Review: Screamland

Published on August 9th, 2011

Hey Comic Impact friends! It’s Tuesday and it’s time for this week’s Trade Tuesday! Sorry we missed the last couple of weeks, but you know how things get when there’s that San Diego Comic Con. It sure was a lot of fun and I was able to pick up a lot of trades to review for the next few weeks. One trade that I was very happy to get my grubby little mitts on was Screamland. If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed that we’ve mentioned the new ongoing series once or twice on the Podcast. It’s a really great book and you might want to keep an eye out for an interview with the co-writer for the new series.

screamland_tpbFor now though, let’s take some time to look at the original mini-series that started it all. Screamland was written by Harold Sipe and features some pretty nice artwork from Hector Casanova. The basic idea is that the original classic monster movie creatures such as Frankenstein, The Mummy, the Werewolf, and the vampire are all real life monsters. For the most part, they’re not so bad. They may drink a lot and may get into trouble once in a while, but for the most part, they’re just harmless actors.

The problem is, today’s movie going public would rather see a big CG fest instead of the real thing, so for the last few decades these monsters have been forced to do conventions and other menial gigs to make ends meat. Then one day the monsters’ agent, Andrea is offered a movie based on a Japanese Manga called Monsterhunter 3000. The producers want all the original monsters to be in the movie. So now, it’s up to Andrea to “get the band back together.” A couple of them immediately jump at the offer, some need some convincing, and the Mummy is nowhere to be found. Eventually the movie goes into production, but the guys have to deal with the worst threat to their careers ever, a first time director who thinks of the monsters as props rather than actors.

I’ve really been enjoying the new series, but this first story is really something any monster fan would love. There are so many references that make fun of Hollywood, including an appearance of a low-budget director who happens to enjoy stories about cross-dressing mixed with horror. If that wasn’t enough there’s also rumors of homosexuality with the greatest lady-killer of all time and the sadness that comes with convention fans who love science fiction a little too much.

There’s really nothing to complain about with this book. The writing is consistently funny, the artwork is awesome, and the colors really set the tone of the book very well. The trade itself is a nice collection. It has the entire first mini-series complete with alternate covers from some great comic book artists. It also has an introduction from Jason Aaron and at the end features a bonus story that gives us a little information on what the Hell happened to the Mummy. This comic was made for anyone that loves the classic monster movies and hates the bullshit that comes with Sci-Fi channel original movies. So, go get a copy for yourself, trust me.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com