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!
Creepy No. 10
Good old Creepy. Like Mad Magazine for horror fans, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes scary collection of comics is one of the old standards. For the October issue of Creepy they're focusing entirely on Lovecraftian horror. This issue is packed with small stories starring, inspired by, or adapted by H.P. Lovecraft. Included is a story about mint-in-box toys based on Lovecraft's elder gods, a dizzying story where the narrative loops in on itself, a wonderful reprint of an old "Rats in the Walls" adaptation, and a lot more. Behold the tentacles, behold the eyeballs, behold Creepy!
Bag it or board it up? Creepy is steady-eddie. You know what you're going to get with every issue. You know Uncle Creepy is going to sinisterly barb, joke, and prod at you, the reader. You know the black and white art is either going to drip with intensity or bounce of the page with dark humor. This Lovecraftian issue is a straight-up treat for the cosmic horror fan.
Minimum Carnage: Alpha
Carnage has escaped. Venom (now a good guy and not Eddie Brock) and Scarlet Spider (a bad-attitude clone of Peter Parker) on the hunt for the escaped mad parasite. Carnage has some friends show up, and beats the crap out of Scarlet Spider, and then we're told to keep an eye out for future issues.
Bag it or board it up? I will always argue that Carnage is a horror villain. A psychopathic serial killer given super powers? That's my type of baddie. This issue does its best to rope you into reading other series (Venom and Scarlet Spider) which I never like. But the story so far is good, and if you're already reading those other series this will be a nice cross-over event. But still, this comic is basically an ad for other comics… and no one likes to be bossed around by their comic books.
Swamp Thing No. 13
It's a new year for Swamp Thing. The whole world has turned to rot while Swamp Thing and Animal Man have been away. Here in this alternate/future/whatever timeline Swampy has finally returned to find the whole world, and all the superheroes in it, consumed and infected by monsters. Now he has to beat the crap out of the Teen Titans. Cool!
Bag it or board it up? If you missed the last year of Swamp Thing this is as good a place as any to jump in. Read some wiki articles, pick up this issue, and pretend you're up to speed, because this is still one of the most interesting comics by a major publisher. Also now Swamp Thing can fly… so he's even more awesome.
Garfield No. 6
The cartoon misadventures of Garfield are almost never on my radar. BUT, it is the witching month, right? And that means every comic in the world will put out Halloween comics. So I decided to give the Halloween Garfield a read. First, we get a story about a cat mummy that breaks out of a museum and causes havoc in town. Second, we see Garfield try as he might to get candy from Jon Arbuckle on Halloween night. It's kid stuff, for sure, but who would expect anything less from the lasagna loving cat?
Bag it or board it up? I know, I know… I just wanted to throw in a Halloween treat for the kiddies. I mean, how many of you reading this have little ones at home who need to be introduced to the wonders of October? Or, how many of you are grown-ass adults who still get a kick out of the surly cat? No judgement here. This is a cute, fun, "spooky" cartoon story. It may not feature Cthulhu ripping someone's sanity from this plane of reality, but a little change of pace never hurt anyone!