We return to Graphic Content with a new series in the mix – motivated by the recent Elvira special I am diving into the most recent Elvira comic, Elvira Meets Vincent Price #1. The question is, do those two go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or does Elvira’s schtick lose its pointedness on the printed page? Let’s find out!
Elvira Meets Vincent Price #1
Elvira, fresh off of a whole heap of journeys (available of course in other comics) seeks a new deal to relaunch her brand of movie macabre on a streaming service, any streaming service, but finds herself betrayed. More alarming, however, is an urgent request of Vincent Price, the long-dead horror icon, who tasks here to track down the print to a film that most assumed was an apocryphal legend. Elvira and the ghostly Vincent Price travel to Venice (no, not the one in Europe) to save the world… and they need The Rise of the Ram to do it.
I never gave the Elvira comics much thought growing up. It wasn’t that I didn’t love Elvira, but I just assumed that as a licensed comic I would be getting something that was a pale imitation of the stuff I love. Thankfully, this first issue of Elvira Meets Vincent Price shows me how wrong I have been – that maybe there is some gold in those (haunted) hills. it helps that Elvira’s Cassandra Peterson seems to be very much involved with the comic – she isn’t just licensing the character but seems to want to contribute. She has found an able partner in writer David Avallone who manages to nail the goofiness of the Elvira of Movie Macabre with the continuity and storytelling of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and subsequent movies. We get a modern-day Elvira in the age of streaming, and the challenge she faces as the previous generation of influencers (horror hosts), with nods to the past with the inclusion of her loyal dog Gonk. It all very much works.
What makes this more impressive is that the story being told is goofy, compelling, and also nails the characterization of Vincent Price. Even as the dead, he is still charming as hell under Avallone’s pen. it’s quite a pleasant surprise. Naturally, the book is referential – Elvira breathes horror cinema – but Avallone’s Price is not merely an assemblage of characteristics mined from films. The Vincent Price here feels like you would expect Vincent Price to feel if he were in such a state. It’s a pleasure to read.
The art of licensed comics can be tricky. Sometimes you end up with comics that are so beholden to looking like the source material that it feels lifeless and static. Juan Samu doesn’t have that problem. His Elvira looks like Elvira, his Vincent Price looks like Vincent Price – but they are also not photo-realistic. The approach is good. Characters can distort and act without having the awkward attempt at photorealism found in a lot of licensed books. It also helps that as far as people in horror go Elvira and Vincent Price are pretty distinct. it is a nice combination of appropriate likeness and cartoony exaggeration and it absolutely works.
Elvira Meets Vicent Price deftly avoids the typical problems of licensed comics but really getting to the heart of why people appreciate Elvira’s character and her approach to goofy horror. The comic also nails the likeness issue, not being overly beholden to realism, and letting exaggeration play out as needed. The central conceit is inherently silly, but that’s absolutely perfect for the subject matter. Isn’t Elvira a little silly, anyway? (4.5 / 5)
Elvira Meets Vincent Price #1, written by David Avallone features art by Juan Samu, and colors by Walter Pereyra. This comic is available from Dynamite Entertainment or your local comic shop.
Have you read previous Elvira comics? Let us know your favorites in the comments, and check back next week for a new installment of Graphic Content.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 5
Well, you won’t get rid of me that easily… Ha ha, I lied about coming to the end and the afterlife in the Creepy Comics Collages segment, it was just an opportunity for rebirth. Besides, it’s World Collage Day! So having come into another comic book to rework, here we go again…
Creepy Comics Story 9: The Voice (of God or Reason or perhaps an homage to my ex)
“Come to me my children, the voice of God awaits!… Don’t let them escape!” Please beam me up out of this weird comic collage alternate reality. “God I am your hand! Lift me… to your place. I commend my spirit!” I want to go back to dreaming about starfish.
The computer programmer behind the scenes turns to face us and smiles. “Guardians! This is a place of God!… Come to the true voice of God!” “I am everything.” “Come to the voice!” And the horrific AI generated creatures abide by his every coded word.
Just like last night in the — signs posted for Nightmare, No Exit. The deer spirit faun screams in surprise, “Eeek!” “No! I defy you!” She returns to the form of a little girl with arms outspread to the open sky. “Y’know, a day like today makes all the stuff that happened last night seem just like a bad dream!” The dream seems so real…
Somewhere in the city, the computer programmer sits up at night in pensive monologue, “You try to make a difference… But it doesn’t really matter.”
Creepy Comics Story 10: The City (Metropolis becomes self-aware)
This segment is brought to you by Dead Artists and Talking Dinosaurs. No really, wait for it…
Woooooo Uhhhh Wooooooo Uhhhh… Wump! Uff! Wump! Uff! “She belongs to The City!” The Glenn Fry 1985 hit single looms ominously overhead as Metropolis becomes self-aware. “The City… will live!… The City… will breathe!” The City gasps for air, “Got to… breathe!… Got to… Breathe!“
Her breath is the wind… Her eyes are windows. Her heart pumps fluid through buried plumbing… “I’m The City!” Her mind is The City!
And we have a celebrity appearance by Rich Koz “Son of Svengoolie” WFLD 1973: “I take a nap for 10,000 years and look what happens… some-body builds a city!” Kerwyn chimes in, “Geez! Somebody’s been busy!” And we cut out to a scene of Svengoolie standing alongside his coffin.
Well, that’s all folks. Or is it? For now, any way… until I get more comic books… Duh duh DUHHHH…
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 4
Wow, I can’t believe you’ve stayed the course through four whole strange story posts of these creepy comics collages. But this is the final frontier, the last segment, the standing ovation as it were. So here goes…
Creepy Comics Story 7: The Grave (shallow enough for ya?)
“It should take longer, it seems to all of them. Such holy flesh should not give before a blade so easily.” “His brow is growing so cold.” “Yes it would be. He’s dying.”
“My god… I’m not dead.” Put the shovel down. “Life is a no-win situation. Besides… You’re already dead!”
“I’m not dead. I’m not dead!… Oh, Oh my god… I can’t move… What’s happened to me?” Buried alive. Or maybe not.
“Dead?” Perhaps I am actually dead. I was expecting something… I dunno… different.
“I’m not hungry, I’m dead. I’m not sure what I’m doing here, in fact.” At least I’m not a zombie. That seems a small consolation right now though. “My organs are shutting down. It is a relief.”
“Three days have already passed.” We’re just sitting here, rotting. Like Norman Bates’ Mother. At least someone was kind enough to supply a rocking chair. “Oh, one last thing before I go… You’re doing my fucking head in.”
Creepy Comics Story 8: Adrift Afterlife (why you save the best gold coins for the ferryman)
How’d we get here? “I do not stand alone. I am sat in a boat.” “.. to be millions of miles away from any care in the world.” Was that the Ferryman? “Only liberty I know.”
“He does not remember arriving here, or if he has been here before. It is not the island he grew up on, though it feels so very familiar… He has been waiting for the night tides to come in, for they will bring starfish. He has always liked watching them cling to the beach before the current pulls them back into fathoms.”
“And the ocean brings him starfish… Perhaps his father had nothing to do with this place at all.” The ferryman stands on the far shore. It makes no difference now.
“Beneath the ocean, razor-sharp coral grows and plunges towards the surface, sent by a green place that would not like to burn.” “The sand is soft between his toes and he is not ashamed of anything.” The ghosts are here, contentedly it seems.
Thank you for joining us for these creepy comics collage art stories. But here’s where we have to leave it off. Trust me, it’s best that way. Besides I’m out of creepy comics to collage with.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 3
We’re ba-ack… Are you ready for the next creepy comics collages graphic story overload? After the last time and the intermission I wasn’t sure I’d see you again, but here we are, together again. You’d almost think we put something in the water – wink.
Now where were we? Oh yeah, the world was going to hell… or was it?
Creepy Comics Story 5: Alien Invasion (A Fist Full of Physics!!!)
“Elsewhere… months… earlier…” “It begins as a flicker pin-point of light getting closer ever closer until it takes form.” The sky is falling, damn you Chicken Little.
“…unconfirmed rumors of extraterrestrials have surfaced this evening following reported sightings in upstate New York earlier today.” There’s the news for you. Always blowing things up to increase viewership ratings.
“Then I would suggest a test immediately.” ‘K Doc, we get it; maybe there’s cause for concern. Guessing these aren’t friendlies based on intel, or that the government pissed them off. “Where’s William Shatner when you really need him?”
“Next morning… City Hall…” “A Fist Full of Physics” Blamm-o! “As if that’s some kind of homage.” It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I was feeling fine but now I’m not so sure. “All of this is on your head.” You can thank the world governments with their shoot first, ask questions later policies for that.
“The act was deplorable. It’s ramifications were permanent.” Doc looks unamused. “And the doctor drones on in his cold monotone… ‘Then we all die.’”
Creepy Comics Story 6: Werewolves (Londoners, eat your hearts out)
“Fables Werewolves… no one can hear you howl.” So now we’re elbow-deep in lycanthropy? This story just keeps getting weirder and weirder…
“… I feel so… disoriented… is this vertigo?” No, you wouldn’t be so lucky. Once bitten, twice shy. It’s The Change. Prepare yourself for the transformation.
“What now?” Enough with the damned interruptions already, can’t you see I’m at work?!
“Shall we start a war?”
“No! No! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! No!“
“I know one thing.” “Never will you suffer the indignity of this animal’s touch again.” The wolf seems somewhat offended by that statement. No really. And probably rightly so.
“Maybe it’s just an excuse, a fucking cop-out for when we inevitably fuck-up our lives and hurt people… We’re not cursed, we’re rotten, or mad or…”
“I don’t deserve this!” he howls. Stop blaming the werewolves for your own human indecencies. Teacups get broken and the London werewolves get angry.
Thank you for going all in with us over this series, there’s… one… more… final… huzzah… In the meantime, check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.