The ghost stories that ghosts tell.” That’s how writer Cullen Bunn describes his latest horror anthology series Ghostlore, on sale now from BOOM! Studios. In Ghostlore, a variety of art teams, a new one per issue, illustrate Bunn’s tale of Lucas and Harmony Agate, who are given the ability to communicate with ghosts following a near-death experience. Each of these ghosts have their own tales they want to be known. How these ghosts and their stories impact Lucas and Harmony and vice versa is part of the hook and mystery of Ghostlore. Known for a whole host of supernatural comics, from Harrow County to Dark Ark to The Unsound and so many more, Bunn has crafting these types of tales down to a science, but delivers stories that always feel fresh and never rote.

Mr. Bunn spoke with me before the debut issue of Ghostlore about the conceit of Ghostlore, how the anthology series took shape, how the book leans into apocalyptic supernatural horror, and the fun and the challenge of writing the ghost stories told in the series.

Just as with his other horror works, Ghostlore does not disappoint. Each ghost story is compelling in its own right, but add to the overall narrative Bunn and the creative team are crafting. Fans of the strange and the macabre and the unsettling are doing themselves a disservice is they don’t check out Ghostlore.

*Editor’s note: This interview was conducted in March 2023. The file became corrupted and was only recently been made available to open. We apologize for the lateness of this interview.



FreakSugar: For folks who are reading this, what is the idea behind Ghostlore?

Cullen Bunn: Ghostlore is a comic that plays on a couple of different levels.

The first level is the story of Lucas and Harmony Agate. After a terrible accident in which they almost die, they gain the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. These ghosts are desperate to tell their stories, desperate for anyone to listen to them. And as they tell their stories, they become tethered to our world, and once that happens, they can interact with their surroundings physically. Harmony and Lucas have the ability to help these spirits cross over, but they have very different approaches. They also discover that they are not the only people who can interact with ghosts, and there are those among them who have insidious plans.

The other level of the comic surrounds the stories themselves. Each issue, we will see one of the stories depicted by a different art team.

So, we have the main continuing story as well as different anthology style horror tales.



FS: The concept is ingenious and something I’ve never considered. What was the inspiration behind the book?

CB: I’ve always loved anthology comics, and I’ve dipped my toe into that arena a few times, and that definitely fueled the fire on this one. Also, I wanted something cool and different. I felt like I did very different styles of stories in Bone Parish and Basalisk. I wanted whatever came next to fill like it belonged on the shelf along with those books, but it also was its own thing. Completely unique. One day, a title popped into my head. “Real Enough to Cast a Shadow.” That title was the biggest inspiration for the story to come. What did it mean? What kind of story would I tell under that banner? The wheels simply wouldn’t stop turning. The title changed over time. (It’s still with me and I’ll use it at some point.) But that’s where the story started.

FS: Were there any stories that formed whole cloth when developing the series?

CB: Oh, for sure!

As I was working on the main outline for the series, numerous stories just started popping into my head, some of them fully formed, some of them a little more amorphous. The writing of the stories was sometimes a challenge, though, because I’m only giving myself 5 pages for each of them.



FS: You have become known for your novel approach to the supernatural. What draws you to writing these types of tales?

CB: I’m particularly drawn to the idea of the supernatural world infringing on the natural world, and I love exploring how these incredible and unbelievable happenings might upturn, impact, and illuminate the all too human lives we all live. You’ll see that Lucas and Harmony are going through some things in the first issue, really struggling with one another, and that’s before that start seeing ghosts. The supernatural twist in their world just makes the issues so much more prevalent and important.

FS: How many of these ghost tales do you have in mind? Do you have plans for further Ghostlore installments after this run?

CB: We’re doing an initial 12-issue run, similar to how we presented Bone Parish and Basalisk. That will tell a complete story, as well as a dozen shorter horror tales. Could the story go beyond that? Well, of course, assuming anyone survives and reader support and interest is there!



FS: Were there any particular ghost-storytelling traditions that you drew on when crafting the book?

CB: One of the things I love about this series is I can lean into all types of ghost stories. I can draw from many different styles of horror storytelling. Some of the stories are quiet and chilling. Some of them are outlandishly horrifying. Some of them are quirky and humorous. And the main story is firmly rooted in the idea of apocalyptic supernatural horror, so I spend some time there, too! I love all the different flavors of horror stories, and I’m excited that I get to dance in all of them.

FS: Will there be any overarching story that connects these tellings?

CB: The individual stories will stand on their own, but there is a reason for their telling and there are themes in each that bleed into the main epic.

FS: If you had once last pitch for the book, what would it be?

CB: This is a series that explores the ghost stories that ghosts tell.

Ghostlore Volume 1, collecting issues #1-4, and Volume 2, collecting issues #5-8, are on sale now from BOOM! Studios. Volume 3, collecting issues #9-12, will be on sale October 1, 2024.

From the official description of Volume 1:

What ghost stories do ghosts tell, and what can they tell us about ourselves? An estranged daughter and her father wander a haunted land; they only have the restless spirits, each with its own story to tell, as company along the way. After a deadly accident of which they are the only survivors, Lucas and Harmony Agate can see the dead–an overwhelming amount of the deceased, all with their own warnings, cries for help, and malevolence alike. But Lucas and Harmony aren’t the only ones with this ability; there are other nearly-deads, some of which have malicious motivations… Cullen Bunn of Basilisk and The Empty Man acclaim is joined by artist Leomacs (Basketful of Heads), bringing readers the most eye-opening spectral story since The Sixth Sense! Collects Ghostlore #1-4.

From the official description of Volume 2:

Harmony and Lucas have split apart, driven to separate paths after the tension between them grows.

Harmony wishes to help the ghosts she encounters, and Lucas is fearful, ready to battle them off. After parting ways, each will have to take a different path in the hope of finding Emily’s ghost.

Now each of them will be put to the test in ways they never imagined; can they reunite despite their differences and face a growing, imminent threat?

Collects Ghostlore #5-8.

From the official description of Volume 3:

The final volume of the frightening and mystifying story from The Empty Man writer Cullen Bunn, for fans of The Sixth Sense and The Stand.

Two survivors. Two prophets. Two quests. Countless stories. Do the dead tell ghost stories? Lucas and Harmony certainly know, as their long journeys apart converge in the final chapter, and they finally face Shane once and for all. All across the earth, a storm gathers, and Shane finally catches up with the Family and Harmony, but his new goals could prove deadly. Harmony finds herself in peril, but a ghost from her past may help her through. Lucas finally sees who his daughter is–and has been–all along. What will Lucas and Harmony have to sacrifice to win, as they discover that Shane is in fact more than he seems? Celebrated writer of The Empty Man and Basilisk Cullen Bunn is joined by acclaimed artist Leomacs (Harley Quinn) to bring this haunting adventure to its restful conclusion. Collects Ghostlore #9-12.