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Anya's Ghost is a single-issue graphic novel by Vera Brosgol. It features Anya: an insecure, dowdy teenager, born of Russian immigrants, who finds herself struggling with the day-to-day trials of highschool life, like her crush Sean and mouthy friend Siobhan. One day, she falls down an abandoned well and discovers the bones of a young girl who fell down there before her... As well as the ghost of said girl, still haunting the well she died in ninety years prior. The ghost, Emily, turns out to be pretty friendly, and the two eventually become good friends, as well as partners in crime. (Anya uses her invisible buddy to cheat on tests, keep watch while she's smoking and spy on classmates.) Of course, these sort of things rarely end well, and soon Emily proves more of a problem than a friend.

A lovely story about friendship, selfishness and maturity. Try the artist's blog for more information.

Tropes used in Anyas Ghost include:


  • Adorkable:
    • Dima.
    • Arguably also Emily. Before she snaps.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Emily seems to think so.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • A picture of a girl in a bikini is visible on the inside of Sean's locker when Emily sneaks into it to look up his schedule for Anya.
    • Preston tells Anya, "Your boobs look spectacular in that shirt" at Matt's party.
    • Avoided with little churchboy Dima.
    • Siobhan certainly thinks so.

 Siobhan: You have a crush on Sean? He's the kind of guy you crush on in a bad teen movie! Has he even talked to you?

Anya: Yes, he has!

Siobhan: Are you sure he wasn't just talking to your breasts?

  • Alpha Bitch: Averted and deconstructed with Elizabeth. If you are familiar with high school tropes you'll think she'll be one, however she doesn't have the trade mark meanness of an alpha bitch. Case in point, when Anya falls in gym she doesn't laugh at her and asks her if she is alright. It soon becomes obvious that Anya is the nasty one and she and the other girls are jealous of Elizabeth, for being pretty, athletic, intelligent, dating the hunky jock Sean, and being all around "prefect". However, when we get to the party we find out Sean likes to sleep around with other girls and Elizabeth knows about it. Not only does know she goes along with it. Why? She only feels good about herself if she and Sean are together and desperately wants to keep him in her life. All her positive traits mean very little to her and it only shows she probably has little to no self esteem. This also drives home the theme that everyone has problems.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The other kids picking on Dima. It's only seen for one panel, but it's enough to drive the message home.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Sasha.
  • Anti-Hero: Anya is a Type III/IV. She's definitely no angel: Who lies about her last name and ethnicity, conspires to steal the boyfriend of a girl who has never wronged her whilst playing nice to said girl, ditches her one friend the moment she finds another friend who acts subservient to her, and seriously believes that nerds and minorities have themselves to thank for being picked on? Why, our heroine of course.
    • She does show moral backbone when push comes to shove, though. She can't go through with having sex with Sean, out of pity for Elizabeth; apologizes to Siobhan when meeting up with her later; comforts Dima when he asks her how she manages to survive high school so well; and in the end stops lying about being Russian.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Sean turns out to be this when it's revealed that he makes out (possibly even sleeps) with other girls at parties for fun, even when Elizabeth knows about it.
  • Bitch Alert: Alot of what Emily says when her real personality starts appearing, the biggest indicator probably being her overall expression when she says "See you, hun."
  • Big Sister Instinct: Comes into play when Anya comforts Sasha after he's threatened by Emily.
  • Coming of Age Story: For Anya
  • Control Freak: "Highschool's pretty fun, but imagine how great college will be! Not that you'll be needing any more boy help pretty soon! How young do people get married nowadays? ...Well, we'll just have to find that out then, won't we?"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl
  • Cute Ghost Girl: She's more of a mousy, spindly kind of cute, but still distinctly adorable. Most of the time, anyway...
  • Dead to Begin With
  • Death by Falling Over: Emily died by falling down the well and breaking her neck.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire graphic novel is done in varying shades of black, white, and purple.
  • Delinquent Hair: The boy who rescues Anya from the well has a mohawk.
  • Disappeared Dad: Anya.
  • Dream Sequence / Imagine Spot:

 Sean: "Oh Anya, let's have an intense spiritual relationship for no believable reason!"

Anya: "Oh Sean, take me away!"

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