Comments for Ghostbusters: Total Containment
Ghostbusters: Total Containment: 08/14/14
I am, as I've admitted many many times, terrible at reading series in order. Whatever special sense most bibliophiles have that a new series is starting, and what order books in said series are published (or will be published), I don't have it. Even if I am a diehard fan of franchise, I'm still oft-times clueless!
Take for instance the Ghostbusters comic by Erik Burnham that started a few years ago. I only just heard of it last fall with the release of a partial egalley of Volume 5 of the omnibus version. I loved the story and, though I wanted to read more, it sort of slipped out my mind until earlier this year. I was at my local indie, The Book Shop of Hayward and noticed on the hold shelf, a giant omnibus with a gorgeously drawn containment center. I recognized it immediately and just as quickly had them order a copy for me!
So — Ghostbusters: Total Containment by Erik Burnham is an omnibus of omnibuses, featuring volumes 1-4 (which in turn feature the first sixteen issues of the comic). These are stories that lead up to the disappearance of the original Ghostbusters.
I'm not going to try to describe the epic amount of plot that happens in 430 pages (counting the back of book awesomeness, and various side stories). Let's just say that for people (like me) who grew up watching the movies and the cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters, The first two volumes (or eight issues) fills in the gaps between the films and the cartoon. Sure, there's enough inconsistency between them to make the task a daunting one, but Erik Burnham does a very satisfying job.
But he also makes improvements by picking and choosing the best character traits from the movie and cartoon versions of these characters. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II were rated PG because of their sophomoric humor, with a lot plot filler coming in the form of idiotic sex jokes. The Real Ghostbusters (now rated TV Y7) was pretty much a G rated cartoon — meaning that there was no obvious T. and A. humor (though Janine's utter romantic fascination with Egon was explored in nearly every episode). To fill the gaps left by removing the sex gags, there was actual world building.
Erik Burnham has kept the world building from the cartoon and expanded up on, extending out threads back to the movies. The characters in the comics aren't as sophomoric as their film counterparts but they are still more adult than their cartoon ones. Egon remains the engineer and pragmatist, Ray is the information gatherer, Peter is the guy who gets the jobs and funding, Winston is the bravest, and Janine is the glue.