EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF DEATH, ISSUE #1
Writer: Mark Russell/Stuart Moore
Illustrator: Peter Snejbjerg/Frank Cammuso
Publisher: AHOY Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Good evening, and welcome to the fourth installment in AHOY's satirical horror anthology. Here, you can sink your teeth into stories about iconic cereal mascots and Edgar Allan Poe's raven pal in this newest comic oozing with dark comedy.
Think Young Frankenstein satire blended with "Treehouse of Horror" from The Simpsons.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Inside the first issue of Snifter of Death, continuity from the previous Snifter comic volumes are found. The first story continues Mark Russell and Peter Snejbjerg's delicious "Monster Serials" tale of terror. Set in the "Breakfast Cereal Graphic Universe," the Marquis de Cocoa faces his fate as angry townspeople rally to burn the vampire at the stake. Only one man, a Quaker, steps forward in defense of the blood-sucking chocolate monster.
Fill up your own snifters as we listen to an anecdote from Edgar Allan Poe himself. Despite facing a lifetime of death burning in Hell (following the events of Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Blood #6), Poe's still cranking out the tales.
Will an oat farmer save the Marquis from death? How did Poe acquire his famous raven as a child? All will be revealed!
Mark Russell is a narrative genius. Combining his signature satirical commentary with breakfast cereal mascots creates a hilarious recipe for frights and fun in "The Monster Serials: A Devil's Advocate."
Peter Snejbjerg and Russell have been teaming up for the "Breakfast" or "Monster Serials" installments for quite a few issues now. Snejbjerg's gothic illustrations are vibrant, violent and macabre, supplementing both the dread and dark humor found in Russell's dialogue.
Stuart Moore's "Evermore" breaks the fourth wall, captures Poe's linguistic style perfectly, and seamlessly incorporates "The Raven" poem into the narrative cleverly.
Frank Cammuso's chibi-reminiscent art style in "Evermore" is adorable and more than suitably matches the narrative about an event occurring in Poe's childhood.
Colorist Madeline Seely keeps her color palette simple. Sepia tones and dreary hues render Cammuso's art with a gothic atmosphere, also distinguishing the flashback time period.
Rob Steen's lettering work between the two stories contrasts so noticeably, I had to go back and check to see if there was a different letterer for one of the tales!
Steen's lettering for the "Monster Serials" story reflects his usual elegant style. Wonderfully, his tightly kerned, blocky typeface in "Evermore" works in tandem with the narrative theme of childhood.
Russell and Snejbjerg's "A Devil's Advocate" hammers home themes like mob mentality and vengeance while simultaneously dispersing comedic breakfast cereal puns behind the tension.
Moore imagines a hilarious backstory about how Poe obtained the eponymous Raven from the "Nevermore" poem in a few short, but punctuated pages. (After Captain Ginger, is it any surprise that Moore knows how to write satirically about animals?)
This issue is rife with General Mills cereal puns. The infamous Lenore from Poe's writing makes an appearance. The prose piece rounds out the absurdity. EAPSOD #1 is a can't-miss comic to read at breakfast time during the month of October.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Content Warning: This issue is relatively tame content-wise, compared to the ghastly horrors seen in previous Snifter volumes. Still, if depictions of hell, burning corpses, vengeful vampires, and mild gore bother you, I'd recommend reading Poe's "The Raven" poem instead. Although, that might bother you too...
What doesn't work in Snifter issues? Really, the only detriments to this comic series is how quickly each story ends, since it's fitting in two comics for the anthology format!
Both stories work on their own, but readers will appreciate these particular tales further if you re-visit the other "Monster Serials" Snifter issues in the series, as well as reading the aforementioned EAPSOD #6.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's "spooky season," so what better way to ring in the most bone-chilling month of the year than with a copy of Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Death #1? For the price of one, you get two terrific tales written by two AHOY Comics veterans, Stuart Moore and Mark Russell. Additionally, you can gouge your eyes out after witnessing the monstrously fabulous illustrations from artists Peter Snejbjerg and Frank Cammuso. Is there a single reason anyone shouldn't read this comic?
Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Death #1 may be the best issue released thus far. This installment builds on previous issues in the saga while also standing alone as individual masterpieces of comedy and horror. I keep reading the Snifter comics thinking I've read my favorite issue, but the series keeps improving!
The Cereal-verse continues to delight. Re-workings of classic Poe tales bring a smile to any literature fan. Add the snap, crackle, and pop of the three prose pieces at the end of this issue, and you'll slurping up the last milk droplets in EAPSOD #1 before you can say, "I vant to eat your cereal."
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Billionaire Island by Mark Russell & Steve Pugh
Captain Ginger by Stuart Moore & June Brigman
Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Death Vol. 1 by Various
If you like the art:
A God Somewhere by John Arcudi & Peter Snejbjerg
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde by Frank Cammuso
Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Death Vol. 2 by Various
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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