By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Halloween Comicfest is now into its fifth year, and this milestone certainly needs to be recognised. Not only will a handful of major comic companies, like Marvel, will be contributing themed goodies that comic shops around the world will distribute but also there will be toys! Diamond Select‘s release is the most notable, with sculpts from Universal Monsters Select Figures line. This year will see The Wolfman, The Mummy and Lucy Westenra, Monster Hunter.
Among the most notable items that will see free distribution is Afterlife with Archie: Season Two (Archie Comics), Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead (Space Goat Productions), Harrow County (Dark Horse Comics), The Haunted Mansion #1 (Marvel) and Scooby Apocalypse (DC Comics).
Mini-Comics offered include John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night: the Traveler’s Tale, Mickey’s Inferno and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Manga by Diamond Publications.
Please phone your local comic book outlet to see if they are participating in this program.
As for regular releases, the following are my picks of the season — but I must begin with a classic:
The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, Monsters and Hauntings
Although this series is technically out of print, they are worth tracking down to read for the Halloween season! These anthologies are great to get my spook on and with a roster of talents ranging from Robert E. Howard to this company’s own Mike Mignola, the reason why they should be examined closer is the love the creators have for the genre. The reason why I got hooked is because of a sampler offered during Free Comic Book Day; Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson crafted a wonderful tale of paranormal mystery solving animals. “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” in The Dark Horse Book of the Dead and is one of those volumes that must be owned, I’ll be reading the four books come fortnight.
When when I thought reinventing a beloved franchise can be bad, I’m finding myself starting to like Scooby Apocalypse a lot more than my initial reaction. While this is not quite required Halloween reading, it fits in this list of must look at material for the season! When the apocalypse has destroyed everything that was, to see classic monsters from this series reinvented and reimagined is keeping me glued! This ongoing series is certainly going places where the cartoon series has not, and I will keep reading!
Crypt of Screams
This legendary creator is going old school in style and modernist in telling a quarterly anthology of tales drawn in black and white!
“Speed Demon” goes Old West with a Faustian type tale, “The Pond” sounds like a take on a local legend in Victoria, BC where a person who looks upon the lake (Mystic Pond) will see their future lover with horrible ramifications and “A Silver Lining” turns the Haunted Mansion formula around with a werewolf.