Title: Short & Shivery a.k.a. “The Wide World of Horror”
Author/Editor/Reteller: Robert D. San Souci
Illustrator: Katherine Coville
Summary: Everyone loves a spooky story. Don’t you?
Welcome to a chilling world of hair-raising tales! The thirty stories in this book were gathered from around the world, selected for their ghastly details and terrifying twists. Come inside and meet the young miller’s daughter in “The Robber Bridegroom,” who may have discovered too late that she has been betrothed to a madman; the dancing skeleton who returns from the dead to haunt the friend who betrayed him in life; the Golem, who tires of serving his greedy master and suddenly turns evil; and intriguing characters in stories from the Brothers Grimm, Washington Irving, and other world-famous authors. But before you settle down in your cozy reading chair, check behind you… and keep all the lights on!
For my fairy tale theme, what makes a better fit than this collection of international folk tales and ghost stories? “Short & Shivery” has been a presence in my life since middle school, and I own all four volumes. Many of the stories had something of an impact on my writing, and recently I’ve been attempting to incorporate some of the creatures in these tales in my comic ideas.
Now I originally planned to recap all 30 stories in one post, but figuring this would take too long for me to do and for Wing to go through and comment I’ve decided to split it into 3 posts to cover all of the tales. Less frustration and anxiety trying to get it done. Enjoy these first ten tales.
[Wing: This is another set I’ve never read before, even though I love creepy short stories.]
Title: Goosebumps Series 2000 #22 – Full Moon Fever, a.k.a. “The Worst Goosebumps Ever 2000” [Wing: Spoilers: LIES AND DAMN LIES IT’S GREAT.]
Author: R.L. Stine
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus
Tagline: Hairy Halloween!
Summary: The blankets. The sheets. They were shredded.
Claws to bits.
Grunting, my chest heaving up and down. Raspy breaths escaping from my open mouth, I staggered across the bedroom to my mirror.
And stared at even more horror.
Tufts of short black fur grew from the back of my neck. Monstrous and ugly…
So I was having a lot of trouble deciding what book to pick for this fairy tale theme I decided on. “Legend of the Lost Legend” involved folk tales, “Beware, the Snowman” a nursery rhyme (sort of), and “A Night In Terror Tower” was about a prince and princess. What made me decide to recap “Full Moon Fever” is because it involves what might be considered a folk tale or a ghost story, it’s another entry most people don’t talk about, I had a commission from a friend I wanted to show off, AND I knew Wing would enjoy more werewolves.
Well, they’re sort of werewolves.
I should mention this book’s reputation of being the worst of the Goosebumps 2000 books, which already doesn’t have a stellar rep. In fact, this is essentially considered a rehash of “Chicken Chicken” which is considered by many to be THE worst Goosebumps book. But hey, I went with it because of my seasonal nostalgia for some of the 2000 books, the same reason I recapped “The Werewolf in the Living Room” last year.
[Wing: That is the weirdest werewolf illustration I’ve ever seen, so I hope they are only sort of werewolves. That looks more like were … I don’t even know what. Some sort of weremarsupial?
Also, huge thanks to Dove who handled our recent site hack. She’s a rock star.]
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.]
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.
Title: Graveyard School #17 – Jack and the Beanstalker, a.k.a. “Jude Deluca’s ‘Graveyard School Theater’”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E.
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
Summary: Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum! Now The Giant Is Going To Have
Jackson needs to earn some money – fast. When he mows old
Mr. Thompson’s lawn, that’s what he thinks he’s going to get. Right? Wrong! Mr.
Thompson pays Jackson with magic beans! Now Jackson’s back to square one, and
when he throws the beans out the window, his money troubles don’t seem so big
Hello, I’m Jude Deluca and I’m doing an impersonation of
Shelley DuVall. Welcome to “Graveyard School Theater.”
Many of us know that money can either be a source of great
happiness, or the cause of great trouble. But unfortunately, tonight’s tale
shows us that in Jackson Crowder’s case, it’s the latter. Come with me as we
see how Jax finds himself in one harrowing situation after another, when
something as simple as a broken window grows out of control into a problem of,
shall we say, gigantic proportions.
Ladies and gentlemen, “Jack and the Beanstalker.”
[Wing: I’m so glad to see another recap of this series, because I still find it delightful, even though I never would have guessed how much I would love it back in the beginning.]
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.