REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS by Anna Pederson
I’m going full on Halloween/horror this week. Well-rounded readers be damned. There are few things I enjoy more than when series do a special Halloween episode, or issue. Treehouse of Horror are my favorite Simpsons, and I’ll fight whoever says otherwise. It’s not just the season, I love horror anthologies and spooky stories at anytime during the year, but now seems to be the best time to convince other people to read some old Tales from the Crypt, and Haunted Horror.
Oh, look at that, a new Tales from the Crypt hardcover from Dark Horse…
EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt Volume 4 HC
Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingels, George Evans, Reed Crandall, Bill Elder, and Bernie Krigstein. My eyeballs are watering just thinking of these guys in one book. Especially after spending some special time with the Jack Davis artist edition book. This book has been re-colored, but everything else about it screams original. Art, letters, even the ads. The keepers of creep will keep you up at night with tales of vampires! Rotting brides! Werewolves! And the rest!
And what’s that? A Haunted Horror collection of rarely seen issues?
Haunted Horror HC
These are the books that made Wertham write Seduction of the Innocent, which led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority. Be a part of history when you read these 1950’s reprints, also in full glorious color! These comics were banned back in the day for their over-the-top depictions of ghouls and ghosts, which is why these are some of the least seen issues ever! Each one has been carefully selected by some of the top comic collectors and critics that have poured their tortured souls into making sure that if these comics don’t see the light of day, they can at least lure people into the dungeon and hang out with the spiders while they waste away reading these deliciously evil comics.
Adventure Time 2013 Spooktacular #1
I’m a sucker for anything horror, but there’s a special place in my heart for titles that, in the spirit of the season, go out of their way to give readers special spooky stories (“Life After Death with Archie” ruled my world). Adventure Time spooks things up this month with haunted tales from the world of Ooo that will chill your buns off. There are a slew of writers and artists who have been taping into their haunted heinies to conjure up all your favorite Adventure Time characters in all new and all Ooo ways. Featuring work from Jen Bennett, Ming Doyle, Bryce Carlson, and Jen Vaughn, they’ve left no candy filled bucket unturned in bringing you an oversized and overstuffed book of pure terror and hilarity. (Terrarity? Hilarror?)
The Raven and The Red Death
Richard Corben was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame for his long-time work on Heavy Metal Magazine. His history in the business, and his vast influence is so varied (Moebius, Gaiman, Miller, Giger), it might be best if I just referred you to his Wikipedia page. Even better idea! Read this one-shot he’s putting out with Dark Horse! Corben has done comic adaptations of classic works like Poe before, so the masterwork stories of “The Raven” and “The Masque of the Red Death” are in expertly terrifying hands.
Dia de los Muertos TPB
These single issues were special. They were slightly oversized, printed on matte paper, and did an anthology reverse; kept the same amazing artist, Riley Rossmo, and rotated nine writers to bring in thematically connected stories that centered on death and family. Some of the writers he worked with include Joe Keatinge, Kurtis Wiebe, and Joshua Williamson. I love the idea of one artist experimenting with their own style and abilities, especially if it has anything to do with horror. The stories in this book vary from classic horror, to drama, and even to romance, so there’s fun for the whole family in this book! That is if your family is the Addams family. Which would be radical. Regardless! If you missed the series when it was printing in single issues, the book was thankfully popular enough to warrant a trade and allow your lazy self to experience one of the best compilations out there to celebrate one of the most interesting holidays! I’m sorry, you’re not lazy.
Sandman Overture #1
So this title isn’t specifically horror as much as it is fantasy, but thematically it has some characteristics that make it fitting for this weeks’ list. That and the Sandman series is probably one of the most influential comic series of the past…oh my god, 20 years? (Actually it came out 24 years ago, according to research sidekick). One of the reasons it’s so influential is because anytime you talk to someone who didn’t immediately start reading superhero comics when they were a child, started in their teens-early 20s with Gaiman’s career launching series. The new series is a prequel of sorts that reveals more insights into the capture of Morpheus, and an expansion of the lives of the Endless that Gaiman has never shown the public before. This Halloween is the perfect time to see what Death, Desire, Despair, and of course, Merv Pumpkinhead have been up to in Gaiman’s brain. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the art for this new series is done by J.H. (mother f’ing) Williams III, and the preview pages show some really mind-blowing usage of syntactical panels and gutters that draw the whole page into an intellectual mind trip that is worthy of the Sandman title. Oh, didn’t think I could use the word ‘syntactical’ in a description of comics? Just dropping some straight up English B.A. knowledge bombs.