Thursday, November 23, 2017

Halloween ComicFest 2017

Casper the Friendly Ghost: Halloween ComicFest #1 (American Mythology, 2017, free)
I bought a package of 25 of these to give out along with fun-size candy bars for Halloween late last month. We don't get many trick or treaters, but they were received well—turned down only by one girl dressed as Sporty Spice. It's a great idea for trick or treating, even better than the Halloween ComicFest generally.

This 16-page digest features two longer stories, as well as two one-page comics. In the five-page "Helpful Uncle Fuzzy," written and drawn by Marty Taras and originally published in the 1973 Casper & Wendy #5, Casper the Friendly Ghost is visited by his Uncle Fuzzy, who is more helpful than harmful despite first appearances. And in "The Scary Night," written and drawn by Howard Post, Spooky humors monsters, goblins, dragons, and witches—even aliens—because it's Halloween, until Pearl reminds him that the holiday hasn't occurred yet. The two one pagers both address how trying to frighten other people can get out of hand.

It's a fun, slender reprint collection, perhaps intended to help promote the new American Mythology Casper series.

Thor by Simonson Halloween ComicFest 2017 #1 (Marvel, December 2017, free)
I picked this up as a freebie at Comic Bug shortly after the ComicFest event. The 32-pager reprints "Pickin' up the Pieces from Thor #354 (April 1985), written and drawn by Walter Simonson. Lord Odin is gone, leaving Thor, his people and family to deal with the aftermath—and to face Hela. Beta Ray Bill seeks to be more inconspicuous on Earth. In "Tales of Midgard," also from Thor #354, Fandral ends the medical career of Donald Blake. And in "Death Comes to Thor," reprinted from Journey into Mystery #102 (March 1964) and drawn by Jack Kirby, Thor rescues Sif from Hela.

Intended to help promote the movie Thor: Ragnarok, in which Hela appears, this reprint shares two notable appearances of the goddess of death. Pairing some of Simonson's wonderful run on the title with early Kirby artwork is a welcome combination.

Read Also: Rom #65; Thor #345-349, and #350.

Availability: More than 100 pages of classic Casper stories have been reprinted in Dark Horse's Harvey Comics Classics Volume 1: Casper the Friendly Ghost. Thor #354 was reprinted in Thor Visionaries - Walt Simonson, Vol. 1 and Thor by Walt Simonson Omnibus.

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