Wednesday, June 21, 2017

[Graphic Novel Review] Five Ghosts Vol. 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere, Chris Mooneyham

Five Ghosts Vol. 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere review

This graphic novel was recently suggested to me, and I am SO glad that I was able to get my hands on it so quickly! What a read!

Five Ghosts Vol. 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere cover

Five Ghosts Vol. 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray 
by Frank J. Barbiere, Illustrated by Chris Mooneyham

Book synopsis:
After a tragic encounter with an artifact known as "The Dreamstone," infamous treasure hunter Fabian Gray was possessed by five literary ghosts and has been granted access to their unique abilities.

My thoughts: 
I’ll admit, I was a little confused when I started reading this. I actually jumped on Goodreads to see if I had missed a series before this one. But soon, we started getting a little backstory here and there. Then things really started to fall into place. When I finished reading, I decided that I like that we were thrown into the action right away and that we very slowly learned why Fabian has his “condition.” Though I certainly would have appreciated just a little more background earlier on.

I see a lot of people ragging on this collection because of it’s unoriginal features, but I personally really loved it. It’s like they writer took aspects of all of my favorite comics and novels and merged them into one!

I really enjoyed the idea itself behind the comic. I thought it was so interesting that Fabian, a looting adventurer, had a bad encounter with a dreamstone, which allowed him to access the powers of five ghosts; the wizard, the archer, the detective, the samurai, and the vampire. It has been suggested each of these ghosts correspond to Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamoto Musashi, and Count Dracula.

I thought it was a great touch that when he called upon his other powers, that the specific ghost who held that power would also appear in the frame.

I really enjoyed the two main characters; Fabian and Sebastian. They're a great MC and sidekick duo! Sebastian is definitely my favorite. I love his sarcastic and dry one liners.

Five Ghosts Vol. 1 Sebastian quote

The pacing was very quick! The storyline was guided by the action, which was present on almost every page.

And then there’s the artwork…

I LOVED the pulp-esque style! And the color palette was absolutely incredible! If I had to pick just one favorite feature of this collection, I would definitely go with the coloring. I mean…just LOOK at these examples:

Five Ghosts Vol. 1 coloring

Five Ghosts Vol. 1 panel

I also loved that the artwork really carried the storyline. Of course the dialogue was added frequently but some action sequences flowed very well without a ton text. Just one example:

Five Ghosts Vol. 1 artwork

My final thoughts:
Though confusing to start, I really enjoyed reading this and I adored the artwork. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series develops! Four stars!


  1. This looks really cool! I'll be adding it to my tbr. Great review!

  2. Ohh great review Erica I have been looking for manga reviews lately, because I just started too get into them myself just recently. And this one looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and I absolutely love the colors in the book. Thank you so much for the awesome post.