Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days of Horror Day 28 Friday the 13th comic books

Over the years 3 companies have published comics based on the popular Friday the 13th series of slasher films.

This is the first Friday the 13th comic book. Published by Topps comics in July,August and September of 1993, it is based on an early draft of the script. There is a few  scenes that are different from the theatrical and uncut versions. I got these when they first came out. With the glow in the dark cover on issue 1 being one that I hung on my bedroom wall years. The artwork isn't that great. But I have seen much worse.  For years I found this and the next series I will talk about in the cheap bins. Then sometime in the early 2000s the prices started going up. I must assume that this and the other Jason comic Topps put out didn't have huge print runs. Unless you are a Jason completest I would say to skip this series. Jason Goes to Hell mini series gets a C+.

Coming out two years later,Jason Vs Leatherface from what I can remember was a total bomb. My comic shop was ordering 2 copies of each issue. One copy for me,and one to put on the rack. Splatterpunk author Nancy A Collins writes the story and Jeff Butler handles the interior artwork. The covers are by Simon Bisley,I wish he had also did the interiors. Not that Butler's artwork is bad.

The story seems to start sometime after either Friday the 13th part 6 or 7. With Jason stranded in the bottom of Crystal Lake. Some big corp drains the lake and through some fluke accidents Jason ends up on a train bound to Mexico. He gets out in Texas and meets up with the Sawyer family. Where him and Leatherface quickly bond. By the last issue we get what we have been waiting on, a huge fight between Jason and Leatherface.

Out of the two Jason series from Topps this is the hardest to find. Since getting my copies as they were coming out in the fall of 1995 and early 1996,I have only seen  6 copies in person. Both times it was at a con. And both times the dealers were selling them as a set. IIRC the sets were going for $40. Jason VS Leatherface gets a B.

About a decade after  Topps published there two Jason mini series Avatar took over the license. For those that don't know Avatar is a company known for publishing very gory and violent comics.So  a Jason comic from them seems like a natural fit.

Friday the 13th Jason VS Jason X is a direct sequel to the Jason X movie. Written and drawn by Mike Wolfer this 2 issue series has the nanobots rebuilding Jason's body.And he ends up on Earth 2 fighting Jason X. The story is good for what it is. And the art is not bad. The best part about this series is since it is a comic and it is coming from a company that likes to push the boundries,we get a gorefest.

I have no idea how hard it would be to find these 2 issues. But I doubt you would have to pay more than cover price. One thing Avatar does is puts out lots of covers for each comic. I put the wraparound covers above. Friday the 13th Jason VS Jason X gets a B-.

While Avatar published more Jason comics none of them stand out to me. So on to the next company that got the Jason/Friday the 13th license.

In 2007 Wildstorm,which by then was a sub imprint of DC comics,got the Jason license. And they put out a bunch of Jason comics. The first one I want to talk about is also the best from them I have read so far.

This 2 issue series is written by Marc Andreyko with Shawn Moll handling the art chores.Remember the scene in the original Friday the 13th where a hitchhiker is picked up by Ms Voorhies. We find out in this series that while the hitchhiker is in the Jeep,Ms Voorhies is telling her ,her life story. We get to find out lots of Ms Voorhies and Jason's backstory. I am kind of surprised there hasn't been a film in the franchise that filled in all this backstory.

Since this came out from Wildstorm it is really easy to find. I think it and another of the Jason series from Wildstorm have been combined into a trade. But I see back issues of this all the time at cons or in comic shops. And they are always at cover price or under.This is my favorite Jason comic so far. And I really love the cover artwork. Which reminds me of the art on all the issues of Fables. Friday the 13th Pamela's Tale gets an A.

This 2 issue mini is penned by Jason Aaron. With Adam Archer doing the pencils. Once again the summer camp at Crystal Lake is reopened. One the first page we are introduced to a young pre-teen. He suffers from a disfiguring disease,that will cause him to die before he hits 18. Since he doesn't look normal all the other kids,and some of the asshole counselors pick on him and bully him. But then Jason shows up. Kills the bullies and assholes and takes our poor disfigured outcast with him.

I love the idea of Jason,like he did in Jason VS Leatherface,bonding with another outcast. Jason Aaron is a writer that I just started reading his stuff this year, And everything has been great. The art by Archer is serviceable. Friday the 13th How I spent my Summer Vacation gets a B.

Currently no comic company has the rights to make Jason comics. I wish someone had them. There is so much they can do in the comics that are cost prohibitive in films.If any of these series sounded interesting I would suggest checking www.comicbookdb.com for more information. The Wildstorm stuff was put out in trade paperbacks. Which your local library should be able to get in for you using Inter Library Loan. One last thing before I end this. Since these are comics and not under the eye of the MPAA the violence level and gore level are fairly high. With all these series if they had been made into films they would have had to been cut to get an R rating. So if you have kids that are into horror and comics you might want to thumb through these first to see if they are too violent and gory for your children,