Friday, March 29, 2024

Comics Review: "ELVIRA Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #2" Goes Back to School


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Kewber Baal
COLORS: Walter Pereyra
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta with Walter Pereyra
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Kewber Baal; Robert Hack; Dave Acosta
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (March 2024)

Rated Teen+

Chapter Two: “The Fun Witch Horror”

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 Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1.  The series is written by David Avallone; drawn by Kewber Baal; colored by Walter Pereyra; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  In this new series, Elvira joins the ghost of infamous horror and fantasy author, H.P. Lovecraft, who has returned to the mortal plane on a mission from the Elder Gods to locate the last true company of the infamous “Necronomicon.”

Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #2 (“The Fun Witch Horror”) opens as Elvira and Lovecraft arrive at Miskatonic University.  Deep in its bowels is supposed to be the last true copy of that archetypal book of forbidden knowledge, the Necronomicon.

What the duo finds instead is a pair of chatty librarians.  Also, Elvira and Lovecraft don't realize that one of the librarians has a direct connection to Lovecraft's bibliography and past.  Meanwhile, the “Sons of Nyarlathotep” are close on Elvira and Lovecraft's heels for the Necronomicon.

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 Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #2, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.

“Miskatonic is where the wealthy landed gentry send their clownish progeny to be inaugurated into the cult of power... regardless of their ability to wield it in a manner which is useful, or even sane.”

The above line is why I enjoy writer David Avallone's Elvira comic books so much.  Avallone uses “snide asides” and Elvira's self-effacing humor as a magic carpet that carries readers to a magical kingdom of comedy gold.  And I never want an issue of Avallone's Elvira to end, and this issue in particular left me panting and giggling on the floor.

Artist Kewber Baal continues to be an excellent match for Avallone's humor in this series as he was in the other recent Elvira comic book miniseries, Elvira in Monsterland.  Here, Baal turns Avallone script into swell comedy, while he creates a supernatural, dark fantasy world that feels genuine.  Walter Pereyra's colors convey this interplay of comedy and scary that keeps the story moving.

I expect really good things from Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft, and I'm getting it.  I expect you to read Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Elvira and of David Avallone's Elvira comic books will want to read Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1.


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

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