With an acknowledgement to the cast and crew of “Janine Melnitz: Ghostbuster,” “Ghostbusters: Get Real” #1 gives readers a Ghostbuster-flavored “Flash of Two Worlds” experience like only Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening could provide. Mixing their history as “Ghostbusters” storytellers for IDW’s Ghostbusters with the “Real Ghostbusters” characters from the fan-favorite cartoon series, Burnham and Schoening bring Ghostbusters readers the comic book equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter: each Ghostbuster team is in good stead with these creators, both of who provide a brand-new, revitalizing experience.
The story opens with a brief explanation of the goings-on from the Ghostbusters’ logo ghost, only this is the cartoon version and his explanations are framed in vaguely-television-shaped panels. From there, “Ghostbusters: Get Real” #1 opens with a cartoon-based segment, complete with softer, watercolor-influenced backgrounds. Schoening uses different line widths here and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado follows Schoening’s lead, essentially giving readers a print version of a cartoon, lifted from the cartoon’s key frames.
Like the difference between DiC Enterprises cartoons and a Don Bluth-helmed animated feature, Schoening’s art transforms once the cartoon-based “real” Ghostbusters meet the live-action influenced Ghostbusters (and you thought time-travel was hard to describe!). The backgrounds take on more detail, the color palette more range and the Ghostbusters themselves receive stronger shading and wider effects as a result. Letterer Neil Uyetake misses an opportunity for some variation here, similar to the variance between the standard Marvel Universe lettering and that of the Ultimate Marvel Universe. However, Uyetake delivers consistency throughout the issue and keeps the balloons tightly appointed. His word balloon selections keep the artwork clean and set up as a nice visual finish for “Ghostbusters: Get Real” #1.
Readers are in for fun, unusual mental gymnastics, as the “real” Ghostbusters are the more cartoony characters while the caricatures are the Ghostbusters that are supposed to be “real.” Burnham also puts a credible threat in this comic, although it remains to be seen if that threat is legitimately suitable for two teams of Ghostbusters.
Burnham crafts some parallels between the two versions of the Ghostbusters and Schoening brings them to finish with his drawings. As the two teams face off, Burnham finds the right icebreaker to shatter the silence, at exactly the right point.
Extensive in exposition, “Ghostbusters: Get Real” #1 is a love letter to the cartoon series in particular and the Ghostbusters brand in general. Burnham, Schoening, Delgado and Uyetake have rich experience with the characters and they pack this comic full of evidence that that experience has nurtured. This comic should be well-received, as very few Ghostbusters comic fans would be totally unaware of the cartoon, but — for fans of the franchise — this comic is certain to become indispensable.