31 Days of Horror Presents Heroes & Villains: Count Crowley, DC Ghosts

It’s hard to believe we’re almost a week away from Halloween, this month has just flown by. I’ve probably expressed previously that I was concerned I wouldn’t have enough spoooooky content for the month of October but the comics’ gods hath provided!

CC1Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter
David Dastmalchian (W)
Lukas Ketner (A)
Dark Horse Comics

From the Dark Horse press release:

Aspiring reporter Jerri Bartman is furious when she’s demoted to hosting the nightly Creature Feature at her small-town TV station. But Jerri quickly learns that there is more to horror hosting than just introducing bad B-movies. Her first night in the costume of her missing predecessor, Count Crowley, finds her face to face with a living, breathing . . . werewolf. Or was she just that drunk?

Having read that description I could not pass up a chance to review this book. The UHF channel B-movie horror host could very well be a new American folk hero and it seems like most TV markets across the states had their own version. In the Detroit area, we had Sir Graves Ghastly until the early 1980s and also The Ghoul. There’s something infinitely pleasing about a wacky host and bad movies on a Saturday night.

When looking at the creative team on the book, I took note that it’s being penned by David Dastmalchian and after a quick google search I confirmed that it is indeed the very same David Dastmalchian that’s been in so many great movies from the last decade or so…and now he’s writing great comics!  

I know I’m only one issue into a four-issue miniseries but I sincerely hope that Count Crowley is one of those books that Dark Horse will return to from time to time. The concept of “horror host monster hunter” is something that’s hooked me and I want as much of it as possible.

It’s probably not a mistake that Ketner’s cover for the first issue is fantastically reminiscent of 1980’s VHS horror movie box art. It’s the kind of cover you’d see in a video store that magnetically draws you to pick it up…and you totally should.

Ghost DC.jpgDC 100-Page Ghosts Giant!
Various (W/A)
DC Comics

I’ve long championed the DC 100-Page Giant! revival as a great way to get a plethora of DC Comics short stories all for the low, low price of $4.99. Up until earlier this year, they were sold exclusively in Walmart stores but now they’re seeing wider distribution to your very own local comics shops. They’re pretty great and I usually can’t pass one up when I see it on the stands.

Such is the case with the Ghosts edition of 100-Page Giant! since I’m a sucker for seasonally themed stories (they published a Halloween edition last year that was just tremendous). This issue boasts not one, but THREE all-new stories featuring The Spectre, Gentleman Ghost (!!!), and everyone’s favourite John Constantine. There’s also a great Zatanna story by James Tynion IV that rounds out the issue. There was Batman story that was recycled from last year’s edition but that’s perfectly okay since these giant issues are largely geared towards casual readers and are meant to be easily accessible…something a lot of comics today are not.

I’m going to allow my slight personal bias to show here, I’m currently 60% DC and 40% Marvel in my reading habits. I sincerely believe there’s room for both on the comic rack…but when it comes to using their top-tier characters in horror titles, DC clearly has the edge. Sure, we got Marvel Zombies years ago but by that time DC had the Vertigo imprint and a whole slew of Elseworlds titles with a decidedly horror bent. I’d love to see Marvel do something like this but they’ve got some catching up to do. 

Shameless Self-Promotion

I am by no stretch of the imagination a film critic. Sure, I’ve watched a lot of movies and I took every film course my university offered but I don’t often apply much critical thought to my film consumption. I likes what I likes…and what I didn’t like, was Joker.

My pals over at Nothing In The Rulebook approached me to do a duelling Joker review-off and I couldn’t say no. I may have been punching a bit above my weight class but I think I handled myself pretty well. You can check it out HERE.

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