When Halloween is near, the only thing we have to fear is the cinematic products coming from Hollywood. Not every vision is slick and this year’s offerings feel slim. Of the five movies coming up, only one feels 100% appropriate (Insidious 3) for the season.
I can get more frights in the sequential art world. From this list, I find rereading them far more delightful and usually more frightful (in a good way).
Here are my picks for the season:
Action Lab Comics:
Puppet Master: Curtain Call & Danger Doll Squad
Sadly, the strings were cut on the former. Low sales and niche interest most likely had an effect on a series beloved by fans of Full Moon Entertainment‘s flagship title. Other readers will not notice, but I did! Curtain Call will wrap up the events leading up to who owns the puppets and show who truly is in control. Danger Doll Squad is also creator Dan Mendoza‘s dream come true. He’s been planning a team up of Action Lab’s most dangerous ladies and they are arriving just in time for All Hallow’s Eve to wreck havoc!
Dark Horse Comics:
Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil
Readers not acquainted with Jeff Lemire‘s superhero series, Black Hammer may want to start reading volume one, Secret Origins, before delving deeper into this spinoff series.
Here, Lucy Weber, daughter of the Black Hammer, grew up to become an investigative reporter for the Global Planet. Now she’s on the hunt for the true story about what happened to Spiral City’s superheroes after they defeated Anti-God and saved the world. All answers seem to lie with the dangerous supervillain tenants of Spiral City’s infamous asylum.
As she gets closer to the truth she uncovers the dark origin stories of some of her father’s greatest foes and learns how they tie into the puzzle of what happened to Spiral City’s greatest hero.
Anyone who has seen the 1974 film (available on Amazon) will get excited at seeing the continuing adventures. All some fans of this last great movie from this studio is that it’s about bloody time! From Diamond Distributor’s catalog:
In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos, and his two assistants, Grost and Carla, are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague. However, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town, a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos…
Mr. Wormwood Goes to Washington
People who do not know who Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse can get acquainted with who he is with IDW’s omnibus collection, which collects issues #0–8, the One-Shot, Calamari Rising #1–4, and Last Call. If you ask the publisher, they will say Wormwood is an intergalactic, inter-dimensional, immortal, happy-go-lucky larval worm-thing with a liking for fine stout, strippers, and most of the other vices planet Earth has on offer. Oh yeah, and he wears corpses like suits.
This latest series reveals Wormwood missing in action. His old friends are determined to track him down, no matter what dimension he’s buggered off to. You see, a special agent from the U.S. government has asked for Wormwood’s help, and things are about to get political…
In life, Valla was a fisherwoman. In death, she is a vampire residing peacefully on the bottom of the ocean. When a mysterious dark plague descends upon her aquatic paradise, she must venture to the surface in search of answers. What she finds is a world headed towards an environmental collapse that will eventually wipe out her food supply. If Valla is to continue to have the blood she needs to survive, then she must stop the fossil fuel industries from destroying the planet—no matter the cost.
This comic is particularly fascinating since it is described as an action-horror product which points a middle finger to the politicians and propagandists who choose to deny the reality of climate change. Not many comics consider looking at a cause, and this title is sure to take a bite out of other aquatic heroes who try, but ultimately fail at delivering environmental messages.
Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set
Katsuhiro Otomo’s best-known manga is getting an anniversary treatment. People who have not read this epic can get started with this box release. Not only will readers get six beautiful hardcover editions (presenting the material as originally made, reading from right to left) but also look at the design process with an art book from Akira Club. This item is available to pre-order on Amazon.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Volume Two
Continuing from last year, this anthology series presents a beautiful collection of illustrated stories from the master, M.R. James. He has defined what a traditional English Ghost Story is. He evokes powerful imagery and uses the power of suggestion to create the atmosphere needed to send chills down anyone’s spine. Volume One can be found on Amazon, and this second volume arrives just in time for the season when cuddling by the fire is needed. Printed in this edition are: “Number 13,” “Count Magnus,” “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad,” and “The Treasure of Abbot Thomas.”