Recap #211: Scary Godmother: Bloody Valentine Special by Jill Thompson
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.]
Hannah Marie gets up on the Fright Side of her bed, opens her closet door, and arrives at Scary Godmother’s house for tea and cookies. But it looks like some extra guests have arrived when Countess Ruby and Orson, the Vampire Queen and Prince of the Night, show up at S.G.’s door.
S.G. invites the vampires inside, but as Orson runs off to play with Hannah, Ruby starts bawling her eyes out! Sensing this is not the fun type of crying, S.G. asks Ruby what happened. It seems Ruby got into a fight with her husband Count Max, the Vampire King, and he flew out the window in a huff! Ruby fears she and Max are just too different as she explains what the fight was about.
Ruby was doing some homemaking around the castle, moving furniture and Max was horrified. She was acting like some human servant, for Pete’s sake! Ruby explained she wanted to make room for their new skelevision, to put in their entertombment center alongside a new scareo and V.C.R. (Because it was the 90s, you see!).
Max couldn’t believe what he was hearing; they’re vampires, after all. Why do they need such useless modern trinkets when they have the Children of the Night to provide all the music they need. Max proclaimed Ruby is the Vampire Queen, stunning, regal, a magnificent dark creature. She has to act like it, adhere to the vampire rules and standards. Ruby argued a few modern gadgets don’t make her any less of a vampire OR a queen and thinks Max is too old fashioned. Besides, she upholds traditions too! Like the traditional dance known as the “Batusi.”
But then Max crossed a line when he announced “I forbid it!” Ruby ain’t having none of getting ordered around in her own castle, by her own husband of all people! Max replied he’s not gonna have his casket surrounded by a bunch of “Gee-gaws” and “Doo-dads.” Ruby commends him for such a regal vocabulary. Max decides he’s had enough and flies off, leaving Ruby wondering if she went too far.
[Wing: Gee-gaw is such a great word. Also, fuck of Max, you are the second worst vampire Max at the moment. Don’t become the first.]
S.G. suggest Ruby relax at her place, figuring all this will blow over in a while. Ruby doesn’t think she’s good at fighting, she’s always been a lover.
In S.G.’s kitchen, Hannah and Orson are looking for something to snack on in the fridge. Orson seems more interested in Hannah’s neck, but she pinches his nose and tells Ruby. Ruby tells Orson to behave himself while Hannah helps herself to some cookies. After Ruby gives Orson a snack bag to drink, he fears his mom’s upset about something and wants to cheer her up. Hannah proposes he can make Ruby a Valentine, but Orson’s never heard of such a thing so Hannah starts to tell him all about them. She also takes out a Valentine she made for him at school, remembering how happy her own mom was to receive one. Orson’s still a bit confused since he doesn’t know what Valentine’s Day is or where it came from. Hannah suggests they can look it up in S.G.’s library.
Among S.G.s encyclopedias, Orson gets excited when he reads about the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” and wonders how he never heard about this holiday before. Cops, robbers, a big bloody shoot out, it sounds great! Hannah admits she never learned about THAT part in school. Another failure of our public school system. That still doesn’t explain how candy became part of the holiday.
Meanwhile, Count Max is still out and about while his bat underlings applaud him for showing Ruby who’s boss. Max doesn’t appreciate their “Sentiments” and can’t think with the sound of their brown nosing. He’s never fought with Ruby before so he’s got no idea what to do. And unfortunately it looks like everyone else in the cemetery is in a romantic mood.
While Max goes to see his friend Professor Toad, Ruby’s still crying at S.G.’s place. Ruby fears she drove Max away for good with all her talk of changing things when S.G.’s broomate Skully finally has enough.
Bursting out of the living room closet, Skully exclaims Ruby should NEVER apologize for being herself. He’s especially disappointed that all S.G.’s done is offer Ruby tea and plasma like some old lady. Skully proposes the first thing to do to help improve Ruby’s mood is a makeover. I mean sure, black’s a great color but variety is what makes life interesting. Skully compliments Ruby as a vibrant woman and she should express that in how she dresses!
[Wing: On the one hand, Skully’s right about not apologising! On the other hand, she can wear black if she wants to, damn it.]
Max is currently giving his side of the story to Professor Toad, who assumes Max wants him to construct a new mate or something. Of course Max doesn’t want someone new! And he doesn’t want some potion to make Ruby obey him, either. God knows he could already hypnotize her, but he ain’t a creep! He just wants her to act more like a vampire. Prof. Toad runs down all the traits of a typical vampire, sucking blood, allergic to daylight, sleeps in a coffin, commands the creatures of the night, etc. Max asserts Ruby can do all those things and more, to which Prof. Toad says it sounds like she’s 100% vampire. How would a skelevision and scareo change that? Sadly, Night School is about to begin so Max has to leave, but he’ll think about what the Prof said. Meanwhile, all of Prof. Toad’s female students are left swooning as they realize COUNT MAX was here. He’s soooooo vampilicious!
Skully serves up some drinks and is treating Ruby and S.G. to a small spa night at home. He’s gotten Ruby nice and relaxed in her bath, and after that he’s gonna give her one spooktacular makeover!
Max drops in at
[Wing: LEGEVAUDAN CAVE. That reference is never not going to be wonderful to me. LEGEVAUDAN AUTHOR YOU ARE THE BEST.]
Irene calls down to her son’s room announcing she’s home, annoying Harry as he’s in the middle of something important. Then he asks if Irene got him anything and begins whining over how she gallivants off for hours leaving him to starve. Irene argues he has two legs and can get something to eat for himself before adding Count Max has come to see him. Harry, of course, won’t leave his room so Max has to climb down there himself. Oh but that SMELL! Irene gives him five minutes.
Max is horrified by the state of Harry’s room, while Harry is currently immersed in a flame war over his favorite skelevision show, “The Spectral Six” and applauds his own intellectual wit. When asked what he can do for Max, Max admits he wanted some advice…
Ruby gets a whole fashion montage from Skully before he, Ruby, and S.G. head out to paint the town red. But they can’t leave Orson and Hannah by themselves, so S.G. heads to the basement and asks Bug-A-Boo if he can watch the kids for a bit. Bug-A-Boo would be happy to while he’s working on his pungent cooking entree for the “Great Monster Contest.”
Harry applauds Max for showing Ruby who’s King until he realizes the argument was over a new skelevision. He’d kill for a big screen entertombment device instead of that ancient little thing he’s forced to watch “The Spectral Six” on. Irene calls down asking what Harry’s doing before offering to make dinner for him and Max. Harry moans how hard it is to have privacy to think before announcing he’ll be going out with Max.
Irene hopes it’s to job hunt.
Harry corrects her saying he’ll be going out with Max as a couple of wild and crazy guys, to eat, drink, engage in intellectual debating and impress dem gank honeys.
Oh hey mom, can I have some money for my friend and I to get plastered?
(Okay as someone who still lives with his family because this country’s job market is a joke (among other things) even if I have two jobs, I am probably not the best person to joke about this.)
[Wing: There’s nothing wrong with living with family.
ANYWAY, Harry’s not thrilled with the money he does receive from Irene so she tells him if he wants more, EARN IT. Irene points out Max has a large estate; maybe he can find a small job or something for Harry, and Harry is aghast. It’s bad enough he must suffer the indignities of that horse-drawn trailer she rides around in all day, but now she’s practically selling him into slavery! Irene gets peeved reminding him her caravan is what pays the bills AND supports his internet addiction. Harry says it’s a mom’s duty to provide for her son until he leaves home. And Irene is all “Okay bye now see you later hope you write” before Harry reminds her he IS coming back.
Irene breaks out a bottle the moment Harry’s gone so she can get plastered herself.
Meanwhile, Bug-A-Boo is done cooking and heads upstairs to see how Orson and Hannah are doing.
Bug-A-Boo stops Hannah from committing vampicide before Orson explains they were only playing Valentine, explaining it’s this cool holiday about dead gangsters and cops and you give candy and flowers to people you like. Bug-A-Boo is happy to help the kids make some candy, like ant krispies, or candied eyeballs, or chocolate covered spiders. Orson loves that last one and starts to look for some spiders while Hannah settles on making her own snack.
Which means it’s time for Treats!
[Wing: Oh my god, I need regular size marshmallows immediately so I can do this. That’s adorably creepy.]
S.G., Skully, and Ruby head over to the Slaughtered Lamb, one of the most popular bars on the Fright Side run by their friend Madame Zazie. Of course Skully gets stopped by the door, as usual, due to profiling.
Skully returns with a number of drinks for Ruby to try out, since he’s not sure what type of beverage she prefers (aside from the usual). She gets a Gloom Lifter, a Bloody Caesar, a Hearse, even a Zombie (that one I do know). After getting her spirits lifted (and killing some brain cells), Ruby drags S.G. and Skully to do some dancing in the back room.
Mere seconds after they leave for the back, Max and Harry show up. Max notices a nearby table is empty (guess which one) but Harry is appalled by the glasses left behind. Harry somehow has the gall to complain about how messy the Slaughtered Lamb is and starts calling for the barkeep, even as Max reminds
[Wing: THE SLAUGHTERED LAMB. This author is spot on with their werewolf references.]
Zazie is thrilled when she realizes THE Count Max is in her club and offers him drinks and refreshments on the house… and I guess that goes for his companion too. Zazie heads over to the bar, giddy at the thought of the good press she can get from Max being in her club. She tells the bartender and waiter to keep Max happy, and then puts in an order for their greasiest appetizers for Harry along with a big soda. Harry’s lucky that’s all he’s getting when you’re rude to the wait staff for no reason.
Harry complains about how noisy the club is and can barely think, to which Max points out it was HIS idea to come here. Max is told this is where all the most eligible monsters and ghouls come, with Harry thinking Max wants a new mate. Even as Max repeats he doesn’t want to replace Ruby, Harry believes Max needs an ego booster and generously offers to deflect all the fine ladies after HIS good looks and barrel chest towards Max. Aww, Harry looks out for his friend.
The first ghoul Harry hits on (though he is sadly unavailable, you should know) couldn’t care less, but then her eyes literally pop out of her head when she sees COUNT MAX. Suddenly all the ghastly ghouls and
While S.G., Skully, and Ruby are dancing, a skeezy looking vampire shamelessly hits on Ruby. Not pleased at all by his rudeness, Ruby freaks the guy out by revealing he just came on to the actual Queen of all vampires and leaves him unconscious on the floor. Sadly, Ruby is then accosted by another rude vampire over at the bar after he invites her over to his plot for sex when he JUST met her. Ruby flatly tells him she’d rather suck holy water.
Ruby cannot believe how rude these male vamps are, and especially can’t believe they thought they were complimenting her. She remembers back when Max first courted her, and how he spent three whole nights engaging in hypnotizing conversation with her. Max is a REAL vampire, with those red eyes, that velvet voice, his good manners and refined taste, the way his compliments are ACTUAL compliments. He’s a class act. S.G. and Skully agree he’s old fashioned in the classy sense, compared to…
Max, on the other hand, is now surrounded by a bunch of bimbos making vapid comments about the size of his coffin and wanting to see his great, big castle. Barely able to stand this, Max mass hypnotizes his unwanted admirers to make them leave him alone. Harry points out all those good looking monsters embody some of those old fashioned values Max is supposedly so gung ho about. Totally obedient and deferential to Max, wanting to do nothing but lounge in luxury…
Harry argues Max is deliberately trying not to have a good time, thinking he’s in denial about some aspects of modern life to prove his point about tradition. Max blurts out if he points out one attractive modern monster will that get Harry to shut up?
Ruby’s decided to leave, wanting to go back to her castle with Orson and Max. She feels foolish for having argued about something so stupid and remembers she likes that Max is old fashioned as it’s one of his most attractive qualities. S.G. and Skully share a knowing smile between them.
On the other end of the room, Max sees by the exit a rather extraordinary woman whose presence you could feel from their side of the club! Vibrant, energetic, she’s 100% modern vampire…
And she’s Ruby!
It’s like Max has fallen in love all over again and decides he has to leave to take care of something.
Harry stays behind to put more orders on Max’s tab before they throw him out.
S.G. and Skully return to their house as Skully says this was his plan all along. When people fight they get stubborn and have a hard time remembering the good things about the people they argue with. If that happens, no one compromises and the fight never ends. Dealing with those rude vampires might help Ruby remember the good stuff about Max, but Skully hopes Max had a similar epiphany too.
S.G.’s impressed by Skully’s aptitude for therapy, but now he’s thinking about making breakfast when the two see what Hannah and Orson have been doing with Bug-A-Boo.
Hannah explains there are Valentines for everyone on Bug-A-Boo when Orson asks where Ruby is. S.G. explains she had to pick something up and offers to drop Orson off at his castle before the sun comes up. S.G. breaks out her broomstick and flies Orson and his Valentine’s gifts over to Belfrey Manor.
Ruby’s not home yet, but Orson finds Max waiting with a rose for her. Orson assumes Max got her a Valentine as well before he tells his dad about the holiday. He even offers to stall Ruby when she gets home so Max can work on a surprise for her too.
When Ruby arrives home with a gift for Max, Orson gives her his gifts of cards and chocolate spiders and spends an hour telling her about everything he did with Hannah. Ruby is touched by his thoughtfulness and brings Orson down to their crypt just in time to see Max’s surprise. He converted their coffins into a double so they can sleep together! It’s something Ruby’s always wanted.
While tucking Orson in for the day, Ruby and Max apologize to each other for their fight and recap their experiences at the Slaughtered Lamb. Ruby got Max a candelabra to represent she appreciates old fashioned things, and Max combined their coffins to show he can bend the old rules from time to time. Ruby didn’t like some of the ways “Modern” vamps acted, and Max isn’t a fan of the “Old fashioned” traits those monsters exhibited. The two then reaffirm their love for each other.
As the two climb into their new coffin together, Max only asks Ruby ease him into the future and offers to bring a Victrola into their crypt the next night. Ruby thinks that’s a great idea so they can listen to “Wolfsong.”
And in between necking, Ruby says they can get a car too!
Orson asks if they can lower the volume so he can sleep, people!
Meanwhile, S.G. and Skully have breakfast while Hannah finishes getting all that chocolate off Bug-A-Boo before she heads home, and Harry is thrown out of Zazie’s bar at daybreak.
The next evening, the Vampires try out their new automobile like a family.
Hopefully this wasn’t as depressing as last year’s Valentine’s recap was. I know I had fun!
The one thing I feel we have to not ask ourselves, if Madame Zazie is a sentient spider how does SHE feel about chocolate covered spiders? Or is this a “Why does Spider-Ham eat hot dogs” type of thing?
Happy Vamlumtime’s Day!
[Wing: God, this was adorable, had amazing werewolf references, and had a pretty great message too. As for the Spider-Ham eating hot dog things, Ostrich’s family had a pet pig a long time ago, and its favourite treat was bacon bits. YUP.]