Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Comics Review: "ELVIRA in Horrorland Volume 1 #3" Spoofs Ridley Scott's "Alien"


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Silvia Califano
COLORS: Walter Pereya
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta and Jason Moore
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2022)

Rated Teen+

Chapter Three: “Giger Encounter”

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 #3 (“Giger Encounter”) opens in the aftermath of Elvira's (mis)adventures at “Bloch's Motel” and “The Overcooked Hotel.”  She leaves the confines of travel lodging for the cold comforts of outer space.

The Mistress of the Dark lands in a doomed star ship, one with a deadly stowaway, and right away, she manages to “alienate” the crew.  Has the Multiverse of Movies finally placed Elvira in situation in which she cannot escape and cannot even find that remote control?  In space, no one can hear Elvira's sarcasm or puns.

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 #3, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.

In this third issue, writer David Avallone tackles his third legendary director, skewering one of his truly legendary films.  This time the director is multi-Academy Award nominee, Ridley Scott, and his 1979 Oscar-winning science fiction horror-thriller, Alien.  Avallone attacks the film with Xenomorph-like tenacity, but it is all in good fun.  There are lots of references to the other films in which the cast of Alien starred, including Ghostbusters and The Hobbit.  But the wittiest dialogue here may be a surprising reference to a particular sex act.

Artist Silvia Califano continues to summon the madcap spirit of the best parody comic books.  Califano also offers a wonderful homage to Walter Simonson, the great artist of the first comic book adaptation of Alien.  [That would be the 1979 paperback graphic novel, Alien: The Illustrated Story, published by Heavy Metal.]

Avallone and Califano are doing excellent work here.  They have made Elvira in Horrorland a great purveyor of parody in the best tradition of humor comic books like Mad Magazine.

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


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

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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