When you hear the knell of a requiem bell, weird glows gleam where spirits dwell…
Happy Halloween, my dear Evil Geeks! Here’s one last Hall-O-Reads for you, before we take our pumpkins to the curb and smash ’em. With Justice League coming soon to theaters near us, I’ve been devouring so many DC titles to tide myself over until the big day. After the New 52, I was turned off from current books for a while, but I’m just starting to read some of the Rebirth titles and I’m really enjoying them! Naturally, I’m a fan of all things spooky, so when I saw DC House of Horror hit the shelves of my local comic shop, I knew I needed to read it.
First of all, the one thing that caught my eye before anything else was Wonder Woman on the cover. She’s right at the top of the art, as you can see here. I was drawn to her because she looks super banshee/Sindel from Mortal Kombat-esque, and she’s playing a violin for some reason.
While Wonder Woman is not a banshee in this comic, nor does she play violin, she and the other prominent Justice League members get featured in this Elseworlds AU, where the writers imagine canon events with a bit of a horror spin. For example, Superman as a creepy alien monster trying to murder the Kents’. Some of the stories I found to be a bit rushed and confusing, but I did have a few favorite stories from this special.
My personal favorite, Stray Arrow, imagines Green Arrow as a mass murderer, who has Black Canary locked in a cage in his basement. Ultimately, she kicks his ass and breaks out of there, but I thought it was not too far off from the way he was portrayed in Arrow a few seasons back. Although many other critics panned this story, I also really enjoyed the “mentally unstable Billy Batson” story, where ‘Shazam’ is the Mr. Hyde to Billy’s Jekyll, so to speak.
There were also some stories that elicited an actual “what the fuck” reaction from me, and the one that left me scratching my head the longest was certainly “Man’s World”, the Wonder Woman short story. In this story, Wonder Woman’s spirit possesses a woman, who is then extremely eager to spill the blood of men who have so wronged women in society. To me, this seemed super contrived and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at it. I would have much preferred a violin playing banshee. A close second for most WTF story is “Crazy For You”, where Harley Quinn’s ghost causes a man to kill his wife, and eventually, he is driven mad by her apparition, and continues to kill people, while not in control of his body. Spoiler: This is not a feminist Harley Quinn like the one that DC attempted to bring out in Suicide Squad. In the 3 or so pages of this story, she tries to flash her breasts at least twice.
While this comic was good, it certainly isn’t worth the hefty $9.99 price tag. The art was pretty awesome, and I especially liked the style in “Crazy For You” that helped by giving us unsettling and eerie imagery of Harley’s ghost. If you’re a horror fan, and a DC fan excited for Justice League, this may be a nice addition to your collection, but if you’re debating dropping the $9.99 on it, you might want to wait for it to show up in the bargain bin.
Well, Evil Geeks, it’s been a pleasure for me to grace you with these Hall-O-Reads throughout the spooky season. I wish that I had more time to keep pumping these out. I will most definitely continue to bring you some spooky treats throughout the rest of the year, and am definitely still interested in hearing all of your favorite horror reads to keep me going until next Halloween.
Have a happy and safe Halloween, y’all, and happy reading! And remember, David S. Pumpkins is always with us.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to frighten you prematurely; the real chills come later. Now, as they say, look alive…”
Greetings, Evil Geeks! As Halloween fast approaches, our last few ‘Hall-O-Reads” are upon us as well. But, not to fret, I have some great reads to get us through until the big day. Although the reviews I’ve done thus far have all been comic books, I decided to include a novel that I think might be one of my favorite horror titles thus far.
Stranger Things has definitely peaked my interest in the simpler time of the 1980’s, and I’ve always been a fan of nostalgia, so when I saw this title in my local book store, I couldn’t resist picking it up. They say not to judge a book by it’s cover — but when the cover has art as cool as this one, I think it’s justified. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix is by far, the best horror title I have read in a while. The premise is essentially teen-angst movie, mixed with pure horror and Exorcist goodness. Think Jennifer’s Body, but well written, and actual quality. Many of the reviews compare it to Heathers as well, and I think it’s definitely an accurate comparison.
The story is about Abby, lonely, homely and awkward, finding a friend in the new girl in town, Gretchen. Gretchen’s parents are strict and, like many other people in the time, live in fear of Satanism. So, imagine their shock and disbelief when their daughter starts acting very unlike herself. Soon, Gretchen’s little attitude adjustments start causing more problems than just average, run of the mill high school drama, and Abby has to enlist the help of an exorcist to rid the demon from her best friend’s body.
The story is actually surprisingly relatable, and the symbolism of a “friend possessed by a demon” is definitely on par with some of my own high school friends. We’ve all had that one friend who leaves us to “go to the dark side”, so to speak, and might be acting differently now that they’ve entered high school age. I found Hendrix’s writing to be extremely captivating, his sharp wit coupled with the way he conveys the typical 80’s tropes come across on the page like a John Hughes’ film would on the screen. I found myself wondering who they would cast in a film version, and could very easily see this story play out on the screen. (Sean and James Gunn, you should take this one on…I’m begging you!)
This story is equal parts hilarious and dark, giving you just the right amount of scary and silly. It’s also quite a quick read, I literally left a convention after-party to come back to my room and read this one, and that’s saying something! The ending is quite surprising as well, and also kind of emotional. I definitely didn’t expect that from this book, but it really was a wild ride from start to finish. Additionally, the each chapter of the story has an 80’s hit song as the title — which actually makes for an excellent playlist to jam out to while you read the book. I’ve actually created a playlist for it, that you can listen to here!
I definitely think this should be added to everyone’s libraries, but would recommend this one for YA audiences particularly, as there are some scenes that might be too delicate for some little stomachs. This one is a must read for the Halloween season!
Evil Geek Book Report: Special Edition – Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O-Reads : The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Welcome, foolish mortals…
As autumn rolls its way through the Upstate region (even though it’s actually 95 degrees out as I write this — curse you global warming!) and the end of September draws nigh, the spooky season is now upon us! There’s nothing I love more than curling up with some chilling tales and a cup of tea during this time of year, so I decided to write up some of my favorites in what I like to call Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O Reads! So grab some cider donuts, light a candle, and gather ’round.
The first edition of Hall-O-Reads comes straight to you from the Archie Comics’ universe. Just this week, news broke that there was a new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series in development from the team that is currently bringing us the sexy goodness that is Riverdale. (For my review of Riverdale, click here — I highly suggest catching up on Netflix before the new season airs in early October.)
The series is said to be based on the ongoing comic title, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch , which I’ve heard great things about, and also a great many complaints, due to the fact that the people at Archie Comics have been publishing these books at a near glacial pace. But don’t get too mad at them, folks! They’re busy bringing us more Riverdale, so naturally, all is forgiven there. Well, at least from me.
Naturally, with all this Sabrina news, I decided to give the comic a try. I was a huge fan of the TGIF series growing up, and I’ve always loved the Archie Comics universe. I will, however, state first that this is not your TGIF Sabrina by a long shot. Much darker and with a slightly Satanic edge, this comic really pushes the edge on what you know to be the Archie Comics universe. You see familiar faces, such as Hilda, Zelda and Salem, but they’re definitely not the goofy characters you remember. I won’t spoil anything for you, but let’s just say Salem REALLY liked the ladies and Harvey isn’t the guy you remember.
The barebones plot of the comics is that Sabrina tries to navigate being a powerful half witch with her teenage lifestyle. On her sixteenth birthday, she must either accept her responsibility to become a witch, or be a mortal forever. Her father, Edward’s ex flame — aka Madam Satan, returns and is determined to wreak havoc and chaos on the Spellman family, by targeting the object of Sabrina’s affections — her beloved Harvey.
I’ve yet to read Afterlife with Archie, but I noticed that it definitely ties into that story as well, so I may give that a chance too, but I will say that the Riverdale gang plays a significant role in Sabrina’s story as well. Basically, if you ever wanted to see Betty and Veronica summon a demon, this is definitely the comic for you!
Additionally, the art is absolutely gorgeous, and some of the variant covers are super cool. My personal favorite cover is one that mirrors the movie poster for Carrie. I love the classic look of the characters and the simplistic style used throughout the comics, that pays homage to the 1950’s-1960’s era that the comic takes place in.
Issues 1-8 are currently available, with the series itself beginning in 2014. I was able to pick up all of the issues at once (shout out to the amazing crew at Earthworld Comics in Albany — who I swore by even before they decided to pay me regularly, for the record…) and will anxiously be waiting for the next installment, which is set to hit comic shops in December of this year!
I will say that this story is super accessible to someone who hasn’t read Archie in a number of years, aside from the Riverdale tie in comics — and is a great spooky read to get you in the mood for this season.
That’s all for this edition of Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O-Reads, stay tuned for some more spooky reading suggestions from your favorite spooky, scary, Evil Geek!
Be sure to tweet me @undiesofwondy , or leave a comment here for your Hall-O-Reads suggestions and to let me know what you all think of mine.
Hey Evil Geeks! It’s almost Halloween time and things are starting to get spookier than usual. Joining Big Evil, C-Mart, Greekimus Prime, and Undies of Wondy are John Skipp and Andrew Kasch, the brains behind “This Means War”, one of the shorts in the new horror anthology film Tales of Halloween; which was just released in theaters and on VOD on October 16th! We talk movies, the strange and fleeting popularity of the Guitar Hero franchise, plus a healthy dose of The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow!
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Hey there, Evil Geeks. Halloween is just around the corner and let’s face it; the Austin Powers costume you’ve been wearing every year since the 7th grade stopped being funny right around the time we got that whole Y2K thing ironed out. It’s time to elevate your costume game to the next level. You want something that’s going to stand out in a sea of bros wearing Obama or Trump masks. That’s where our friends at Wholesale Halloween Costumes can help you out! Stop wearing lame costumes and learn how to make yourself up like one of the War Boys from Mad Max: Fury Road! Check out this video to learn how. Of course, if you REALLY want to take this costume to its fullest potential, you’re going to have to grab a chainsaw and an arc welder, then start attaching parts of the futon in your parents basement to the hood of an El Camino. Sadly, we don’t have a tutorial video for that. Yet.
Stay shiny, Evil Geeks!
War Boy Tutorial: http://www.wholesalehalloweencostumes.com/blog/war-boy-makeup-tutorial/
Wholesale Halloween Costumes: www.wholesalehalloweencostumes.com
Have you all woken up from your candy and alcohol induced comas? Good! Welcome back to another edition of the spookiest, scariest, and most dastardly column on the internet….the Villain Spotlight! I figured since Halloween is on a Thursday this year, that we could stretch it out just one more day to Friday. I was wracking my brain and trying to come up with something appropriate for you all, and came across someone I am surprised I haven’t mentioned or spotlighted before. A real man made of the stuff nightmares are afraid of, a bag of acid and bile that haunts your mind with visions of terrifying terribleness, and man who eats fear like it’s so much candy. Ladies and Ghouls, I present to you…..Oogie Boogie!!