The first comic is “Bad Voodoo” written by Sam Johnson, with art by Dan Lauer, and letters by Kris Johnson. Halloween parties and relationship drama are complicated enough before you toss superheroes and magic into the mix. Cabra Cini is the Voodoo Lady, a mage/superhero type, who just wants to relax with her friends in the spirit of the holiday, but when you're a hero, there's no such thing as a day off. This story was pretty cute in how it interwove the mundane and superheroic elements. While not uncommon in more traditional superhero tales, “Bad Voodoo” managed the drama maturely and realistically and had fun with the drama instead of just angsting about it. I found the art difficult to follow in this book with very minimal setting and not a lot of expression among the characters. There are some great designs for the characters' costumes, which says a lot about them, but without the vampire cloaks or Stewie Griffin heads, I don't think I'd have a hard time differentiating the characters.
Next up is “Brody and Lisa” by Kelci Crawford. This is a cute nerd/supernatural love story, as the couple, Brody and Lisa, try to work out the unusual differences in their lives while growing closer to one another doing nerdy things and expressing their mutual love of tearing apart certain vampire novels. The art worked well for me here, with a great balance between detail, expediency, and emotions from the characters that sold the drama and humor in this tale.
“Born Dead” is a flash fiction piece by Marcus E.T., which starts off as incredibly depressing through its depiction of a dying Earth in the future, but it's all a matter of context and where this piece goes that makes it a tale well worth reading. This is easily the darkest tale of the book and the only one that creeped me out (but in the good, Halloween way).
“Recover Unit” by Patrick McEvoy and with art and lettering by David Beyer Jr. is about the interesting concept of an ambulance team for vampires. This is one of those ideas I'd love to see taken further. I can see it now: having injured her prey, a vampire slayer moves in for the kill only to have her target whisked away by an ambulance. The art here excels at showing the main character, Tabby, doing her vampire, superhuman thing; however, outside of the concept and some nice visuals, nothing actually happens in “Recovery Unit.” This story needed a little less focus on Tabby and a little more focus on the exciting concept of vampire medics.
Suggested for mature readers, IF-X: Halloween is a black and white, 32-page long issue published by H!M Comics and is available to buy online at www.samjohnson-comics.blogspot.com for $2.99 in regular and $1.99 for a digital edition. And, if you didn’t catch Cabra’s color debut, it's up to read for FREE at the site!