October’s arrived, and with the countdown to Halloween well underway, it’s time once again for the ISB to turn its focus to matters most scarifying.
But with all the tales of horror floating around over the next few weeks, it’s important to remember that they come with a lesson even more important than “Aim For the Head” or “Never Split the Party.” Because while these stories may scare us, to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, their real value is in teaching us that our fears can be overcome.
And that is why I turn, as with all life lessons, to Herbie Popnecker.
Because Herbie fought The Devil. Yes, the Devil, the Lord of Evil that is matched only by Dracula, and in some cases, Blacula. But as harrowing as this journey is, we can learn from it, because Herbie’s story is one that follows the arc of Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces:
The Call to Action
Crossing the First Threshold
The Belly of the Whale
The Road of Trials
The Meeting With the Goddess
Atonement With the Father
The Ultimate Boon
Refusal of the Return
And finally, Crossing of the Return Threshold
Truly, he is all of us. And we… are all of Herbie.
For more on Herbie, please consult Herbie Archives v.1, specifically Forbidden Worlds #116. For more on Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, check out Action Philosophers! And for more on Blacula, head to your local library!