Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at the first book in Dark Horse’s Book series, namely the Book of Hauntings…
Scott Allie really outdid himself on this anthology, as the sheer amount of talent working on this book is staggering. Russell, Mignola, Chadwick, Dorkin, Thompson – and that’s just a drop in the bucket! It’s a truly amazing mix of great comic book creators all together in one volume. Major kudos to Allie for this book.
The anthology opens with a spooky story by Mike Richardson and P. Craig Russell where you can see that even in broad daylight, scary things can go down.
Mike Mignola follows with a neat Hellboy short story…
Then there’s a prose story with illustrations by Gary Gianni.
Scott Allie is next with a very clever story about a guy hired by a couple to rid their house of ghosts…
Paul Lee and Brian Horton did the art for the story.
Uli Oesterle tells a grim tale of a tattoo artist’s revenge from beyond the grave.
Milton Freewater and Lucas Maragnon tell a “real life” ghost story.
Then, after an interview by Allie with a real life seance medium, Randy Stradley and Paul Chadwick tell a disturbing little ghost story about a young boy dealing with the death of a poor kid that he and his friends always used to pick on.
The anthology ends with what is likely its best story, the introduction of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s brilliant series of stories involving dogs and cats fighting against magical incursions in their neighborhood (these stories would continue in the equally brilliant Beasts of Burden mini-series that came out fairly recently from Dark Horse).
Dorkin’s story captures the personalities of the dogs and cats perfectly (while putting them into a story that is a normal horror story – it may be a bit offbeat, but it is not like some cute and cuddly version of a horror story – it’s genuinely moving) while Thompson expertly measures the personalities of the animals against the horrors they are up against (the way Dorkin and Thompson put a spin on the ghost who appears to the animals is just amazing). Really, this is just about a note perfect short story, and it is quite appropriate that it won the Eisner that year.