Welcome back, gentle readers. The last time around, we left our tale with our three diabolical scientists fleeing their lab/digs after committing an act of arson to erase all traces of the gruesome experiments they’d been performing there. With their creation, Frankie, in tow, they were headed for a fresh start.
Issue #2 starts right where we left brothers Isaac and Jordan, their associate Stella, and Frankie, with them running away. Unfortunately for them, their escape from the law is not as clean as they had hoped for, and a few loose ends will inevitably come back to haunt them. Maybe even bite them in the butts. This issue also gives us a better idea of the interpersonal relationships of our monster making trio. It’s a dynamic that will result in sloppy drama…
I reread some R.L. Stine over the summer… I was visiting my folks and was sorting through old books. While I feel that much of Stine’s bibliography is pretty formulaic, I’d also argue that’s probably why his work is so accessible to his target audience. Stuff of Nightmares’ raison d’être isn’t to be some original tale; it’s a pretty obvious homage to various horror tropes. This series is a testament to Stine’s love for and breadth of knowledge about the horror genre.
A.L. Kaplan and Roman Titov’s combined artistic sorcery really gives this series its distinctive look. The pulpy horror sensibilities run strong here, with Titov’s limited color palette really enhancing Kaplan’s linework in a way that feels both nostalgic and timeless. Jim Campbell’s lettering is evocative as usual, and this was a fun book to read; give the man all his flowers, he deserves them.
Overall, halfway through this series, things are only getting more ghoulish. Relationships are beginning to fray, and I can’t imagine everyone getting out of this unscathed or alive.
Creative Team: R.L Stine (writer), A.L. Kaplan (artist), Roman Titov (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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