Tag Archives: goosebumps

Star Wars descends into the unknown for new YA horror anthology DARK LEGENDS, but it’s not without precedent

Horror and Star Wars isn’t something one often hears uttered in the same sentence, although the pairing of the two isn’t entirely novel for the franchise. Disney Lucasfilm Press has announced its intentions to look beyond the dark side for a new YA horror anthology titled Star Wars: Dark Legends. The book is set for a July 28 release and will feature six terrifying tales written by George Mann with illustrations by Grant Griffin.

In an interview given to SYFY WIRE, Mann states that the six tales will read like campfire/bedtime cautionary tales complete with hauntings, transformations, and eerie Sith lords. The book’s scope covers the myths and legends of the Star Wars universe with details and ideas taken from the new Galaxy’s Edge attractions at Disneyland and Disney World.

Star Wars: Dark Legends.
Star Wars: Dark Legends, Disney Lucasfilm

It’s refreshing to see some much needed experimentation and playfulness afforded to the Star Wars brand. It’s only logical to the consider the possibility of horror lurking within such a rich expanded universe, especially when we’ve already had horror books set in it way before Disney acquired the franchise.

In the late 1990’s, publisher Bantam Spectra released twelve Star Wars horror books for young readers as part of a series called “Galaxy of Fear.” The books were written by John Whitman and they followed in the tradition of R.L. Stein’s iconic Goosebumps stories. These were short and fast reads set after the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Cameos from Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Thrawn, and Boba Fett were not uncommon, but the stories had their own characters embarking on these dark adventures. Book 3, for instance, called “Planet Plague,” follows Tash, Zak, and Uncle Hoole as they visit the planet Gobindi to explore its ancient ruins. Tash is suddenly afflicted by a big and strange bump that’s threatening to come out of her arm. And then the bump grows bigger and bigger.

Galaxy of Fear series

Book 6, titled “Ghost of the Jedi,” finds the trio on the planet Nespis 8. A haunted library is said to be found on the planet, one haunted by the ghost of a Jedi. Whether it’s as simple as that is a question the book answers in the only way a Star Wars horror book can.

The most impressive thing these books achieve lies in how organically they weave horror and Star Wars together. No book feels like it’s being force-fed elements of the supernatural or of gothic-style hauntings for the sake of a gimmick. They treat the license’s vast universe as fertile ground for scary things that feel like they belong there.

The next horror book to come out of the expanded universe came in 2009 and was called Star Wars: Death Troopers. Written by Joe Schreiber, the book deals in zombies and is set in a broken-down prison barge containing two very important prisoners that are synonymous with the franchise. It takes place before the events of A New Hope and it manages to propose a kind of framework for how horror can be integrated into the grander narrative. The book was well-received and paved the way for a prequel novel, by the same author, called Red Harvest (2010). The two books later came to be known as the “Virus Duology.”

Book 1 of the Virus Duology

The prequel explains the origin of the virus that turns the dead into the undead and looks at a Jedi that is particularly skilled with plant life. The book also features a Sith Master called Darth Scabrous that wants to harness the power of a special flower that can act as an ingredient for the deadly virus.

While Star Wars is no stranger to horror, its time with it has been relatively limited. The new “Dark Legends” anthology could be the catalyst that brings about a more robust offering of horror stories set in that galaxy far, far away. If the same pattern emerges, maybe we can hope for a new fully-fledged horror novel ready to bring fear into the hearts of readers and Jedi alike.

Preview: Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House

Denton J. Tipton (Author) • Matthew Dow Smith (Author) • Chris Fenoglio (Artist, Cover Artist)

All the kids in Beaver Creek, Oregon, know that the old Whaley House is probably haunted, so when young tech entrepreneur Veruca Curry moves in, the kids fear there’s more to her than meets the eye. The adults in town think that Veruca is just the sort of hip, young new blood that Beaver Creek needs, but Rosie, a loner who loves anime and Japanese comics, Carlos, a popular preppy boy, and Becca, the school’s star athlete, find out the terrible truth—Veruca is a witch, and she’s got a terrible plan that could destroy Beaver Creek unless they can stop her.

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House

Preview: Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3

Denton Tipton & Matthew Dow Smith (w) • Chris Fenoglio (a & c)

Rosie and her friends are in the witch’s clutches, and if they want to save themselves (not to mention the entire town), they’ll have to figure out a way to stop her most powerful spell before it’s too late! Friendships will be tested and secrets will be revealed in this stunning conclusion.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3

Preview: Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #2

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #2

Denton Tipton & Matthew Dow Smith (w) • Chris Fenoglio (a & c)

Rosie thought it was bad enough having a witch as a neighbor, but now the witch is trying to take over the whole town! As their parents fall under the witch’s dark spell, it’s up to Rosie and her friends to try and save the day. And they thought algebra was hard…

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #2

Preview: Goosebumps: Download & Die

Goosebumps: Download & Die

(W) Jen Vaughn (A/CA) Michelle Wong
In Shops: Sep 26, 2018
SRP: $12.99

The kid-friendly horror series returns to comics with all-new stories! The terrifying world of Goosebumps is just a click away!

When Mitra and her two besties find a phone with the latest and greatest technology and apps, they think they are dreaming. But when push (notifications) come to shove, they might be living a nightmare! With the phone turning them against each other, can Mitra do a hard reset before it’s too late?

Preview: Goosebumps: Download and Die! #3

Goosebumps: Download and Die! #3

Jen Vaughn (w & cover b) • Michelle Wong (a & cover a)

Power cords and lifelines get tangled as Mitra, Kyra, and Flips unravel the monsters’ mess. Is it too late to save their friend and their town from the curse of the haunted phone? Ring, ring—who’s calling? Your DOOM.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Goosebumps: Download and Die! #1

Goosebumps: Download and Die! #1

Story: Jen Vaughn
Art: Michelle Wong
Color: Triona Tree Farrell
Letterer: Christa Miesner
Editor: Sarah Gaydos
Assistant Editor: Chase Marotz

When Mitra and her two besties find a phone with the latest and greatest technology and apps, they think they are dreaming. But when push (notifications) come to shove, they might be living a nightmare!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight #3 (of 3)

Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight #3 (of 3)

Jeremy Lambert (w) • Chris Fenoglio (a & c)

The sisters are safe and sound in their beds,

Their nightmares a folly, it’s all in their heads.

Now wait, I hear something, perhaps it’s a scream…

Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s not all a dream!

They cannot survive this, reader beware!

Unless I’m mistaken, you’re in for a scare!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

10 Spooky Comics for this Halloween

If you, like the rest of the internet, have been celebrating Halloween since before Labor Day, or have gotten swept up in the pumpkin spice frenzy, or are riding the high of those spooky seasonal vibes, hey. You’re not alone.

Though this year has been widely deemed a dumpster fire, 2017 has provided some excellent seasonal reads for readers who like their comics with a side of horror and mystery. Here are ten comics perfect for setting the Halloween mood.

babyteeth-01-cvrBabyteeth
Donny Cates, Garry Brown, and Mark Englert (AfterShock Comics)

Being a teenager can feel like hell. For pregnant sixteen year old Sadie, it might literally be hell. The first volume explores the strength of familial relationships, navigating the world as a teen mom, and how to deal when a powerful underground group of assassins tries to kill your baby, who is the antichrist.

Goldie Vance
Hope Larson, Jackie Ball, Brittney Williams, Noah Hayes (BOOM! Studios)

Goldie Vance is a teenage detective story appropriate for all ages. Join Goldie as she takes on the mysteries at the Florida resort where she and her dad work. The series is no longer published as single issues and will instead be published in the future in a series of graphic novels, and each arc is an excellent jumping-on point for the series.

Goosebumps_01_CoverA copyGoosebumps: Monsters at Midnight
Jeremy Lambert and Chris Fenoglio (IDW Publishing)

Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight was released by IDW earlier this month. While it’s definitely geared toward a younger demographic, the first issue is full of references to the original books and stays true to their voice.

HellraiserOmnibus_v1_SC_PRESS_1Hellraiser Omnibus Volume 1
Clive Barker, Tom Garcia, various (BOOM! Studios)

The Hellraiser Omnibus isn’t for the squeamish. The book collects issues 1-20 of Clive Barker’s 2011-2012 Hellraiser series, as well as Hellraiser Annual #1. As part of Hellraiser canon, the comic explores the fate of Kirsty Cotton and the Cenobite realm–and changes them forever.

Infernoct-1InferNoct
Mina Elwell, Eli Powell, and Tristan Elwell (Scout Comics)

The first issue of this Lovecraft-inspired horror comic from Scout Comics was released earlier this month. The story follows Sam, who is trying to save her town (and the people in it) from vicious monster attacks while keeping her grip on sanity.

insexts-3Insexts
Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina, and Jessica Kholine (AfterShock Comics)

The second collected volume of Insexts will be released in late November, but this comic is well worth reading. The first volume followed Lady Bertram and her lover Mariah as they come to grips with their insect powers and go up against the monsters terrorizing Victorian England. The second volume deals with the aftermath in the same beautiful, erotic, and horrific style as the first volume.

Nancy-Hardy-001-Cov-A-DaltonNancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie
Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’Edera (Dynamite Entertainment)

Fans of the original series or previous Drew-Hardy team-ups will likely appreciate this series, which brings the gang back together to figure out who killed Fenton Hardy. This is something of a dark departure from the original series (which never featured murder) but is an interesting update appropriate for teens and adults alike.

Monstress01_CoverMonstress
Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image Comics)

Though Monstress is currently on hiatus, this comic remains one of the most visually and narratively interesting comics published this year. The second volume, released in July, develops each character as they process the consequences of the Monstrum living inside main character Maika.

anc_lit-my_favorite_thing_is_monsters-900My Favorite Thing is Monsters
Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a gorgeous book with an incredible amount of narrative depth. Though the fact that the main character, Karen Reyes, believes herself a monster makes this read Halloween-appropriate, readers will likely find plenty to relate to in Karen’s interests and search for identity.

My-Pretty-Vampire-coverMy Pretty Vampire
Katie Skelly (Fantagraphics)

Katie Skelly’s My Pretty Vampire combines comics with vintage horror in a gorgeous and compelling color palette. The book follows vampire Clover, who escapes from an oppressive ruled by her brother. Clover’s newfound freedom leads her on a town-wide murder spree, with a shadowy organization not far behind.

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