Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1 Comic Review
Ahoy Comics’ Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1 is full of funny, idiosyncratic stories and great artwork from the first page to its last.
The recent news that Mike Flanagan (Midnight Mass) will be working with Netflix to produce a new horror series The Fall of the House of Usher inspired by works of Edgar Allan Poe proves that the classic author’s work is as relevant as ever. Stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” are likely to haunt the American zeitgeist forever, but since its 2018 anthology series Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, AHOY Comics has been exploring and often inventing the funny side of Poe’s legacy. Now, AHOY begins another, equally entertaining series inspired by the master of the macabre with Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1.
Mark Russell (Not All Robots) and artist Peter Snejbjerg present a funny assortment of breakfast cereal-inspired characters in “Monster Serials,” the first story in the anthology. An angry mob gathers to burn the Marquis de Cocoa at the stake to punish him for being a vampire. But, a Quaker who also happens to be an oat farmer steps in an attempt to save the blood-sucker’s life. The second comic, “Evermore” by Stuart Moore, Frank Cammuso, and Madeline Seely, follows a young Edgar Allan Poe who meets a raven and discovers his life’s purpose.
Mark Russell’s “Monster Serials” works so well because of its unrelenting commitment to cereal-related puns. While its story functions well as a humorous vampire tale, the sheer volume of goofy jokes Russell manages to squeeze in makes it a joy to read. Even after multiple readings, it will be difficult to catch all of the quick gags and clever asides in this story. For the most part, Peter Snejbjerg casts the proceedings in a gloomy, ominous light. The shadowy town is illuminated only by the torches of the angry mob, all of whom appear to be as ghoulish as the vampire they want to kill. Snejbjerg’s art adds a level of horror and gravity to the absurd characters and events. While Russell plays around, Snejbjerg works to create the sort of haunting images that would make Mike Mignola and Richard Corben proud. But he includes his fair share of humor too with character designs that perfectly match the cereal theme.
If it weren’t for the harsh language and mature themes present in “Evermore,” it would be a charming-looking story for young readers. Frank Cammuso’s characters are adorable, and his cartooning evokes memories of classic children’s cartoons. Madeline Seely’s simple, bold color palette adds to the wholesome, kid-friendly visual aesthetic. But the foul-mouthed adolescent Poe is clearly meant for an older audience as he chases after girls and wanders into bars. Stuart Moore’s writing is fast-paced and full of references to Poe’s work as well as great original humor.
After the two comic stories, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1 features three short prose pieces by Kirk Vanderbeek and John Ficarra with illustrations by Brian Dunphy, Joe Orsak, and Richard Williams. All three pieces are entertaining, but Ficarra’s “At War Width Homophones” might be the most clever. The short piece is a funny manifesto against proper spelling, which uses as many misused homophones as possible.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1 isn’t going to give anyone any nightmares, but it might keep readers up laughing. Each piece is well crafted and entertaining and full of the type of humor that will resonate with fans of Mad Magazine.
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