Preview: Sean Murphy’s B/W Pages for ‘Tokyo Ghost’

With apologies to Matt Hollingsworth, who will be colourist for this new Image series, I wanted to share the black and white pages for ‘Tokyo Ghost’ with you. Drawn by Sean Murphy, who has been racing through a hot streak ever since completing ‘Punk Rock Jesus’ and through into ‘The Wake’, Tokyo Ghost will be his next project and is to be written by Rick Remender.


A sci-fi story – as were seemingly all the books announced at Image Expo last week – this was described by Remender as being a mix between Judge Dredd and Akira. The solicitation says:

TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for.

Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the “law” enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines.” The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

The preview pages are a little graphic – just a heads-up on that.

tok1 tok2 tok3 tok4


Continuing on with his sketchy, angular sense of design and page composition, this sees Murphy cementing his particular style of comics once again. He’s certainly no stranger to the dystopian, but each of the various projects he’s worked on which feature a ‘city of the future’ have emphasised a different style of city. The Wake’s future landscape evoked a Waterworld-style crashed society, with buildings coated in seawater and rust; here we have a dirt-track Gotham City for the lead character to motor through on two wheels.

The characters are similar in style to his previous work – a little like David Finch, the men have sketchy, tensed-up faces whilst the women are clean and perfect – but there’s a realism in Murphy’s characterisation which matches him a notch above Finch, to my mind. His design, also, keeps him away from repetition between the various projects he works on. Whilst the guy whose face gets held up to a wall may look a lot like one of the characters from The Wake, the design of his outfit marks him as coming from a different world.

Murphy’s picking up an interesting body of work, moving from project to project with fresh acclaim each time. This looks to be no exception to that hot streak.

Tokyo Ghost is due for release in Summer of 2015.

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