“Ahoy Comics” continues to take Edgar Allan Poe, a serious and at times depressing writer, and use him as the butt of jokes in their newest comedy short story collection “Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1.” The first comic “The Monster Serials” by Mark Russel and artist Peter Snejbjerg, sees the vampire Marquis de Cocoa, about to be burned to death when a quaker saves him saying the townsfolk have no proof he’s a vampire. The title is a pun in that the characters are based on cereals.
The vampire is Count Chocula, the quaker is the “Quaker Oats” guy, and we even see Snap, Crackle and Pop. Without the cereal mascots, this would be an OK comic but adding them makes it hilarious. The art looks like a classic horror comic in the same vein as “Tales from the Crypt.” ‘Evermore: The Adventures of Edgar Allan Poe When He Was a Boy” by Stuart Moore and artist Frank Cammuso sees young Poe arriving in Baltimore where his adult life is shaped immediately by a chance encounter with Lenore and booze. It’s quick and it’s there. Not much can be said since it’s so short and it just exists. Add in swearing (especially by Lenore) and you get where this comic is going. The cartoony art is the only real positive thing here.
The first of three short stories is “Every Last Crumb” by Kirk Vanderbeek. It’s Hansel and Gretel after they escaped from the witch. Thing is, their parents enjoyed not having them and now that they’re back the parents’ life is a living hell. It’s the old take a classic fairy tale and write a sequel that’s trying to be edgy and humorous. Some may like that kind of thing, others won’t. “Scapegoat,” also by Kirk Vanderbeek, is about a group of men telling a poor goat their sins. This is supposed to be some cleansing ritual where you cleanse yourself by telling all your sins to an animal who takes them from you. The goat doesn’t want any part of this ritual.
The story is more of a joke than a story and the punchline is humorous so kudos to Vanderbeek. Finally, there’s “At War Width Homophones” by John Ficarra. It’s not a story, but a rant about homophones in the English language, and using the homophone for a word is fine because when spoken out loud the words sound the same. It’s clever since the majority of the words are homophones of the “correct” words and, strangely, Ficarra does have a point about saying it out loud but it does look weird since we’re so used to seeing the correct words that this rant is a little hard to read.
“Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death #1” continues making light of Poe with hit or miss stories. The first and last stories are the best of the bunch with everything in the middle feeling like filler.