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Fanboy of Fear Feo Amante Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Boogeyman
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BOOGEYMAN - 1999
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones
Letterer: Stan Sakai
Publisher: Dark Horse

For over 25 years, Mark Evanier has been teamed with beloved Mad Magazine cartoonist, Sergio Aragones, and his favorite letterer, Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo). Together the three have worked on many projects, most notably, GROO the Wanderer. In the 1990s, Sergio perceived a rise in racism and wanted to address it. Dark Horse published the series which had modest success, and followed it up by putting the whole series to bed with the Trade peperback collection in 1999 called, BOOGEYMAN. Since then, the book continues to sell modestly - but, interestingly enough, it continues to sell. Long after the major hits come and go and reach the point where you can't give them away, BOOGEYMAN survives and continues to reach audiences.

BOOGEYMAN is a series of stories, told in song by the Cemetary caretaker, Mr. Diggs. Reminscent of the Minstrel from Groo's earlier days (who Sergio loved as a character and Mark, who had to write all his dialog in rhyming song, after translating from Spanish, despised). Each tale regards the fear that various children and adults not only retain, but allow to grow within them, taking over their lives, until it ruins them. There are also tales of terror that adults instill in their children to build their character or control their behavior ("If you don't behave, the Boogeyman will get you!"). In Mr. Digg's songs, children remember these fears, allow them to metamorph into an adult fear as they grow, and spend their lives fighting against an unseen enemy that only lives within their mind.

Such tales would normally be quite preachy and heavy handed, but Aragones fun and flippant artistry, combined with Stan Sakai's cartoonish and expressive lettering, allow Evanier's story (much of it co-written with Sergio), to take flight instead of drag along.

Each story is a horror story all told within the fears of their main characters: whether they are fears of the supernatural, menacing criminals, people of other races or ideas, or advancing technology. Aragones, Evanier, and Sakai tackle all types of fears but, as the book cover shows, finally confront the real Boogeyman and what he, as an archetype, really means.

Fun for adults but easily understandable by adolescents, BOOGEYMAN never rises to greatness, but still retains a strong hold on the reader long after you put it down.

Three Fanboys.

FanboyFanboyFanboy
This review copyright 2006 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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Feo Amante's Horror Home Page and feoamante.com are owned and copyright 1997 - 2011 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
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