Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #31

The end is here! You've fought against it for so long that you assumed perhaps you were different. But now that your breath grows short and your heartbeat slows to a crawl, even you must admit that there's no escape from...day thirty-one of Spooky covers! And the last thing you see is Suspense #22 :

Suspense #22

Click to enlarge.

BY THE TIME YOU REALIZE YOU'RE STUCK WITH A CORPSE...IT CAN BE TOO LATE!

My friend, truer words have never been writ.

Why, if I had a nickle for every time I woke up strapped to a corpse...

Suspense #22 falls into that coveted category that I call Oh Shit! Now, admittedly, almost any Spooky cover could classify as an Oh Shit! cover. Let's face it, whether your town is being attacked by giant monsters, or you're being chased by a ghoul, or you're being dragged down into your own grave, or whether you're being led to your doom, or you just can't help yourself, or you're just a fricking idiot, I think the first thing in your mind is probably "Oh shit."

But that's too easy.

No, the Oh Shit category is reserved for those situations wherein one cannot fathom what to do next, even while understanding that you are completely and profoundly screwed. You can run from monsters; you can struggle against demons; you can even resist temptation.

But what the hell do you do when you wake up tied to a corpse?

All you can do is scream!

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Oh, my pretties! A single month isn't nearly long enough to tell you of all my favorite Spooky covers. But for now we must put out the lantern, close the crypt, and say good night!

Happy Hallowe'en!

Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #30

Bong! Bong! Bong! The clock is striking midnight. The witching hour has arrived. As the darkness surrounds you, all of your fears are made manifest. Your time is up! Feel the icy hand point your way. There's no escape from...day thirty of Spooky covers! Your penultimate fear comes in the form of  Crypt of Shadows #21:

Crypt of Shadows #21

Click to enlarge.

CoS#21 is admittedly one of my favorite covers. Any cover that so obviously falls into the You're an Idiot category (first discussed here) can't help but earn easy screams, but CoS #21 goes the extra mile.

Mile 1: This guy had premonitions of doom. Now, I think we've all felt that creepy feeling that things weren't right or that something bad was imminent. But most of us do what we can to avoid the source of those feelings. This clown allowed those feelings to lure him to disaster.

Mile 2: This guy knew beforehand that someone was going to die. But driving alone on a deserted road didn't clue him in that the death might be his.

Mile 3: He's driving on a single lane winding road with no railing and a thousand foot drop on both sides, but he keeps on going despite obvious perilous driving conditions and (should we say it again?) a premonition of death.

Mile 4: The cliff is in the shape of a freaking skull! What more does this guy need?

And over the edge: Yes, it's true, there are no CAUTION signs or barricades to alert the driver. Maybe that's because it's so freaking obvious that you shouldn't be driving here! Who even built this road that ends in a skull cliff (hereafter to be known as a skliff)? Are those my tax dollars?

And yet despite all that, this loser is still shocked that the end is here. I guess you might argue that, given all of the warnings, this cover might actually belong to the I Can't Help Myself category (first discussed here).

I love this cover. It makes me scream and scream and scream and scream.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #29

A cold chill goes up your spine. Your skin feels clammy. A eerie voice whispers your name. And now, a strange apparition takes form in front of you. It can only be...day twenty-nine of Spooky covers! Today's frightful feast is House of Secrets #123:

House of Secrets #123

Click to enlarge

The cover to HOS #123 is a bit different from the ones we've seen so far in our series in that it involves the reader. Sure, we've seen other covers talk to the reader, warning him of the frights to come or daring him to pick up the book. But HOS #123 breaks the fourth wall and interacts with the reader directly, offering him a chance to be a part of the horror.

Since there is clearly something nefarious going on here, I'm going to say this cover belongs to the Setting the Trap / Leading You to Your Doom category (first discussed here).

What makes this cover interesting to me is that it plays on two very powerful human emotions: pleasure and fear. Is your desire for pleasure (from eating the ice cream) greater than your fear (of the scary face)?

Now I'm willing to stipulate that there may or may not actually be anything wrong with the ice cream. The human brain is hard wired to see  faces---even where no face exists.

This is not a face

And our propensity to see (and make emotional connections to) faces, leads us to make all kinds of wild conclusions. It's why some people swear they see ghosts, and why the Virgin Mary keeps popping up in weird places.

So maybe there really isn't a monster in that ice cream. Maybe it's just millions of years of evolution prompting me to interpret cherries, chocolate, and melting ice cream as a scary face.

But there is a skeleton hand holding that cone! Run! Because if you are stupid enough to eat that ice cream, then the cover immediately crosses over to the You're an Idiot category (discussed here)! 

Three cheers screams for the amazing Frank Robbins who created this cover.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #28

Arachnophobia: fear of spidersXenophobia: fear of strangers and foreigners Verminophobia: fear of germs Acrophobia: fear of heights Triskaidekaphobia: fear of the number 13 Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes Spookadookaphobia...fear of day twenty-eight of Spooky covers!

Today's fright is Dead of Night #9:

Dead of Night #9

Click to enlarge.

DON #9 belongs to the Monster Chase category. We could quibble and say that Death is waiting for the bus rather than chasing it, but anyone who has been late to work because of public transportation knows that there isn't much difference.

My main question about this cover is: is that really Death? Or is it just some irate customer who has been waiting a really long time for his ride to appear? We all know that waiting for a bus in the middle of the night is always annoying, and it seems that whenever a bus does come along, it is always like this one: Not In Service.  I've wanted to chop a few of those in half myself.

But as creepy as this situation is, is it really that scary? If I'm the bus driver, I think I could take this guy.  I've driven past many a sketchy-looking customer without blinking an eye; why should this one be any different? And really, what is a scythe compared to a 2-ton bus going 35 mph? I mean, what do I have to lose by trying to run him over?

Or just pick him up. Maybe Death isn't after the driver at all. Don't forget to give him a transfer! Two screams for frightening fun and one scream for using public transportation!

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #27

Slosh, slosh, slosh. You knew that cutting through this bog would be messy, but you thought you could save a few minutes of time. But now that the lights are getting dim and the methane off the swamp is getting to your head, you realize that perhaps it wasn't the best plan. Something in the murk begins to percolate. The scum begins to rise out of the water. And before you stands the horrible sight of...day twenty-seven of Spooky covers! Today's muck-encrusted madness is Tales of Suspense #8:

Tales of Suspense #8

Click to enlarge.

By now, my pretties, you recognize a Monster Mash cover when you see one. And TOS #8 is a clear example of a creature on the loose.

And just look at that behemoth! Although his name is similar to the creature from Day 3 (Monstro / Monstrom: clearly lots of thought went into these issues), he looks like he might be a larger scale relative of the creature from Day 7. Whatever lineage he belongs to, he’s a big one. What makes Monstro so scary is his destructive ability. He’s taking out a plane, a ship, several people, and a dock, and he’s still half submerged! Once he gets on land it’s bye-bye civilization!

What I love about Monstro is his sense of scale. Just how big is he anyway? The more you examine this cover, the more you realize that something funky is going on here. In the foreground, one tentacle is smashing the dock. And that tentacle is about twice as thick as a human being. Let’s call it 12 feet in diameter. But look further back on the right: a second tentacle is lifting an entire ship. Now maybe that ship is just far away (making it seem smaller in perspective), but that would make the second tentacle closer to 100 feet in diameter. That seems odd, but it could be possible. Except, at what appears to be the same distance (on the left) is another human holding onto the first tentacle, suggesting that the tentacles don’t grow significantly as they get closer to Monstro’s body. But wait, even further back is Monstro’s enormous head. At least it appears enormous at first, but look closer: there is a man falling near the head who isn’t significantly smaller than the people in the foreground (and definitely too big for the ship that is in front of him). And then there’s the (even further back) tentacle that is smashing the plane.

Monstro is not only incredibly destructive, he disobeys all laws of size and depth perception. He is as big as he wants to be; dangerous at any distance! When people call him the scaley sea-monster, they aren’t talking about his skin!

Two screams!

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #26

They seemed like such nice neighbors. Their kids seemed perfectly well-behaved. But at night you could hear strange noises coming from their house. What was that scratching noise? Were those muffled screams? Eventually, you go to check it out. At night you quietly sneak up to the house, creeping behind the hedges. You slowly approach the window. You peer over the sill. And you are struck dumb as your eyes witness the horror of...day twenty-six of Spooky covers! Today's nuisance is Black Magic #4:

Black Magic #4

Click to enlarge.

There are very few Spooky comics that are actually scary. In fact, as I mentioned in the introduction to this Month of Spooky, scary really isn't a criterion. Campy, cheesy, adbsurd, and ridiculous are closer to the elements that make a comic "spooky" for me.

But occasionally you find a cover that is truly creepy. BM #4 earns that distinction. 

The truly wonderful art by Joe Simon/Jack Kirby make it appear that the woman is peering into the Great Unknown with her enormous eyes. Perhaps she sees something wonderful, but the ominous red scar forming behind her head indicates that what lies beyond is too terrible to contemplate. And the warning by the doctor tells us that man was simply not meant to know the truth.

But once I get over the "creepy" factor, this is one of those covers that actually kind of makes me angry. Here you have a guy (her husband, maybe?) who is a complete ghoul. The poor woman is dying, but rather than seek comfort for her, this jerk is berating her to tell him what she sees. Grabbing her arm with his gnarly hand, and shaking her shoulders---is it any wonder the poor woman is freaking out? Is this really the way to treat a loved one?

And the idea that people near-death can see something beyond is completely unprovable; and yet it persists as a "truism" for many people---sometimes because it is unprovable. How could you even go about testing such a hypothesis? Even under perfect conditions, people on their deathbed make unreliable, and ultimately un-cross-examinable, witnesses.

These (at best) anecdoctal tales of deathbed sightings seem to me to be yet one more way to prey upon scared and desperate people. But urban legends (like the soul weighing 21 grams) remain in the public consciousness because they provide some solace for the uncritical. And that's the truly scary part for me: that end-of-life issues are still handled as if we were living in the Dark Ages.

When I'm dying, please do what you can to make my end bearable. And I promise not to haunt you from the other side.

Two screams for a great cover, and one for "the best health care system in the world."

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #25

The dead are leaving their graves. They shuffle along the street, moaning and groaning. They pound on the doors and windows. You try to lock them out, but there are too many of them. They crave your brains...it must be day twenty-five of Spooky covers! Today's cadaver is Vault of Horror #19:

Vault of Horror #19

Click to enlarge.

Now if you were to say that VOH #19 is a case of Monster Behind You, I couldn't really fault you. I'm tempted to place it into a category called Monkey Paw (AKA: Be Careful What You Wish For), but I haven't found enough covers of that sort to create a whole category (although I'll be happy to discover that there are scores of examples).

So I prefer to think of this cover as a case of The Ironic Death (discussed here). Yes, it's not certain that Ralph has returned from the dead to kill our wispy waif, but I like to think that Ralph died of a broken heart after this girl dumped him. Now that she realizes how good she had it, it's too late! Good riddance, bitch!

What? No, I've never been dumped. Why do you ask? No, really, it was a mutual decision.

Anyway, it's not that I doubt this poor girl's grief. Look at her, she's clearly wasting away from despair. Despite being dead, Ralphy-boy still outweighs her by a good 50 lbs. If he's come to eat her, he'll leave hungry!

(And what's up with those tree roots? Could that be a cousin of Groot?)

Because of my faith in never-ending love, this cover earns one scream. 

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #24

Your mirror cracks. A black cat crosses you path. You accidently walk under a ladder. And your elevator goes to the thirteenth floor. It must be...day twenty-four of Spooky covers. Today's hapless entrant is House of Mystery #109:

House of Mystery #109

Click to enlarge.

Now, on first glance you might be tempted to label HOM #109 as a case of Monster Chase. But you'd be wrong, my friend. Take a look at the policeman's dialogue, and you'll see that this cover is a case of I Can't Help Myself (originally discussed here)!

Despite the fact that there is already one crazy gigantic multi-part creature on the loose, this guy just can't stop himself from creating another one. Oh sure, he may rationalize it by thinking that monster #2 could potentially stop monster #1, but his facial expression tells us the truth: he's mesmerized by the power he wields!

Look, I'm a rational, reasonable human being; but if you gave me the ability to make giant monsters out of toy parts, I'd at least make one just to see how it worked. It's like giving a kid fireworks and then saying "...but don't light them." You can't fight human nature, especially when it means big smashy monsters.

Even the policeman, as concerned as he is, is not taking the obvious step. He could tackle this guy, or shoot the toy out of his hand, or even shoot the man. But he isn't doing any of those things. And why? Because deep in his lizard brain is this thought:

Policeman's subconscious: But...but two big smashy monsters would be really cool!

Amen, brother.

So while this cover really only rates one scream, I'm giving it a second scream. I can't help myself.

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Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #23

Everything is dark. You are tightly bound. The air is thick. You hear a dull, but constant thud on the the surface above you. And just before you black out you realize, you are being buried alive...by day twenty-three of Spooky covers! Oozing from today's wounds of despair is Vault of Evil #15:

Vault of Evil #15

Click to enlarge

One might argue that the cover to VOE #15 belongs to the Monster Chase category. But it more correctly belongs to a category I call Setting the Trap (aka Leading You to Your Doom). These covers typically involve two characters, with Character A leading Character B into an obvious (at least to the viewer) doom. Now with this particular cover, Character A happens to be the Devil, but that doesn’t change the motive. He isn’t chasing Character B; he’s leading him---and thus the distinction in category.

This cover makes the cut not only because it offers such valuable advice (Don’t Shake Hands with the Devil---who knows what diseases he may be carrying), but also because the action taking place is ambiguous.

Has the gentleman already shaken hands with the Devil (and that’s the reason he’s falling off the roof); or is the mere presence of the Devil enough to cause him to fall off the roof? In either case, it’s problematic.

If he falls of the roof before he shakes hands, the Devil may “win,” but without completing the deal (and potentially losing a soul). And if Character B falls off the roof immediately after shaking hands, can the Devil really claim to have fulfilled his part of the contract? If so, I guess you really can’t trust the Devil!

Or maybe Character B's wish was to be able to fly...ooh, tricky Devil!

So one scream for such scholarly advice, and another for complete bewilderment as to what is happening here. Watch your step!

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Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #22

They dared you to come here. They said you weren't man enough. But after a few drinks, you figured that there was nothing to fear in this old graveyard. But now that you're here, and the wind is whipping up, and the chill is dancing across your shoulders, you don't feel so sure. You hear a noise, and turn to find a tombstone...with your name on it! Something is clawing out of the ground; it can only be...day twenty-two of Spooky covers! Today's rotting stench comes from Tales to Astonish #13:

Tales to Astonish #13

Clearly TTA #13 falls into the Monster Mash category, given how Groot is out to cause general mayhem to citizens and property.

But what earns this cover a special scream is that Groot is unlike other monsters we've seen. He's not simply knocking over buildings willy-nilly. No, he's actually growing into the town! Groot "the Root" is the kind of menace that every home owner fears: foundation troubles caused by that old oak tree!

But that's not all! This cover earns an extra scream because of the defiant tone of one of the civilians. Unlike other menaced individuals, this one doesn't give up hope or head for the hills. No he stands up to the monster! And more, he talks smak right back at him!

Upright Citizen: Imma put you down by midnight, boyo!

That's the way to put a monster in his place! Such specificity is like termites to the beings from Planet X!

Two screams for you. One for the gnarly trash-talking tree, and one for the fearless fool who takes up the challenge.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #21

Your head pounds. Your teeth ache. Your hands seem to elongate and grow fur. And then you notice the full moon. Finally you realize that gypsy curse was real truth. You are becoming...day twenty-one of Spooky covers. Today's beastly fright is House of Secrets #114:

House of Secrets #114

Good Lord! What is going on here?

This poor figure skater is being hounded by a bunch of ruffian hockey players...who just happen to be skeletons.

But if that weren't bad enough, she's being chased toward a hole in the ice, where another skeleton is breaking through!

This woman is having a very bad day. Or maybe a bad night. It isn't clear whether this takes place inside or outside. The darkness suggests outside at night. But the spotlight suggests that this is taking place on a rink of some sort. But then, how would a skeleton be breaking through the ice if there weren't water underneath? And who is manning the spotlight? I hope he is calling for help---or maybe he's a skeleton too!

Whatever the story, this just goes to show you why "All Skate" is a bad policy.

I don't have a category for this cover other than What the @#$%. For sheer absurdity, this covers earns three screams.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #20

The room shakes. The walls drip blood. An eerie voice cries "Get Out! Get Out!" Your house is being haunted by...day twenty of Spooky covers! Today's creature beneath the floorboards is Chamber of Chills #20:

Chamber of Chills #20

COC #20 falls squarely in The Ironic Death category (originally discussed here). Oh sure, the irony is a bit strained (it would be better if the corpses were robbing the thieves of something other than their lives), but how can you not love this cover?

That is one scary corpse! Typically, bodies get buried long before they reach that state of decay. And yet, despite the obvious putrefaction, that corpse has a great body! Look at the chest on that guy---he's tearing through his own shirt with those pecs.

These two hapless thieves sneak into the morgue, expecting that the dead will still be holding their wallets and clutching their pearls. Are they really that stupid? Unless people are dropping like flies, I'm pretty sure that valuables (along with clothes---but this is a family comic) are typically removed from bodies before they go into the drawer.

And what is up with these guys? I understand how thief #1 with dead hands around his neck might be startled, but his buddy keeps opening the drawer. Instead of pontificating about your situation, how about lending a hand---or at least close the drawer!

At a bare minimum, you'd think thief #2 would have the good sense to start running. But no, he's probably gonna open a few more drawers. You know, just in case.

Struggle all you want, but for me, COC #20 earns the coveted fourth scream:

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Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #19

You feel nauseous. The room begins to spin around you. Eerie faces loom and laugh at you. You cry out in vain, they don't seem to understand you. Is this a dream? Are you hallucinating? Are you going mad? Worse...it's day nineteen of Spooky covers! Today's dementia comes from Fear #5:

Fear #5

The cover to Fear #5 falls into a category I call I Can’t Help Myself. Now, admittedly, I Can’t Help Myself is a strong corollary to The Big Reveal (originally discussed here), and it occasionally crosses paths with Nobody Believes Me (originally discussed here). The main distinction of this category is that the primary character is an individual who can’t stop his/her transformation (or horrific misdeeds); but it is not unusual for them to be relishing in it. Think of it as the difference between intentional murder and temporary insanity that leads to murder, I Can't Help Myself is the latter.

Look, these categories are completely made up. Just play along.

Ordinarily, a guy turning into a gorilla wouldn't be enough to make the cut for great Spooky covers. But Fear #5 isn't just a cover, it's a complete comic. Count 'em: six panels! The text even tells you that this is the whole story. What more do you need to know?

Do you care that this guy could never live up to daddy's expectation? Or about his failed marriage? Who cares what his motivation was? The guy is now a gorilla! That's all you need to know!

There's really no reason to buy the comic now. This is the perfect antidote for those people who are constantly being berrated by comic shop owners for reading in the store. Hey, I'm just looking at the cover, buddy! Two screams!

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #18

You thought that intching on your hand was just an ordinary mosquito bite. But three days later, the itching won't stop. You scratch and you scratch, tearing the flesh from your bones. And underneath the surface you find...day eighteen of Spooky covers! Today's abrasion is Vault of Evil #16:

Vault of Evil #16

Anyone who has walked down the isle has had this particular nightmare. This cover falls into the dual category of The Big Reveal and Dragged Down. Not only is the groom revealed to be a monster (more common than you think); but that piece of land in the country he promised you is a burial plot.

Silly bride, don't you know that half of all marriages end in monsterism? This guy didn't waste even a second. As soon as they were legal, he showed his true colors. Lie back and think of England!

This one rates 3 screams if only because it so perfectly captures the institute of marriage.

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Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #17

You've never believed in fortune tellers, but this one seems to know so much about you. Your inner secrets are hers to unlock. With each passing moment, she shows you more of your future in her crystal orb. And as she reveals your final doom, you gasp in horror at the sight of ...day seventeen of Spooky covers! Today's shock is House of Mystery #221:

House of Mystery #221

Now, come on, that is just creepy! I don't really have a category for skeletons riding carousels; it seems sui generis to me (but admittedly, I haven't seen every spooky cover, so who knows).

Look closely at this cover (if you dare). What's the deal here? Did the skeleton jump a ride on the carousel, or did somebody die on the "bury-go-round" because they couldn't (or wouldn't) get off. It's difficult to tell from the skeletons "expression" and posture. He even looks a little drunk to me. Those circles surrounding his skull are probably in the background, but they could be drunk bubbles.

This one is almost a scary as the haunted roller coaster. Oh, have I not shown you that one yet? Be patient, my pretties...

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #16

Thud. Thud. Thud. Something is following you. You pick up your step. You start to run. Thud. Thud. Thud. You stumble. You get up. You start to run again, but no matter how fast you move, you cannot escape...day sixteen of Spooky covers. Today's behemoth is Vault of Evil #12:

Vault of Evil #12

This cover falls into a category I call The Ironic Death. On these covers an individual meets his/her demise in an unexpected, but usually appropriate, fashion (which might be loosely called “ironic,” although that term is often mis-used; I'm looking at you, Morissette). The Ironic Death is often closely related to Revenge (discussed here), but it typically takes it to a whole ‘nother level.

This particular cover is pretty standard, so it only rates one scream; but how can you not love how that witch is gonna get her just desserts? That's a lot of men to have murdered! And shouldn't her newly deceased husband be among them? How long do you have to wait after you die until you can start haunting someone?

One scream for you.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #15

A bolt of lightning flashes across the night sky. The radio announces that a deranged criminal has escaped from the asylum. The window smashes, and in comes...day fifteen of Spooky covers! Today's nutjob is Vault of Evil #7:

Vault of Evil #7

As with yesterday's cover, VOE #7 falls squarely into the category of The Big Reveal. In fact, this cover is sort of the mirror image of yesterday's. Here, it's the woman who turns out to be a creep (notice how she calls him "darling").

Now the “my-girlfriend-is-really-a-monster” theme is as old as time (and worth only one scream), but the fact that this cover is a mini-comic in itself (multi-paneled) earns it an additional scream in my book.

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For me the question here is "what's her motive?" Is she simply a monster who can't control herself? Is she enacting some sort of revenge on her spouse? Or is she just fed up with her marriage and, not believing in divorce, decides the only way to fix things is to enact the "death us do part" clause?

Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #14

Double, double toil and trouble;Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes...It's day fourteen of Spooky covers!

And today's beastly image is Crypt of Shadows #18:

Crypt of Shadows #18

COS #18 belongs to the category I call The Big Reveal.  Covers in this category typically involve a friend, colleague, or loved one who has decided that NOW is the appropriate time to mention that they happen to be a monster (or something else equally horrible).

Now it's possible that these two people don't know one another. It could be that this is a blind date. But the guy is addressing her as "darling" so I tend to think that they are on fairly familiar terms. If this is a blind date, and this guy is still calling her darling, then that proves he's a creep (with or without a second face), and this lady should just shut the door on him now.

I suppose that it's also possible that the guy is not even aware that there is another face on the back of his head. When was the last time you saw the back of your own head? Sure, it seems like someone might have mentioned it to him, but how often have you had something stuck to your face and no one bothered to tell you?

But no, I think this guy knows exactly what's going on. Tonight's the night he shows his chick his fear face. (Which is not so different from his "O" face as it turns out.) Seriously, what is supposed to happen here? A second face is pretty much a deal-killer no matter how good looking it is. And this guy's second face is not so much a "fear face" as it is an ugly face. This'll be a short date.

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Re: Covers: A Month of Spooky #13

Watch out! Don't turn around! There may be something behind you! There is; it's the thirteenth day of Spooky covers. And in honor of this auspicious day, we have the inimitable Black Magic #6:

Black Magic #6

On first glance, BM #6 (boy, that abbreviation sounds pretty scary in itself) is a fairly conventional cover. And while I don't have a special category for it, it's fair to say that there is a skyscraper's worth of Spooky covers devoted to elevators going to the (ooh scary) 13th floor; so "scary elevators" could be a category if you really feel the need for it.

For the record, I've been in lots of buildings with 13th floors, and I've never had a problem. Now the 24th floor, on the other hand...

But back to this cover: normally, I wouldn't give this one more than a single scream; but take a closer look. The elevator operator (who is a skeleton, natch) is beckoning the couple to enter his car to take a ride to the 13th floor. But the floor indicator light shows the couple to already be on the 13th floor! I guess that's why it's considered an "express" elevator. It takes you there instantaneously!

Oh course, as with any scary building worth its foundation, this one has no 13th floor (as the gentleman explains). But it does have a pretty plush elevator car accommodations! Sure there's a coffin in there, but think of the elbow room! You won't need to stand next to the guy with the bad breath if you get in this car. Of course, Boney McRibman is a talker, so there's that...

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Re:Covers: A Month of Spooky #12

The phone rings, but there's no one on the line. It rings again, but all you hear is a deep breathing. It rings a third time, and a ghostly voice tells you to beware. Finally, the operator calls you and tells you that the phone calls are coming from...day twelve of Spooky covers!

Today's terror is Crypt of Shadows #3:

Crypt of Shadows #3
Crypt of Shadows #3

The cover to COS #3 falls into a category that I call You're an Idiot. Now, granted, many of the covers that we've reviewed this month could technically fall into this category. We've had curators that put melting cavemen in museums; and we've had cops that can't seem to notice monsters breaking out of the ground, and we've had couples frolicking in graveyards, to name only a few.

But the You're an Idiot category is reserved for those individuals who clearly have no business being allowed out of the house. They aren't just dense, or unreasonably skeptical, or completely oblivious, or even just  annoying assholes. They are too stupid to live.

Look at this guy. Look at him! He's playing poker with a werewolf, a vampire, and DEATH. But he didn't think there was a problem until he got dealt two pair, which isn't a great hand, but it's a reasonable one to play with. Sure, Wild Bill Hickok was killed while holding aces and eights, but he wasn't playing against three monsters!

I can't believe that the monsters are waiting until midnight to cap this guy. Do they really want to clean him out first? If only one of the monsters (ideally Death) where smoking a stogie, this cover would have gotten a fourth star.

scream6 scream4 scream7