Sina Grace sees the beauty of being single. And he wants to share that vision with Ghosted in L.A.
In this new series from Boom! Studios, we follow the adventures of Daphne Walters, a Midwest girl-not-yet-woman who finds herself alone in Los Angeles. There, she’s forced to contend with the rigors of life away from family, the rigors of life in the City of Angels, and, of course, the rigors of being single. But as she begins to lose herself in the smoke of her existential peril, literal ghosts of the city arrive to help her find solid ground.
I sat down with at New York Comic Con a few weeks ago, and we talked about the single experience and how it relates to ghosts, the parallels between Ghosted and his previous works, and even some dating tips for the single among us.
Ghosted in L.A. #5 hits shelves on November 13.
AIPT: Okay. So my first question for you, well I should start off by saying that I’ve read all of Ghosted in L.A., I’ve read all of Iceman, everything is really wonderful. I’ve been following you since Self Obsessed.
But, my first question is in regards to Ghosted in L.A. What I’ve noticed from your prior books is that you often embed themes of self-actualization and finding yourself in much of the DNA of your work. We saw that in Iceman and we are seeing hints of it in Ghosted in L.A.. But what I loved about Iceman was you were dealing with the fallout that came with Iceman accepting himself and how it affected his daily life and his loved ones. I suspect you’re going to take a slightly different route in Ghosted in L.A. and I was wondering, without spoiling anything, can you give us a hint of where the story is going?
Sina Grace: I think Ghosted, is gonna go both ways in that our main character is younger and equipped with a different set of tools in terms of finding herself and being in the space to do that without much judgement. But also it’s great because it’s contrasted by her living in a house with people who have lived and died in completely different eras. So I’m going to be playing a lot with that in terms of kind of Daphne’s journey, and discovering [herself], and what she’s made of, and what she wants from this life – and putting that against you know, these people who may be much more in line with her than it seems at face value.
And it’s going to be nice, there’s going to be a wonderful coalescing of journeys and I think that’s the other difference between Iceman and Ghosts in that Iceman was very much focused on one person’s journey and Ghosted, I’m hoping, is an ensemble book and that we really get to learn about all of these characters and what makes them tick and why they’re still here and what they what they could have left to do on this Earth.
AIPT: Gotcha. And that’s actually a lead in for my next question. So what I what I loved about the book so far is that you choose ghosts. And whenever you see like a monster or supernatural figure in any sort of book, it often represents a more figurative dread versus a more literal one. So, why did you choose ghosts versus another type of entity?
SG: Ghosts are great because they’re intangible and they really do lend themselves well to the idea of metaphor. And in Ghosted in L.A., I’m definitely using them as a metaphor for single people. I have lived my entire life in apartment complexes, you know, I’m living in one right now. And, I just like look out my balcony and I see all these lives of literally single people and I just wonder what makes them tick and I love people so much.
And with that in mind, like, it’s so much fun because ghosts don’t carry the baggage that like vampires do and I can have as much freedom in terms of defining my own rules with the mythology. So I really, really get to play, again, with the metaphor of being single. That’s why readers are seeing that they have abilities because I don’t want it to be a bad take on it. I don’t want being single to be a bad thing. So, if you look at each of their abilities that kind of speaks to the benefit of being single. Like, you can go anywhere when you’re single, or you can kind of be anyone when you’re single because you’re not tied to someone else, or you can live anywhere when you’re single, or have any lifestyle you want – you could live alone and be a Hermit. So it’s just it just felt very freeing to work with ghosts as opposed to like vampires or werewolves. And I was like worried that it would be limiting to have them be incorporeal and now I’m finding the options limitless.
AIPT: Yeah, that’s definitely very insightful. I never thought of it like that. Guess why that’s you’re the writer. Another question I had is that you’re going with the vibe of small-town girl goes to a big city, gets kind of lost in it. You could have chosen any city you wanted – any reason why you picked L.A.?
SG: There’s two reasons. One is, unfortunately, is the very pragmatic, real-life thing. Anecdotally, the editor I’m working with, Shannon Waters – when we were talking about making a book together she was really attached to the notion of like doing a supernatural Melrose Place. Now I could have said that Melrose Place could be in San Francisco or New York, but I took the beat literally and I was like, oh yeah, I want to do a story about my city. I’m from LA and it gets a bad rap and I also think it just has an incredibly rich history and that we only focus on a couple aspects of it in terms of pop culture.
So and that’s why I was so excited to do it with ghosts because then, they’re looking at this city from different eras. And I did all these little things that don’t really matter to the reader but matter to me. Like in the second issue – The Matriarch Agee has a flashback and, I learned all this stuff about real estate in the 1920s and how people landscaped back then because I just wanted it to be true to history, and there’s a reason she’s holding a hummingbird feeder because hummingbirds feeders were really big in the 20s because people did a lot of flat bushes and rose bushes and stuff like that. So it was much more about open spaces.
So little things like that, I get to learn more about my city and then I get to put things in that I love about my city. And then I also get to like make fun of my city which I think is what makes any piece of like pop-fiction great. Like, you think about Sex and the City and how much people loved just the representation of New York in it or if you think about Tales of the City, San Francisco’s a living breathing creature in it. So it was my way of really kind of you know, tipping my hat to loving Tails of the City and all that and all those previously stated works.
AIPT: With all that said if there’s one thing you can leave your readers with who read Ghosted in L.A. One kind of lesson or message, What do you think it would be?
SG: I think I would just hope that people look at it. And because the question I’m asking in the book is “How do we live? How do you how do you live a life?” And I just want people to do anything. You know, I think if anything is perceived as bad in the book, it’s being led by fear or being led by inaction and I just want people to live their lives.
And you know, I think especially in comic books when I talk to people who are afraid to get started or afraid to finish a project because they’re afraid of failure or they’re afraid negative reviews or whatever it’s like – I think it’s just better to do that thing and say you did it. You know, it’s better to, I don’t know. There’s like really nice phrases out there about like, oh, you know the fail is to be or whatever. But yeah. I just I just want people to kind of like “live.”
AIPT: One last, kind of more fun, personal question if I may. As a fellow single jaded dater myself – any dating tips for your readers?
SG: I would say there’s a lot of value in just putting yourself out there in every way. Again, it goes back to you just gotta live. I got off dating apps and I have been super, super blessed to feel like I have been meeting dudes. Like that comes from my social groups, my book club that I’m in, going out, you know. And also for people who don’t want to drink, there’s other things you can do. Like I know my friends are in a dodgeball League and I’ve gotten dates just hanging out with them after dodgeball.
AIPT: Really? That’s awesome.
SG: Even Instagram, which is an app so to speak. I just think it’s about being open minded and reading the room. And the other thing that’s super important is being honest with your own intentions, like letting someone know I think of this as x, y, z instead of playing all CW like, like looking at them from afar then getting mad at them when they don’t look back kind of thing. Just be direct with your intentions and then, usually, you can move on. Like if they’re not into you can move on and have your bandwidth for someone who is ready to meet you, you know? Anyway, just keep on keeping on, keep fishing, and don’t don’t get hurt.
AIPT: Well, honestly with that said, I think you’ve convinced me to delete Bumble. Yeah.
SG: As long as you have access to just kind of expanding your social group or getting out there and talking to strangers, then by all means.
AIPT: Sounds like a plan.
SG: And you can always come back!
AIPT: That’s true. Yeah, that’s true. It’s Bumble, it’s always going to be there.
And I haven’t used Bumble ever since!
Have I had anymore like in the romance department. No, absolutely not. I still have glaring character deficits but it doesn’t change how much I enjoyed my conversation with Sina Grace.
Make sure you read Ghosted in LA with all of us here at AIPT and don’t sleep on Sina Grace’s prior work. You’ll never look at Iceman the same way again after you read Iceman and don’t you dare sleep on Self-Obsessed.