BOOK OF HAUNTINGS
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If you read my review of The Dark Horse BOOK OF THE DEAD, you'll remember how much I enjoyed it. Does the magic continue with BOOK OF HAUNTINGS?
The Dark Horse BOOK OF HAUNTINGS is another in the line of Horror Thriller anthologies presented in a hardcover format by Dark Horse, and published prior to BOOK OF THE DEAD. Anthologies are, by their very nature, an eclectic bunch of tales. Not all of them will appeal to you, nor are they supposed to. Instead, anthologies are meant to give you wonderful reads of short tales and, as a grab bag, give you something that you may truly love. In other words, your favorite story in an anthology might not even be the editor's favorite story in the book.
The first story, Mike Richardson's Gone is amazing in its creepy simplicity, following the most common of theme, "What if?" with an economy of growing to overwhelming dread and fear. Artist P. Craig Russell adpated the story.
The second tale is a Mike Mignola Hellboy episode, Dr. Carp's Experiment, with its usual wit and twisted dream.
Thurnley Abbey by Percival Landon is illustrated by Gary Gianni, not in comic book form, but as illustrated literature.
Editor Scott Allie's This Small Favor: A Devil's Footprints Story, with art by Paul Lee and Brian Horton, tells the tale of a Ghostbuster and how he does his job.
Forever, by Uli Oesterle, is a revenge tale that follows a common thread in both plot and inevitability. I saw where this was going from the first page. Still, writer and artist Uli follows the recipe well.
Milton Freewater Jr.'s The House On The Corner, with Art by Lucas Marangon, is another standard story: Nothing new here, but nothing bad either.
Scott Allie then interviews a little known, self-styled Seance Medium, Larry Dreller. Larry lives in Littleton, Colorado and does his spiritual stuff as well as write books. If you buy into this stuff you might find it interesting. Me, I'd have preferred another story.
The next story is Lies, Death, and Olfactory Delusions written by Randy Stradley and with Art by Paul Chadwick. In only eight pages, these two manage to provide plenty of twists and a couple of genuine creeps. Very well done.
The anthology ends with another Horror tale involving the dogs of the neighborhood by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, Stray. Fun as usual from these two.
I enjoyed BOOK OF HAUNTINGS but not as much as BOOK OF THE DEAD. I'm glad I have it, but I hope they take an upturn with my next read in the series.
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