Updated: Jan 25, 2020
If you know Sina Grace, then you know he has a knack for writing some of the best slice-of-life comics. Filled with humor and great dialogue. When his new book GHOSTED IN LA was announced, I knew I had to read it.
I could talk about how great the book was but it would probably be easier if you checked out my review that's up on the blog.
After reading the book, Sina was gracious enough to answer a few questions about the inspiration behind the book and what to expect moving forward.
So come see what Sina has to say about this hilarious story of a girl who befriends a mansion full of ghosts.
COMIC LOUNGE: After working on corporate characters like Iceman and Jughead, why did you decide to return to slice-of-life comics?
SINA GRACE: After doing my latest memoir, Nothing Lasts Forever, I kind of needed a break from exploring life on such a personal level. Everything I work on tends to be more character-based than concept-first, but I wasn’t ready to put everything on the line again. With GHOSTED IN LA, I was desperate to create something with Shannon Watters as my editor, and I feel like I’m able to take all the awesome lessons I learned working on mainstream stuff to strike a balance between personal and pop.
COMIC LOUNGE: Can you tell us a little about your latest book, GHOSTED IN LA?
GRACE: GHOSTED IN LA is essentially my love letter to Los Angeles and that Whedonesque tone of characters who deal with intense stuff, but they’re still able to crack a joke every now and again. The series follows college freshman Daphne Walters who gets dumped by the boyfriend she moved to LA for. Plot things happen, and she finds herself in an apartment complex inhabited entirely by ghosts. From there, Daphne works to carve a space for herself in this very weird, beautiful, complicated city.
COMIC LOUNGE: You made a name for yourself on books such as NOT MY BAG and SELF OBSESSED which were semi-autobiographical. How much of yourself are you injecting into GHOSTED IN LA?
GRACE: What sets GHOSTED IN LA apart from my other works is that I won’t really be using myself to answer questions. Obviously everything still filters through my lens, so to speak, but I’m going to be deep-diving on heavy shit with a slew of characters who embody my real-life neighbors, or personalities I’ve run into along the way. I guess my curiosity is what will be injected into the book. I basically just want to go into everyone’s homes and find out what makes up folks’ interior lives. At the end of the idea, I feel like everything I do is just asking the question: what do you do with your life?
COMIC LOUNGE: The main character, Daphne, is both likeable and quirky. What was the inspiration behind her?
GRACE: The truth is that I had the idea of taking the name Daphne, which has such a strong cultural connotation with a certain Hanna-Barbera girl, and creating the complete opposite of her. She’s not a fraidy cat, but Daphne Walters is certainly not a precocious popular girl diving headfirst into mystery. She’s definitely a love letter to some of my favorite gal pals in college. There’s something so exciting about writing a character who has the whole world in front of her, and allowing her to sort out what she wants on her terms. Daphne and I are complete opposites in that regard. I’ve always known that I wanted to write and draw comics. Daphne has no clue what she wants. Her journey is gonna be so fun.
COMIC LOUNGE: Not only does Daphne get into some humorous situations but she ends up in a mansion full of ghosts. What made you decide to put this supernatural spin on the book?
GRACE: You can thank my editor Shannon Watters for the supernatural spin. We were batting ideas around a while back, and she had this lightbulb moment of, “Wait a minute… you doing a quirky supernatural character piece.” From there, things moved super quick and organically. To this point, one of the million reasons I love comic books is that it’s such a visual storytelling medium… it’s always fun to pepper a little fantasy or similar eye candy to take advantage of the form. Plus: metaphors are cool. Ghosts as a metaphor for single people? Holler!
COMIC LOUNGE: What else can we expect with Daphne and the rest of the cast moving forward?
GRACE: Moving forward, each issue begins with a flashback that focuses on different cast members, living or otherwise. Readers will get to learn about the entire ensemble as they follow Daphne getting settled in Los Angeles. By the end of the first arc, there are oodles of worms out of cans. Rycroft Manor houses more secrets than ghosts. Also: there’s gonna be some romance, and by “some,” I mean a lot.
COMIC LOUNGE: I know the book is a mini-series, but is there room for the book to go past this initial series?
GRACE: Excuse you! It’s a maxi-series, thank you very much. The fine folks at Boom have given GHOSTED IN LA a twelve-issue run, and my hope is that we get a few years on the project. There are so many directions we can go in a series that explores Los Angeles’ history through the lens of a handful of lovable ghosts. There’s also so much mythology around the building they inhabit (Rycroft Manor). Add to that, Daphne is on a journey to become her own dang person, so she’s got her best adventures ahead of her.
COMIC LOUNGE: Is there anything else you want to say to potential readers that might sway them to pick up the book?
GRACE: The elevator pitch is pretty exciting: It’s Melrose Place… with ghosts! Granted, the scandal will be taken down a few notches because I don’t ever want to hit a jumping shark point. Siobhan Keenan is an amazing artist who gets better and better with each issue. There’s a massively cool twist that happens in the fourth issue that is just, *chef’s kiss*
More than any of this… I frickin’ love the book. It’s my happy place. The best art comes from that spot.