When I make my comic purchase decisions, I stick mostly to the Big 2. I used to get Spawn, but lost interest after he killed the twins and became unto a god. I used to pick up Star Wars, but the expanded universe became too expanded for me and I couldn’t keep up with all the titles. I used to buy G.I. Joe, but after they re-launched and re-imagined it after only a few dozen issues for the umpteenth time in my life, I finally decided to relinquish my greenshirt status. But there is always one title that no matter what, I pick it up, and then have my heart broken when I find out it’s just a mini-series. Ghostbusters.
So this week I got my hopes up one more time when I saw something that could never possibly destroy us, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, on the cover of another IDW comic. But my hopes would again be dashed, as this time the comic was only the first of two Ghostbusters related parts of a massive IDW inter-brand arc called Infestation. And this made me start to think, why can’t the boys in gray who slug it out with pretty pesky poltergeists get their own regular monthly series?
Could IDW be waiting to see if Bill Murray decides to finally officially sign on board for a third Ghostbusters movie so Columbia Pictures can give it the final go ahead and then IDW in turn capitalizes on a popularity surge? Maybe, but does Ghostbusters really need that? And do you really want something like the possibility of a monthly comic hanging on the whims of Bill Murray? == TEASER ==
With Blu-ray sales, special edition releases, a hugely successful modern video game in 2009 (it sold 1 million units in its first four weeks of availability) and another downloadable one coming out in two weeks (Sanctum of Slime), you could argue that Ghostbusters has been cultivating its fan base pretty well for a while now. The best time to strike is while the iron is hot, folks.
If anything, the success of the video game gives even more reason as to why a monthly comic would work after the seeming success of comics based off games like Gears of War. I wouldn’t mind picking up a comic that centered around the rookie from the games working with the originals a little bit more and this would help to keep the title’s storylines fresh and introduce new characters into the canon. Or if you follow the plot of the game to the letter and have the rookie open up his own branch of the franchise in another city, you could actually have multiple Ghostbusters books at once as one follows the rookie and another follows the originals.
Not to mention that this in turn could create a way to write off Peter Venkman if need be so Columbia Pictures could move forward with the movie down the line and not have the fan base revolt too much. Make the rookie a wise-ass to replace him. He never talks in the games so he’s like a clean slate and the third movie was rumored to be about training replacements anyway.
Beyond the current worth of the franchise though, something that Ghostbusters has going for it that a lot of those other comic series have (except Spawn) that helps maintain them as moneymakers even today and has these independent comic publishers keep bringing them back over and over is the nostalgia factor.
A lot of my friends and I weren’t even born when the first Ghostbusters movie came out, and yet it is easily the movie we quote the most to each other and I always stop flipping through the channels on my TV when the movie is on Comedy Central. I didn’t know Arsenio Hall because of his late night show, I knew him because he played the voice of Winston in The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. I had a box of Hi-C Ecto Cooler in my Batman lunchbox everyday. I know I’m not alone in those facts so again I ask: After two decades, why can’t we have a monthly Ghostbusters comic? Do I need to tell someone about the Twinkie?
Of course, there is that elephant in the room of figuring out who would write a monthly Ghostbusters comic. We might need to consult Tobin’s Spirit Guide for this one, but with the gritty horror/mystery genre gaining steam with titles like Locke & Key and The Walking Dead, I’m sure there are some people who would be willing to experiment and strike a balance between the humor we’ve come to know and love from the Ghostbusters franchise with maybe a darker tone. Or how about just have the guys who have been doing all these mini-series do it full-time? I’ve enjoyed the mini-series and I think that’s why it is even worse when I know the end is coming so quickly.
And if a third movie doesn’t ever get made, which is the most likely scenario as sad as it is to say, you could have the script that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were working on converted into a comic book arc or even have them do a guest arc once every few years. Then again, I might have better luck catching a class 5 full roaming vapor with my bare hands on that one.
Let us know what you guys think. Would you want to see a monthly Ghostbusters comic? Or are you satisfied with these occasional mini-series? As a duly designated representative of the City, County, and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension and comment below! And yes, I am a god.