Brody's Ghost: Mark Crilley's 6-part graphic novel


I learned about cartoonist Mark Crilley through his series of YouTube instructional drawing videos (he's posted over 100!), where he demonstrates his enviable skills at drawing people. I'm not normally a fan of manga-style art but Crilley's blend of Western and Japanese style illustration hits the spot.

A couple of days ago I got a copy of his latest book, Brody's Ghost, which came out this summer from Dark Horse. It's the first in a six-part series of 96-page graphic novels. The book is in black and white, but Crilley's fine sense of grayscale more than makes up for the lack of color.

The story is set in a Bladerunner-esque world, and (like Crilley's art style) it has a blend of Western and Asian architectural styles and cultures. Brody, the lead character, is a disheveled, depressed curbside busker who plays his guitar only when his money jar runs so low that his stomach aches from hunger.

One day, while sitting on the sidewalk, Brody encounters Talia, the ghost of a teenage girl who died of cancer five years ago. She senses that Brody possesses a hidden talent, and she convinces him to help her solve a grisly murder so she can get on with the businesses of leaving the Earthly plane (sort of like Clarence the angel from It's A Wonderful Life doing a good deed to earn his his wings).

Crilley excels in conveying emotions through facial expressions, and the relationship between Brody and the Talia carries the story right along.

While I'm waiting for the next Brody's Ghost book to come out, I think I'll check out his earlier work: Akiko and Miki Falls and read them to my daughters.

Brody's Ghost: Book 1, by Mark Crilley


  1. The Akiko books are great fun. I stumbled across them at the library trying to find something my kid would be interested in. I ended up liking them more than he did.

  2. Akiko was the first comic I collected as a young girl and I still love to read it! Be sure to check out the Flights of Fancy collection, it’s almost better than the series.

  3. I’ve been an Akiko fan since the mid 90s. Though I asked about Mark Crilley and his latest works every chance I got, local comic shops had me thinking that he hadn’t had a book out in 10 years. They never told me word one about Miki Falls. Goes to show, my town and its comics scene suck! Thank you, Boingboing, for setting me straight!

    Glad to see Markie’s got a brand new bag, sort of a fusion between Moebius and Matt “Post Brothers” Howarth with a healthy dash of Tezuka tossed in for good measure! This is one book I’ll definitely be scarfing up as soon as finances permit!

  4. His style reminds me of the french-belgian flow of cartoonish heads and faces with realistical proportioned bodies. I must commend boing boing for not falling onto the common mistake of labeling anything that takes oriental inspirations as “manga”. Keep up the good work.

  5. mark, you are the verry verry best artist since art began i love your art and even though im a boy (im not gay) i love you :D

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