31 Days of Horror 2021 Presents Heroes & Villains: “Untold Horror”, “Scarenthood: Collected”

At time of publication we’re a mere eleven days away from Halloween. I haven’t been to any haunted houses yet but I did just make my third trip to IKEA this year. That’s two too many. From where I live it’s a long and creepy ride for flatpack Swedish furniture and if you go on a weeknight the place is virtually empty, giving it a weird liminal quality. When you’re still grappling with 2020 and being around crowds of people, you take the creepy feelings where you find them.

Related to that, I did pass on going to the Motor City Comic Con even though it seems like everyone else I know (included one or possibly two BBP! writers) were in attendance. I’m sure when I decide that I feel okay about going to conventions again it’ll be quite the event.

Let’s look at some spooky books!

Untold Horror
Dave Alexander (W)
Justin Erickson (CA)
Dark Horse Comics

Fans of any genre will be well acquainted with the conversations surrounding what “might have been.” If you’re a comics fan there are certain “lost” stories or single issues that ended with a “to be continued!” that never were. Sci-fi, Star Wars in particular, has an entire alternate universe’s worth of tales regarding actors that were almost cast in some iconic roles. That brings us to Untold Horror.

Here’s the blurb:

A behind-the-scenes look into the development hell of the most frightening horror movies never made!

Insightful interviews of horror legends George Romero, John Landis, Joe Dante, Brian Yuzna, and more, by former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue, Dave Alexander, about the scariest horror movies never made!

Take a behind-the-scenes look into development hell to find the most frightening horror movies that never were, from unmade Re-Animator sequels to alternate takes on legendary franchises like Frankenstein and Dracula!

Features art, scripts, and other production material from unmade films that still might make you scream–with insights from dozens of directors, screenwriters, and producers with decades of experience.

Untold Horror was a fantastic read, I personally went straight to the Joe Dante section which covered the proposed National Lampoon’s Jaws: 3, People: 0. I’m a tremendous fan of Dante’s work, Gremlin’s 2: The New Batch is one of the best sequels ever and I would also love nothing more than to pitch an Eerie, Indiana reboot/sequel series to him…but I had NO idea he was even in the mix for a Jaws sequel. Reading about it made me simultaneously glad it was briefly a thing and mournful that it was too pure to exist in this world.

Similarly, John Landis’s Teenage Vampire idea sounded like it had the potential to be great. More often than not a lot of these proposed films didn’t make it off of the launchpad but the fact that they could have makes them the stuff of legends. Untold Horror is a lot of fun and a title that you should definitely add to your library, since it’s sure to spawn a bunch of conversations about what might have been.

Scarenthood: Collection
Nick Roche (W/A)
IDW Publishing

Oooooh, now THIS is spooky – almost a year ago TO THE DAY I covered issue #1 of Scarenthood! Now, I’m covering the collected edition!

Here’s the blurb:

What’s scarier: fighting demons or letting your kids down? That’s what a group of parents will find out as their plans to solve the school’s long-standing mystery lead to one parenting nightmare after another! Most days, the To-Do List is the same: Drop kids at preschool; Grab coffee with other parents; Go ghost-hunting in woods; Fight demonic entity; Collect kids; Nap time. But with the kids away on a field trip, a group of parents disturbs an ancient evil buried beneath the old Church Hall, unearthing a decades-old mystery about a missing child, and inviting something… hungry into their lives. Suddenly, their mornings go from playdates and peanut allergies to a battle for the souls of a broken family–and one child in particular—in this original story that combines the highs of parenthood with horror movie scares.

Luckily, my initial assessment still rings true:

“…I was fully on-board with this book when I saw Nick Roche’s name attached to it. His work on the Transformers: Wreckers Saga books played a HUGE role in getting me into IDW’s Transformers books. With that kind of goodwill built up I was more than ready to see what kind of NON-robot stuff he had cooked up and Scarenthood was just a great as I hoped it would be.

I’d really love to get into specifics here but I can only safely say that you should pick up Scarenthood and see for yourself. What really got to me was the tone of the book, it’s a really great blend of humour, a dash of the mundane, and the creeping supernatural dread that make for a scary and relatable story.”

The full run of the series is now available for your enjoyment in one handy dandy collected edition which will make for some great reading as we enter the final sprint towards Halloween!

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