Tuesday, October 1, 2013

'100 Ghosts' Book Offers Witty Look On Iconic Ghost

Forget about the little girl in funeral garb with long black hair who is crawling out of a TV. Don't bother with the old miser with clanking chains dragging behind him. And that ectoplasmic little spud who likes to slime? Please.

When it comes to iconic ghosts, you can't do much better than two eyeholes cut into a bed sheet. That boo-tiful visage is the most famous image of a ghost, and was supposedly created for theatrical purposes in the late 18 or early 19th century. Instead of big heavy armor that clanked and was hard to maneuver on stage -- as had been the practice -- the sheeted ghost was born because it was quiet and, at the time, looked creepy and immaterial to theater goers.

But hey, times and fashion changes. Nowadays, ghosts don't need to wear sheets, but the might still choose to. But they also want to inject a little pizzazz and whimsy into their sheet choice. And so, enter comedian Doogie Horner and his book "100 Ghosts: A Gallery Of Harmless Haunts."

Spinning off the classic Halloween sheet ghost, Horner presents a visage of specters who might a boy wizard, a Bond villain, a pirate or 97 other variations. The book of illustrations, from a creator who designed the cover art for "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "William Shakespeares Star Wars" -- and was a quarterfinalist on season 5 of America's Got Talent -- is clever, witty and incredibly simple.

"100 Ghosts" by Quirk Books is highly recommended for a laugh, and also to see how far ghost fashion has come. It's a fun addition for Halloween -- and beyond.

-Aaron Sagers