Title: Scary Godmother – My Bloody Valentine
Writer/Artist: Jill Thompson
Following up on my recap of the holiday story last month, here’s the obligatory Scary Godmother Valentine’s special. Because Vamlumtime’s is Serious Times!
This issue puts the spotlight on Count Max and Ruby, the King and Queen of the Night, as they have their first fight ever! Jill gives us a good look into what makes Max and Ruby tick and how their differing personalities actually compliment one another. I know they’re certainly my favorite characters after Skully Pettibone, but it helps Max and Skully share the same voice actor (Scott freaking McNeil) in the animated movies.
But don’t worry Wing, there’s plenty of Harry the Werewolf in this. But there ARE a couple of spider mentions (no photos though).
[Wing: As always, I appreciate that warning. And oh my god, that cover is delightful.]
Title: The Laughing Target, a.k.a. “Yandere Saga”
Writer/Artist: Rumiko Takahashi
Summary: Yuzuru was an average teenager who had almost forgotten that he was betrothed to Azusa when he was only 6! Now arriving to claim what she feels is rightfully hers, only Satomi (Yuzuru’s current girl friend) stands in her way… and with the mysterious and frightening powers that Azusa brings, Satomi won’t stand in her way for long!
(TW: Sexual Assault)
Just because “Mermaid Saga” is over doesn’t mean I’m done with Rumiko Takahashi, which is why I’ve picked another of her earlier horror works for February and Valentine’s Day.
“Laughing Target” is a one-shot story from 1983, not as well known as her other works, but still a prominent example of her solo stories. It was one of the most highly promoted of the “Rumic World” banner, and one of the three solo tales adapted into an OVA.
Please keep in mind I have NO idea how I’m able to type the following information with a straight face, as this is the first time I’ve ever had to use the word “Yandere.” God I’m a nerd.
Grimm Fairy Tales #1 – Red Riding Hood, a.k.a. “Little Red Abstinent Hood”
Writers: Joe Tyler & Ralph Tedesco
Pencils: Joe Dodd
Inks: Justin Holman
Colorist: Lisa Lubera
Designers: Jeffrey Ariola & Jason Sorrenti
Cover Artists: Al Rio (R.I.P.) and Tom Smith
Editor: J.C. Brusha
Exploring the connection between sex and violence, the
adaption of Little Red Riding hood confronts that line. The werewolf displays
the lust and animal nature of sexuality while Red symbolizes the innocence and
purity of love. The hunter is the balance between them both, taking you back
close to the original story of the brothers Grimm rather than the doused down
version we know today, the true moral behind the story is displayed.
A young girl with doubts about losing her virginity to her pushy boyfriend reads a story about Little Red Riding Hood in a book she finds beside her bed. The story of the fairy tale character parallels her own, and the ending of the updated story teaches her a lesson, which feels all too real.
[Wing: I mean, Little Red Riding Hood has always had sexual threat built into the story, but this will be interesting. That cover, though. Not feeling it.]
Happy birthday, Wing! For the fairy tale theme this month I’m doing a recap featuring your favorite thing, WEREWOLVES! [Wing: I’m scheduling this to go up after my birthday, because I was too busy around my birthday to comment, but I love this as a gift recap.]
[Wing: I’m scheduling this to go up after my birthday, because I was too busy around my birthday to comment, but I love this as a gift recap.]
Zenescope’s “Grimm Fairy Tales” is a prime example of a
sleeper hit. Back in 2005 when I was in high school, I found the first issue
buried within the small pile of independent comics at my store. Being a horror
comic and with my interest in fairy tales, I was immediately intrigued. Imagine
my surprise when, despite the sexy cover done by the late Al Rio, it was a
story about a girl being pressured into having sex by her boyfriend…
And she said no.
I missed the next two issues but attempted to support the
series regularly. Unfortunately there were a number of delays with the following
issues and I wasn’t sure when they were coming out, but I quickly got into
buying GFT on a monthly basis. It was starting to grow pretty big, and
spin-offs were being launched such as “Return to Wonderland.” Suffice it to
say, nearly 15 years later and Zenescope Comics is still going strong and has
created an entire world through their GFT series.
The basic premise of the original issues followed Sela
Mathers, a mysterious woman with a book of fairy tales. Sela would present
herself to the “Main Character of the Week” and show them a fairy tale relating
to their current dilemma. Interestingly, Sela did not appear in the first
issue, only her book did. And in the second issue she was startlingly different
from every issue onward. It wasn’t long afterwards Sela became the main
character as her past was explored, followed by the introduction of her arch-enemy,
the redheaded Belinda. At that point an entire myth arc was constructed and I
began to lose track as the series moved away from its original, episodic
Unfortunately, I haven’t supported GFT in years. My comic
shop became rather erratic in ordering the current issues and I completely lost
track of the series by the time the 100th issue came around. Since I
hadn’t done anything with Zenescope for a long time, and I needed the space in
my boxes, I ended up selling my entire collection on eBay. However, I held on
to the first issue (and the 2nd print of the 2nd issue)
for sentimental reasons.
That being said, Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales will always be important to me because of one reason. It was by supporting “Return to Wonderland” that I befriended colorist Nei Ruffino on DeviantArt shortly after graduating from high school in 2008. Nei is the closest friend I’ve ever had, and the first real friend I made after getting out of the hell that was grade school. She’s been a part of my life for ten years, longer than any friend I’ve known. If it wasn’t for her presence in my life I genuinely doubt I’d be alive right now.
Merry Solstice from the Fright Side
Title: Scary Godmother in “The Search For Mister Boogeylegs”
Last year I did a review of Jill Thompson’s “Dead Boys Detectives” manga from Vertigo, and decided to follow up with another work by the greatest comic creator of all time (Scott Snyder, eat your fucking heart out). Originally I planned to finish this last year but there simply wasn’t enough time.
I’ve been hyping up Scary Godmother for a while now in some of my other posts, so I figured now was the time to finally do a proper recap to share the magnificence of these stories with y’all.
[Wing: That cover is so much fun.]
But first, before we get into all that, let’s take a look at our intrepid cast.
Continue reading »
Title: Jingle Belle – Grounded
Writer: Paul Dini
Line Art and Cover: Stephanie Gladden
Colors: Felix Serrano
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Rob Levin
Summary: A fan favorite holiday character returns! When Jing again breaks her parents rules, she is forced to spend Christmas Eve GROUNDED. But when Santa is also caught in a lie, he has to share the same punishment! Neither father nor daughter can leave the North Pole until they apologize, and with the contentious Kringles not speaking to each other, Christmas is doomed!
Last year I reviewed the “Santa Claus Vs Frankenstein” Jingle Belle one shot, and I promised to follow up by doing the Krampus story this year.
For those who don’t recall, Jingle Belle is Santa’s incorrigible teenage daughter (technically 151, which comes out to 16 in elf years). Jing often gets into a lot of ridiculous misadventures and finds herself put on the Naughty List, much to her father’s eternal frustration. Along for the ride is Jing’s best friend and fellow holiday icon Polly Green, the official Witch of Halloween.
Now last year, Wing got a bit peeved by how the complaints on the Santa Claus myth were brought up by a strawman political character whose arguments turned out to be part of a ploy to go after Santa because he’s an easy target. Well Wing, if you were disappointed over the resolution in last year’s comic, I’m certain you’ll be rather fond of what happens this time.
[Wing: Recap #200! It’s been a great time. Thank you all for reading and commenting and recapping. I love this snarky little book club.]
Pardon this, bitch!
Title: Bone Chillers #4 – Frankenturkey, a.k.a. “Help! My Turkey Is A Frankenstein”
Author: Betsy Haynes
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus (?)
Tagline: Look who’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner…
Summary: …it’s not Grandma!
Kyle and Annie want to celebrate Thanksgiving like the Pilgrims. They want to wear stovepipe hats, bake their own pies – even raise their own turkey. Then they meet Frankenturkey!
Frankenturkey is big. Frankenturkey is bad. Frankenturkey is mad. If Kyle and Annie don’t watch out, Frankenturkey will eat them for Thanksgiving dinner.
That summary is a lie in so many ways. Kyle and Annie do NOT want to celebrate Thanksgiving like the Pilgrims. They do NOT want to wear stovepipe hats or bake their own pies. And while they want to raise their own turkey, it’s not because they want to eat him.
Coming off that, I should clarify I actually really hate Thanksgiving, probably more than April Fools’ Day. I don’t feel I’m educated enough to make a point about how the holiday is shamelessly built off the exploitation and continued attempts at extermination of the indigenous people who lived in this country before white people ruined everything. Well I could, but I feel I’d come across as a token straw liberal and sound horribly obnoxious and phony.
Oh screw it I’m going to Hell anyway.
[Wing: A handful of links with more information RE USA Thanksgiving and native peoples: 7 Ways to be an Ally to Native Peoples This Thanksgiving, Celebrate Indigenous History This Thanksgiving, Native American Rights Fund: Thanksgiving.]
What I can say is I’d rather not celebrate a holiday that seems to pride itself on being a clusterfuck of anxiety, wherein family members are forced to invite other family members they can’t stand, waste a lot of money on one meal that could’ve been used to buy at least a week’s worth of food, and then spend the entire day arguing and yelling about shit no one’s talked about in decades before nitpicking over said meal and then offering apologies that amount to nothing.
As a picky eater I also can’t stand the holiday because everyone expects me to eat a lot and it makes me feel more self conscious than I already am when I have dinner with other people. If I ever have a family of my own, I’m not making my kids celebrate the holiday and would rather spend the day doing something fun with them instead of forcing them to watch me argue with their uncle and grandparents.
This is most likely one of the more well known “Bone Chillers” in it’s one of the three books adapted into the TV show and it’s the one book that got a sequel.
Pardon this, bitch! – The TV show
If there was ever to be a trademark monster for the franchise, it’s Frankenturkey. [Wing: Well that is a horrifying promotional image.]
Frankenturkey by Bobby Timony – GOBBLE GOBBLE, MOTHERFUCKERS!
I bought the sequel book first before I acquired the original, and owned this for years without reading it until I proposed a recap for the site. Well, I’d read the first chapter and was prepared to hate this when it seemed Kyle was too much like an average “Goosebumps” protagonist. I was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong. Kyle and Annie’s affection for the actual turkey they buy is legit endearing, and the one thing that frustrates me is their condescending bitch of a mother and their equally awful dad.
As a bonus, here’s the episode on Youtube
Spellbound by Christopher Pike
Title: Spellbound by Christopher Pike
Summary: No one knew how the girl had died.
They found Karen Holly in the mountain stream, her skull crushed. There was only one witness to the tragedy, Karen’s boyfriend, Jason Whitfield. He said a grizzly had killed her. But a lot of people didn’t believe him. They thought Jason had murdered her in a fit of rage.
And now weeks have passed, and Jason has another girlfriend, Cindy Jones. And there are the new kids in town, Joni Harper, the quiet English beauty that Cindy’s brother, Alex, cannot get out of his mind. And Bala, the foreign exchange student from Africa, the grandson of a powerful shaman.
Together they will return to the place where Karen was killed.
Some will die.
The others will come face to face with a horror beyond imagining.
Tagline: You can close your eyes….It won’t help. [Wing: Except, spoilers, that’s exactly what it does.]
This is one of my favourite Pike books, though not my absolute favourite. There are monstrous women and full moons and hunger, and it is all pretty great — except for that girls fighting over boys and boys fighting over girls and racism everywhere. /o\
It’s the Haunted Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
Title: The Upturned Stone, a.k.a. “The Haunted Pie”
Writer/Artist: Scott Hampton
Tagline: “Ghosts aren’t frightening, really.”
“What’s frightening is the thought of them.”
It’s like “Stand By Me” but with ghosts and sexual abuse.
I first discovered this tale a few years back when Comic Book Resources did a countdown of “Scariest Comics of All Time,” and being the sucker that I am for Halloween and pumpkin related horror tales, I immediately sought to hunt this book down and acquired one of the original print copies.
This story isn’t all plot, and while Halloween is what sets off the chain of events, the entire book doesn’t take place solely on the holiday itself. What starts off with a pumpkin growing on top of the grave of an unnamed child becomes a journey into adulthood and a quest for revenge.
Rock on, dudes
Title: Quiet House, a Halloween short story, a.k.a. “That Got Dark REALLY Fast”
Author: Norman Prentiss
Cover Artist: N/A
Summary: On October 29, the Halloween decorations disappeared from the Myrick lawn. Instead, an official sign appeared at the edge of the property: “Quiet Zone: Death in the Family.”
This year, Jeremy would finally be allowed to trick or treat without his parents’ supervision, and he’d been looking forward to visiting the neighborhood’s most famous October attraction. Now, after all his anticipation, it felt like Halloween had been cancelled. To his young mind, even a grieving family deserves some version of the traditional “trick” but Jeremy’s impulsive act of revenge has far-reaching, terrifying consequences.
I came across this digital short story last year on Fantastic Fiction while I was doing a search for a random story I once glimpsed on Amazon a couple of years ago. You have to understand I’m prone to doing that if I have some bare trace of memory for a book or story and I’ll sometimes dedicate too much time on Amazon and Fantastic Fiction to try and locate it.
I came upon this story in my searches and thought the title sounded interesting. I purchased it through Amazon Kindle for a dollar, which is where I suggest you buy it as well to show support because this story, this, this is… I did not come into this story prepared for how dark it goes, and was assuming it’d be some “Tales from the Crypt” esque journey where the neighbors get revenge on Jeremy for his trick.
You aren’t prepared for how brutal this goes.
You can find more of Norman Prentiss’s work on his website here: http://normanprentiss.com/
All that money and she couldn’t buy a lock on the door?
Title: Confessions of a Teenage Vampire – Zombie Saturday Night
Writer: Terry M. West
Penciller: Steven A. Ellis
Inkers: Richard Perrota and Ravil Lopez
Letterer: Fred Van Lente
Colorists: Kent Marquart, Ryan Dunlavey, Leon Allen, Michelle Wulfson
Cover Art: Steve Ellis and Stew Noack
Editor: Bonnie Bader
Summary: My life has really changed since I became a teenage vampire. I can’t stand bright lights and bad smells. I’m so strong I’ve got to be careful not to hurt anyone in gym class. And I’m on a strict diet of Serum V – a special protein product that was invented so vampires don’t have to kill to eat.
But my biggest worries are Sang and Rosie – two vampires who think that all vampires should prey on humans. I haven’t heard from them lately, but I know they’re out there somewhere. I need to be ready when they come…
This past summer I reviewed the first entry in this two book series, and I promised Wing I’d review the second for Halloween this year. Luckily for Wing, it’s got werewolves! Unluckily for the rest of us, while it sheds more light on the vampire mythology of this world, the ending is pretty rushed and there was no third entry.
Still, I hope you enjoy this piece of 90s comic cheese as an early Halloween treat instead of a trick.
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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