In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today, we take a look at two special comics that Marvel did as giveaways in 1993 for Halloween. They are both from Barbie #11 by Trina Robbins and Mary Wilshire (the first story is inked by Andy Mushynsky while the second is inked by John Lucas). They’re adorably odd.
The first story involves Barbie and her kid sister, Skipper, spending the night in the castle of Lady Creepington, who believes her house is haunted.
I just love that this is simply accepted as, “Oh, okay, this is just something that Barbie and her little sister does in her spare time, spend the night in a haunted castle to help out some old lady that I guess they know somehow.”
Anyhow, sure enough, they discover a “ghost,” but prove that it is Lady Creepington herself, dressed in fluorescent paint (how could Lady Creepington have turned out to not be on the up and up!?)! You have to adore the idea of an old lady in tights painted in fluroescent paint just so that two girls she somehow knows will tell their friends about her haunted castle all based on some ill-thought out plan of this making her back her fortune…
Of course, though, Barbie then helps her turn her castle into a theme park, because, as we all know, Barbie has nothing but endless spare time on her hands…
The second story, though, is the best. Okay, so the set-up is that Barbie’s friend, Derek (who was introduced as part of a rock group created to rip-off Jem and the Holograms but now I guess is a photographer/writer?) has Barbie stay overnight in a haunted house so that he can take photos. However, when he realizes that there might not be any ghosts, he decided to take a page out of the Peter Parker School of Photographic Ethics and just fake it…
Meanwhile, though, that miserly jerkwad, Clarence C. Ment, also wants to make sure that the house is proven to be haunted so that he could buy it cheap, knock it down and turn it into a high-grossing parking lot in the middle of this residential area that makes sense for some reason (then again, parking lot money bought both DC Comics AND Warner Bros, after all!)…
Naturally, there actually IS a ghost haunting the house, but it is a cowardly ghost who befriends Barbie but then ends up scaring the two fake ghosts!!
The fake ghosts beat feet out of the house and then Derek shows up and he and Barbie are bizarrely calm for having just gotten proof of the supernatural…
I imagine Derek is thinking, “Crap, everyone knows that I fake all of my photos, so they’ll never believe me!” And Barbie’s thinking, “Ghost-written. Heh. Nailed it.”
All in all, these were two very cute stories for kids with very strong artwork by Wilshire and two engaging tales by Robbins. You could pretty easily give these comics away today for Halloween, nearly 25 years later, and they’d hold up for kids.
If anyone else has a future idea for I Love Ya But You’re Strange, drop me a line at email@example.com!
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