Ghostbusters Scribe Erik Burnham Talks About Relaunching the Beloved Series!

Tuesday, Feb 12th, 2013

One of the biggest perks of working at IDW is that not only do we get an advance look at some of our biggest upcoming titles, we can also ask the creators about what we just read!  We can't lie - the 15 year olds inside of us are turning cartwheels that our grownup selves get do this. Anyway, we just read this week's The New Ghostbusters #1 and hit up Erik Burnham with some of our most pressing questions about the re-launch of the beloved series.  Check it out!


With the mysterious disappearance of the Original Ghostbusters team, who are their replacements, and are they adequately qualified for the job?

The replacements are Janine Melnitz, Kylie Griffen, Special Agent Melanie Ortiz, and Ron Alexander, all of whom have qualities and skills that make them uniquely suited to replace the originals; this is something we look at right away in issue one. For example, why allow a secretary to do this when you could pull from, say, NYPD or FDNY? Melanie's skills as a law enforcement officer may translate a little more easily, Kylie knows the weirdness of the world, and Ron - thanks to his earlier corporate espionage - has direct experience working on and maintaining the technology.


What sets The New Ghostbusters apart from the Original Ghostbusters, and what are some things we can expect from this new ensemble?

The originals (not counting Winston) knew each other for YEARS before they ever strapped on a proton pack. They're friends, and with that comes a lot of shorthand and comfort. Through the shared experience of world-saving, Winston's definitely been brought into that pack as well. With the new group... Janine is familiar with Kylie, but they're not necessarily friends. Mel knows the guys - and is kept in touch with Peter after the Ghostbusters' stop in New Mexico - but she's just one step shy of a stranger. And Ron? He's an abrasive jerk. There's a different kind of dynamic there. These people will be friendly-ish with each other because they're coworkers, but they aren't automatically on the same page as the originals.


How will this unfamiliarity affect their ability to work as a team? Is there a clear leader, or will there be power struggles happening? 

Janine winds up as the closest that this group has to a leader-figure by default. She's been with the company the longest, and gets that bit of deference by Kylie and, to a lesser degree, Mel. Since they're following Janine's lead, Ron doesn't really have any hope to be the guy in charge - and he certainly isn't earning any respect... so no, no power struggles, but definitely more chaos than if there was a more solid chain of command.


Is there a particular New Ghostbuster or villain you look forward to writing? If so, in what ways do you see that character evolving as the story goes progresses?

More than any one particular character, I was looking forward to playing the personalities of this group against each other and seeing if they could surprise me... and they've not disappointed. Ron was a huckster in his earlier appearances, in volume one, but here... he has so much less tact and the ladies do not appreciate it. Writing their reactions to him has been a lot of fun. He has no filter.


Will the New Ghostbusters display any reluctance in strapping on the Proton Packs, or are these characters enthusiastic about stepping up and protecting the city?

There's no hesitation. They're all the right kind of crazy, and any investigation into what happened to the Ghostbusters, if it can happen again, whether it's reversible, etc... would see them potentially dealing with ghosts, so they know they'd need the equipment... Protecting the city is more forced on them than they'd like, but they aren't given much of a choice in that matter.


With these circumstances definitely being thrust upon them, are The New Ghostbusters eager to bring back the Original Ghostbusters so they can return to their ordinary lives, or will they have fun with their new role as Ghostbusters and possibly contemplate making this job a new permanent career?

Janine, Kylie, and Mel want the original Ghostbusters back, above all else. If they can return to their own lives once they've dealt directly with the supernatural is anyone's guess.


Thanks, Erik!

The New Ghostbusters #1 hits shops Wednesday, February 13th!  You can read more about Erik's comings and goings on his website,, or follow him on twitter: @erikburnham

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