Cover art by Richard Williams

I forgot to review this one. I find mixtures of humor and horror an uneasy pairing that often doesn’t work for me. The first story here is in that category, an adaptation of Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” Poe’s idea was that someone on the point of death could be hypnotized to be kept alive. The story was originally presented as factual, but Poe later admitted it was fiction. In the adaptation, the subject is a chef, and the gross and disgusting decay of his body and mind create some truly stomach-turning visuals, though the ending is kind of funny.

On the other hand, the second story, “Dark Chocolate,” is a brilliant work of metafiction that is both convincing as a story of love and horror, and also a quite funny inside joke about those monster-themed breakfast cereals of a few decades ago. Written by Mark Russell with fine art by Peter Snejbjerg, it does an amazing balancing act on the cusp of humor and horror, not to mention other human emotions. If they were all this good, the Poe anthology would be a winner in every way.

British humorist Hunt Emerson also has a two-pager that I enjoyed.


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