Next month brings the release of the Ghostbusters: Artbook, a collection of outstanding artwork celebrating the original 1984 sci-fi comedy about four paranormal exterminators who end up saving New York City from a supernatural disaster of biblical proportions. Over 170 artists contributed a variety of interpretations of the characters, ghosts, gadgets and more from the iconic film, and Insight Editions provided us with an early look at the incredible spread of glossy artwork in the 208-page book.
There have been countless pieces of Ghostbusters artwork released over the years by the likes of Mondo, Gallery 1988, Hero Complex Gallery, and the Artist Alleys of pop culture conventions all over the world. However, every single piece in Ghostbusters: Artbook was created just for this release by artists from the world of animation, comic books, graphic design, fine art, and more, featuring a variety of styles that present the Ghostbusters and all their paraphernalia in wildly unique pieces.
Within Ghostbusters: Artbook, you’ll find a variety of alternate movie posters for the original Ghostbusters, paying tribute to iconic moments, scenes and characters. For example, above you can see how Dan Shearn (left) has created a poster that assembles all the Ghostbusters, the iconic logo, the proton streams, the Keymaster and Gatekeeper, Gozer’s gateway, and the hands of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, all in a style that resembles a military-style emblem that would make one hell of a tattoo. Meanwhile, Fiona McCall (right) used a similar symmetrical aesthetic, but used the electricity and light of the ghost trap to contain all of the Ghostbusters elements. It’s a little disappointing that Winston Zeddemore gets excluded here, as he frequently does, but the Ghostbusters were already formed before he came aboard, so we get it.
However, if you’re looking for art that ventures a little outside of the box when it comes to representing the Ghostbusters, this book has plenty of that too. For example, check out the otherworldly takes on the classic Ghostbusters logo and the signature ride of New York’s finest supernatural scientists below.
On the left, Rian Hughes has created a futuristic kind of Ghostbusters logo for 2020, almost as if the gang have still been in business after all these years. The names of all four of the original Ghostbusters are even listed, and there are even some Stay Puft marshmallow stickers slapped on their, as if the treat company has evolved with the times too. On the right, Alejandro Blasi delivered a piece that almost looks like concept art for Dan Aykroyd’s original, grand idea for the Ghostbusters being an intergalactic organization that took on demonic and supernatural threats throughout time and space. Each is incredibly unique, and unlike anything we’ve seen in Ghostbusters before.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of tributes to the classic elements of Ghostbusters too, just in extremely different artistic styles. Below you can see part of the spectrum with artists Mark Borgions (below right) and Erin Hunting (below left). One depicts the climactic battle between the Ghostbusters and Gozer the Gozerian in an art deco kind of style while the other takes a cartoonish approach to the ugly little spud known as Slimer, but not like the animated version we’ve seen in The Real Ghostbusters.
What makes Ghostbusters: Artbook such a delight are the notes from some of the artists scattered throughout. As you can see in the spread below, featuring two different takes on Gozer, artist Blair Sayer (right below) offers some insight into the creative process that went into determining what kind of tribute to Ghostbusters to put on the page. Others charmingly offer up their affection for Ghostbusters with anecdotes of watching the movie as a kid, owning the toys, drinking Ecto Cooler, and more. Busting makes them feel good, and the artwork within is evidence of that.
You might also notice that on the spread above, the other artist credited with a Gozer piece in this spread is Mckenna Grace. If that name isn’t on your radar yet, she’s one of the young leads in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife (which has unfortunately been delayed to March 2021. It would appear she’s Egon Spengler’s granddaughter, and she contributed this twisted take on Gozer with the specter’s most famous quote from the movie. She’s not the only young Ghostbusters fan who contributed to the book either, because Logan Hodges, nephew of featured artist Bob Rissetto also contributing some adorable scribbles of the Ghostbusters logo and the Stay Puft marshmallow man getting caught in proton streams and a ghost trap. But you’ll have to see that in the book.
Also within the high-quality pages of this tome, you’ll find beautifully drawn tributes to both Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis‘ characters, ranging from portraits that feel like they’re lifted off a heavy metal album cover to paintings that feel like they’re echoing the religious works of classic artists like Michelangelo. Gozer the Gozerian and her terror dogs in particular gets some wild interpretations, and Slimer has dozens of depictions that give some real attitude and energy to the green ghost.
If there’s one downside to Ghostbusters: Artbook, it’s that this isn’t an all-encompassing celebration of Ghostbusters. Though there are a couple pieces that make reference to Ghostbusters II, the sequel is otherwise completely out of sight and out of mind. The same can be said for The Real Ghostbusters, though there is some influence from the cartoon on a handful of illustrations. On top of that, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is nowhere to be seen at all, which feels like a real missed opportunity for there to be some artwork having the two teams joining forces in various art styles. It would have been nice if this was an overall celebration of Ghostbusters in general, perhaps even featuring a sneak peek at Ghostbusters: Afterlife in the form of some concept art.
Even with these shortcomings, this is a cool coffee table book for any Ghostbusters fan, and it’s a mesmerizing love letter to the original comedy that many have tried to duplicate, but few have succeeded in their efforts.
Ghostbusters: Artbook is available for pre-order right now for $35.99, and it will be released on May 19, 2020.
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