A Ghost In The Engine

Danny Djeljosevic writes;

Hi. My name’s Danny Djeljosevic (a.k.a. Danny D) and I write The Ghost Engine, a webcomic about a supercool art thief named Becky Chapel, an uncouth reality TV bounty hunter named Geoffrey Price, and the ghosts who live inside their heads — respectively, a 19th century English secret agent of the weird and a 19th century Russian occultist. All of this relates to The Ghost Engine, a machine located in the catacombs of Paris that creates a gateway to the spirit world — at a very fatal price.


The artist of The Ghost Engine is Eric Zawadzki (a.k.a. Eric Z, a.k.a. Eric a.k.a. Possum Jenkins), who I met through the Digital Webbing forums in 2008. He was a previously published artist looking for a Joss Whedon-like writer, I was a newbie scribe obsessed with Veronica Mars, which is as Joss Whedon-like as you can get. Our first collaboration didn’t go so well — he, uh, dumped me, but it was his concept and thus totally his call — but we got into contact a year later. Eric had a new idea he was cooking up — a four-issue miniseries about a criminal and a lawman with the opposite forces working in their minds.

Because I’m me, I took that concept and twisted it more, making the criminal a likable hero and the lawman the antagonist and a bit of a lout. While The Ghost Engine sounds incredibly high concept, the focus has always been on the characters. They were the driving force behind the whole concept, and at some point I figured that their backstories had to play heavily into the current narrative — at least in explaining who they are and why they do what they do. So the majority of The Ghost Engine features Lost-type flashbacks where we slowly learn about who our central characters were in the years before they had ghosts occupying space in their brains. Don’t worry, there aren’t any arbitrary near-run-ins or nonsensical conclusions. I know y’all are still mad at Lost.

It took us a few years to get The Ghost Engine completely finished, what with comics being a (mostly) extracurricular activity for the both of us, but once the majority of the series was illustrated we decided to put the whole thing online as a webcomic in mid-2012 to show off our skills and our ability to finish a project, not to mention build an audience. We’ve gotten some nice feedback and comments on the site from people we don’t know personally (always a good sign), but could always use more eyes in front of it, especially as we’re set to kick off our fourth and final issue.

Chapter 4 of The Ghost Engine begins January 2013 with new pages on Mondays and Fridays. You can catch up on the previous three issues right now at theghostengine.com. Once the series concludes we’ll run a Kickstarter campaign to print a hardcover of the complete Ghost Engine with lots of cool extra features (including a bonus story!), so look forward to that.

Eric and I are already hard at work with our follow-up series, Panic Kids. In the meantime, Eric’s got a short story with Comeback writer/superchill bro Ed Brisson called “The Harvest” over at Challenger Comics and is set to blow up any day now. I’ve got some big things poppin’ too, but I can’t talk about anything yet.

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