In the introduction to his just-released book 100 Ghosts, author and illustrator Doogie Horner examines why people are afraid of ghosts. "I think it's because ghosts say "boo," and people are afraid of criticism," he declares, before adding "but also because ghosts live in graveyards and are sometimes filled with spiders." Such offbeat insights about the spirit world make up the next 200 odd pages, a collection of illustrations of various types of ghosts. (100 in all, including, as can be glimpsed on publisher Quirk Books' webpage, the spirit of R2-D2). With a background as a graphic designer and comedian, Horner utilizes his skewed comedic perspective and whimsical drawing skills to present the spectral images of everything from the ghost of an undercover cop -- a sheet with eyeholes and a cheesy Serpico-esque mustache -- to Marilyn Monroe -- a phantasm hovering above a subway grate a la The Seven Year Itch. Along with the unexpected pop culture references, there's glimpses into the life of inanimate objects like hockey masks and plastic bags that manage to be funny and oddly moving. We are all going to die some day, but if the afterlife is as wacky as the one presented in 100 Ghosts, maybe we should take a cue from The Blue Oyster Cult and not fear the reaper after all.
100 Ghosts by Doogie Horner $9.95. Quirk Books.