mind.  Skybound Entertainment (the company founded by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert) had a virtual Xpo on February 19th and offered a mystery box for purchase. I created an account with Skybound Insiders, so I could purchase it, and they offered some free digital first issues.  Comics from the minds of Robert Kirkman, Donny Cates (Redneck #1, if you read my last blog and want to check it out for free), Joshua Williamson and some others.  Some titles you may know well: Invincible, The Walking Dead, Nailbiter, Outcast and Birthright. Some you may not know as well: Redneck (well hopefully you have checked it out…hint no. 2), Oblivion Song, Firepower and Ghosted.  Well Ghosted, by Joshua Williamson, is why this blog is happening.
 
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment
 
Joshua Williamson-the writer/creator
Let’s start with a brief introduction for the writer of Ghosted.  It is written by the incredible Joshua Williamson of the aforementioned Nailbiter, Outcast and Birthright released by Image Comics under Skybound Entertainment banner.  If you don’t know him from any of those books, you may know him from his time on DC.  Between his long run on The Flash Rebirth, to his short stint with Batman Superman, or maybe one of his miniseries: Justice League vs Suicide Squad or No Justice.  Maybe you know him from one of his Marvel miniseries: Battleworld Red Skull or The Illuminati. If you don’t know him at all, well hopefully you will check out his Ghosted series and see why I love his writing.
                         

Photo Credit: Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment

Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Photo Credit: Marvel  Entertainment, LLC


GHOSTED the series
This book was not something I had heard hype about anywhere; if I was honest in 2013, I rarely read Image comics at all.  I was the type of comic reader, like many of us, who would peruse over the shelves on every Wednesday and see what books were there.  Sure, I had my go to books at the time, but who isn’t looking to find the new good book and collect.  Plus if you jump on the bandwagon late, you can wind up having to pay a lot of money to catch up if the book is a big hit.  Ask “Something is Killing the Children” fans…lol.  So I see the below cover on the shelf and the title “GHOSTED” is intriguing.  The cover of the comic features a guy fixing his tie; while in the foreground, we see two people stand ready for a fight.  Then in the background is a creepy old looking mansion, plus the ghost filled fire is a great touch.
 
Photo Credit: Image
Comics/Skybound Entertainment
 
The tag line for this series is “A Horror/Crime Mashup that's equal parts Ocean's 11 and The Shining”, well I guess that is as good as anything.  Sadly this series never seemed to get the popularity I feel it deserved and you never hear any tv show/movie hype.  In fact the biggest news about this entire series and the most popular issue is the ninth issue.  Why?  Because issue nine (#9) contained the preview of the Joshua Williamson written Nailbiter.
Photo Credit: Image
Comics/Skybound Entertainment
 
The central character Jackson T. Winters is hired by a wealthy man, Markus Schrecken, who wants Mr. Winters to steal something for him. What you find out, very quickly, is that the item is of a supernatural nature.  Jackson much like Danny Ocean begins the process of putting together his crew for the job.  I don’t know if you are like me, but whenever I see someone building a crew now, I hear “Come Together” by the Beatles in my head and see Bruce Willis in Armageddon gathering his team.  Yeah, this is off topic in a way, but I had to share….lol.  So by the end of the first issue we are ready to go and the story is fast and furious from that point until the end.  One thing I will say is that there is not much more going on than action and story, though there are arcs, the theme of the book stays on track from issue one to issue twenty.
So I won’t go through all the characters. I feel who may or may not make it is really a key facet and then seeing those chosen and their story going forward is part of the fun.  There are many characters and each one has a back story and you get to know them during this series.  The idea of protagonist and antagonist is a blurred line to me in the book, though you start to pick sides at some point and may even change during the progression of the story.  I will address three characters:

The Characters
Jackson T. Winters: A criminal in jail, a bank thief specifically, with a dark secret about his last job.  He wants to just die but can’t seem to and takes this job to either start over or finally die….but who knows which?
Markus Schrecken: The old wealthy benefactor, who takes Jackson out of jail to do this job.  He’s an old eccentric collector of the supernatural items and he need s Jackson to obtain something for him.  Why he wants these items or more importantly why would he hire a criminal are some early questions. 
Photo Credit: Image
Comics/Skybound Entertainment
Anderson Lake: While the last to be mentioned, by far not the least.  She is Schrecken’s bodyguard/liaison with the world/Girl Friday.  She is the one member of Jackson’s team that he has no say over.  She is very capable of handling herself and even gets her own cover at one point.

Photo Credit: Image
Comics/Skybound Entertainment
The Covers
Another thing about this series is the covers, each of the 20 covers were so well done.  Like this series and the story inside, the covers for the issues were overlooked by many fans.  I think with today’s current cover art craze, more people may have been drawn to the book. Covers were done by Sean Phillips, Matteo Scalera and Dan Panosian.  Below are a few of my favorites.
                      

Photo Credit: Image

Comics/Skybound Entertainment

Photo Credit: Image

Comics/Skybound Entertainment

Photo Credit: Image

Comics/Skybound Entertainment

 
So that is pretty much all I can say about this series, without spoiling it for you.  The series is collected into four trade paperbacks, which Izzy’s may be able to order for you.  Though the single issues are not that sought after, so you should be able to find them in the LCS long boxes, maybe even dollar bins.   On the way out though, I would like to share one of my prized items in my collection, which Timothy Yzaguirre was able to procure for me. 
Photo Credit: Eduardo A. Texidor Jr
 
A dual signed blank variant.  The sketch is by Goran Sudzuka, the artist of the book for all twenty issues. Plus Joshua Williamson signed and remarked the cover. So remember, even if you aren’t looking for this series, Tim and Izzy’s is a great resource for every comic collector.
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Well since you’re still here, I’m going to run a little contest.  The first person that can tell me who was sketched on the blank cover will win this Joshua Williamson signed no. 1 of Ghosted.
 Yes, I rarely want to give away my prized possessions, but well Tim talked me into it (dangnabbit!!).  So send those guesses to diggininboxes@gmail.com
 
Good luck to you all!!!

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