Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1
Written by: Paul Cornell, Dean R. Motter
Illustrated by: Dean R. Motter, Russell Braun
Cover Art by: Jill Thompson
The Snifter of Terror returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat” – as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles the science vs. religion debate once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a jaunty cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!
A little on the odd side for a comic book, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1 is a collection of horror themed stories. Some are adapted from Poe’s own writing and some are from other artists. Only two of those stories are presented in comic form, while the others are just prose included at the end. They are all kind of “horror light”, so there’s nothing terribly scary here, and little actual violence. While one of the comics does feature violence attempted on a family pet, it is presented more comically than horrifically. Despite the macabre title, it may be safe to share the issue with younger horror fans.
The artwork is very solid. The first tale is by far the best, being detailed and consistent throughout. While the second comic is less detailed, its a stylistic choice and fits the era of the story well. It is also perfectly internally consistent and does not come across as an artistic shortcoming. The art is though, awfully bright and cheery. This does fit the suitability of the comic for younger audiences nicely, but it completely undersells the sense of terror any of these stories may have had. They turn into much more of a fun, weird adventure tale than any true horror story.
That’s really my only complaint with the writing, too. The narrator is fun and interesting. The stories are suitably scary, and are all well told. The whole thing is just too cheerful. While this works fantastically for the first story, being told from the point of view of a dog, it sets a tone contrary to the heart of horror. I still enjoyed the issue immensely, and believe any one else would too, but it’s WEIRD reading Poe and having fun.
A Little Uneven, but Still a Fun Read
Great fun for fans of EAP, or to read around Halloween, my biggest complaint about this issue is that the tone is so light hearted. It is fun, but that makes getting into the horror of the stories more difficult than it should be.