Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror rounds out AHOY’s launch lineup. The perfect horror comic for Halloween, the issue sees AHOY’s usual value for money given a spooky spin. Unlike AHOY’s other offerings, this book features a character who binds all the stories together: none other than American horror icon himself, Edgar Allan Poe. The issue features “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” by Peyer and Fred Harper, “Dark Chocolate” by Mark Russell and Peter Snejbjerg, poem “The Scallop and the Barnacle” by Cienna Madrid, and the short comic “The Black Cat” by Hunt Emerson. As usual, all of these spooky tales are available for $3.99 from AHOY, making this book a fiendishly good deal.
Edgar Allan Poe?
So why Edgar Allan Poe? As the book says itself, AHOY wanted a celebrity attached like all modern age media companies. Celebrities are expensive, however, so a dead celebrity would be better — especially one “dead so long that no heirs control the likeness or the tone of presentation. Dead so long, you never have to pay anyone a nickel.” This perfectly encapsulates the tone of the book.
Throughout, this tongue-in-cheek tone is present and offers a nice balance to the horror of some of these tales. From Peyer’s take on Poe’s on story about M. Valdemar to Russell’s take on Count Chocula to the cartoon by Hunt Emerson, this is a book that knows when and when not to take itself seriously.
Like the well wrought urn, this is a fine comic in which every aspect works perfectly with each other. The Poe story along with its prologue from the man himself give the book a nice pulpy feel. Fred Harper’s artwork really gets a chance to play with the gore of Poe’s original story. Peyer’s handling of the famous tale manages to be reverent and cheeky at the same time.
“Dark Chocolate” by Russell and Snejbjerg is a standout from the issue and is an absolute work of genius. If ever there needed to be one sole reason to check this book out, it’s this story. It’s no secret that Mark Russell is a great writer and can turn just about any idea into solid gold, but this story about a vampire who is renowned for his breakfast cereals is fantastic. Russell’s wit is all over the tale and Snejbjerg’s cartoonish style works perfectly with the tone.
Hunt Emerson’s cartoon is thoroughly entertaining and will hopefully appear again in upcoming issues. Particular attention should be paid to Madrid’s poem. AHOY is brave enough to publish a full 19 stanza poem within a comic book. It really captures the feel of reading Poe, but still feels contemporary.
There isn’t a lot to criticize here. Harper’s artwork in his story is good, but at times a little messy. Possibly more due to the inking, it can be hard to make things out when the perspective is a little askew.
Tonally there’s probably more humor than horror, which could always be the intention considering the amalgamation of famous horror monsters by way of Poe on the cover. But it would be nice to see some really scary stories in the future.
This is THE perfect comic for Halloween this year. It’s on shelves Halloween day and deserves to be in your hands soon after that.