Monday, October 22, 2012

Tales from the Crypt

I have a love/hate (mostly love) relationship with October. I always look forward to this time of year because of the candy, and the multiple airings of "Hocus Pocus" on basic cable, and being able to replace the 'o's in October with tiny little pumpkins, just like I did in elementary school, except with more embarrassment that I haven't discarded that childish handwriting habit yet. The only downside to the month, though, is that I am scared of horror movies, especially ones that feature zombies and Nosferatu (not all vampires, just Nosferatu), and just about everything in October reminds me of all these things. Add to the fact that I live within a stone's throw of a cemetery and this fear intensifies. 

But I love campy things, like "Buffy" and "Rocky Horror," which is why I couldn't say no to these comic books when I found them at a garage sale for a few dollars. I don't really consider myself a huge science fiction/fantasy fan, but lately I've been acquiring secondhand copies of Neil Gaiman's works, and Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" because I once read an R.L. Stine interview where he mentioned that book inspired him to write, so I had to check it out. So maybe I am more of a fantasy fan than I originally thought. Anyway, the comic books -- I found them at a garage sale for a dollar each. They're 1990s reprints of old 1950s comics, and the illustrations are just gloriously colorful, creepy and campy -- space aliens with Betty Page lookalikes, etc. I'm tempted to take some of the illustrations out and frame them, but I haven't decided if I want to rip them apart for that kind of project. 

One of the things that bothers me about the comics is how the female characters are portrayed. Many of them are either vixens who tempt/manipulate the male characters and deserve a comeuppance (usually death or betrayal), or are victims who have no control over their fate. Of course, this isn't surprising, considering the original demographic for these comics were 1950s male college students, but it is disappointing to see every other female character die.

Still, the illustrations are vivid and grotesque, and just owning the comic books makes me uncomfortably happy. Kind of like October.

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