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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 298

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 most recent House of Mystery Halloween Annual (#2), written and drawn by a variety of top notch Vertigo talent…


Just like last year’s Annual (which I bet I’ll end up featuring before we hit Halloween), the framing sequence is a trip to the House of Mystery, where Halloween, naturally, is a big deal.

The characters we follow pretty much throughout the book are four children who were cursed in the 1950s by a gypsy to BECOME their costumes and then bound to trick or treat for all of eternity…

Matt Sturges comes up with a charmingly morbid tale. I especially love the 1950s’ style narration during the flashback. Classic.

Luca Rossi and Jose Marzan, Jr. handle the changes well, too. Very expressive artwork by Rossi. The House of Mystery folks try to help the kids out, but, well, naturally things don’t go so well.

The next tale shows what happened when the kids visited Madame Xanadu’s house. Matt Wagner and Brendan Graham excel in showing the kids what COULD have been…

That’s the best kind of horror – the psychological kind!

There are also a Hellblazer story by Peter Milligan, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini and an iZombie story by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, but those stories tie more in with the ongoing adventures of those titles, so while they’re good, I dunno if it would make sense to naturally feature them here.

The final tale is a Lucifer reunion, with Mike Carey and Peter Gross showing the cursed kids during an untold Lucifer tale…

As you can see, each of the above creative teams really embraced the framing concept and put their own particular spin on it for a bunch of enjoyable stories. Another strong House of Mystery Halloween Annual!!


Tom Fitzpatrick

October 26, 2010 at 7:05 am

I’m surprised Matt Wagner didn’t draw his story. He’s a good artist in his own rights.

True, but he’s only been a writer on Madame Xanadu (even after his Eisner-nominated artist, Amy Reeder, left the book).

“Great Scott! I’m … changing. I think I’m turning into a real pirate!”

How on earth would you know?!

Brandon Graham *and* Milligan Hellblazer *and* I Zombie? Great, now I need to find a copy.

What makes this better is that the Hellblazer story intersects with this month’s issue of the series as well.

Yeah, Brendan, that WAS very cool!

I think Amy Reeder is supposed to be back for the last issue of Madame Xanadu. From what I remember, the current thematic arc was intended to have a different artist with each issue, then finish with her.

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