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Comic-book recommendations for Halloween reading

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm •  Published: October 28, 2011

With Halloween just around the corner, publishers have released new or updated editions of some horror and Halloween-themed comics. Each of these would make fine reading with a flashlight once the sun goes down on All Hallows’ Eve.

‘Batman: The Long Halloween’

“Batman: The Long Halloween” follows the fall of District Attorney Harvey Dent as Batman tracks “Holiday,” a serial killer who strikes on a holiday each month.

Most of Batman’s well-known rogues’ gallery appear, as does the mob boss Falcone, who appears in “Batman Begins.” The stylized art is by Tim Sale.

Set just after the “year one” era of Batman, the book features Dent, police Commissioner James Gordon and Batman beginning a tenuous alliance to root out the mobsters of Gotham City. A killer begins a campaign against men working for The Roman, aka Carmine Falcone, starting with the Halloween slaying of Johnny Viti. More slayings follow on major holidays each month, earning the unknown killer the nickname “Holiday.”

Tim Sale provides a great atmospheric tone for “Long Halloween,” and Loeb crafts a compelling mystery that will have readers talking long after finishing the book.

DC released a new edition of “The Long Halloween” in softcover this month.

‘B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs’ Vol. 1 and 2 hardcovers

The early tales of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development (following their appearances in “Hellboy” comics) were collected in hardcover editions in 2011 from Dark Horse. The B.P.R.D investigates the supernatural mysteries that are beyond the expertise of regular agents. When Hellboy quits the team, Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman must run the team and protect the world from a growing menace of a strange invasion of frogs.

Mike Mignola teams with co-writers Christopher Golden (“Baltimore”), Geoff Johns (“Blackest Night”), Tom Sniegoski (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and others in this hardcover collection that contains 12 issues of the earliest B.P.R.D. tales.

Artists include Ryan Sook (“X-Factor”), who has a very Mignolaesque style; Cameron Stewart (“Seaguy”), Scott Kolins (“The Flash”) and Guy Davis, who would become the series’ longest-running artist.

The second “Plague of Frogs” hardcover collection contains “The Dead” #1-5; “War on Frogs” #1-5; “The Black Flame” #1-6; and “Born Again” and “Revival.” This hardcover introduces John Arcudi as a co-writer, creating what’s probably the classic B.P.R.D. team of Mignola, Arcudi and Davis.

‘Vampirella’ masters series and archives

Vampirella debuted in 1969 in the black-and-white magazine “Vampirella.” The cover of “Vampirella” No. 1 was by famed artist Frank Frazetta.

“Vampirella is one of comics’ greatest female icons, and we’re proud to bring her classic and contemporary tales back to print for fans old and new,” Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci said in a news release last year.

Dynamite has collected the first 21 issues of the original magazine in three archive editions, featuring work by Oklahoma Cartoonist Hall of Famer Archie Goodwin, Barry Windsor Smith, Steve Englehart, Neal Adams, Richard Corben and more.

In comic shops this week, “Vampirella Masters Vol. 6” collects writer James Robinson’s tale “Blood Lust,” in which Vampirella journeys to hell with Adam Van Helsing. The story is fully painted by Joe Jusko. The book also contains a new epilogue and the tale “Vampirella vs. Dracula” by Robinson, with art by Rick Mays and David Mack. Other “Vampirella Masters” collections include tales by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis and Kurt Busiek.

- by Matthew Price
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From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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