REVIEW: Supernatural Showcase

Story by: Gar Shanley
Art by: Cathal Duggan
Letters by: Cathal Duggan
Publisher: Windell Comics
Cover Price: €6.00
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary
This book from Windell Comics is a follow on from the previous book from Windell Comics, Superhero Showcase. Here the 50’s and 60’s horror comics of days long since past are remembered in a manner that parodies yet respects what came before.
The horror genre of a generation (or two) ago came to a shuddering halt following the publication of The Seduction of the Innocent, the infamous work of Dr. Fedric Wertham. In that time frame the comics that were directly harmed by its publication basically disappeared but were not forgotten. Many EC horror books gained cult status in the years that followed and that interest spanned said generations. Writer Gar Shanley has an obvious love for those vintage comics as these stories hark back to those days in tone even when they are taking the mick out of those same stories.
From the very production of the book to the content held within, Shanley put a lot of thought into how the book as a whole makes the impact it does on the reader. Each strip either makes you cringe a bit or even chuckle under your breath but one thing for sure is that you don’t forget what you read in a hurry. One story for example and case in point, featuring the character of Salvo who is one of the creepiest characters I have ever seen in print. The constant smiling face, the desire to corrupt children trough manipulation of their parents stinks of pre mediation on such a level that such a character is just evil plain and simple. It plays on a fundamental joy of the child in watching the staple Saturday morning TV show and turns that joy into unbridled fear. It is actually an outstanding plot device.
The art of course plays its part and Cathal Duggan is kept busy in this book with some intense images that both delight and frighten the reader in equal measure. His ability to convey dark humor and the tone is a difficult thing to get the right mix of but in actuality, it ends being memorable for getting it just right.
This was more than just a pleasant surprise but a bit of a revelation. I encourage anyone with even a hint of desire to read something that may surprise them to give this book a try. I’m confident you’ll enjoy!