Written by: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker
Illustrated by: M.J. Erickson
Colored by: Brittany Peer
Lettered by: Mike Fiorentino
What the Thrilling Adventure Hour does best is honour genuine ghost stories whilst also poking fun out of all the tropes of ghost stories. In issue #2 of TAH we find Frank and Sadie Doyle trapped in a haunted house, and being less than impressed by that prospect. The Doyles don’t scare easily, and they are not necessarily brave, they are just generally annoyed by the supernatural that keeps messing with their plans (which involve mostly drinking).
The ghost that haunts the house the Doyles and their friends the Hendersons are locked inside is genuinely eerie. The artwork by M.J.Erikson and Brittany Peer’s colors do a good job at conveying the dark and gloomy mood of the household where light bulbs don’t last very long. In a nod to the weeping angels from Doctor Who, the ghost manages to be both static and moving fast. And as every ghost story should, reveals to have a truly tragic origin story.
I tip my hat to Acker & Blacker who somehow manage to make a game of Marco Polo one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read. And I will forever be grateful for their invention of Frank Doyle’s technique to stop being scared. There are several little details in the way this issue is written that are nice little character developments. The overall story carries on at a nice pace too, and really provides the space for Frank and Sadie to show off their skills and general attitude to their supernatural occupations, as well as Donna and Dave Henderson’s development as more grounded characters than just coincidental bystanders.
And any fans of classic horror would’ve picked up the hints to Dracula’s folklore in issue 1, which are picked up further in this issue. In many ways the Doyle’s are working with the most classic of stories about ghosts and vampires, told a million times over, and yet manages to make those stories fresh and fun to read.
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