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Sunday, 13 March 2016

REVIEW: "The Best pal he'll ever have"

The best view you'll ever have of this
strip would be by clicking to enlarge it.

After the comparative letdown that was "Rude", the Ghost Host gets his official début in this gorgeous strip where we also get a glimpse of other notable characters. 

The blasé, depressed Ghost Host is a very striking image. So much that you could miss some interesting background details. For instance, Goofy seems to be among the audience (as his trademark “H-yuck h-yuck !” can be heard, or rather read, in the upper right corner). And the Ghost Host's, well, being a ghost is referenced by the fact that he's slightly transparent (you can actually see some of the audience's silhouettes through his sleeves).

This narcissistic character is Master Dorian Gracey (the Mansion's take on the public domain protagonist on The Picture of Dorian Gray, with the family name tweaked to reference Imagineer Yale Gracey, who did most of the Mansion's special effect). Fan theories have made him the Master of the House, and maybe the Ghost Host's brother or nephew. Anyway, he is hilariously rendered here.

And here is the Hatbox Ghost, in a pose obviously meant to reference the earlier “Here there be ghosts”, and though we have not yet dived into his own story arc, what the deal with him is here is beginning to get clearer. He is apparently kept out of the Haunted Mansion, and the Ghost Host won't let him in, in spite of his endless vociferations and threats. Why ? The time has not come yet for me to reveal these answers to you, but if you really can't wait, a google search should provide you with all the clues you need.

And the punchline is, the only character he deems his friend in the whole Mansion is… himself (yes, for all you ignorants: the hanging corpse is supposed to be the Ghost Host's mortal body). Philosophically interesting, but though it surprised me, I must say it did fail to make me laugh the first time I saw it. But it's not a problem, because the hilariousness of the panels with the Hatbox Ghost and Master Gracey easily made up for it.

This is probably one of the best strips.

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