Re/Read: Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull

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Re/Read is a regular feature by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid focusing on books worthy of closer scrutiny. With Halloween season fast approaching, we’ll look again at the exquisitely spooky opus Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull.

Ghosts and Ruins contains meticulously rendered drawings of haunted dwellings and the otherworldly creatures that inhabit them. An atmospheric narrative accompanies each image, revealing the mysterious circumstances of the illustrations. In this attractive hardcover volume, Catmull mines similar territory to his acclaimed comic book Monster Parade. Freed from the conventions of sequential comix, this work evokes the sinister charm of Edward Gorey, with a nod to the Brothers Grimm, medieval folklore, and early American Gothic. In the words of his colleague Renée French, “This book is a velvet nightmare you never want to wake from.”

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Pick up a signed copy of Ghosts and Ruins, as well as other terrifying tales at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale St., only minutes south of downtown Seattle in the heart of the historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-658-0110.