“Chinatown” is a unique ghost story with a lot of heart and character. It’s an enchanting look at old and new. It mixes the every day with the supernatural. And it has a distinctive vision. The thing to keep in mind about this 126-page graphic novel is that you’ve been invited to explore a subculture and the creators are not holding back. You’ve been invited into someone’s home and you’re having dinner and staying for a nightcap and chatting throughout the night. That’s what this work feels like.
The Sun brothers have found a sweet spot or two in how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Yes, this is one of those Kickstarter success stories. It’s really cool how Kickstarter has made such a positive impact for so many talented people, and just the comics community alone has been reshaped by the support. Would “Chinatown” have gotten published the way the creators of this book had intended without that help? Yes. It would have inevitably have happened but, given all the factors involved, who can say when that would have happened. Maybe it would have been years down the road. Thankfully, the Sun Bros, writer Wesley Sun and artist Brad Sun, don’t have to wait a lifetime to get their shot at moving forward with their creative pursuits.
The ghost story is a very ambiguous one here. It’s better that way as it really manages to haunt you after reading it. You feel the despair and struggle these characters have with their own issues. It’s when a neighborhood girl goes missing that it seems everyone has reached their breaking point. The local Chinese community comes together without any hope of solving a crime but, at least, they can try to console themselves and still, despite it all, hope. Their is a mixture of bitter pessimism and reliance on supernatural forces at work here that is truly fascinating. This is a brilliant story and beautifully rendered.