"Fractured Scary Tales #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scary Tales Publishing
Written by Nicola Cuti, Travis Stunt, and Kevin M. Glover
Illustrated by Earl Geier, Jefferson Sadzinski, Kevin Enhart, Travis Bannister, and Monique MacNaughton
2016, 44 Pages
With some “tongue in shriek” stories, Fractured Scary Tales is back with another batch of scary parodies. The anthology comic takes a well-known film franchise and adds a horror element to it, all the while winking at the reader, adjusting the title to not-so-subtly hint at the spooky angle. Stories include “Snow White and the 7 Deadly Sins,” “Undead Poets Society,” “Mutant on the Bounty,” and more.
As with most anthology titles, Fractured Scary Tales works in the same vein as horror classics like Creepy and EC Comics. Unlike those, there is no host introducing each short. Instead, you jump right into each one with no continuity between them. I didn't realize how much I'd miss a narrator like Uncle Creepy or the Crypt Keeper until a book like this tried to do it without one.
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The standout story in this issue is “The Creature from the Backlot Lagoon,” written by Kevin M. Glover and illustrated by Travis Bannister. This might be because it's the only tale in color, which definitely makes it pop more than the others. It takes place on a B-movie set as the animatronic operator is having trouble with the fish monster. He's struck by lightning while working on it and ends up giving the robotic creature life, leading to bloodshed and one great Hollywood legend.
The other stories are rather hit-or-miss and mostly on the latter than the former. The creators tend to try too hard to show the reader the gag, beating them over the head with puns and thinly veiled references to the source material. None is guiltier of this than “The Man with the Golden Fang,” a James Bond parody with a vampire. The characters narrate everything they're doing while they stumble through the few pages dedicated to the tale. I will give the writer credit, as the vampire villian's genetic manipulation to remove his weaknesses is a pretty cool idea. I'd love to see something like that explored further.
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Fractured Scary Tales is an average horror anthology comic with a handful of decent stories and more than a few groan-worthy moments. It has some nice twists and most of the artwork is a nice throwback to classic funny books that made the genre what it is today. The film parodies are safe territory where the creators can pull out a few gags without causing any real scares. The funny part is that the majority of these would make great horror stories if they were given more of a serious angle.