Archival Quality

illus. by Steenz. 280p. Oni. Mar. 2018. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781620104705.
Gr 9 Up—Desperate for a new job, Cel accepts a position as a live-in overnight archivist at a museum of medical history, despite reservations. When a ghostly figure from the museum's past begins haunting both her waking and dreaming life, Cel is driven to help the ghost while risking her job, her safety, and her mental health. Cel struggles with depression and anxiety and has been avoiding treatment since losing her previous job. In part through her research into the loathsome psychiatric remedies of the past, Cel realizes the importance of obtaining effective contemporary treatment. This horror story is more atmospheric than gory, aside from some bloody noses, and effectively creates an unsettling mood. The rich colors, comic interjections, and expressive features and gestures of Steenz's art add levity. The art also illuminates the characters' personalities, including Cel's stylish and skilled librarian supervisor, Holly; the awkward but dedicated curator Abayomi; and, of course, Cel herself.
VERDICT A character-driven, creepy, but ultimately hopeful ghost story for graphic novel collections serving teens and new adults.

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