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review 2018-04-14 22:27
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories - Alvin Schwartz,Dirk Zimmer

Note: Review of the reillustrated 2017 version

 

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I found a copy of this book at the library the other day. The title sounded familiar, but I didn't recognize the illustrations, so I figured it was a book I'd heard of but never read. I just got around to reading it and realized it's a reillustrated edition of a book I read as a kid. 

The stories are okay. They are all very, very short. I think when I read them as a kid, they were creepier for two reasons. One: I was a very easily-scared child and am a slightly braver adult. Two: the illustrations in the original were much scarier. These new ones are cute Tim Burton-y versions of the originals. Much less creepy and more cutesy. They aren't bad, but definitely make the book a lot less scary.

Having said that, "The Green Ribbon" and "The Night It Rained" will always stick with me. They aren't scary, just good in that sad, creepy way.
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review 2017-09-05 09:41
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Books by Alvin Schwartz, Stephen Gammell (Artwork), Brett Helquist (Updated Artwork)

I love these stories. I much prefer the original artwork by Stephen Gammell. It is nostalgic, plus I feel like the artwork and stories belong together. The stories are not the same without the original art. That being said, there is nothing wrong with the updated art by Brett Helquist; it isn't bad, just I have no idea why they would even change the art in the first place.

 

If I were to run across Brett Helquist's artwork somewhere else and they were not tied to this books and my childhood nostalgia, I would really like them quite a lot. I am interested in his work and would read other books he does the artwork for. In fact, I love the art in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

 

Original Covers & Art

 

 

Updated Covers & Art

 

Comparison of their art style: Stephen verses Brett

As you can see, both are very good, but people who grew up with the original might agree with me in saying Stephen's is much more frightening and belongs with the text.

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-13 05:23
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories - Alvin Schwartz,Dirk Zimmer

Genre:  Short Stories / Horror / Drama / Monsters


Year Published: 1984


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers

 

 

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Now, I have been introduced to Alvin Schwartz’s works before through his famous and controversial “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series and after I found out that Alvin Schwartz had written another pair of horror stories for children called “In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories,” of course I had to give this series a whirl!

This is a collection of horror stories for children and there is a total of seven stories being told in this book. The stories featured in this collection are:

1. The Teeth
2. In the Graveyard
3. The Green Ribbon
4. In a Dark, Dark Room
5. The Night it Rained
6. The Pirate
7. The Ghost of John
 


Wow! Alvin Schwartz really knows how to create stories that are both scary and tame for any child and all of these horror stories contain a mixture of humor and horror that made me both smile and cringe at the same time. I loved the fact that Alvin Schwartz did some research on these stories and allows the readers to understand where these stories came from as he mentions it in the “Where the Stories Come From” section at the end of the book as I wanted to know where these stories came from. I also enjoyed many of the stories in this book with my favorites being “The Green Ribbon” and “In a Dark, Dark Room” as I believe that those are the creepiest stories in this collection, especially “The Green Ribbon!” Dirk Zimmer’s artwork conveys both horror and comedy in this book as the characters have exaggerated features which includes some of the characters have large noses and wide eyes and I also loved the way that the characters look so pale and frightened in most of the images as it shows what kind of horrors the readers will be introduced to when they start reading this book!

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The reason why I took off a half point from the star rating was because I felt that there were too many abrupt endings in each story and I wanted to see some closure in these stories, although given the short length of this book, that was to be expected. Also, even though I have enjoyed Alvin Schwartz’s work on “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” I felt that this collection of horror stories was not as scary as “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” Maybe it is because the artwork was not as scary as Stephen Gammell’s artwork in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and that took away the creepiness of the stories, although stories like “The Green Ribbon” still remained creepy no matter how the illustrations looked like.

Overall, “In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories” is a great collection of horror stories that children will gladly enjoy during Halloween time! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since there are some scary stories in this book that might creep out younger readers.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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text 2017-08-01 22:30
July 2017 Round Up!
Bone White - Ronald Malfi
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly
The Necromancer's House - Christopher Buehlman
Halloween Carnival Volume 1 - Lisa Morton,Kevin Lucia,John Little,Brian James Freeman,Robert R. McCammon
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories - Gary Gianni,Gary Gianni
The Twilight Pariah - Jeffrey Ford
For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska,Steve Upham,Charles Black,Reggie Oliver,Reggie Oliver
Behind Her Eyes: A Novel - Sarah Pinborough
Zomcats! - Amanda Horan,Graeme Parker,Jack Strange
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

In July I read 19 books!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three, House of Cards

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three, The Prisoner

American Vampire, Volume 6

Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories

 

Total: 4

 

Audio Books:

 

 

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough 

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

The Necromancer's House by Christopher Buehlman

Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus by Matt Taibbi

Nevertheless: A Memoir by Alec Baldwin

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

 

Total: 6

 

ARCS:

 

Dark Screams: Volume Seven edited by Brian James Freeman & Richard Chizmar

Optical Delusion by Hunter Shea

Halloween Carnival Volume 1 by various authors

A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book by Wallace Fairfax

Bone White by Ronald Malfi

The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

Zomcats! by Jack Strange

For Those Who Dream Monsters by Anna Taborska 

 

Total: 2

 

 

READING CHALLENGES

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June & July: 0

Running Count: 5

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

July count: 4

 

Running Count: 28 CHALLENGE MET! WHOOHOO! 

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review 2017-07-18 14:10
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories - Gary Gianni,Gary Gianni

Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories was a real treat! I knew nothing about what to expect from this volume, (knowing nothing about the Hellboy series, in which these comics were originally released), so I went in with no preconceptions. I was seriously impressed. Here's why:

 

First, I LOVED the stories! The first 2/3 of this are different comics featuring a movie director named St. Lawrence, (who looks a lot like Vincent Price, BTW, and who you would think belonged in the 30's expect for the occasional glimpse of technology), and his friend Benedict a member of the Corpus Monstrum guild. Benedict is an immortal knight and always wears his knight helmet and a tuxedo. (I need to learn more about the background of this character because he was a blast to read about.) Together they fend off plagues of falling skulls, and other monstrous creatures.

 

 

 

 

Second, the last third of the book contains illustrated classic stories by the likes of Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, and William Hope Hodgson. I LOVED these! When reading these short stories, I couldn't help but notice how the first 2/3 of the book carried the exact same pulpy, adventure feel that these classic stories originally created. I think Gianni did a beautiful job of carrying on that feel in his comics and in his illustrations of these pulp shorts. In a way, I feel like these were his way of paying tribute to what came before, while also making them his own.

 

Again, I went into this with no preconceptions. I came away with much admiration and respect. I'm going to eventually read the Hellboy comics and I'm definitely going to search out Mr. Gianni and see what else he has on offer, because whatever it is, I'm in!

 

Highly recommended, especially to fans of the classic pulp short stories and to fans of incredible artwork.

 

You can get your copy here: Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories

 

*Thank you to Edelweiss and to Dark Horse Comics for the e-ARC of this volume in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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