Ancient Chinese Monsters I Just Made Up



Because what’s Spooktoberfest without some monsters? Last week, Laura found a gallery of awesome Chinese monsters that were done for the Wah Tung company’s matchbooks, but unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information on them. Googling “awesome Chinese monster” is not as productive as you might think.

But since we wanted to highlight them, I decided to just go ahead and make up my own stories for them. Here’s the one for the monster above:

Lo-Top: Lo-Top’s love of vintage kicks has led his wings to atrophy, as he prefers to skank it up to some old-school ska rather than fly. His furious skanking soon wears out even the toughest Chucks, so he is always on the lookout for weary trombone players, whose feet he slices off with his broadsword before resuming his dance.

That’s probably pretty close to the original story, right? Right.

The Worst of Netflix Horror Movie Lightning Round



That’s right, everybody: Spooktoberfest is once again upon us!

It’s Halloween Season, and that means that the Worst of Netflix is once again searching for The Worst Horror Movie On Netflix. And brother, competition is fierce. So fierce, in fact, that I had to eliminate as many contenders as I could in one shot.

That’s why I’m kicking off October with the Worst of Netflix Horror Movie Lightning Round! I picked out a handful of supernatural and slasher flicks that I’ve been saving in my queue all year, and decided to watch each one until it got so bad, so boring, or so poorly lit that I just couldn’t take any more. I can take so bad it’s good, so bad it’s terrible, and I’ve even managed to get through so bad it’s frightening, but these were the movies so awful even I couldn’t do it, so I’ve listed each one with the number of minutes I made it through.

The Worst of Netflix on Windin’ on Down That Road.

Spooktoberfest Special: Riverdale After Dark

I’ve probably made this abundantly clear over the past few years here at the ISB, but I’ve got a lot of affection for Archie comics, and a particular fondness for the bizarre forays into the world of the supernatural. Those stories–which were often bizarre even without comparing them to the tame, setup-punchline stories the line’s mostly known for–were largely a product of the ’70s, when the first cracks in the Comics Code meant that everyone and their flame-headed stunt cyclist brother were adding touches of horror to their comics, but there’s a more recent example that somehow managed to be almost as odd.

I speak, of course, of Archie’s Weird Mysteries:



Hitting shelves in 2000 to accompany a short-lived animated series, (and currently being reprinted in Tales From Riverdale Digest, hands down the best of the Archie titles) Weird Mysteries was essentially 31 issues of Archie mashing up Scooby Doo and utterly shameless amounts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How shameless, you ask?

Well, in one issue you find out that Veronica is the Chosen One who has mystical vampire-killing powers called “The Ender.”



So, you know. There’s that.

The Buffy influence is strongest in the stories about Scarlet, who, as a teenage vampire sent to infiltrate Archie and his running crew, is not to be confused with Marvel’s ex-nun vigilante or GI Joe’s counter-intelligence specialist from the ATL. The same elements are all there, what with her being dispatched from a nearby cave to find the curio shop, Archie’s supernatural mentor, the ersatz Stephen Strange that is Dr. Beaumont, and she even turns good, then evil again, then good again.

What’s really notable about her, however, is that she may in fact be the worst disguise artist in comic book history:



That’s right, folks: Her plan is to put on a shocking pink wig and a “ninja style jumpsuit” so that she can blend in with people who already know who she is.

But that’s not the story I want to discuss tonight, as there’s one story from Weird Mysteries that, while it lacks the supernatural element that was common in the rest of the series, manages to be even creepier, mostly because it starts with Archie… scrapbooking:



Okay, look: Archie likes girls. That is pretty much the dude’s entire deal. But the fact that he carries around a three-ring binder full of photos and vital information about the entire female population of Riverdale High that he pines over while they’re bringing it on at cheer camp? That’s pushing it.

It does come in handy for Riverdale’s burgeoning Mad Scienitist population, however, as one of them decides to use Archie’s ill-gotten dossiers to create a robot with the best qualities of Betty and Veronica and then send her to date Archie to study the alleged SCIENCE! of horny teenagers. Thus, Lisi is born:



And suddenly, this is the story where Archie dates a sexbot.

I’ve got to say, though, that I really do like the art for it. There’s a sort of stripped-down (even by Archie standards) quality that blends the traditional Dan DeCarlo house style with something that’s clearly attempting to emulate the animated-series style of guys like Mike Parobeck and Bruce Timm, and it’s something I’d have liked to see applied to the whole line.

But that doesn’t really matter, because this is the story where Archie dates a sexbot.



Unfortunately for Archie, Lisi somehow manages to end up with Betty’s tendency to get clingy and Veronica’s tendency to be a hateful bitch, and Archie has to be free, baby, you know? But attempting to shut her down in the normal way doesn’t quite work, as Veronica’s personality has rooted itself in the mechanism, and is just too stubborn to die, and while they come tantalizingly close to doing a story where Ronnie’s negative traits mutate into a sentient technovirus and/or V.E.R.O.N.D.O.K.A. (Vicious, Extremely Rich Organism Neatly Designed Only for Killing Archie), they manage to overwrite her with Cheryl Blossom and sell her to a store to be used as a mannequin, which is also fairly creepy.

But not before she polishes Archie’s helmet.






And on the cover.



One can only imagine what Archie wrote on Lisi’s scrapbook page.

The ComicsAlliance Halloween Costume Spooktacular!



Today over at ComicsAlliance, I’ve revived one of my favorite Spooktoberfest features from the ISB with a gallery of your favorite comic book characters decked out for Halloween, or at least in costumes other than their usual ones.

Out of the fifteen I’ve included, there are a couple recycled from the original post–because really, it’d be stupid to not include “Empowered as Sexy Librarian” at every opportunity–but there are also a few that didn’t make the final cut, like Mr. Morris as Captain Marvel above, and Rex Mantooth as a lesbian commando schoolgirl…



…as I figured referring to Rex’s pseudonym, “Becky Labia,” might be pushing it. In any case, enjoy, and hopefully some of you will take it upon yourselves to dress as Spider-Man dressed as a gorilla, for that is the best of all possible costumes.

The Worst of Netflix: Kinky Killers



This week on, I continue my Halloween sampling of one-star slasher flicks with an All-New Worst of Netflix: Kinky Killers!

Originally titled Polycarp and clearly retitled to attract viewers based on the strength of its two reasonably terrible sex scenes, Kinky Killers bills itself as a psychological thriller despite the fact that it doesn’t thrill so much as amble around trying desperately–and failing–to make its viewers care about serial murders until it suddenly turns into witches at the end. As you might expect, it is not very good, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m pretty confident that I’ll never find an actor more ill-suited to a sex scene. And yes: A picture is included in the article.


War Rocket Ajax #10: Halloween Special with Matt Sturges!



War Rocket Ajax creeps into a scarifying Spooktoberfest Special, with Euge and talking to writer Matt Sturges about Blue Beetle, the comics that scared us when we were kids, and the shocking similarities between House of Mystery #15 and The Chronicles of Solomon Stone #1.

And to continue our spooky shennanigans, our Halloween special brings the long-awaited Ajax appearance of Evie and Aaron from Awesomed By Comics, as the friendliest rap battle in the world culminates in what is unquestionably the strangest Castlevania trivia contest ever. Plus, a special Halloween-themed double-shot of Big Ups To All My Haters!

Head over there to download or stream it now, or get it on iTunes later tonight!