ghostbusters get real

The Crossrip Chats "Get Real #4" and Beyond with Dan Schoening

Another jam-packed episode of the Interdimensional Crossrip podcast hit the airwaves this morning. First up, a brief tribute to a fallen friend Ryan Kemp by Chris, then the latest news, and an interview with Ryan Doell and IDW Comics artist Dan Schoening. With the New York Comic-Con 2015 all wrapped up, we fittingly have a double-stuffed show to talk quite a bit about IDW's Ghostbusters Get Real and its conclusion.

Also this week: brand new Ghostbusters shoes, Michael C. Gross Day and appreciation, that Rick Moranis interview that everyone is talking about, a new Paul Feig interview where he discusses casting Chris Hemsworth, LEGO Dimensions, Anovos is going to be selling Ghostbusters-related props, oh and there might be a Ghostbusters animated film in the hopper?

Listen to the episode here on the HQ, subscribe through iTunes, listen on Stitcher, or use your podcasting app of choice and subscribe to our RSS feed!

Fritz Babbles About Ghostbusters Get Real #1

Long-time friend of Ghostbusters HQ, Fritz Baugh has been kind enough to chime in with his thoughts on the IDW Comics series from time to time. We turn the floor over to Fritz for his insight on the latest offering, Ghostbusters Get Real #1. Spoilers are abound in his thoughts, so if you haven't read the issue, you're warned to steer clear...

Hey folks. Long time, no see.  

As much as a loved the first Ghostbusters movie from the moment I saw it, it wasn't until 1986 that I became the kind of Ghostbusters superfan that would one day be christened "Ghosthead." I was fifteen in the fall of 1986; a lot of people my age were "outgrowing" cartoons, and considering most of the preachy, formulaic crap that inundated Saturday Morning I couldn't really blame them. I preferred to sleep in most of the time. Then came the morning of November 1st, 1986.

I was wandering in and my brothers were watching a show with... well, vaguely anime-esque looking guys wearing flight suits and proton packs. "It's the new Ghostbusters cartoon," they tell me. Holy cow, really? But none of them look like Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd! The flight suits are different colors! One of them sounds like Garfield! Good grief, Harold Ramis's character is blond! At least they remembered Ernie Hudson's character existed, they seemed to forget about him in a lot of the promo material. Ah well, it's Saturday Morning, this will probably be really watered down and stupid... I'll just sit down and pick apart the nonsense...

Except it wasn't watered down, stupid, or nonsense. As time would reveal, that episode-- "When Halloween Was Forever"-- was one of the best of the series. The show was called "The Real Ghostbusters" for reasons that could take up an article of its own, but a team of top-notch writers led by J. Michael Straczynski (later of Babylon 5) and a crew of voice actors that rivaled the comic chemistry of their movie counterparts (including, yes, the late Lorenzo "Garfield" Music) took the cinematic outline and created a full-blown world that didn't talk down to its audience the way practically every other cartoon of the day did. That would change, as many of you well know, but let's not dwell on that-- those early days were magic. I was hooked for life.

To this day, and I know I'm in a minority, I still see the Ghostbusters world through the filter of the animated series. You don't find too many pictures of Bill Murray on my web site, but you do see quite a few of that guy who sounded like Garfield in 1986.

So the last dozen years have been... mixed. Almost all of the "revival" products of 2003 and beyond have been aimed more toward the movie-only paradigm, albeit with a few, to use a phrase, "fun nods" to the cartoon here and there-- like the Containment Unit in both 88MPH and IDW's series, the "New Ghostbusters" wearing the RGB colors, IDW Janine's haircut and her dating a guy who looked exactly like Extreme Ghostbusters Egon, and the loads of visual in-jokes and callbacks that artist Dan Schoening packs into every story he does.

Well, as much as I loved the IDW ongoing series (thirty-six issues of awesome) and the crossover with those pizza-eating Turtles (I wonder if Donnie is now wishing he'd stayed on IDWGB Earth?) the announcement of a crossover between the IDW Ghostbusters and the animated Ghostbusters had me over the moon.  MY Ghostbusters were coming back to comics!  And now, I finally have Ghostbusters Get Real #1.

In a very specific tie-in to the RGB storylines, it takes place during a favorite episode of mine, "Janine Melnitz: Ghostbuster". It first aired in syndication in 1987; it's the 48th episode in the DVD set, and the thirty-fifth by air date. It features Janine in a strong performance, where she basically has to bail the Ghostbusters out of trouble all by herself when they run afoul of the Greek god Proteus. Ironically though, RGB Janine doesn't actually appear in this comic outside the profile picture on page 1.

We see the Ghostbusters running around town stopping the ghosts that Proteus' activities have stirred up. In Schoening's penchant for in-jokes, a woman who looks a lot like Dahlia from "Moaning Stones" (Claudia) is being menaced by a ghost that looks a lot like Madame LaFarge from "Drool, the Dog Faced Goblin" (Natasha). The Ghostbusters catch Natasha, and Claudia promises to help them one day.

That day turns out to be today-- as we see in the episode, right before the commercial break, the statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center comes to life and zaps the Ghostbusters away. We find them later in the episode imprisoned by Proteus. But as we find out, they had a much longer trip to get there than we ever knew. Claudia apparently knows some magic, and cast a protective charm that took the Ghostbusters out of Proteus' control. Proteus shows up at Claudia's place, and he's pissed. She didn't know where the Ghostbusters have gone, so he turns her into a bird, perhaps hoping that Claudia's cat Hollis delivers what Proteus no doubt considers a more amusingly ironic ending that him just blasting her to atoms. (I loved how Hollis is the long lost twin of Phineus Eventide's cat Tarantula. Dan hasn't done too many callbacks to the NOW Comics series, but Tarantula and Eventide were two of the more memorable characters.)

Artistically, unsurprisingly in light of the variant cover of V2 #8 (or as I prefer to call it, GB #24), Dan Schoening and Luis Delgado completely nail the look of the animated Ghostbusters. It's so on-model it could be mistaken for a "cine-story" made out of animation cells.

So what happened to the Ghostbusters?

They pop up back outside Ghostbusters Central, but things look... off to them. Janine's there, but she's messing with something in her desk and neither she nor the four Ghostbusters notice that each looks... different than each is used to. (Janine, you see, has changed her hair again--ironically, in the ongoing series she sported a haircut patterned off the RGB 1986 one, but I guess to make her more "different" IDW Janine has reverted to one closer to GB1).

The Ghostbusters go upstairs and everything's been moved around.  Slimer is in the observation tank; they let him loose and he goes nuts, and Egon points out that it may not be Slimer. Well, it's not the same Slimer-- this Slimer was never domesticated the way RGB Slimer was, and add in after-effects of the mandala (GBVG) and Idunas (GB#2) he's a lot more feral. They zap him, and to add to the confusion the real owners of the place get home-- four guys who look like the law firm that starred in their movie, but not close enough to get sued for violating likeness right restrictions.

Having just finished their crossover with the Ninja Turtles, the IDW Ghostbusters figure out pretty quick that they're having cross-dimensional visitors once more. The two teams of Ghostbusters look over the transdimensional gate, and RGB Ray immediately wants one. Good news, Ray: you eventually build one (See: "Egon's Ghost", "Egon On The Rampage", "The Copycat", and NOW's "The Father Thing Trilogy" in Real Ghostbusters Issues #9-11). But that's all in the future for you.  (Even though, according to production order, "Egon On The Rampage" has already happened, or in air date order "Egon's Ghost" was the very last episode. Oh shut up, Fritz.)

Just about then, Janine busts into the basement and gets a shock-- because of RGB Egon's resemblance to her ex-boyfriend Roger. (Well, a younger Roger. He looked like EGB Egon, remember?) I really hope this comes up in conversation between both Egons. It probably won't, because this is exactly what Egon hates talking about in any universe, but I can hope.

So eight Ghostbusters are going on a bust. But was we well know from the cut scenes, Proteus is looking for them.

It's gonna be a long commercial break.

New Episode of the Interdimensional Crossrip Podcast for July 13, 2015

The all-new second edition of the Ghostbusters Interdimensional Crossrip podcast has hit the interwebs and is ready for consumption by your ear holes!

In this edition (which unfortunately was recorded mere hours before the above group photo was released to the world), Troy and Chris discuss the new Ectomobile design, talk Ghostbusters (2016) casting, spend some time diving into IDW's Ghostbusters: Get Real #1, and compare notes on just how much money they each spent on the Cryptozoic Ghostbusters Board Game Kickstarter campaign.

You can listen online/download the podcast here on GBHQ, or better yet - be like the cool kids and subscribe via iTunes so that you get to hear each podcast the moment it's posted online.


Get Ready to Get Real Tomorrow

Just a gentle reminder that the IDW Ghostbusters/Real Ghosbusters crossover Ghostbusters: Get Real hits your local comic shop and online stores tomorrow! The official solicitation gives only a few details of the story reading: "When a confrontation with the elder God Proteus goes awry, Peter, Ray, Winston and Egon will meet... THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS!" But writer Erik Burnham was kind enough to give GBHQ a small sneak peek through a quick interview on the day the project was announced.

Definitely looking forward to giving the series a read, look for more here on GBHQ (possibly even an infamous Fritz-review) in the future!

Erik Burnham Chats The Ghostbusters Getting "Real" in New IDW Comic

Worlds will collide.

Solicitations in Previews and a social media announcement today revealed the IDW Ghostbusters are about to meet up with their Saturday morning counterparts, The Real Ghostbusters for a four issue mini-series titled, "Ghostbusters Get Real".

Written by Erik Burnham, with art by Dan Schoening and Luis Delgado, the series will re-team the same creatives from the popular IDW on-going series. The first issue will hit comic shops June 17th, and series writer Erik Burnham was kind enough to take time to discuss with Ghostbusters HQ.

GBHQ: Were any seeds planted for this cross-over in Mass Hysteria or any of the other runs? If they haven’t already read ‘em (and let’s be honest, they should have) should readers go back and revisit some of the previous issues as a primer leading up to June?

Burnham: Not directly; though we had considered the possibility in place of a TMNT crossover (if Nickelodeon had passed). That said, the Interspatial Teleportation Unit in the TMNT/GB crossover should take some pressure of the Ghostbusters (Real and otherwise) -- they have a direct way home. OR DO THEY? (He says with a smile).

GBHQ: The creative team has been peppering in quite a few Real Ghostbusters visual in-jokes and references throughout your run at IDW, will any of those come into play as these worlds collide?

Burnham: I did think of one way to tie those easter eggs in. I may not wind up with the page space to make it explicit; if it comes down to that, though, I'll share with everyone in the backmatter.

GBHQ: How, if at all, did the success of the TMNT/Ghostbusters cross-over impact this four issue series?

Burnham: TMNT/GB was a bonafide HIT. Issue #4 even outsold issue #3, which is RARE. A hit makes it easier to do another one. (So obviously, I hope Get Real also does well!)

Plug: Pre-Order, please! APR150362 is Dan's cover (which interlock with #2-#4) and APR150363 is a variant by Erica Henderson (of Squirrel Girl fame!) /plug

GBHQ: What are some of the challenges or pitfalls of cross-over stories, and how do you avoid some of those issues?

Burnham: Crossovers have certain expected elements. Some are cliche (because they work so well they're practically a shorthand). Readers both do and don't want to see some of these cliches. I try to spin that stuff on its ear when I can. 
It comes down to a way to get characters together, a way to put the toys back in the box, and something for them all to do in between. (Sometimes that's a fight, sometimes it's a chat.)
In this case, we had an easy way to get everyone together from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon itself: folks, go watch "Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster" and you'll see some clues as to how this story comes to pass (we flesh it out from other angles on the page, so it won't totally spoil the comic!).

GBHQ: Between the years with the on-going and these additional series, how have you, Dan and Luis developed a shorthand in your production process?

Burnham: If someone has a different idea now, they'll often just DO it (they'll mention it to me if it requires writing tweaks!). We do have that trust. (Any shorthand may also be because the guys prefer shorter emails from me.) I used to see every version of every page. Now, I see layouts and then the final proof, nothing in between.
Seriously, Dan & Luis are fantastic, and don't think I'm not aware how fortunate I am to have worked with - and still be working with - these two. They work harder to make sure every page is better than the last.

GBHQ: TMNT, Ghostbusters, X-Files, Simpsons, Galaxy Quest, and now The Real Ghostbusters, you’re getting to explore some of the most beloved characters and franchises in pop culture. What is it that you love the most about getting to play in all these sandboxes?

Burnham: The fact that they keep letting me! Seriously, this is what I've wanted to do my ENTIRE life, and to enjoy every project as much as I have (from Venkman to Homer to Wolverine). I am seriously pinching myself over this, and lucky in my collaborators.

GBHQ: Thanks for your time, can’t wait to read ‘em!

Burnham: Thanks, Troy!

GBHQ's thanks to Erik Burnham for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Burnham can be seen later this month at the Emerald City Comic-Con March 27-29.