Title: Deadtime Stories #17 – Faerie Tale, a.k.a. “Reject Ridge High”
Author: A.G. Cascone, a.k.a. Annette and Gina Cascone
Cover Artist: Mark Fredrickson
Tagline: This is no tooth fairy!
Summary: Who’s watching while you sleep?
The first time Colin saw the tooth fairy was after he’d lost his first baby tooth.
His parents laughed when he told them. They said it must have been his imagination. Kids never really see the tooth fairy.
But Colin kept seeing her every time he lost a tooth. And even though it was a little spooky to actually see a fairy, he still kind of liked it and felt pretty special.
But now that he’s older, Colin is starting to see other fairies in his room at night. Some of them are pretty scary looking. And they’re starting to take a lot more than baby teeth!
Before he knows it, Colin finds himself stuck in a truly grim fairy tale. And he doesn’t have much time to figure out how to escape.
This month for Point Horror I’ve planned out a small fairy tale theme for my recaps. I decided on this months ago when I realized this month’s “Graveyard School” would be “Jack and the Beanstalker.” Well, even though with all the delays I’ve stuck to my decision. I never really get to talk about my interest in fairy tales so I saw this as a fun change of pace and a good way to start the new year.
“Faerie Tale” is the last of the Deadtime Stories series and it’s one of the more difficult entries to find. People used to charge ridiculous prices for it on Amazon, but I got lucky last summer and found a cheap copy. Now I’m sure you all remember how awful “Grandpa’s Monster Movies” was, but this book is a delight. In fact it’s one of the funniest YA horror books I’ve ever read. I’m sure part of that comes from my fascination with fairy tales, yet I won’t spoil all that happens.
Suffice to say though, the summaries aren’t exactly truthful over what happens in this book. I was always under the impression “Faerie Tale” was about a kid who could see fairies all his life, and as he got older they started to turn more malevolent and creepy looking. That’s not what happens at ALL.
Continue reading »
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: 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.]
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.
“‘Join the Horror Club’ she said. ‘It’ll be fun’ she said.'”
Title: Give Yourself Goosebumps #3 – Trapped in Bat Wing Hall, a.k.a. “Tales from the Krupnik Crypt”
Author: R.L. Stine
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
Tagline: Going Batty!
Summary: Join The Horror Club…
Being the new kid in school is no picnic. At your old school you had tons of friends, but now you don’t even have one. Then you meet Nick. He asks you to join the Horror Club.
The Horror Club meets in an old mansion known as Bat Wing Hall. It’s dark. It’s spooky. And it’s where your adventure begins.
The members of the Horror Club are going on a scavenger hunt. If you join the red team, you find out the truth about your new friends – they’re actually monsters! One is a green-skinned reptile. Another is a hulking giant! If you join the blue team, you get turned into a furry-faced vampire bat!
The choice is yours in the scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure that’s packed with over 20 super spooky endings!
[Wing: UMMMM. Does this summary really spoil the paths? WTF, editors.]
Happy birthday to me. [Wing: Happy belated birthday!]
Following up from last year’s “Ghost Camp” review (and you guys probably expected me to cover the sequel) I decided to recap another of my lifelong favorite Goosebumps.
“Trapped In Bat Wing Hall” was one of the earliest GYG books I ever read. Back in elementary school it was one of the few Goosebumps books that consistently remained in my homeroom back in 4th or 5th grade. It took me years, if not decades, before I finally purchased a copy of my own. I loved it so much I even attempted to write a sequel that ultimately went nowhere.
I’m implementing the system I came up with when I reviewed “One Night In Payne House” this previous Halloween. Since the book diverges into two different storylines, the recap will consist of me covering both of them as far into a good ending as I can.
I feel Wing will very much enjoy some of the first storyline, but unfortunately there ARE spiders in this story. Not a giant, two-headed sentient ghost spider, but spiders nonetheless.
[Wing: I guess it could be worse… For other arachnophobes, right after the first path begins, there’s a drawing of the spiders. It’s not super detailed, but still.]
The Magic School Bus Has A Midlife Crisis
Title: Graveyard School #14 – The Tragic School Bus, a.k.a. “Skip Wolfson in: ‘Screaming Yellow Honkers’”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Cam DeLeon
Summary: The Next Stop May Be Skip’s Last…
Skip Wolfson can’t believe he almost missed the bus again! One more late morning and he’ll be in big trouble at Graveyard School. But as he walks down the aisle to find a seat, something tells Skip that he got on the wrong bus. The unbelievably wrong bus. Is it because the driver looks like a skeleton? Or is it that the other passengers seem to have been dug up out of a grave? Skip finds himself wishing for detention instead. Anything but a one-way trip to the terminal of the undead!
I referenced this book last year in my recap of “Boo Year’s Eve” when Jordie Flanders brings up Skip’s fear of buses. And now has come the day when we learn how that fear started.
Not one of my favorite books but I’m sure Wing’s gonna love it because it features the return of Skip Wolfson as the protagonist! And to that end, because this has one of the funniest scenes in the entire series, I’ve prepared a little something extra as a gift to Point Horror.
The amazing thing about this book is that it can be viewed as a follow-up to “Little Pet Werewolf” without being a direct sequel. Thacker works in sly nods to Skip’s previous role as the main character without blatantly spoiling the last book.
[Wing: SKIP! I love you, Skip!]
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.]
Title: Graveyard School #12 – “Scream, Team!” a.k.a. “The Bad News Belville Bears”
Summary: Belville Bears 13
Grove Hill Tigers 0
They’re big. They’re mean. They’re ugly. And they’re totally killing the Graveyard School Tigers. The Belville Bears used to be the worst soccer team in the universe. But now they’ve gotten good. Wicked good. Unnaturally good. Tyson Walker knows something is wrong. But can he stop the new monster team before they turn the Tigers into kitty litter.
We have our first non-skateboard related sporting book in the series. And it’s got an all-star cast! Tyson! Algie! Kirstin! Skip! Maria! And Jason Dunnbarr who is surprisingly a lot nicer than he was in his first appearance!
“Scream, Team” offers more world building to the land of Grove Hill by introducing us to Belville Academy and giving us a better grasp of the land beyond Graveyard School. I referred to this book in my introduction post by mentioning how this is such a refreshing change of pace to sports tales. It really enforces ideas about healthy sportsmanship, and that parents who scream and rave about their kids always winning is NOT the right way to raise a child.
Here’s hoping you guys enjoy this more than Nola Thacker’s other “Scream Team” novel.
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
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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