Synopsis: Bettie Page is back! Is a Boston artist in contact with godlike space invaders, or is he just nuts? Bettie brings the love, and the craft, in the BETTIE PAGE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL.
Review: After what seems like forever. Our good friend David Avallone has released another Bettie Page story to see us through the Halloween season. Admittedly I am not particularly biased when it comes to Dave Avallone’s work. Due to the fact that I got hooked on his writing and have followed most of the work he’s done at Dynamite. So what does this latest adventure have for us to look forward too?
This issue contains two stories. The first by Dave Avallone and a second by Leah Williams.
The first story sees Bettie being sent on a mission to seek out an inter-dimensional monster, which has mysteriously shown up in the works of a Boston based artist, who has big plans with regards to taking over the world.
This opening story by Avallone is pure pulp. The monster kind of looked a little like the creature from Little Shop of Horrors. And the way in which Bettie eventually gets on top of things is pure fun.
By the close of the 22-page story, I was struck by the fun idea of what it be like to do a crossover with Bettie Page and The Evil Dead comic book series. Hopefully, the creative minds out there are listening.
The second story by Leah Williams is a concise eight pages, but boy does she pack a lot into that small amount of space. The story sees Bettie inviting her friend to an Exclusive Halloween Party, but something doesn’t quite add up. Bettie’s costume for this party is pretty damn funny. I’ll not spoil it, but it’s an ingenious idea.
The close of the story felt a little sudden, but as I said Williams only had eight pages to work with and she definitely makes a strong impression. Certainly strong enough for me to be happy to check out more of her work in future.
Julius Ohta and Fernando Ruiz take on the art duties for this issue, with Ohta working on the first story and Ruiz doing the second.
Overall the art was pretty damn good and it wasn’t terribly jarring when we transitioned from one artist to the other. Though there a subtle shift to a slightly more cartoon-like feel from Ruiz, but not quite the same as his work on Archie.
Both artists did some solid work here. I loved the macabre feel that Ohta managed to create when Bettie visited Pickman’s art studio and wound up confronting the monster. And the work Ruiz did on the haunted house that Bettie and her friend visit in the second story did a great job of building up the tension for the big surprise ending.
An enjoyable read and a reminder that I cannot have enough Bettie Page comic book stories in my life. I was really impressed with what Leah Williams did with so little space to fill and Dave Avallone continues to impress with his knack for being able to write a pulp story and create dialogue that fits specific time periods.