New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein No. 1 of 4
Detective of all things dark sided, Cal McDonald tries to help out his ghoul buddy. The ghoul community, lifeless and undying creatures, have evolved past zombies and into a state of watchfulness and respect with humanity. But now, suddenly, they are beginning to die. Naturally. Add to this the fact that the Frankenstein Monster is going blind and needs a new set of eyes, and Cal's in over his head again.
Bag it or board it up? This issue is a lot of fun. It's a good entry point if you're new to the series, and if you're not new to the series… you'll still love it. It's coming off the events of that huge 30 Days of Night crossover event, but you don't really need to know what happened in those comics to know things are looking grim in the here and now. Check it out, it's a great read.
Itty Bitty Hellboy No. 2 of 5
More childish fun from the gang that brings you Itty Bitty Hellboy. This time, a kid version of fan-favorite Lobster Johnson shows up, hot on the trail of a Sasquatch. All the kids jump in, and there are a lot of cute moments where things go awry for the self-series Lobster Johnson.
Bag it or board it up? If you're letting your kid read a book called Itty Bitty Hellboy then you've already got my respect and earned the status of cool parent. This comic is silly, goof-ball fun. It's like Diary of a Wimpy Kid with demons and disembodied brains… and who doesn't want that?
Dark Horse Presents No. 28
This anthology series showcases one-shots, off-shoots, and special installments of many different Dark Horse artists and writers. Not every issue is great for horror, but this one included a few great stories. David Lapham starts it off with the backstory to the Luchador character who showed up in last week's The Strain. Steve Niles has a new installment of his Nosferatu Wars comic, involving moody, ancient vampires who quickly dispense with their victims. Then there's a creepy Edgar Allen Poe story drawn and reinterpreted by Richard Corben, as well as an ongoing story about kids fighting giant ants.
Bag it or board it up? This is a lot of fun packed into eighty-some pages. And for only double the cost of a normal comic, it's very hard to put this down and say no. Each of the stories mentioned above are worth a read, and the variety of styles keep this issue feeling very fresh. But there are plenty of other, non-horror comics peppered in here as well. Including, it must be mentioned, an insane and awesome comic called Sabertooth Swordsman that has to be seen to be comprehended… or believed.
Betty and Veronica Double Digest No. 216
I know… I know. It's a Betty and Veronica comic, the two love interests of the effervescent Archie. But it's almost the Halloween season, and comic companies are putting out their awesome, weird, spooky Halloween issues. And besides, you all need some variety here! The Archie gang is shooting a music video in a spooky haunted house and a troop of background actors dressed like a vampire, a Frankenstein's monster, and a mummy show up to lend a hand. But as time goes by, the gang realizes they may not be actors at all.
Bag it or board it up? The above mentioned is a fun, spooky little story. And it's about six pages… out of over a hundred and fifty! Damn, how do they do it? The rest is, mostly, non-Halloween love stories and stories of "woe is me, Archie" as the girls go at it for Archie's affection. A hundred pages of pining over Archie? For real? There's just not enough horror in here. Though, to be fair, the Halloween cover is fun, the first story is spooky, and there are a bunch of good Sabrina The Teenage Witch comics included. (Did you know Sabrina was originally an Archie Comic before it was a show starring Melissa Joan Hart?) It's definitely a change of pace… but the average horror fan may not find enough to like in this Halloween issue. An interesting side note - this issue was originally published in 1987.