Start Halloween with the Universal Monsters!

The late night has a chill, and the leaves are blowing in the air as we approach my favorite month with my favorite holiday that’s filled with ghost, goblins, witches and ghouls.  Of course I am talking about October and Halloween! Growing up, Halloween, also known as beggars night, was always one of the highlights of the year.  Dressing up in whatever costume you or your parents wanted and going around town and getting free candy from neighbors and hearing spooky stories shared amongst friends always seemed like a perfect night. In Waynesville, Halloween always seemed more special as I was younger and enjoyed seeing friends from school walking around town dressed up, getting the free candy and walking around with my brother and his friends. When we moved back to Kettering, I was much older and spent most Halloweens watching horror films on tape or TV or driving around backwoods with Matt Hoffman or Josh Weinberg. One funny story about driving around had Matt Hoffman and I driving late around Bellbrook on Halloween night.  I was dressed up as Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th), and he was dressed as The Wolf Hunter (a character he played in the movies we made).  We got lost and drove up what we thought was a small road that turned out to be someone’s driveway, and when we got to the house, a group of people were sitting on the porch and one had a shotgun in hand! Hoffman and I saw this, and I rolled down the window in the mask and all and said we were looking for the killer party, and then we quickly backed up and they just stared at us.  In my mind I was hoping they thought that we were real ghouls looking for a secret party. Before we get into the comic reviews on DELL Comics take on Universal Monsters Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolf Man, Mummy and Creature From the Black Lagoon, I am going to share things that I look forward/think about every Halloween season!

The first thing is the Halloween decorations from cheap plastic skeletons to the traditional Jack O Lantern.  They make the season of fall seem so much more magical. Growing up my mom use to let me decorate the living room for Halloween.  It was quickly filled with ceramic painted ghosts and vampires, cardboard skeletons and frankenstein monsters in the windows and Addams Family flashlights of Lurch and Fester on the mantel. I like to drive around and look at Halloween displays people have in their yards and windows like some people do with Christmas decorations. I have seen some really cool stuff in Kettering, Waynesville and Fairborn.

witch halloween Decorationsjack-o-lanternwerewolf halloween Decorations

Another thing that kicks off the fall/Halloween season for me is the Sauerkraut Festival that my hometown Waynesville has put on for 44 years that’s always held of the second full week of October. The event is filled with great food, outdoor vendors that sell homemade crafts and almost all the amazing shops and restaurants are open for business. Over the years I notice the crowds at the event get bigger and bigger and lots of kids come and have fun. One of my best memories is buying ceramic halloween decorations that me and my mom later painted in her craft room that was also taken over as the NES Game Room, and also buying really cool homemade buttons of Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Billy Idol. If you have not ever been to this event and are a fan of homemade crafts and food and like the feel and fun of a small town, I would highly recommend you check out this fun festival.

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Of course one of the best parts of Halloween is finding the right costume and dressing up as your favorite hero, fiend or celebrity. Over the years I can remember dressing up as Rell the Cyclops from Krull, Skeletor from Masters of the Universe, Dracula, a Clown, The Wolf Man, Bigfoot, Jason Voorhees, Billy Idol and Alice Cooper. The Rell costume was one that scarred me.  Longtime readers will know the story.  I dressed as The Wolf Man from my own film Werewolf of Ohio for a Halloween party held at my friends’, brother and sister Chris and Rosetta Workman’s old house in Troy. The lamest costume I can remember is being a clown.  My mom was too scared to put the black makeup close to my eyes so she left them bare. I looked like a meth addict clown who just couldn’t get his stuff together for that one last show of the night. One of my favorites was Dracula it was pretty cool putting in the fake teeth and wearing the cape with white grease paint on. But I also loved dressing as Bigfoot for my cousin Steve and his then girlfriend Emily’s Halloween Home Warming Party.  It was great spending a spooky night with friends like Max Ervin, Nate Stevens, Josh Weinberg and all the rest of the gang. Halloween lets anyone feel like a star as they can dress up and act like what ever they want to be.  If you want to be a zombie, then be it.  If you wanna be Lady GaGa, then dress like her! Below are a few pics of me from the ages dressed as all types of ghouls and fools.

me as clownme as draculame as wolfman couto as philme as bigfoot

The main point of Halloween is to go trick or treating, and every kid, with his pillow case, plastic pumpkin or plastic bag, hopes for the good stuff like Snickers, Kit Kats and Milky Ways and dreads candy corn, pennies and taffy. Some of my favorite treats to get were Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  They were and still are my favorite candy to treat my sweet tooth to. I like the old wax type wrapper better then the more lame plastic type. Another favorite was Monster Candy sugar sticks put into boxes that showed Universal Monsters on them. We use to buy these to give out for Halloween by my request and before Halloween I would sneak and eat a few.  I am sure my Mom and Dad knew but didn’t care. One other fun one I use to love was Wax Lips.  Terrible candy, but a fun trick! I remember getting a pair one year that I would wear around and then in a few hours I decided to chew on them and made them into a wax ball….such a lame treat but really fun and lame entertainment. I wonder if I dressed as Bigfoot this year and went door to door here in Dayton, if people would give me candy….hmmm makes me wonder!

wax lipsreeses peanut butter cupmonster candy

Halloween TV Specials were also something I looked forward to and some of my favorites include The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror” every year.  They are fun horror themed stories that have The Simpson family in situations that are not in the normal season story arcs. Roseanne had some of the best Halloween episodes on TV.  The Conners understood the spirt of Halloween, and the episodes were done so well and had that blue collar appeal to them that made them over the top yet realistic. As the series went on, they slowly lost some of the charm but Roseanne had some of the best episodes for this holiday. Two specials that used to air when I was younger every Halloween and that I still love to this day are “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and ” Garfield’s Halloween Adventure.” Both were fun animated family entertainment.  Charlie Brown is the better of the two, and who can forget Chuck’s many holed ghost sheet and the fact he got a rock for a treat, classic stuff. Garfield had that wonderful ghost story meets John Carpenter’s The Fog feel to it, and the creepy old man that tells them the story is great stuff for young ones to get their bones chilled by. Halloween Specials are a fun way for TV Shows to cut loose and have fun and CBS, FOX, ABC and the rest need to look back at the golden age of specials on TV and bring this generation some spooky stuff for their Halloween nights.

The Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror dvdRoseanne Halloween dvdcharlie brown halloween dvdGarfield Halloween Adventure VHS

Speaking of TV, another thing that Halloween Season always makes me think about is Shock Theatre and The New Shock Theater both hosted by the late great Dr. Creep! Late night TV watching in October was always a treat when Dr. Creep and crew would host a terrible b-movie shocker, and the Creeper would be on the screen hamming it up in skits and later interviews with the horror stars of the past and present. Halloween time in Dayton and the surrounding area always belonged to Dr. Creep who will always be the icon of fright to anyone who grew up watching his show. During the holiday time Creep would make many public appearances, one of which was the charity horror film event called Horrorama where films would be shown from 35mm prints and Creep, along side Andy Copp and Rick Martin and later myself, would hold contests and entertain the crowd in between films.  Fall will never be the same without the Creeper who sadly passed away in early 2011, and while he might be gone, he will never be forgotten and his local TV work will forever have a legacy that will entertain generations to come thanks to DVD and VHS.

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This time of year also brings the Halloween Specials of Terrifying Tales of the Macabre to local Dayton airwaves.  These hour long specials are some of my favorite episodes I shoot in a season and are for Dayton’s Scare-A-Thon, a long block of Horror film programing that airs on both DATV and MVCC. Baron Von Porkchop, the host of the show, always seems to get himself into trouble during this time of the year and for the first one The Baron meets the killer The Sadness from the film of the same name at Wright State University during another one of his killing rampages.  The second one had Baron hosting “Werewolf of Ohio” and going trick or treating with his weird hunchback friend Melvin.  They make the mistake of getting the wrath of The Headless Horseman after them! These episodes are so much fun to make and rank always as the top sellers for us at the end of each year. I hope that the fans have as much fun with them as The Baron and I have making them. I am also so glad to have dug up The Baron from his grave and share his silly adventures with the fans, and I hope that The Baron adds to people’s Halloween experience as Dr. Creep did for mine. I should also mention another great Halloween event is Boo-Fest, a Halloween party put on by a friend of the show named Len, that he has Baron Von Porkchop as the guest judge of the costume contest, a fun time with really good people.

Baron Halloween Special 1 DVDBaron Von PorkchopBaron Halloween Special 2 dvd

When I was young, McDonald’s was the cool place to eat for kids, and Happy Meals and the toys inside were things we all collected and traded on the playground. Some years around Halloween time they would also have pumpkin and ghost buckets for sale and when released they were everywhere in kids hands during trick or treat. But another thing I always remember is when the Chicken McNuggets in a commercial dressed as classic monsters.  I mean who can forget the Vampire McNugget or The Mummy McNugget? The commercial had them doing all kinds of silly stuff that all was to make their own dipping sauce.  Later in the short commercial Ronald McDonald just gave them dipping sauce. I don’t know why, but this commercial has always stuck with me and I thought it was even cooler when they gave away McNugget toys in the Happy Meals that had them dressed as the monsters. Fun stuff, and man now I am hungry for McNuggets!

mcnugget monstersMcNugget toysmcnugget dracula

Kids and the young at heart always wish that Halloween Town from Tim Burtons “A Nightmare Before Christmas” was real.  Well here in Ohio, we have something very close with Foy’s Halloween Shop and all of it’s other shops (adult and kids costume stores, a haunted house supply shop, etc) in Fairborn! Foy’s is run by Mike Foy and is a one stop shopping for all your halloween needs they have masks, costumes, candy, decorations, make up, gag gifts and so much more. In October the store really comes alive with a DJ outside that plays music.  When Dr. Creep was with us, he signed autographs and DVDs out front. They have a Batman on top of one of the buildings and lots of animatronics of people puking! The street is filled with people just hanging around and having a good time.  Every year I try and make at least one trip to Foy’s in October because the over all energy of that area is great Halloween fun. If you ever find yourself in Ohio in October, do yourself a favor and check out Foy’s.

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Speaking of costumes the older I got, the more I took notice of the sexy halloween costumes that are just wowing. Halloween is one time a year when many hot ladies dress up as French Maids, Sexy Cats, Nurses and Playboy Bunnies and it’s like cosplay for the masses. Don’t want to spend to much time of this one, but I just want to say that women in sexy costumes is another reason I love Halloween! Thoough I will say that my girlfriend Juliet made a good observation that it’s harder for girls to find costumes that don’t have the word sexy associated with them.  Guys can be a scary Freddy Kruger while woman have to be Sexy Freddy Kruger.

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Halloween time also makes me think of my friend Max Ervin, a guy I knew for over 10 years and a guy that I worked with at two jobs. Max was like me, a big kid at heart and loved to look at Halloween stores and decorate the stores we worked at. His family also used go all out and decorate their house, and this I think always made the holiday special for Max. He also loved dressing up and every year jumped at the chance to come to work in costume. Max and I also loved to go to abandoned houses and root around hoping to find some cool stuff and maybe even get a slight chill. He also worked on many horror films with me and was a fan of cheesy horror like myself. Sadly, the world lost Max this year and I will forever miss his friendship.  He truly was a fun spirit who knew how to make the world around him laugh. Rest In Peace my friend, this Halloween blog is for you. Below are some pics of Max in Halloween costumes and one of him and I at Steve’s Halloween Party.

max and memax as indianmax outlaw

What is Halloween without The Universal Monsters? The answer to the question is a little less fun for me! Growing up I loved the classic black and white horror films.  Every Halloween I use to watch the 1932 Frankenstein on VHS, and as I acquired more of the Universal Monsters VHS releases, they joined in the October must watch list. Besides the fact they are great films, the characters themselves are traditional scary monsters that kids and adult dress up as and all seem to mimic when thinking of that said monster. I can remember a few years back sitting in my darkened room with the TV glow as the only light as a thunderstorm poured down outside as I watched Frankenstein on DVD.  The sensation of watching the classic film on a night like that in mid October made me think of how terrifying this film was for movie goers in the 1930’s.  They must have been in total shock as The Monster, played by Boris Karloff, first appeared on screen with his bolted neck and flat scarred up head. The Universal Monster films are also a fun way to watch “scary” movies with your kids and help add to their Halloween experience.  So this Halloween do me a favor and watch a Universal Monster Classic and enjoy the horror pictures of the past.

Frankensteins Monster Karloffclassic universal logoDracula Bela

Horror films are my favorite kind of films.  Up to 89% of my movie collection is made up of horror movies, and like most people during the fall and October, I watch a lot of them. When thinking of horror films during this time of the year, the series that always pops into my head is “Halloween” with its white masked killer Michael Myers who stalks and kills teens and adult alike on Halloween night. This series happens to be my favorite of the mainstream franchises and is a series one should watch the week of the holiday. Modern horror fans might also think about the “Saw” or “Paranormal Activity” series.  Both that had sequels that came out every October.  While I like the Saw films, the Paranormal Activity series has run its course after the second film. At least one day in October I set some time back and watch mass amounts of them, and this year I watched Hatchet III, Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead (2013), Halloween 5: Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, Cabin In The Woods, Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan, Corpse Eaters, Stephen King’s IT, Demons, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III,  Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Mummy’s Hand, My Bloody Valentine (1981), Venom, Dawn of the Mummy, C.H.U.D., Frankenstein Stalks,  Miss Werewolf, The Wolf Man (1941), Curse of the Werewolf, I, Madman, The Wolf Hunter, Maniac Cop, Dracula (1931), An American Werewolf in Paris, Curse of Frankenstein, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell and so many more! So this holiday season try and watch a film series like Friday The 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Howling, Re-Animator, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Phantasm, Psycho, Tombs of The Blind Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre or whatever you choose and have a fun fright filled night, cause Halloween is not complete without the horror films!

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One film that takes place around Halloween and is one of my favorite cheesy 80’s horror films is a little film called “Trick or Treat” directed by Charles Martin Smith and starring Marc Price as Eddie “Ragman” Weinbauer, Tony Fields as Sammi Curr, Lisa Orgolini as Leslie Graham with cameos from Gene Simmons of Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne. The film is about rockstar Sammi Curr who dies in a hotel fire coming back via a vinyl record.  When his # 1 fan Eddie plays the record backwards he gets messages from Curr on how to get even with the bullies of the school. When Eddie turns against the orders of Curr when people start getting hurt, Curr comes back to life to finish the killing spree he wanted. The film is pure 80’s hair metal horror that has the killer Sammi Curr traveling through electricity and using his guitar to kill teens with bolts of lightning. I first saw the film when I was 10 years old while my brother Bryan and I were being babysat by our older cousin Chris Jones who before this fed us Taco Bell and bought me a Hulk comic off the comic rack at a local convenience store. He and his friend put it on, and I watched it and thought wow this movie is great.  As I started collecting Horror films on VHS, I went out of my way to find a copy of it for sale at all the local video stores and second hand stores. A fun fact: my cat Leslie is named after the love interest of Eddie in this film. If you like 80’s rock, a killer who dances, plays guitar and sings, then this is a film for you. Be warned the film is not a bloodbath slasher film but more of a supernatural film. Also last year’s Horrorama and the last one we were able to show 35mm film prints for, Andy Copp was able to get a print for us to show so that I could see the film the way it was suppose to be seen. The film was also planned to be a franchise with many sequels like A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the it did poorly at the boxoffice and the plans for the series were scrapped. So in the words of Sammi Curr aka Fastway (the band who did the soundtrack) “Knock, Knock. Knockin For A Sweet Surprise..It’s a Trick Or Treat”!

sammi currTrick or Treat PosterSami Curr Lives

When I was younger I use to really want to get a group of my friends together in the woods next to a camp fire and tell scary stories like in the Nickelodeon show “Are You Afraid Of The Dark” but this sadly never came about. But what I did spend a lot of time doing was reading ghost stories from old cheap paperbacks that I would by from the school book fairs. My favorite one to read was “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” by Alvin Schwartz that had creepy drawings by Stephen Gammell and all that book’s sequels. That series of books had short stories about murders, ghosts, ghouls and pranks gone wrong and each story was well written and had a creepy illustration to accompany it. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a book that has a cult following to this day and I know many of people my age and younger that still love reading these creepy stories from time to time. Two other popular series of books that were big when I was younger were both written by R.L. Stine, the geared for kids”Goosebumps” and the geared for teens “Fear Street.” Growing up I read many of these books and for some reason read Goosebumps: The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb a lot. Also around this time teen thriller novels based on Michael Myers (Halloween), Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th) and Freddy Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Street) hit the market, and while they were very cheesy they still were fun.  I remember reading the Friday the 13th ones after I checked them out from the library. One of my favorite books to read were the “Crestwood Monster Series” that were facts, plots and later the novel adaptations of classic horror and sci-fi films.  The series would cover Dracula, Godzilla, The Mummy, King Kong and so many more monsters. I own some of these books that I bought when I was younger from a library sale in Waynesville. More great reads that I learned about in my teens were the “Haunted Ohio” series written by Chris Woodyard.  They are real life tellings of hauntings in the state of Ohio and covers all the famous stories that are said to spook us Ohioans. If you’re a ghost hunter and sprit chaser like myself, these books are worth a read. And of course there are all the classic novels one thinks about around this time like Bram Stokers “Dracula”, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, H.G. Wells “Invisible Man” & “War of The Worlds” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” to name a few. Or you could even read novelizations of horror films that flooded the market in the late 70’s and through out the 90’s. Novels are fun ways to work the mind and give yourself a fright this halloween season!

scary stories to tell in the dark bookGoosebumps The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb bookhalloween old myers place bookmonster series mad scientist bookHaunted Ohio booklegend of sleepy hollow book

This time also makes me think of video games and all the horror themed ones that have come out in my generation of being a gamer. I play a lot of video games and have played so many survival horror games that I could write a full blog on just that so I will be brief and only talk about a few. I remember playing “Haunted House” for Atari 2600 at Brad Burns’ house, a neighbor from across the street in Waynesville.  The game is simple and has a pair of eyes looking around a dark maze trying to finds pieces of an urn while dodging bats and spiders. The game was pretty lame but I remember always asking to play it because it was a horror themed game. I also remember Brad making fun of the game. Another game I played a lot was for PC and was on diskettes that he bought from a thrift store called “Isle Of The Dead” when he first bought his own PC. The game had you play a surviver of a plane crash that landed on an island run by a mad scientist and overrun by zombies.  This was a first person shooter that was one on the imitations of Doom. The game was super cheesy and would crash a lot but I remember so hard trying to beat it and not coming close. Another PC game I played a lot was “Waxworks,” a horror game that would send you to different time periods to retrieve stolen goods and kill evil beings. I used to play this game a lot and had fun doing so.  It was pure first person meets point and click game and had a great soundtrack. Lastly I will talk about “The Walking Dead: The Video Game” made by TellTale Games, a point and click adventure that follows Lee who was on his way to prison for murder and escapes when the zombie outbreak happens and comes across a little girl named Clementine who he in turns protects through out this amazing plotted game. This was one of my favorite horror games for the PS3 era of survival horror. But this is just a drop in the hat to all the wonderful horror games out there like the series Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Clock Tower, Dead Space, Castlevania, F.E.A.R., Doom and so many more. Horror video games much like the movies, shows and novels go hand and hand with the season, and are worth playing for a bone chilling good time.

Haunted house atariisle of the dead pcWaxWorks pcWalking Dead the video game ps3

One thing I look forward to every Halloween that takes place on the internet is “Monster Madness,” a show done by James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd where he talks about horror films and gives mini reviews and facts about the movie he is covering. James knows his stuff, and it’s cool to see that he not only loves video games but also horror films, and he also has a soft spot for the Universal Monster films and holds them in a high respect so he goes up on the cool points in my book. I highly recommend his sequel-a-thon where he covers Universal’s Frankenstein, Hammer’s Dracula, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween series.  It’s a super fun watch and filled with some great opinions and facts. Also his Godzilla series retrospective is an amazing watch and brought back many great memories of the past sitting and watching them on TBS and VHS. Another good watch is his Top Ten Lost Horror Film Countdown.  While not part of Monster Madness, it is still one hell of a good watch, as are his Nerd Halloween specials that cover horror themed games. James Rolfe and his shows are now apart of my holiday tradition and are worth checking out.

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Horrorama is a charity event that happens every Halloween and was started in 1997 by horror host Dr. Creep, filmmaker Andy Copp and Rick Martin and is going strong to this day. I joined the group over 6 years ago and have been helping out ever since, bringing great films to the screen all for charity and for the audience to have a good spooky time. The event has trivia, contests and even one year a Miss Horrorama Pageant that had a young lady named Jesi Witt win for being a female Beetlejuice and let me say the ghost with the most never looked that good. The event is a mainstay here in the Dayton area and I hope it’s something many people look forward to every year.  I will say that the event this year will be a little sadder for me as Andy Copp my friend, film mentor and all around great guy passed away early this year.  I always looked forward to planning this event with him and hearing his ideas and opinions on what films we should show. Andy was the one guy who really pushed me into making films and much like my old media teacher, I think he saw the potential in me. Andy is truly missed, and this year’s Horrorama is for him!

rick martin dr creep andy copp old schoolhorrorama 2011rick martin me andy copp

Dayton’s Scare-A-Thon is a public access marathon of horror films and shows that Terrifying Tales of the Macabre does Halloween Specials for. The event was the brain child of Henrique Couto, a filmmaker who is like a little brother to me, who decided Halloween around here needs a little more. The event aired on both DATV, MVCC and via DVD at Game Swap and also marked the return on Dr. Freak, who at one time was the world’s youngest horror host, as he did a new “Cult Theater” just for this marathon! The event also played many Pop Cinema horror titles and one year had live segments with callers! Overall this block of TV programming is some good stuff and is perfect for the background at any Halloween party. Oh yeah I should also say that during the live segments two years back, I dressed up as Scars, a werewolf I played in the Independent B Movie film “Bark At The Moon: Scars.”  So that was a nice fun tribute to that film. Scare-A-Thon is taking a break this year, but here’s top hopping it makes a return for Halloween 2014.

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I know I’m not alone in knowing that October also brings the breakfast monster cereal back onto shelves as General Mills puts out Count Chockula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry for a limited time, but man it sure does make Halloween even sweeter. The best out of the three is Chockula, and my least favorite is Boo Berry, but mixing Boo Berry with the other flavors is really good and worth trying if you haven’t. Growing up I remember the animated commercials and wishing they would be full cartoons that would have aired on Saturday mornings and sparked toys and comics that I for sure would have bought. I remember growing up when they sold the cereal year round and eating many of boxes for breakfast and snacks over those years. Previously Fruit Brute and the Fruity Yummy Mummy didn’t get re-released because they were shorter lived on store shelves than the rest of the monsters, but this year they’re making an appearance next to the big 3. I have crayons of all the monsters besides Fruit Brute (who was not made) and they are some amazing sculpted prizes that were given away with proof of purchase. The Breakfast Monsters just help add to my Halloween excitement and are something I look forward to every year.

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Those are just a few of the things I remember and look forward to every Halloween time, but now it’s time to get to the comics that are Dell’s take on the classic monsters of Universal films. A total of five comics were made and were released from 1962-63 are were a part of the “Movie Classics” line that was popular for them. It’s a shame that none of these one-shots sparked a full run comic series because I would have loved to have collected a run of comics that told me what The Wolf Man was doing after the films had stopped. The only one of these issues I had ever read was The Wolf Man and that’s been some 8 years ago.  The rest I am going into blind so I am very much looking forward to reading what ideas this comic company had for these classic characters of the silver screen. I just want you all to remember I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and base it on entertainment value, quality of the story, the art and how true it stays to the source martial.  So with that, let’s get onto these spooky reviews! Oh yeah and these will have spoilers to the issues so you have been warned. Thanks to Bell Book and Comic, Mavericks Cards and Comics, Ebay and my pal David J. Getz for hooking me up with these comics and making this Halloween update of Rotten Ink possible.

The Mummy 1

The Mummy # 1   * 1/2
Released in 1962   Cover Price .12   DELL Comics   #211 of ?

A unknown tomb is found in Egypt, and when it’s opened The Mummy of Ahmed is set loose.  The Mummy goes out for revenge on the ancestors of those who buried him alive after he was convicted of being a follower of Seth, the God of evil and was left to suffer for generations in a tomb that was hidden away. Ahmed uses his eyes to hypnotize a few men and has them do his bidding, eventually killing themselves in horrific ways. But when Egyptian beauty Kipa gets a scroll that is a death note, her American boyfriend Bart figures out that she is next to be killed and along with the police they are able to capture The Mummy Ahmed.  The Mummy escapes but is killed as he falls from pyramid steps and shatters at the bottom. But Bart and the police chief wonder if The Mummy really gone as his laughter fills the night air.

This is one of the weirdest and dumbest Mummy stories I have ever read! The Mummy Ahmed can talk and uses his eyes to hypnotize people into doing what he wants and worst of all he can run and move fast plus shoots lasers from his eyes.  One of the goofiest things about this Mummy is that when trying to run away he is tackled by the American Bart and then handcuffed and put into the back of a police car….how weird and lame is that? Just think about that image of The Mummy in handcuffs in the back of a cop car.  It’s mind numbing. Plus The Mummy dies after falling down stairs, what a lame way to go.  The heroes of this comic are Bart and the police chief, and both are pretty much a waste and only add a very generic good guy character to this rushed story.  Kipa is also a waste and adds nothing to this story besides being the would-be victim . One funny moment has Kipa showing that she wore special contact lenses to protect her from the stare of Ahmed, and this so reminds me of something you would have seen in a classic Dick Tracy comic strip with BB Eyes or an episode of the 60’s live action Batman TV show. This comic is a pure disappointment and is a bad start for Dell’s Universal Monster comic tie-ins. This comic has nothing to do with the Universal films based on The Mummy and really comes off as a cheesed version of a horror story comic that was written by a 10 year old who likes sci-fi films and thinks lasers are cool. The cover is very well done and by looking so cool helps lead you to the disappointment that is this issue.  The interior artwork is pretty good and The Mummy looks like Kris, played by Lon Chaney Jr. in several of The Mummy sequels. Over all this is a bad start for the Dell series and makes me hope that Dracula will be better.  So with that let’s move onto that issue and the second in this series.

Dracula 1

Dracula # 1   **1/2
Released in 1962   Cover Price .12   DELL Comics   #212 of ?

Basil Shawcross is driving late during a rain storm to get to the home of his close friend Janos Tesla, an expert on myths and folklore. Basil is there to ask about vampires and dismisses everything his friend is telling him as medical issues and nothing more. Janos questions why his friend came on a night like this only to argue about the information he is asking for.  Basil breaks down and tells Janos his son died in Transylvania and how be believes he has been wrongly pronounced dead, especially after his son met a girl in the graveyard named Irina.  Basil wants his friend to travel and get answers with him. The pair travel to Transylvania and only get news that his son’s body is missing and more talk of vampires. Basil still doesn’t want to hear this and late that night he gets a visit from his son, who, along with Irina, takes him to Castle Dracula where Count Dracula tries to bully him into bringing them fresh blood.  Unbeknownst to all, Janos has followed and uses wolfsbane and garlic powder to frighten off the vampires, but its too late for his friend Basil who dies during the commotion. In the end Janos tells the townspeople that he will kill Dracula and the vampires and avenge his friend.

This title is a slow moving classic comic style thriller that has one weak payoff in the Dracula department and in the “final” battle. Most of the issue features Janos Tesla and Basil Shawcross in a den late at night during a rain storm speaking in front of a fire about vampire folklore and about Bruce Shawcross’ odd death in Transylvania. While this aspect is interesting and helps build the scares, the payout is not worth the wait as Dracula only appears in three pages of the comic and when around really adds nothing but a few lines, one a rehash of him talking about not drinking wine. The idea that Dracula really just wants blood delivered to him so that he doesn’t have to go out and kill is something that should have been more of the focus of this comic and maybe had Basil being torn about doing it in hopes this would help his son in some way.  But then again that would have taken away from the den talking. The end makes you think that this comic would have sparked a series based on Janos and his quest to end Dracula but instead it lead to a comic series about a super hero named Dracula who uses bat blood….yeah. This comic has very little to do with the film it was based on, and that’s a shame because I would have loved this to be all about Count Dracula. The cover is great and eye catching and captures the Bela Lugosi Dracula look and mood.  The art inside is okay and looks like most Dell comics from the 60’s, and Dracula inside only slightly looks like Lugosi. While this is not a bad horror comic, it just is a weak comic based on Universal’s Dracula, and would have gotten at least another 1/2 star if it would have not claimed to be connected to the film. Let’s see how the Creature does and if Dell can deliver a solid comic based on these classic cinema monsters.

The Creature 1

The Creature # 1   ***
Released in 1963   Cover Price .12   DELL Comics   # 302 of ?

Scott Warden is a paleontologist who has been sent a hand of some sort of creature that once lived in the deep waters of the Amazon.  When the scientist who sent it goes missing near the site the hand was found, Scott tries to go along on a trip with a rich man named Dudley Gaustad.  At first he wants nothing to do the Scott until his diver Mitch Love and his olympic swim star sister Monica Love convince him it’s a good idea to have him aboard and that he can also help dive and find the treasure that Gaustad is looking for. Upon arriving in the Amazon, they meet the ship captain and against the crew’s wishes Gaustad hires former Nazis as crew members who are clearly helping to gain something in return. When they get to their spot, the weather is super hot and Monica goes for a swim and captures the attention of The Creature who watches her every move.  When Scott and Mitch go for a dive they are not sure but think they might have seen something in the waters. That night The Creature attacks and kills some of the crew and this is when the remaining two Nazi’s make their move and hold the group captive, wanting to use them to find the gold that they think is hidden in the waters below. The next morning Mitch, Scott and Dudley are forced to dive and into the water.  Dudley is attacked by The Creature and then becomes lunch for piranha.  As Scott and Mitch flee, The Creature comes aboard the ship, killing the nazis and flinging them into the piranha feeding frenzy and chasing Monica in the water as she swims to get away. Scott and Mitch see this and come to her aid and kill the Creature with spear guns and take his body back to the USA to be studied as the boat is going away the waters below is shown to house many more Creatures.

This issue starts off very slow and the build up is for the most part boring, but once they get to the Amazon and meet the one time Nazi’s and The Creature shows up this comic starts to become really fun. Scott is your typical smart hero, who while a nerd is still a strong heroic guy who wants to get to the bottom of what The Creature is and when it comes time he deals with him and delivers quick painful death. Mitch Love is just the background friend who adds the extra muscle and filler to make it all connect to Scott as Mitch was once in the navy with him. Monica Love is the beauty for the hero and the monster to both fall in love with and the comic also adds two other sleazy characters to fall for her, making Monica the most powerful character in the comic as she has all the love of the major and minor players. Dudley Gaustad is a rich asshole who is not a total creep but gets the worst death in the whole comic.  It’s pretty messed up how he goes from punching bag to fish food in mere panels. The Nazis are scum as always and are the true bad guys of the comic while The Creature does what he does best:  kill and try to make it with human women. The idea behind the story is pretty good and as I stated while it takes time to really get going, it does have that old horror film charm to it.  I was not too keen on the fact that a whole race of Creatures are living in the waters.  I like the idea of only one being left in the world. Adding the Nazis was a nice touch as well and really gives the reader some characters to hate because let’s be honest, no one reading this comic can truly hate the Creature. The cover is okay and only somewhat looks like The Creature (Gillman).  As for the art inside, I really liked it because it had the EC comic feel and The Creature looked like he should. This comic is a closer to the Universal films based on the character and is a big improvement over The Mummy! Next up is The Frankenstein’s Monster so let’s see what Dell does with him.

Frankenstein 1

Frankenstein # 1   ***
Released in 1963   Cover Price .12   DELL Comics   # 305 of ?

Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant Fritz are creating life in the lab, but things go wrong when Fritz steals a criminal brain and The Monster awakens after being struck by lightning. The Monster stumbles around the room and is angered by Fritz who uses a torch to keep him at bay.  The Monster decides to leave the castle and roam the countryside where he accidentally leads two young teens to their deaths.  The townspeople are furious and burn down Frankenstein’s Castle as The Monster, Fritz and the Dr. hide in a secret bunker.  As days pass, Dr. Frankenstein gets an idea to leave Europe and head to New York to show a group of scientist that he has created life.  Frankenstein uses hypnosis on The Monster to listen to his commands and along with Fritz, the three are smuggled to America, but along the way the Dr. becomes power mad and uses The Monster to kill people that are getting in his way to become the top scientist he thinks he should be. In New York, Dr. Frankenstein speaks to the science community, but Fritz once more screws up and sets The Monster free.  It goes on a rampage and heads back towards the boat that brought him there and makes the mistake of getting on one with explosives and starting a fire! Frankenstein and Fritz try to save The Monster but it’s too late.  As they dive into the waters The Monster is left to burn on the boat.

This is a fun re-imagining of the classic 1932 Universal Frankenstein film and is truly what these comics should have been like! While I would love to have them directly follow the films, I am fine with them taking the characters from the film and proposing a what if world around them. The Monster is very much the confused brute he should be at first and while people die, he does this by accident and feels terrible for what he has done. You really feel for him when Dr. Frankenstein barks orders at him to kill and he must do so against his will. Plus his death is very much in the same vein as how he dies in the film.  Instead of a windmill in Europe, it’s now a boat in New York. Fritz in this comic is a pure dumbass and is the cause of most of the troubles in the issue, from stealing the wrong brain to waking The Monster at the wrong time he is a true moron! And with him being such a pain, it makes you wonder why Dr. Frankenstein would bring him all the way to New York knowing all his mistakes in the past haved caused so much issues. Dr. Frankenstein is a power hungry man that only cares about fame and proving his critics wrong.  The fact he would order his Monster to kill changes him so much from the film that you find yourself disliking him in the comic. He almost feels like the character is only a pinch of Universal Dr. Frankenstein and a whole lot of Hammer Horror Dr. Frankenstein who was way more mean spirited. The plot is well thought out and brings the horror to America and closer to home for the younger readers of 1963.  I am sure this added to the shock and wonder. I for one really enjoyed this issue and would have loved to see this go onto a full series.  This marks the best so far of the Dell Movie Classics Universal Monsters run. So let’s see how the final issue in the series holds up as we take a look at The Wolf Man!

The Wolf Man 1

The Wolf Man # 1   *1/2
Released in 1963   Cover Price .12   DELL Comics   # 308 of ?

Milo Zak has just graduated collage and is now a doctor who wants to return to his hometown, a small village that still cures its sick with an old witch and a gypsy and bases everything off superstition. When returning home he is reunited with his girlfriend Lyana and his aunt & uncle and quickly opens a doctor’s office that does no business.  This makes him want to set out to prove that his medicine is better than any of the old remedies. But his goal to prove superstition and supernatural takes a turn for the worse when he meets Vorcla, a man who can control wolves and uses his power to take money from the villagers.  Milo decides to prove him as a fake and embarrasses him in front of the whole town! The town starts to believe in Milo as the witch and gypsy warn him that his future looks bad.  It indeed turns bad as Vorcla, who has been banned from the town, comes back and kills his aunt and uncle and many of the townspeople and then bites Milo making him a werewolf. Lyana calls for one of Milo’s school buddies who comes to town and kills Vorcla with a silver cane and frees Milo of his curse.

This comic has absolutely nothing to do with the Universal film and should not have The Wolf Man named attached to it.  This comic does not have a single mention of Larry Talbot. Vorcla is the bad guy, and he is only somewhat a werewolf as he walks around even during the day looking like a crazed beast with style in his suit, cape and hat. His only real power is he can control wolves and he can pass on his curse of being whatever he is. Milo Zak, who is the main focus of the comic, is a man who has embraced modern medicine and turned his back on the old ways of his home town, and by doing so he messes with the wrong person and some of his family and friends pay the price as he is also cursed with werewolf meets vampire like powers. Tha’ts the one dumb thing about this comic, the “Werewolf” Vorcla always looks like a hairy freak who walks around and talks like a normal man and controls the minds of wolves.  When he’s passing on the curse, he bites Milo on the neck like a vampire and neither casts a reflection in the mirror….yeah, who ever wrote this mess got the legends of vampires and werewolves mixed up. This is the most disappointing of the Dell Universal Monster Comics for me as The Wolf Man has always been my favorite, and he deserved way better than this mess that only uses his name to try and draw in readers. The art is okay and once more has that classic 60’s horror comic look.  The “werewolf” Vorcla looks more like Jack The Ripper meets Mr. Hyde, and the cover is pretty generic showing the outline of Wolf Man with a snow background.  Much like the name, the cover is misleading as this comic doesn’t have a flake of snow in it. This comic didn’t live up to what it could have been and gets only one and a half star because it’s so far away from the source material that it’s an insult to fans of the film. And that marks the end of the Dell run!

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I want to say that these comics are NOT terrible, and while The Mummy and The Wolf Man got low stars it’s because they went way too far away from the source material. This series is very dated and the twists that they took with characters for the most part don’t work! I went in looking at these as re-imaginings of the films, and while I can respect the attempt at reinventing the monsters’ images and stories, I am not sure why some of them lost the very essence of what the monster was. Dracula is the closest one to what he should be followed closely by both Frankenstein’s Monster and The Creature, while The Wolf Man is the farthest away from the source followed by The Mummy. The best drawn of these comic would have to be The Creature followed really closely by Frankenstein.  Both have a great style, and Frankenstein has some amazing panels that use odd colors very well to enhance the chilling factor. Once more The Wolf Man comes in with the worst as his comic is very bland and run of the mill cheap horror comic style, though I will say I do like how they tried to use shadows in many of the panels. Over all I did have a lot of fun reading these comics and did enjoy the fact that Dell tried to update and deliver Universal Monsters to comic readers of the early 60’s and wish more comic companies today would take chances in what they put out besides 7 different books with Wolverine or Batman in them. Our next update will continue the Halloween spirit, and we will take a look at a small company called Northstar as they did a four issue loose comic adaptation of the film “Leatherface: A Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.”  So until then, stay scared!

Leatherface logo

Who All Read the Leprechaun? Say Yeah!

It’s St. Patricks Day 2013, and what better way to celebrate than to take a look at a 4-issue miniseries based on the LionsGate horror film series Leprechaun! Am I right or what?  Sure, many of you would love to be out drinking green beer with friends at pubs and bars like Blind Bobs or The Pub, but some people have to work or don’t drink like myself.  So for those who are not having a drunken good time, this update’s for you, and for those out celebrating, this is also for you. Besides this holiday that really has nothing to do with drinking, Ireland has also brought us the folklore of a tiny elf/fairy that loves keeping gold coins in pots at the end of rainbows, making shoes and pulling some wicked pranks.  Leprechauns are believed to be no taller than a small child and when captured by a human are said to grant three wishes in return if you let them free.  They are known for wearing green or red coats, having long beards and at some point in the myth’s lifespan, they have also been linked to four leaf clovers. It’s hard to say if these creatures are in fact real or were real and many accounts have been written over the ages about encounters making one wonder if they do/did exist. Now that we spoke about the folklore and myth aspect of the Leprechaun, let’s take a look at pop culture and what we have turned the myth into.

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In 1964, cereal company General Mills released a cereal called Lucky Charms that was one part toasted oats and one part marshmallows.  It’s mascot was a leprechaun named Lucky who was used in animated TV commercials as well as plastered on the box.The marshmallows are in the shape of things that are considered magical or lucky like horseshoes, the moon, clovers, shooting star and more playing up on the old saying “The Luck of the Irish”. The brand is still going strong today.  Not only is it a hit with kids, it also has a solid adult eating base that is helping the cereal to remain in the aisles at the grocery store. The TV commercials are what I remember growing up as they would play them during cartoons after school or on Saturday mornings trying to dig into my young brain so that I would ask my parents to buy me a box…like that would work…yeah, I remember kid eating Lucky Charms as a kid.  While it was good, it was no Sugar Crisp or Count Chocula, and Lucky was not as cool as Sugar Bear. In late 2012, I decided to start eating some of the cereal from the past and gave Lucky Charms a shot.  It still is pretty dang good all these years later. Good job General Mills, for keeping Lucky and Lucky Charms alive and well for all these years and letting a new generation of kids enjoy its sugary good taste.

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But I should also say shame on General Mills who in 1975 took away Lucky as the mascot for a short amount of time and replaced him with Waldo The Wizard! Kids didn’t like Waldo either, and he was quickly replaced by Lucky who was and is everything to Lucky Charms.  It shows you that without him the cereal is nothing…well it’s still something and still would taste the same, but the cool appeal of having an iconic mascot would be lost. I have an idea that in 2014 they should do ads with both Lucky and Waldo and add back all the marshmallows that they took out for a short time that includes the evergreen tree and the whale! Who’s with me on this one?

waldo

Sports was always super popular at Waynesville, and in school many kids would be wearing shirts, jackets and have backpacks with sports teams on them.  One that would always stick out to me was The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame football.  I was never a really big sports watcher, and to this day I am not.  I will always watch the Super Bowl with my Dad and have always liked Boxing, MMA and Pro Wrestling but never got into watching Baseball, Hockey, Soccer or Football.  Even when I was buying old wax packs of sports cards, it still never pushed me into wanting to watch. One thing I always did like about sports was the mascots and logos like the orange screaming bear of the Chicago Bears to Mr. Red Legs of the Cincinnati Reds and the Irish Leprechaun from Notre Dame who always looked pissed off and ready for a fight as he had his arms up in the old boxing style. It’s weird how the school’s mascot is that of a prankster Leprechaun who they turned into a pissed off ready to fight badass. I even had a sweatshirt and sweatpants of Notre Dame because of this logo. Plus I always remember for some reason kids in the gym locker room talking about how hot the cheerleaders of Notre Dame were. Odd, the weird things you remember from being a youth. 

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Now on a funny side note about Leprechauns is a spotting that happened in 2006 in Mobile, Alabama in which residents in a neighborhood claim to all have seen one running around at night that disappears when light from a flashlight hits him.  He was thought to have lived in a tree as well has to have had a pot of gold that many of the eyewitness wanted.  Many other suggestions of what it could have been included a shadow to a crackhead who was freaking out after getting ahold of some bad stuff. The event of the spotting was so big that the local news came down to look into it and even a man armed with a magic flute and ready for a magic war came to help the neighborhood! Sadly the Leprechaun nor his gold have ever been found and some other minor spottings have happened since. Most people looked at this as a joke as an eyewitness sketch came out that looked as if a child drew it, and many of the people talked to in the broadcast seemed as if they were just having a good time and were in on a town joke. The news video became so popular as well as many of the sayings given by the people of Mobile who were interviewed that it became an internet hit sparking rap songs and merchandise. Was a Leprechaun loose in Alabama? Only time and another major spotting will answer that question for sure.

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Pro Wrestling has its fair share of terrible gimmicks, and of course they have a few Leprechauns to entertain the masses.  Back in 1996, WCW had Braun The Leprechaun who was a member of the Dungeon Of Doom that was lead by Kevin Sullivan whose main goal was to stop Hulk Hogan and later feud with the N.W.O., but Braun didn’t last long and the gimmick was quickly dropped. Dewayne Bruce better know as The Sarge and the trainer for WCW Power Plant played the terrible character. Next up let’s talk about the worst wrestling manager and part time wrestler in the last 15 years of wrestling, and that’s WWE’s own Leprechaun Hornswoggle who was unleashed back in 2006 as the partner and friend of Irish born wrestler Finlay. The two had a long solid run together that even had them at odds with company owner Vince McMahon who at one time thought Hornswoggle was is illegitimate child.  During his current run for WWE, Hornswoggle has done many things from being a member of DX with Triple H & Shawn Michaels to winning the Cruiserweight title and as of late he is teaming with The Great Khali and Natalya, but one thing’s for sure while kids seem to love him he sure does not add anything to story lines and roster space in my opinion. Also this year Hornswoggle will be in the remake of Leprechaun for WWE Studios and Lionsgate.  I know you all can’t wait…

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Speaking of the films, let’s take a quick look at those. In 1993, Trimark Pictures released a film to theaters about a killer leprechaun that tormented a family who had just moved into a new home in a small town after a dried up four leaf clover was knocked off a box that kept the pint sized terror captive. The film was simply called Leprechaun and starred Warwick Davis as the title charterer who was know to many as Willow Ufgood in the amazing fantasy film W.I.L.L.O.W. and also starred soon to be major TV actress Jennifer Aniston of FRIENDS fame and Mark Holton who is known for his roles as Francis Buxton in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Chubby in Teen Wolf and later on for playing serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the film Gacy. The film did well in the box office, and this inspired the powers to be to make five sequels that had the wise cracking killer Leprechaun going everywhere from Las Vegas to space to The Hood, taking the scary evil complex away from the character and turning him into more of a pint sized Freddy Kruger who took more time saying cheesy one liners than before. The first two films in the series went to theaters as three on all went direct to video making this series gain a fan base of weekend warriors looking for a horror film to rent and watch. I remember the first time I saw the original film with my friend Jason Gilmore who had bought it on VHS shortly after it was released to home video.  He brought it over, and we watched in amazement of how fun and cheesy the film was and laughed our asses off when he would kill. Another viewing of the series I can remember was watching Leprechaun 3 where he goes to Vegas with my friend Dave Wean on VHS.  Much like the other film, we laughed at how dumb and cheesy it was, and the best part of it all was that we were eating Spaghetti O’s as we watched. While I have never been a diehard fan of the series and I think Leprechaun 4 could be one of the wost sequels I have ever seen, I still see the charm in the series and very much looked forward to the comic series that I will be reviewing this update.  Will it hold a charm or will it fall flat? You will soon find out.

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After all this talk of Irish folklore, bad wrestling gimmicks, cereal mascots, a possible crackhead leprechaun in Alabama and talking about a film series that jumped the shark when they went to space, I think it’s time to sit back, relax and look at some lovely Irish-inspired women.  I mean what red blooded American doesn’t enjoy looking at good looking ladies? At this point and in the fun of Saint Patricks Day, I say let there be hotties!

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BlueWater Comics is the company who struck a small deal with Lionsgate to make comics based on some of the old horror film series that they got from Trimark during a buyout that included both Leprechaun and Warlock.  Sadly the deal never went past these two and each only got a small run. They also do a comic series based around horror icon Vincent Price as well did a series based on Ray Harryhausen’s film work. BlueWater Productions was founded in 2007 by Darren G. Davis who opened up this comic company to showcase original work alongside work based around films and celebrities. Some of the company’s best know titles besides the aforementioned are Logan’s Run based on the story by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, 10th Muse about the forgotten muse of ancient Greece time and Fem Force that are bio comics based around women with power in the world like Michelle Obama, Princess Diana, Tina Fey and more. In fact, they do tons of bio comics and also stuck a deal to reprint the old Rock N Roll comics of the 1990’s . While BlueWater Comics is not a powerhouse like other smaller comic companies, they do try to deliver good comics to their readers. While most issues I have read from them I have not been a fan of, they still are a welcomed addition to this crazy world of comic book making. 

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So now let’s get onto this look at The Leprechaun in comic book form.  So I hope you have your lucky four leaf clover close, have your favorite drink in hand and are wearing Green so ya don’t get pinched and get ready to ride the BlueWater wave to Leprechaunville! Remember I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, its art and story. This review was made possible by Mavericks Cards and Comics and Bell, Book and Comic. 

Issue 1

Leprechaun # 1 *

Released in 2009   Cover Price $3.99   Blue Water Comics #1 of 4

Ethan is a geek who likes to play computer games with his friend Sean and drool over a sexy co-worker named Rachael.  One day a strange light appears, and when it’s gone, The Leprechaun is there beaten up and in really bad shape.  Ethan takes care of The Leprechaun who is grateful for the young man’s help.  He tells Ethan his name is Lubdan and that he is looking for his gold that has been stolen and that he tracked down a man who was selling his stolen gold on Ebuy.  That led him to Ethan’s house who bought a ring to give to Rachael when Leprechaun stole a file on his buying list. And its here that the issue ends as both Ethan and Leprechaun are discussing the the list, and he warns Ethan they are not alone as the window behind them in the kitchen shows warriors approaching. Also all along this issue we get cut backs to a war that is going on in The Leprechaun’s kingdom that has the leprechaun race at war with fellow short green skinned clan.

Where do I start to say where this first issue went off the rails?  The story line of The Leprechaun being a king in his besieged homeland is dumb but adds a little to the action and gore of this otherwise boring adventure.The main plot is that The Leprechaun needs to collect his gold back that has been sold all over the world thanks to Ebuy and an unknown thief and teams with a human nerd who doesn’t seem to bothered by the fact a damn Leprechaun popped into his home.  The Leprechaun, who in a total of five films was a mean spirited, violent pint size terror, tormented and killed many humans to get to his main goal of collecting his gold, but for some reason in this comic series he is a King of The Leprechauns who decides that teaming up with a human is the right thing to do. Wow, they changed the character and not for the better.  They truly took everything away from the character that made him a b-movie hit with fans. He also only kills one person in the issue and that’s the Seller of his coins who didn’t know he had bought stolen goods, and all he does to him is turn his whole body into a pile of cash….yep that’s what he does. Ethan who is the main human character is a total dweeb who is not likable at all and comes off as a smug ass hat as he just smarts off and bumbles his way through the issue. Over all this comic series has started on a bad issue that is doesn’t make me as the reader really interested in seeing how the story ends. The art work is bland.  The story so far is terrible, and the cover is just all right.  Over all this is about as bad as a movie tie in comic can get, let’s hope issue 2 picks up.

Issue 2

Leprechaun # 2 *

Released in 2009   Cover Price $3.99   Blue Water Comics #2 of 4

The Leprechaun and Ethan are attacked in his kitchen by warriors from a race called the Clurichaun who want them both dead. After a quick fight, the Leprechaun makes quick work of his attackers and gets info from one that a curse has been placed on him before he kills him. Ethan and the Leprechaun find safety at Sean’s house who is filled in on the quest to find the gold coins.  As Ethan goes to work late, the Leprechaun and Sean go to a blacksmith who bought a few of the gold coins from Ebuy and find that female Clurichaun Captain Caelan and her men have also tracked them there as the battle begins The blacksmith is killed as the Leprechaun’s magic is getting weaker due to the curse.

This issue at least starts off with a bang as the Leprechaun is swinging a magic sword like Conan, hacking and chopping up Clurichaun fools. In this issue, the Leprechaun still comes off as more of a good guy than a bad guy.  While he does do some sinister things, he still comes off as a watered down version of the character. Ethan is still as unlikable as ever and comes off as a smart ass who really adds nothing to the story besides the need/want of a storyline around a human who loves a girl out of his league. Sean is almost as unlikeable as Ethan but for different reasons.  Not only is he an annoying chatter box, but he is also given way too much panel time for it.  I was getting ticked the longer I had to read his dialogue boxes with words that went nowhere besides maybe a really dumb joke. Captain Caelan takes the mantel of being the top bad guy, and guess what, she is barely used.  I guess they had to cut some of her stuff down to fit more lame stuff for Sean to say and Ethan to do. Over all while issue 2 is a little better than the first, it still is not capturing the fun magic of the Leprechaun series, and I am hoping that issue 3 picks up now that we are getting near the end of the series. The art looks the same as it did in issue one, and that’s summed up with one word bland.  The cover is well done and looks like Joel Robinson’s work, and the storyline is moving along at a snail’s pace. Not impressed so far.

Issue 3

Leprechaun # 3 *

Released in 2009   Cover Price $3.99   Blue Water Comics #3 of 4

The Leprechaun and Sean are at battle with the Clurichaun.  It’s an epic battle, and leader Captain Caelan is killed.  The Leprechaun then has to beat an Iron Stove Monster that the group’s wizard makes. Ethan gets to work and buddies up with teacher and his crush Rachel to ask her all she knows about both Leprechauns and Clurichauns, and he soon finds that she as well bought some of the gold off Ebuy and that his work (a college) is now being surrounded by Clurichaun looking to kill them both and steal the gold coins. Sean and The Leprechaun rush to help their friends from a death that awaits.

This issue is two parts: one part the action of The Leprechaun killing and fighting.  While this is cool, all the art on most pages is big to fill space, and sadly that’s what most of the battle feels like, filler. At this point the curse that was placed on him is making him weaker, but he sure doesn’t seem weak as he kills numbers of his enemies at the same time. Sean is a dumb ass and spends most of the issue blabbing about one liners and other useless stuff; he really is a waste of a character. The second part of the issue has Ethan talking to Rachel about the Irish myths and legends.  At least this adds a little to the weak storyline this series has. Captain Caelan puts up a fight but looses her heart in the end as we are also shown And-Ri. who looks as if he is the king and top warrior of The Clurichaun who is at the college and ordering the death of Ethan. The story is getting paper thin, and this issue almost seems like a waste.  While it does have lots of action, none of it is exciting nor at this point do I care if Ethan and his friends die nor do I care if the Leprechaun gets his gold coins back.  That’s a bad sign since we’re near the end of the series. The art work is still bland.  The cover is terrible, and the hope of this being a good series is dead.  So with that disappointment let’s take a look at issue 4, the last issue in the series.   

Issue 4

Leprechaun # 4 *

Released in 2009   Cover Price $3.99   Blue Water Comics #4 of 4

Ethan and Rachel are under attack as the Clurichaun try to accomplish their mission to kill them both.  Meanwhile Sean and the Leprechaun, who are talking to Ethan on the phone, are trying to get to the college as fast as they can, the one issue being that they don’t know where it’s at. And-Ri is barking orders for his men to make quick work of this murder as Ethan and Rachel out move and out smart their attackers and even blow up the science building with the help of gas lines. By the time The Leprechaun gets there, And-Ri and Ethan have had a fist fight the leaves the human now as the hostage of the ill tempered king. When Rachel gives The Leprechaun the gold coins she bought he gets a little more of his magic powers back and saves Ethan and chases off And-Ri who says he will get his revenge on the friends. In the end The Leprechaun gears up to travel the world to get his gold back as Ethan, Rachel and Sean all join his team of hunting.

This is one cheesy end to a mini series that has no payout in the end besides the fact that there could be more issues coming of this not thought out storyline. This last issue builds up that The Leprechaun is going to have a show down with And-Ri, and while they do meet, they don’t fight making this one anticlimactic ending. This series goes so far away from the source material that it’s down right laughable as now The Leprechaun has a name (Lubdan) and has a bond with humans who are now his sidekicks….say what?! The Leprechaun of the films would have killed Ethan, made Sean turn into a toad and stomp him and then make Rachel’s boobs explode.  When buying this comic series and seeing the covers of him bitting toes off a foot, you want to see the wicked mean character of the films, not a watered down PG-13 lame version. I also felt that most of the issues were just filler from overblown fight scenes to overly long talking that went nowhere.  This mini series just felt like a mess from the start, and it became a train wreck by the end. The art was just okay, and not once in any of the four issues did I think the Leprechaun character looked anything like the film character taking me even further out of the story. It was in the plans for this to be a regular series and was cancelled.  Even the crossover with The Warlock was scrapped, showing that this series just was too lame even for diehard fans.  I don’t even drink, but this terrible series makes even me want to drink a green beer.  To sum it all up: terrible lackluster story, just plain bland and unappealing artwork, not even in the ball field with the source material and just plan waste of an opportunity to make an entertaining series. This makes we worried to read The Warlock series, and believe it or not I actually read these comics twice to try and give it a shot months apart and both times I felt this same way. 

Yep

So for the next update, we might take it a little smaller as we take a look at DC Comics’ Sherlock Holmes, and maybe I will talk about a few other cool things from the past.  So until then, Happy Saint Patricks Day, and as Commander USA would say “Keep your nose in the wind… and your tail to yourself…”

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