Monday, July 18, 2022

Comics Review: "ELVIRA in Horrorland Volume 1 #2" Visits Kubrick's Overlook Hotel


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Silvia Califano
COLORS: Walter Pereya
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta and Jason Moore
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Dave Acosta and Jason Moore; John Royle; Silvia Califano; photo cover
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 2022)

Rated Teen+

Chapter Two: “She's a Kubrick... House”

In 1981, actress and model Cassandra Peterson created the “horror hostess character,” known as “Elvira.”  Elvira gradually grew in popularity and eventually became a brand name.  As Elvira, Peterson endorsed many products and became a pitch-woman, appearing in numerous television commercials throughout the 1980s.

Elvira also appeared in comic books, beginning in 1986 with the short-lived series from DC Comics, Elvira's House of Mystery.  In 2018, Elvira returned to comic books via Dynamite Entertainment.  Elvira's latest comic book series is Elvira in Horrorland Volume 1.  The series is written by David Avallone; drawn by Silvia Califano; colored by Walter Pereyra; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  The series finds Elvira trapped in the Multiverse of Movies (a bunch of “pocket dimensions” created by the existence of movies) with only the illusive “Remote Control of Federico Fellini” capable of returning her home.

Elvira in Horrorland Volume 1 #2 (“She's a Kubrick... House”) opens in the aftermath of Elvira's (mis)adventures at “Bloch's Motel” and its crazy proprietor and his mother.  Now, it's on to “The Overcooked Hotel” and its temporary manager, Nick Torrents.  Elvira's journey is about to get quite a shining, and she still has to find that remote.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Elvira in Horrorland Volume 1 #2, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.

This second issue is a spoof of director Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film, The Shining.  Writer David Avallone has quite a bit of fun with Kubrick much discussed film.  In fact, this may be the most fun Avallone has had with a revered director since he held Guillermo del Toro's head under water in Elvira: The Shape of Elvira.  In “She's a Kubrick... House,” Avallone finds endless delight in Kubrick's masterpiece, which I consider one of the darkest films I have ever seen.  But Avallone mines so much humor out of this movie that he has the momentum to potentially turn this issue into a graphic novel.

I think artist Silvia Califano is perfect as Avallone's collaborator here.  Califano's turns Avallone's script and comedy into comic book gold.  I've previously compared Califano art for Elvira in Horrorland to the 1980s work of Howard Chaykin.  Now, I'm approaching the point of bringing up the name of the humor comics maestro, Wallace Wood.

Once again I … redrum, redrum … recommend Elvira in Horrorland, dear readers.  My God!  It's full of humor, indeed.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Elvira and of David Avallone's Elvira comic books will want to read Elvira in Horrorland Volume 1.

[This comic book includes “Dynamite Dispatch” June 2022, which features an interview with writer Christopher Priest.]


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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