"Slappy's Tales of Horror" is the latest installment in the "Goosebumps Graphix" series and it’s a perfect book for kids to read this Halloween season especially with the release of the new "Goosebumps" movie starring Jack Black. R.L. Stine’s "Goosebumps" series of horror novels for children, published by Scholastic, has thrilled fans since 1992.
The books are just scary enough for kids and are famous for their "twist" endings. Stine’s vivid tales are perfectly suited to be adapted in comic form and Scholastic’s Graphix imprint has assembled a talented group of artists to adapt these (not-too) terrifying tales.
The first of the four stories is an adaptation of "A Shocker on Shock Street" by artist Jamie Tolagson, whose works appeared in various Marvel and DC comic books as well as "The Crow" comic. This is the tale of a brother’s and sister’s crazy night testing out the rides at their father’s horror amusement park. Tolagson captures the crazy rides and the kids "shocked" expressions perfectly.
Next up is "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp," the story of a boy who discovers some weird goings-on in the swamp that sits beside the house he just moved into. Gabriel Hernandez, artist on the popular "Magneto" book for Marvel Comics, handles the art. Hernandez gives the swamp a creepy atmosphere that conveys the impending danger.
Ted Naifeh, creator of the popular "Courtney Crumin" graphic novels, adapts the spooky "Ghost Beach." A brother and sister try and solve the supernatural mystery that involves their family. Naifeh illustrates the beautiful seaside scenery and the scary specters that haunt them.
"The Night of the Living Dummy" tells the origin tale of the infamous Slappy the ventriloquist dummy. Two sisters (yes, Stine likes stories with siblings) compete as ventriloquists but soon have to put their differences aside when one of the dummies decides take over the act! The art is by Dave Roman, creator of all-ages graphic novels such as "Astronaut Academy" and "Teen Boat." Roman’s cartoony style makes the creepy smile of the dummies even creepier.
"A Shocker on Shock Street," "The Ghost Beach," and "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp" have all appeared in previous volumes of "Goosebumps Graphics" but they’re all worth revisiting especially now that they’re in full color for the first time. Of course the real star of the book is Slappy who appears not only in "The Night of the Living Dummy" but also serves as the "horror host" to the book appearing at the beginning and end of each tale to give his two cents worth (also by artist Roman). Slappy has been the mascot of Stine’s series since he was introduced in the original novel way back in 1993 and it looks like he’s a movie star now too with the success of the movie. A fun, frightful read for October!