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"GIRL WITH CAMERA: A Ghost Story." Read all 300 pages of graphic novel by Joy Rip free online.

GIRL WITH CAMERA: A Ghost Story is the new graphic novel by author and artist Joy Rip. It is the haunting, disturbing story about the last one hundred pictures found on the camera of a missing girl - a girl with great ambitions of becoming a world-recognized photographer and photojournalist.

Paperback available on Amazon.

"GIRL WITH CAMERA" is a visual odyssey in the form of an experimental ghost story. This ghost story creates a more lasting haunting experience for the reader by using the graphic novel to examine the ghostly fragmentary nature of all stories, all storytelling, and the ends to which we will go with our minds to create a sense of connection, a sense of connectedness, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, a sense of destiny and well-being in a hostile, disorderly, lonely, violent universe.

In this graphic novel, the structure and genesis of storytelling is broken down into fragmentary words and pictures in order to examine how our thirst for meaning, for stability, cohesion, consistency and continuity in our lives creates a logic of its very own —a logic supplied by both reader and author— that brings (imaginary or real) order to chaos and gives a sense of permanence to our existence where none may in fact exist.

Thus, a story, is born.

A girl goes missing. A photographer just disappears. Almost without a trace. Except for 100 pictures she (may have) left behind on her camera. A story is born. This is a ghost story about stories. About the origin of stories. About the need for telling stories. About the taming of chaos. About the conquest of fears. About the creation of immortality (i.e., continuity) out of image and logic and pain.

Immortality? Yes. Storytelling is all about continuity. And every sense of continuity we create, perceive, imagine and desire is fundamentally a sense of immortality at bottom. The desire to live forever.. the desire to go on forever.. is woven into every story.. even those with a beginning, middle and end. The creation and perception of stories with beginnings, middles and ends are not attempts to mimic the painful changes and violent abruptness that punctuates life. It is an attempt to cheat death by experiencing many lives.. living many lives.. cramming more life into the painfully short one you have by telling many stories.. one story after another.

Every story is attempting to tell the never-ending story. Whether it be the never-ending story of immortality or the story of "the never-ending search for happiness," who can tell?

Every storyteller's primal purpose —the primary aim— is to cheat death and unhappiness.

"There is a reason for everything. Why yes! A good reason for everything that happens." This is the story every story tries to tell. Even the story that says it's not so. This is why artists instinctively rebel against storytelling. Going deeper into the image to find or lose themselves in the image. When we desperately want to know, sometimes any story will do if it returns the mind to an undisturbed peace that no longer needs to know: a mind that no longer bears the painful burden of being in the fearful dark.. and knowing it. And when no story will do, no logic persuades, we search for satisfaction amongst the ruins of reason, escaping into the strange untamed soils/lands of aesthetics.

Danny Heitman writes "The Best beach books are what all good writing should be — a call to attention; a sense of mystery; a raised alertness to what is permanent.. and what is transitory."

Don't let the thickness of this book fool you. Joy Rip's 300-page graphic novel GIRL WITH CAMERA: A Ghost Story is a breezy read.

But it is a haunting read. It haunts with paintings and words that set a host of ghostly anonymous figures against vast, empty, abstract spaces, stimulating impressions of expansive desert flats, infinite seaside seascapes, rolling dunes and roiling waves, all conceived as sun drenched wastelands and wondrous beauty.

Paperback available on Amazon.

Grady Harp (LA, CA): Amazon's Top Reviewer of the arts reviews the paperback edition of GIRL WITH CAMERA: A Ghost Story.
"Joy Rip's work is splendid because it is so very engaging and so trusting that the reader will participate in the process. "
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"Girl With Camera" graphic novel by Joy Rip