Tag Archives: Supernatural

Morning in America, A Supernatural Tale by Oni Press

11 Mar

Image result for morning in america comicBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Exclusive cover to release
    at Emerald City Comic Con 2019
    * Released March 6, 2019
  • Spoiler Alert

Oni Press‘ comic Morning in America introduces a new gang of problem solvers, The Sick Sisters, and they have to figure out what’s going on in their hometown of Tucker, Ohio. Nancy, Ashley, Ellen and Veronica are a tight group of misfits. They have plenty to worry about. If they are not careful, they can be sent to detention hall fast. High school life is rough, but the terrors they will have to soon face will be tougher.

With the first issue, monsters flit about in the night and carry away their victims to somewhere. Nancy is told this incident when selling cigarettes to another punk kid, but she has a hard time believing. Things change when she overhears the police are doing nothing when she realizes this wave of disappearances is nothing to ignore. The bigger challenge is to convince her friends to go investigate. They have a good enough reason to: all high school kids are being targeted and they fear they could be next.

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More Stranger Things are Coming Via Dark Horse Comics!

21 Feb

Are you curious about the origins of Project MKUltra and Dr. Brenner’s Hawkins Laboratory? Writer Jody Houser (StarCraft, Orphan Black), penciller Edgar Salazar (Constantine, Smallville), inker Keith Champagne (JSA, Superboy), colorist Triona Farrell (Mech Cadet Yu, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and letterer Nate Piekos (Fight Club 3, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows) signed on to introduce us to the other subjects trapped in the Hawkins Laboratory in Stranger Things: SIX.

Dark Horse Comics and Netflix are excited to release an official prequel comic book series.

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Great Canadian Ghost Stories, and Where to Find Them

21 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Book launch on Oct 23, 7pm at Bolen Books
1644 Hillside Ave #111, Victoria, BC

Fans of supernatural lore can easily find a wide selection of Barbara Smith’s books collecting ghost stories in many a public library. Each of them focuses on a specific region and as she wrote in her latest work, Great Canadian Ghost Stories from Coast to Coast, “Please know that all my books of ghost stories, including this one, have been written to entertain and inform, not to change anyone’s belief systems.”

From Labrador to Vancouver Island, this work does a great job at offering the best-known tales to read before bed. I found The Isle of Demons from way out East particularly sad — a newlywed family was left to fend for themselves there, but its reputation got the better of sailors when they needed help — and for Victoria, British Columbia, my home, to decide on which story is best to spotlight must have been tough. Two are offered: the shade at Beacon Hill Park (too common of an entry in many works for my taste). I had an experience at Hatley Castle, and that’s my number one choice. Understandably, the administration wants to play that down, but the stories and what I heard says it all.

Another I’m trying to encounter is the Time Slip on Shelbourne street. I drove through this path many an October night for the past several years. The thought of this path becoming country is theoretically an illusion because when tired, the autumn foliage can trick the mind. I have a slip of paper in a plastic mylar bag to drop to test the theory of, “If you find this note, please find me in the years of 1978 and onwards.” My interest in the paranormal started in that decade.

This superlative collection covers favourites like The Dungarvon Whooper, The Ghosts of Fort George and The Banff Springs Hotel. I’m still looking for mention of the Sooke Staircase and feel this piece of folklore is overlooked! Another entry to note about my home province is that no, the doll Mandy did not inspire the Nicolas Cage movie of the same name. The movie took place in the Shadow Mountains of California, and it has its own demons for visitors to deal with.

I particularly enjoyed how this work represents the Great White North as a whole. The folklore from Nunavut is most likely still being pieced together. When considering how widespread and isolated citizens are, I firmly believe we have a lot of cabins in the woods scenarios. To find one that’s not akin to Evil Dead will be difficult.

The content offered in this collection is reading time well spent. Smith’s prose is easy to follow. Although I know more than half the stories already, they are worth revisiting when the mood strikes. She’s been writing these books since 1993, and her experience shows. She tells these tales as though she’s passing knowledge from one generation to another so that certain aspects of Canada’s past are not forgotten. The loss of lives at sea will always be hard-hitting. Mariner tales, especially “Mysterious Rescue,” early in this book sets the tone. Sometimes, those “Ghostly Footsteps” are just that; the dead has no interaction with the living, but are fleeting memories so we can at least acknowledge their presence. The entry on “Historical Hamilton House” hits all the right notes not only about the rise of Spiritualism in Canada and why many took to it, but also explains the Ackroyd connection. This family’s interest spanned generations and the comedian took ideas to pen the comedy classic Ghostbusters.

Barbara Smith’s books are often found in bookstores when the Halloween season arises. This latest work updates a few details. There’s no denying we all love a good ghost story by the campfire, but when we want to go find answers, that’s a different kettle of fish. My advice: just do not try (not many books stand out) and simply enjoy discovering Canada’s past from a supernatural angle. I feel that’s this book’s purpose, as I would love to ride those haunted railways once again.

Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs & Eldritch Men, A Review

14 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Due to hit shelves August 22, 2018

Beasts of Burden is one of Dark Horse Comics‘ sweet gems which is very playful in its artistic depictions of the heroes, and cunning with the types of supernatural tales weaved. I became aware of this work by writer Evan Dorkin and artist Jill Thompson when I purchased the anthology collection, Dark Horse’s Book of Hauntings. Here, cats and dogs work together to deal with paranormal threats. Usually, the humans are nowhere to be seen. As they go about their daily life, a dangerous undercurrent takes place. In Burden Hill, these adorable animals are protectors of humanity from the evil that’s afoot.

The latest work teams Dorkin with Benjamin Dewey. Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men sees a different team at work. Canines are investigating why a fire salamander was captured. As innocent as this elemental is, the carnage resulting from him trying to escape his capture has Emrys, a Tibetan Terrier (the leader of the pack) investigate. This tale has all the hallmarks of a terrific detective novel. If the goblins one of these lads accidentally unleashed are any indication, perhaps trolls are next?

As the title implies, human wizards are using the forests around the Pocono Mountains to ferret out supernatural creatures. They manage to capture one, and when Emrys realizes what is going on, the team definitely has to prevent the evil from establishing a foothold in them thar hills. Just how this tale will unfold will take four comics to tell, and I am hooked with issue one, due out in shelves August 22nd.

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