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Halloween ComicFest 2018: Advance Reviews of Action Lab’s Comic Book Offerings!

Mark your calendars, because Halloween ComicFest is back for its seventh year this Saturday, October 27! Like Free Comic Book Day (held the first Saturday of May), this annual event provides an opportunity to introduce friends and family to the wonderful world of comics! Participating local comic book shops around the country and beyond our shores will be giving away free comics from major publishers such as DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, and others.

To give you a sneak peek of the free comics that will be available, here’s a quick review of three titles from publisher Action Lab that you can expect to see on the shelves this Saturday!

Vamplets: The Undead Pet Society (All Ages)

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Vamplets: The Undead Pet Society is set in Gloomvania, a macabre place that is more cute than scary. The vamplets are moping, because their friend and governess, Destiny, has disappeared. A nanny by the name of Ms. Scary Rottens has been hired by Mr. Priceforth to take control of the cute, little creatures. She immediately dispatches Stinkbug and the shrunken skull, but they follow the nanny and the vamplets from a discreet distance, until they can pull off a rescue after the group arrive at the Undead Pet Society Adoption Carnival.

The story is straightforward and linear, so young readers will be able to follow along. They will probably enjoy how, in Gloomvania, attitudes are conveyed completely opposite what may be typically expected. For example, everyone believes that good days are those that should be unpleasant and moody. The vamplets and the undeadland ghost pony are cute, fluffy creatures that will charm and attract the reader, even though in this issue, the young creatures spend most of their time looking sad and forlorn. Additionally, the monster elements, such as little skulls that are incorporated throughout the issue, are drawn cutely and will appeal to kids. The color palette uses lots of purples and greens which add to the appeal and attraction of Vamplets: The Undead Pet Society.

Creative Team: Gayle Middleton (writer/creator); Amanda Coronado (artist); Laur Rea (colorist); Justin Birch (letterer); Nicole D’Andria and Bryan Seaton (editors)

Princeless: Raven The Pirate Princess: Year Two Love and Revenge (Including Toyetica and Princeless Book 7: Find Yourself)

In the title story, Captain Raven’s girlfriend Ximena and two other women are kidnapped by witches in the dead of night by ghostly witches. Raven and two of her crew chase after the witches and must fight ghouls. Meanwhile, the witches offer the women power and magic, but only if they give up their relationships. This tale is divided between two sets of characters, so the narrative will be more conducive for teen readers. Exploring the power of love and same-sex relationships may require parental mediation. Additionally, there is more dialogue to digest and understand. The artwork is beautiful and flows on the pages with grace. Given the nighttime setting, the color palette is filled with dark blue-greens and glowing green hues.

Creative Team: Jeremy Whitley (writer); Megan Huang (artist); Justin Birch (letterer); Nicole D’Andria (editor)

Toyetica follows small, toy-size students of Dollington Academy. Trixie and her friends are met by Sweetina who exhibits a privileged attitude towards Trixie by thinly masking insults. Trixie schemes what it would be like to dole out some comeuppance to Sweetina. Toyetica targets pre-teen girls with easy-to-follow storytelling and provides an opportunity for readers to recognize the moral of the story. The art style is manga inspired, as all of the character have big, expressive eyes. The series is colorful and appealing with warm pastels and deep blues and purples.

Creative Team: Marty LeGrow (art and story).

Princeless Book 7: Find Yourself concludes this collection of three stories. Noted as coming soon, this tale follows two separate story threads. One follows a group of forest elves who must figure out what happened to two sentries that disappeared. They come upon a nearby village that has been invaded and torched. The other follows a knight and her dragon. They are at odds and, due to an argument, part ways. This story will appeal to teens interested in the fantasy genre. The art style is more detailed with texture and depth, and the composition of panels is more stylistic to attract the teen reader. This story is more dialogue heavy and includes themes that teens can mediate themselves. This and the other two stories are not complete, but meant to provide readers with an entry point to the titles.  

Creative Team: Jeremey Whitley (story); Emily Martin (pencils); Ainhoa Aramayo (inks); Brett Grunig (colors and letters).

Danger Doll Amalgama Lives (Including The Null Faeries – Mature Readers)

The initial eight pages provides background to Vampblade, Dollface, and Zombie Tramp which make up the Danger Doll Squad. At some point, they were abducted by Amalgama and merged into one new entity, Klustur Fukur. It turns out that Amalgama is an alien symbiotic (or parasite) that inhabits a host’s body.

In the issue title story, Amalgama is able to successfully join with the blended body of Vampblade, Dollface, and Zombie Tramp. Once the bond process is complete, Amalgama flexes her muscles and showcases the weapons she is now endowed with. The prelude and this story include brief swearing, suggestive body posturing, skimpy outfits, blood, and gore, so this is for mature readers.

Creative Team: Jason Martin (writer); Winston Young (artist); Geraldo Filho (colorist); Adam Wollet (letterer)

In the second story, The Null Faeries is a preview for a forthcoming series due out next year. A group of faeries sneak into an orphanage to collect teeth left under children’s pillows. As they prepare to depart, they run into a group of evil faeries and a battle ensues. There is brief swearing, violence, and blood. The story is action-packed with good versus evil, hinting at larger themes that will be explored further when the series drops. This story is also rated for mature readers.

Creative Team: Chad Cicconi (writer); Eddy Swan and Adam Wollett (artist/cover artist).

These three issues and many others will be available at participating comic book retailers this Saturday. Unsure where a participating comic book shop may be?  Click here for a store locator! And, to find out more about the event, check out Halloween ComicFest website!

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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