And Then I Read: EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR

Image © Ahoy Comics. First story written by Rachel Pollack, art by Rick Geary, colors My Michael Garland. Second story written by Stuart Moore, art by Ryan Kelley, colors by Rico Renzi, letters by Rob Steen. Additional material as listed above.

I’ve always had difficulty with things that are meant to be both funny and frightening at the same time. To me, if it’s funny it can’t be frightening. The most successful example I can think of is the film “Young Frankenstein,” which is not at all frightening itself, but is a parody of horror films I did find frightening as a child, yet a very funny parody of those films. This comic wades into that uneasy mix with portrayals of Poe, the author, as a sarcastic and humorous narrator of his own story, “Ligeia,” in the first tale. The original story may itself be a parody of German gothic tales of Poe’s time, but it has a chilling plot of death and return from death. The retelling by Rachel Pollack and Rick Geary is entertaining, but not very scary, especially when the drama is interrupted by clownish commentary by Poe, ruining whatever scary mood might have been developing. I never liked that sort of thing on TV either, where a horror host interrupted the film with silly jokes.

The second story begins with a TV reporter somehow back in time interviewing a drunk and disorderly Poe, then moves on to a modern parody of Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon.” That one didn’t work for me very well.

Perhaps the most fun I had reading this was the two-page Poe humor piece by British legend Hunt Emerson. That did make me laugh.

Mildly recommended.

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