The family of a 3-year-old in Hespeler, Ontario, is upset that the girl was given a couple of the controversial evangelical comic tracts during a night of trick-or-treating.
“Anyone thinking that a 3-year-old Princess Rapunzel … needs to be subjected to pictures of cruelty and violence on any day, let alone [Halloween] – a day for kids to be kids – is pretty shameful,” the girl’s father Rod Murray told the Kitchener Record.
One of the booklets lil’ Rapunzel was handed was “Somebody Loves Me,” which depicts a child beaten with a club by his alcoholic father and thrown out of the house. While sleeping in an alley, the gravely injured boy is told by a passerby that “Jesus loves you” before he dies and his carried off by an angel. The other is more difficult to figure out from the article’s description, but it apparently involves people — possibly Adam and Eve among them — covered in sores. In other words, comic tailor-made for a 3-year-old.
I really like Halloween, but it’s always been hard for me to come up with a spooky post that relates to DC Comics. The emphasis here is on “for me”: DC has a wealth of spooky material from which to draw, and I’ve just never been able to work with it meaningfully.
For this year’s Halloween post I thought about doing a survey of DC’s horror-themed titles over the years, because certainly the publisher has had its share. There are stalwarts that go back decades, like House of Mystery, Swamp Thing and The Sandman (whose sequel miniseries starts this week, as you might have heard). The first round of New 52 titles included I, Vampire and Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE — and while both of those have bitten the dust, Justice League Dark still heads up the superhero line’s magic-oriented section.
However, the more I thought about it, this space is really not big enough — yes, even with my extreme verbosity — to do right by the horror books. Besides, most of them have ended up at Vertigo, although some are being reincorporated into the superhero line. House of Mystery is a good example of the “serious horror” migration. It started out in the ‘50s as a supernatural anthology before switching over to science fiction (after the fall of EC) and then, briefly, superheroes (specifically, the Martian Manhunter and “Dial ‘H’ for Hero”). When the Comics Code relaxed its stance on all things scary, HOM told horror stories, including an extended run as the original home of “I, Vampire.” The title ended in 1983, after 32 years and more than 300 issues, but it’s never really been forgotten. The House itself (along with its companion from another eponymous title, the House of Secrets) became a part of The Sandman’s landscape, and was the setting for a Vertigo relaunch, which ran from 2008 to 2011 (42 issues and a couple of specials). Now it belongs to John Constantine and serves as Justice League Dark’s headquarters, which I suppose is better than limbo.
In celebration of Halloween, Dark Horse is offering 50 percent off more than 800 digital horror titles — for today only.
Given the publisher’s penchant for horror, the selection is pretty extensive, ranging from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hellboy families to The Strain and The Goon. There’s even a bit of manga — they include MPD-Psycho, Hellsing and two of my favorites, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Mail — in the mix. So prepare to browse and browse. No specific ending time is mentioned, but I’m guessing midnight Pacific.
In a similar seasonal vein, comiXology’s Halloween sales — with discounts on Marvel Zombies, Locke & Key Vol. 2, Tales From the Crypt and Afterlife With Archie #1 — end today.
Digital comics | Viz Media announced Wednesday it has brought its entire library to iBooks. Viz manga are already available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and its own app, so this pretty much completes the set. [ICv2]
Crime | Manga creator Takaaki Kubo was arrested Tuesday on charges of threatening a city councilor in the town of Amagasaki. Kubo, whose series Bakune Young was published in North America in the early 2000s by Viz Media, was arrested after police traced a threatening e-mail message to his home computer. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Art Spiegelman has been the subject of four retrospectives so far this year, the latest at the Jewish Museum in New York. Charles McGrath talks to him about what he calls “The Great Retrospection,” as well as his tobacco addiction and, oh yeah, comics. [The New York Times]
There’s a long and embarrassing history of “sexy” Halloween costumes for women — y’know, a sexy pirate instead of simply a pirate, a sexy devil instead of simply a devil, and so on. But with a new licensed costume for The Walking Dead, that tradition has either been propelled to a new level of absurdity or turned on its head. I haven’t figured it out yet.
SpiritHalloween.com is selling … wait for it … an official “Walking Dead Sassy Rick Grimes Women’s Costume.” Yes, sassy Rick Grimes. Because if any word can capture the spirit of The Walking Dead‘s protagonist, it’s sassy. The outfit consists of a fitted shirt, skirt, hat with badge, badge pin and belt, which, for all I know, may actually make an appearance in the fourth season of the hit AMC drama. It undoubtedly will be the sassiest of all the seasons.
I’m hoping somewhere there are male fans of The Walking Dead who are feeling sassy enough to go out dressed as Sassy Rick Grimes. Granted, they’ll probably be mistaken for a machete-wielding Lt. Jim Dangle, but still … sassy!
And if you’re looking for a Rick Grimes costume for a child, oh, say age 5 to 7, don’t worry: Toys “R” Us has you covered (see the package below).
Disney story artist Clio Chiang isn’t the only talented member of her family. Her sister Connie is a makeup artist, so she and a friend dressed up for Halloween this year as a Lichtenstein painting. However you feel about couples’ costumes, this one gets points for originality and execution. Continue Reading »
Early this month, comedian, actor and occasional comics writer Patton Oswalt issued a call for help on Twitter: His 3-year-old daughter wanted to dress as Spider-Girl for Halloween, and insisted “Daddy has to be Doctor Ock-a-pus.” The problem was, he didn’t have time to make the required costume. Who should come to Oswalt’s aid but Adam Savage, veteran special-effects designer and co-host of Mythbusters. The delightful results can be seen above.
“As sometimes happens, I just immediately saw in my head how to make a really easy-to-wear, inexpensive, fast-to-build Doctor Octopus costume,” Savage explains. How inexpensive, and how fast to build? Well, he constructed the costume in just four hours using off-the-shelf crafting materials. See how in the video below.
Here’s a Halloween treat: Feast your eyes on this amazing pumpkin sculpture of The Joker by ace pumpkin carver Andy Bergholtz. It took him eight hours to do, and Yahoo has a short video of the creation process (below). DC Comics commissioned the pumpkin as part of its Super-Villains Month, which also included an invitation for fans to vote for the ultimate super-villain team; The Joker was the runaway winner.
Courtesy of Victor Quinaz, Brent Schoonover and Archaia Comics, we’re pleased to share a Halloween-themed comic strip by the creative team behind Archaia’s Mr. Murder is Dead, starring the story’s main character, The Spook. Click on the image below to check it out:
Digital | Comics by ComiXology has topped Apple’s charts as the top-grossing iPad application for the last six Wednesdays. ComiXology cited the launch of DC’s New 52 initiative, as well as many other comic companies moving to a same-day digital release schedule, as reasons for its success. “When have comic books, not comic book movies, not comic book merchandise, but the actual comic books been #1 in anything, much less high tech?” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “Being the number one grossing iPad application six Wednesdays in a row isn’t just a huge milestone for comiXology, but a huge milestone for comics as a medium … and we could not be prouder.” [press release]
Creators | An auction for the naming rights to a character in Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ The Secret Service raised $5,100 for St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, where Millar attended. The money will be used to pay for field trips for the school’s students. “I’m a former pupil at St. Bartholomew’s and have so many great memories of the place,” Millar said. “I know there’s not a lot of money in local government at the moment and I was sad to hear that the annual school trip for the children had been cancelled. By establishing this fund, I hope to have a pot the head-teacher can dip into every Christmas and take the entire school to a pantomime every year.” [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser]
Chris Schweizer is too busy to do a lot of Halloween sketches, but his take on Frankenstein’s monster as a work in progress is too good to pass up. Click the link for a scary story about Schweizer’s own Victor Frankenstein experience.
When he’s not busy running the Stumptown Comics Festival, Indigo Kelleigh draws comics, and he has come up with a cute mini-comic to hand out to the lucky kids who knock on his door this Halloween. Seven Little Monsters is a spooky riff on the Five Little Monkeys tale, done in a slightly retro pen-and-ink style. He posted the whole thing online for those of us who won’t be trick-or-treating in his neighborhood, so go, take a look.
Getting into the Halloween spirit, Lucy Knisley has posted a terrific two-page comic called “Scaredcited,” a crowdsourcing experiment. “I asked my twitter followers (LucyKnisley) to send me a deep fear of theirs along with their photo in order to incorporate them into the second page,” she writes. “It’s sort-of auto-bio-for-everyone. [...] One thing that struck me as I was drawing out the page was that so many of us share specific fears. Drawing everyone in a place where we all faced our fears was really comforting. At least we’re all in it together.”
Diamond Comic Distributors announced at Thursday’s retailer breakfast at New York Comic Con that it will add another Free Comic Book Day event, set for Halloween 2012.
ICv2.com reports that while the traditional FCBD will still be held May 5, 2012, Diamond found interest from publishers in supporting a second, similar event on Halloween, “which has become, next to Christmas, the holiday with the most retail impact.”
Many retailers already hold kid-focused events on Halloween, with some giving away comics left over from Free Comic Book Day. Diamond has in the past encouraged stores to give away themed kid-friendly minicomics as “sugar-free safe bag stuffers.” This year’s selections include 16-page issues of Scary Godmother, Archie’s Laugh Comics, Donald Duck and The Smurfs. However, next year’s offerings will be part of a full-fledged Free Comic Book Day event.
It’s 80 degrees and sunny here on the East Coast, so getting into the Halloween mood is a bit of a stretch. Chris Cantrell’s webcomic The Deadlys, which just celebrated its first anniversary, is helping, though. It’s a gag-comic riff on the scary-family theme, although this one goes a bit farther than the Addams Family: Dad is a masked chainsaw murderer, mom is a vampire, and daughter Morgan is a teenage girl. It’s a four-panel gag comic with minimal continuity, so you can read it a bit at a time or binge as if it were a bag of Halloween candy. To sweeten the deal a bit, Cantrell is celebrating the comic’s first birthday with giveaways and extras, including a video of him drawing the comic.