Written by: Dave Franchini, Terry Kavanagh, Erica Heflin & Ben Meares
Art by: Deivis Goetten, Julius Abrera, Marcelo Basile & Eman Casallos
Published by: Zenescope Entertainment
Reviewed by: Simon “BlaxKleric” Moore
Undoubtedly delivering upon its promise to provide both “shocking twists on classic literature” as well as “brand new takes on modern urban legends” this thirty-six page anthology provides precisely the sort of spine-chilling shenanigans George A. Romeo so successfully encapsulated with his 1982 American dark comedy horror movie “Creepshow”, with its terrifying trilogy of blood-soaked tales and interlinking sub-plot involving Keres, the goddess of death hosting a “Costume Party”. In fact, it’s a sure thing that if the “Godfather of the Dead” was still directing the frightful franchise, then this comic’s contents would surely be just the sort of pulse-pounding parables the Bronx-born filmmaker would want for the silver screen.
Opening this comic compendium is Terry Kavanagh’s historically-based mix of Irish classroom jinks and gory murder most foul. Somewhat cleverly focusing upon the unruly behaviour of a naughty schoolgirl, Geraldine, this Nineteenth Century script has the potential to wrong-foot some within its audience as to the identity of Loughlea’s child-killer, and alongside its very clear message that Jack-o’-lanterns definitely do ward off evil spirits, it even manages to intriguingly plug a future edition of the publisher’s title “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not?”
However, the highlight of this book is undoubtedly Erica Heflin’s scary straw-fest entitled “Scarecrow” which follows three greedy modern-day adolescents in their unwise quest for Confederate gold and an alibi. Its artwork suitably scratched by Marcelo Basile, this ‘short’ proves a real shocker as the trio inadvertently kill a hapless “nutso whack job” whilst metal-detecting deep inside a sky-tall cornfield and then discover the dead old woman’s depilated home is inhabited by supposedly inanimate mannequins; “They’re going to come in here and see that this lady was totally off her rocker.”
Finally, before Keres unsympathetically feeds her gullible guests to a room full of sharp-toothed grotesques, knife-wielding zombies and stuffed scarecrows, Ben Meares pens a marvellously macabre yarn involving an elderly, house-bound cripple and the local children’s love of candy. Well-drawn by Eman Casallos, this final fable really should catch its readers off-guard as its plot follows all one’s expectations until its hair-raising conclusion, which gratuitously reveals both the real cause of the young trick-or-treaters’ vividly-green vomit, as well as just why “Ol’ man Miller” has a semi-portable drip feeding some sort of luminescent fluid directly into his frail, emaciated body.
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