In a gorgeously illustrated 40-page book, cartoonist Peter Ricq introduces us to Ethan Alby in Ghost are People Too. Ethan is a charming little boy who loves playing with toys and his dog and spending time with his family — even though his family doesn’t actually know that he’s there.
“This book is a helpful guide to getting along with ghosts,” says Ricq. “Ghosts are people just like you and me, and they can be afraid of us just as much as we are from them. We should take the time to learn from one another and become friends. And, really, this should be applied with real living people and not only the supernatural.”
Despite the subject matter, Ghost are People Too is a far cry from Ricq’s other works, including Once Our Land and A King’s Vengeance, but that is a testament to the many facets of his creativity. From art direction, graphic design, film direction, music, and more, Ricq has expressed his talent in a myriad of ways. Here, he answers a few questions for WWAC about this particular work, which is now Kickstarting.
What is your personal experience with ghosts? Any interesting encounters you’d like to share?
Sadly no, no experiences here. Honestly, I don’t know if I’d be able to handle it, I might be too afraid. When hearing stories, I do believe it’s possible that people wouldn’t even know if they’ve encountered a ghost until they are somehow informed that that person was deceased a long time ago, meaning maybe we all have met a ghost but don’t know it. Ghosts aren’t transparent, they are there and real just like in The Shining and The Conjuring. I’m basing this off of “Real” ghost stories and my favorite films so really, what do I know. I listen to a lot of ghost stories, I love getting the chills.
What was your inspiration and why was it important to you to tell this story?
I think people, in general, are afraid of the unknown and don’t take the time to learn or see things from “their” angle. I wanted to educate readers that even ghosts are people and when they open that light in the hallway in the middle of the night, it’s because they too are afraid of the dark and not a mischievous thing.
Tell us a bit about your character design decisions. How did you determine the look and feel for Ethan and the story as a whole?
“Les chefs-d’oeuvres de l’epouvante” and “Gashlycrumb Tinies” were both big inspirations for the look of the book. I also love contemporary animation like The Amazing World Of Gumball, Clarence, and Gravity Falls and thought of merging those worlds into something special. I wanted Ethan to look like someone you’d trust, love, and want to share endless hours with. When you’re a ghost, you live forever so…
You can learn more about Ethan by checking out Ghosts Are People Too on Kickstarter.