Tag Archives: Juliet

Haunted Horror Tribute #22

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I picked this up recently, figuring it would be fun to read and get me in the Halloween mood. It looked like something that was inspired by the old horror comics I read as a kid, but I was surprised to discover that it is actually a compilation of vignettes scanned and reprinted from the classic 1950’s horror comics. So this is NOT just an attempt to recapture the essence of the genre, this contains actual reprints of the original 1950’s tales. It’s all here—the vintage artwork, the cheesy narration, everything that I remember about these publications.

The collection is a nice size, containing eight tales of terror.

  • Robot Woman: The opening tale reminded me of “The Stepford Wives.” It explores the dark side of our culture’s obsession with physical beauty, while at the same time offering a critique of the 1950’s view of what a “perfect woman” is supposed to be.
  • Chef’s Delight: This is a story that addresses domestic violence, an issue that sadly still plagues our society today. In the end, though, the wife gets her revenge on her abusive husband.
  • Shadows of the Tomb: This is a story about a man who murders his wife to claim her inheritance. But in a twist reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, the wife is not really dead and exacts her revenge.
  • Guest of the Ghouls: This tale uses ghouls as a metaphor for individuals who violate the dead, who are like vultures feeding off the losses of the deceased. There is a great quote that warrants sharing: “We unburied the dead while we were living and stole what we wanted! You have robbed the dead of their only identity after death — their tombstones!”
  • I Killed Mary: Interesting vignette about a nerdy, dorky outcast. There was a scene about what was considered to be appropriate dinner table talk which I found to be a critique of the overly structured family life of the 50’s.
  • The Haunter: A piece about a greedy man who tries to scare his uncle to death in order to get his money.
  • The Choker: Probably my favorite in the collection. This is a very creative tale about a con job where a woman marries a man to get his money, then she and her lover kill the husband and stage it as a suicide. The brilliance of this piece is that it is written from the perspective of a necklace that the husband had given to the wife.
  • Night of Terror: The final story is about a man who stages a scenario intended to scare his wife so that he can prove himself to be brave in the face of danger, but as you can imagine, things go awry.

I really enjoyed this collection, and I am seriously considering getting more issues in the future. It is more than just a nostalgia piece; it’s a preservation of an artistic and literary genre that was a reflection of the anxiety, fear, and growing social tension that would later erupt into revolution in the 1960s. Highly recommended, even if you are not a horror buff.

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“Romeo and Juliet” by Richard Brautigan

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As Valentine’s Day draws nearer, I thought it would be appropriate to share this poem by Richard Brautigan which was originally published in Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt.

If you will die for me,
I will die for you

and our graves will
be like two lovers washing
their clothes together
in a laundromat.

If you will bring the soap,
I will bring the bleach.

I like this poem. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Brautigan uses dirty laundry as a symbol for the cynicism that soils our souls throughout our lives. Upon death, our souls are cleansed, much like clothes in the wash. I envision the souls of the two star-crossed lovers, caught up and spinning in the celestial gyre as they rise toward the heavens. Finally, after being cleansed of the jaded ideals of love, the two are able to share in the true beauty of love.

One other thing I would like to point out regarding this poem. The two lovers do not have to go through physical death to attain this state. The death can certainly be symbolic of letting go of personal baggage, thereby allowing a sort of rebirth and spiritual cleansing.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a blessed day.

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Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night – Issue #1

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I was very excited when I found out that a new Kill Shakespeare series was being published. I read the first series and loved it. Unfortunately, when I went to the local comic store to buy a copy of the first issue, it was already sold out. I placed an order and thankfully was able to get a copy last week.

The blurb on the cover states: “This comic features sex, pirates, swordfights, poetry, AND people puking. It’s basically classic Shakespeare?” And yes, this comic has all that.

The story begins with Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, and Shakespeare aboard a vessel that is attacked by the pirate Cesario, who is accompanied by his first mate and lover, Viola. The four had escaped the destruction of Prospero’s island, but are plagued with daggers of the mind and seem to lapse into moments of anger and delusion. Still, Cesario recognizes the value of these captives, especially Juliet. His ultimate plan is not made known, but the stage is set for what is to unfold in the upcoming issues.

I have issue #2 already, but I have a lot of other stuff to read, so I suspect it will be a little while before I get to it. But rest assured, I will peruse these glossy pages and share with thee my thoughts.

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Review of “Kill Shakespeare: Issue #8”

KillShakespeare_08As I finished reading this issue, I could not help but wonder if this will end a tragedy or a comedy. With Shakespearean drama, tragedies end in death and comedies end in marriage. Right now, I cannot sense how this will conclude, which is a good thing. It adds to the anticipation.

In my review of issue #7, I predicted that this issue would include two acts from the “play within a play.” Alas, I was mistaken. So in all fairness I feel compelled to point out that this is a flaw in the comic. There should have been five acts, in my humble opinion. But, in the grand scheme, it is a minor flaw and one that I can easily overlook.

This installment of the tale has a great role reversal. Hamlet is on a balcony in the evening and it is Juliet who comes to him, climbing the lattice to join Hamlet on the balcony in an amorous embrace. The scene works really well, especially the way the panels switch back and forth between the faces of the two lovers, adding intensity and passion which culminates in a beautiful full-page illustration.

There is a great passage, spoken by Othello, which is worth quoting:

Look at the people who have traveled here, prepared to risk their lives because of their belief in what Shakespeare represents. The Spirit of Shakespeare. It matters not what you find, but that you went to support that spirit.

I love this quote. For me, Shakespeare represents the paragon to which humanity should strive. The spirit of Shakespeare is the spirit of humanity. It is the ideal that we all must keep in mind. I firmly believe that if every person took the time to read Shakespeare’s works and see them performed, that our world would be a better place. Everyone will find something different in a Shakespeare play; what matters is that people experience them.

Anyway, in classic comic-book fashion, this issue ends with a cliffhanger. Hamlet, Iago, and Falstaff have set out on the final part of the journey to find Shakespeare. As they near their destination, they are confronted by men in armor, one of whom identifies himself as none other than Romeo Montague. I foresee a tangled love triangle unfolding.

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