There's just something warm and fuzzy about the combination of "adorable" and "creepy." They're two great tastes that should by no means taste great together and yet, when handled correctly, they do. Hell, the Suicide Girls have made a mint off the idea. Or, in the world of toys, Mezco's Living Dead Dolls, which just keep rolling along. We've talked before about Applehead Factory's Teddy Scares, which were available in both 12" and 6" sizes. Now the undead teds are even starring in their own comicbook.
Your parents were right, you should've been nicer to your toys! The Teddy Scares, zombie teddy bears are back from the grave starring in four eerie tales that are sure to scare the stuffing out of you!
Coming from Ape Entertainment, Teddy Scares isn't quite your normal comic. Rather than the typical 6¾" by 10¼" book, this is a digest-sized 6" by 9", and 52 pages long, instead of the standard 22. It'll set you back seven bucks, but for that price you're getting four stories and three pin-ups, plus an introduction by Dee Snyder and Debbie Rochon. Considering the fact that a regular comic from DC or Marvel will set you back about $3, this is a good deal.
The four stories were all written by Jim Hankins, and they give us a good idea of life in the junkyard and the Teddies' personalities. The first story, "Wannabe," sees resident idiot Abnormal Cyrus trying to fit in with the group - no small feat, since they all hate him. Ben Roman handled the art, and he was a good choice to kick off the book. His art is clear and expressive, with a slightly cartoony feel that really suits a bunch of talking teddy bears. Plus, he's got a good sense of design and pacing.
"Every Scare For Itself" examines the secret desires that hide within the heart of a zombie teddy.
It's just an average day in the junkyard - abuse, destruction and insanity - when a strange visitor makes its presence known. What does this outsider want, and can the Scares work together to deal with the problem? The art this time is by Christine Larsen, who gave the story a very retro, pop-arty feel. Very cool. The bears get even more distinct in this chapter, and the moral seems to be "don't f#¢k with Rita Mortis." The lettering on this story is a little bit rough - the transparent sound effects don't always work.
The next story is "The Death of Edwin," which is all about the group's terrible poet, Edwin Morose. Though it might have referred to his original death (remember, he has come back from the grave, after all), it's actually the death of the current, undead version. The art for this segment is by Rolando Mollada, and is definitely the most "comicbooky" of the four in this issue: dynamic poses, speed lines, excessive crosshatching and shading, all that. Of course, the story itself is very comicbooky, as well, playing with readers' expectations. Edwin also serves as the book's "Cryptkeeper," so to speak, introducing and narrating all the stories to one degree or another.
Finally, we get "It Never Goes Away," drawn by Drew Rausch.
This is the origin of Redmond Gore, which should be understandably dark - both the sory and the art. Rausch has a very rough, sketchy style that truly stands out from the other artists in this book. This is the birth of a serial killer, a plush Jason Voorhees - animated-style art just wouldn't cut it. We even learn why he wears that burlap sack over his face. There's one sequence that isn't really clear, but it's not important to the overall story, so we can forgive it. The atmosphere is perfect for a horror story like this.
Teddy Scares #1came out on May 30, so you should still be able to find a copy. The stories are cute, and the art is good. If your local comicshop doesn't have an issue, tell them to order it - this first issue is definitely worth the $6.95 to check it out.
Here, as a bonus, is the eight-minute Teddy Scares animated film: