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Fright Night (comics)

Fright Night
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Fright Night #1
Publication information
Publisher Now Comics
Format Monthly
Genre Horror
Publication date October [[1988 in comics#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.1988]] – August [[1990 in comics#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.1990]]
Number of issues 22 +5 special issues
Creative team
Writer(s) Tony Caputo
Katherine Llewellyn
Diane M. Piron-Gelman
James Van Hise
Joe Gentile
Matthew Costello
Artist(s) Dell Barras
Hannibal King
Eric Brant
Jeff Starling
Alan Freeman
Ken Call
Corey Wilkinson
Jim Reddington
Penciller(s) Lenin Delsol
Neil Vokes
Kevin West
James Lyle
Doug Murphy
Inker(s) John Stangeland
David Mowry
Damon Willis
Nick Sigismondi
Jeff Dee
Mark Pennington
Letterer(s) Dan Nakrosis
Kurt Hathaway
Patrick Williams
Joseph Allen
Katherine Mayer
Colorist(s) Katherine Llewellyn
Tammy Daniel
Nanette Injeski
Tom Gianni
Suzanne Dechnik
Patrick Owsley
Editor(s) Katherine Llewellyn
Tony Caputo
[[Category:Comics publications#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Fright Night (comics)]][[Category:1988 comic debuts#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Fright Night (comics)]]Fright Night is a comic series spun off from the film of the same name by NOW Comics.

Plot

Charley Brewster is an average teenager who finds his world turned upside-down when vampire Jerry Dandrige moves in next door. He enlists the aid of horror movie star/TV host Peter Vincent to kill Dandrige and they're successful—but not before Charley's best friend, Evil Ed, is transformed into a bloodthirsty monster whom delights in tormenting his former buddy. Soon Peter and Charley team up to fend off a variety of monsters, including squid-men, a spider boy, aliens, a minotaur, an evil sorceress and the nefarious Legion of the Endless Night, a vampire coven which later resurrects Jerry Dandrige.

Aiding Peter and Charley on their adventures are Charley's girlfriend, Natalia Hinnault, whose father has ties to the vampire underworld; Natalia's eccentric Aunt Claudia, who is the reincarnation of Greek Princess Ariadne; and hapless bartender Derek Jones, who seems to have a magnetic attraction to unworldly beings—much to his chagrin. Frequently featured are Evil Ed's minions, freelance reporter Dana Roberts and bartenders Donna and Jane, who all work in the nightclubs that he owns and perform in his band, Eddie and the Vamps. Also regularly seen are a group of mindless, nameless hippies who are continuously in search of a savior to follow, be it good or evil.

Production History

The February 1988 issue of Now Comics News announced that the popular film Fright Night was being spun off into a comic book series by Now Comics,[1] a small publishing company that licensed a variety of popular television and movie characters and which had a reputation for being plagued by various financial and creative difficulties.[2] In the original announcement, the adaptation of the first film was going to be released as a high-quality "prestige format"[3] book, issue #1 would be an adaptation of the second film, and that would be followed by new stories. What ultimately happened, however, is the adaptation of the original movie got split across the first two issues and Fright Night II was issued as a stand-alone prestige format book featuring a story which was not canonical with the rest of the series.

The series endured a lot of growing pains both technically and artistically. The second issue abruptly picks up where the first story left off with no indication that a story preceded it except for the page numbering, which begins at 22. Eight of the first nine issues include short stories unrelated to Fright Night, including six chapters of Rust, the post-apocalyptic tale of a disfigured cop which originally ran from 1987-1988, that the publishers were preparing to relaunch for the second of three incarnations.[4]

There was a revolving door of staff members, with only editor-in-chief Tony Caputo and editor Katherine Llewellyn sticking with the book for its entire run from 1988-90. Llewellyn was credited and worked in numerous capacities, editing stories, coloring frames, checking continuity and writing scripts. Lenin Delsol penciled the adaptations of both films as well as some of the early issues, but presumably he got tied up with other works as three issues were credited as "guest-penciled by Doug Murphy."[5][6][7] Neil Vokes agreed to come to work for NOW Comics with the proviso he be allowed to work on Fright Night, which he's cited as a favorite film,[8] but he became disenchanted with the work environment and eventually quit.[8] Future regular Guardians of the Galaxy penciler Kevin West got his start picking up where Vokes left off and continued to work on Fright Night until the end - though issue #18 was inexplicably penciled by James Lyle. The writing was slightly more consistent. The adaptations of the films followed the source material fairly closely, and then James Van Hise took over writing duties for the first batch of original stories. Tony Caputo took the reigns for issues #8-12, injecting a slightly more comedic tone, and then Mark Wheatley penned a single issue which was a complete and total departure from the ongoing plot. Beginning with issue #14, Katherine Llewellyn was credited as both writer and editor, and she closely followed the storyline that Caputo had established before handing off the writing to Diane M. Piron-Gelman (aka novelist D.M. Pirrone).

Credits wildly deviated from issue-to-issue and mistakes were frequent, such as issue #22, in which the cover was credited to artist Eric Brant - though Hannibal King's signature clearly adorns the artwork. Similarly, "The Dead Remember" was credited to writer Joe Gentile but it was actually written by James Van Hise,[9] and the letterer made several mistakes, including dropping dialogue and adding their own punctuation to Van Hise's script[9] (these errors also carried over to the subsequent 3-D reprint of the issue).

The series ran for 22 issues until July 1990,[10] when NOW was forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy,[11] so production of the series was halted and storylines were never tied up. After corporate restructuring, the comic label briefly returned and, in 1992 and 1993, four special "annual" 3-D issues were released. Three of these were merely 3-D reprints, but the 1993 "Fright Night 3-D Halloween Annual" featured a completed but previously unpublished story entitled "Nightmares."

In 2003, the company relaunched under the moniker Now Comics 3.0, and it was announced that they'd be releasing a Fright Night graphic novel by Caputo and Vokes[12] (presumably this would have been the previously-published 2-parter "The Revenge of Evil Ed!," the only story by Caputo & Vokes that wasn't reprinted in 3-D) but the book never came to fruition before the company folded again in 2005.

Issues

# Title Date Plot
1 "Fright Night" October 1988 Movie adaptation, part 1
Note:
  • This issue ends with an unrelated 6-page story titled "By the Numbers" which features a psychiatrist interviewing a mental patient who believes himself to be a werewolf.
2 "Fright Night" November 1988 Movie adaptation, part 2
Note:
  • This issue closes with a blurb which reads, "Next issue: The Return of Evil Ed? An all-new adventure!" Evil Ed did return, but not until issue #8.
3 "The Dead Remember" January 1989 Peter and Charley have to deal with "brain bats" that are leeching onto people's heads and taking control of their bodies.
Note:
  • The story was credited to Joe Gentile but it was actually written by James Van Hise.[9]
  • This issue ends with an unrelated 4-page story titled "Revenge of the Vengeful Avenger," which revolves around a man who's killed by his business associates and returns from the dead for revenge.
4 "Eight Arms to Hold You" February 1989 While visiting Squid Fest, the police enlist Peter and Charley to help them defeat the Squid-Men.
Note:
  • Beginning with this issue, each book began ending with a chapter from Rust, another comic title that the company was preparing to launch. 7 chapters were announced,[5] but only 6 were printed in Fright Night.
5 "The Spider-Boy" March 1989 Peter is replaced on "Fright Night" by Pogo the Killer Clown. Meanwhile, a young boy finds himself blessed with the ability to become a Spider-Man... and not a do-gooding Peter Parker type.
6 "The Legion of the Endless Night" April 1989 Peter and Charley find themselves running through the marshes of New Orleans, trying to escape the titular legion of vampires.
7 "The Legion of the Endless Night (Conclusion)" May 1989 With the help of a backwoods couple and their unusual offspring, Peter and Charley are able to defeat the Legion of the Endless Night... temporarily, anyway.
Note:
  • This is the final story written by James Van Hise, who penned outlines for two more stories which were not utilized.[9]
  • This is the first issue of the series to carry the seal of the Comics Code Authority which, decades earlier, had forbid depictions of vampires, werewolves and other monsters along with the sort of violence and mild profanity that is rampant throughout the Fright Night series.
8 "The Revenge of Evil Ed!" June 1989 The new DJ at "The Club" is actually Evil Ed, who seems hellbent on screwing with Charley Brewster's head. Meanwhile Charley learns that his new girlfriend Natalia's father was killed by a vampire.
Note:
  • This is the first issue written by Tony Caputo and featuring art by Neil Vokes. There's an overtly comedic shift in tone and many characters who are established in this issue recur throughout the rest of the series.
  • Photos of Stephen Geoffreys, who played Evil Ed in the movie, adorn the covers of issues #8 and #9.
9 "The Revenge of Evil Ed! (Conclusion)" July 1989 Aafter Evil Ed implicates Peter and Charley in a front-page gay scandal, Peter loses his job. Meanwhile, Ed toys with bartender Derek, who soon comes to the realization that his work environment is overrun with vampires.
Notes:
  • This book included the sixth and final chapter from Rust. Beginning with the next issue, Fright Night stories dominated each issue.
10 "Psychedelic Death, Part 1" August 1989 As Peter's trippy 1960s film debuts on TV, all of the principal characters are glued to their sets. Meanwhile, extraterrestrials surface at a local bar.
11 "Psychedelic Death, Part 2" September 1989 Derek the bartender freaks out when he discovers his new boss, Lennie, is an alien who's planning global domination, but Evil Ed haplessly saves the day.
Note:
  • Although he's mentioned several times, Peter Vincent does not appear in this issue.
12 "Bull-Whipped" October 1989 Charley and Natalia head off to Crete to visit her eccentric Aunt Claudia, whom it is soon revealed is the reincarnation of Ariadne. Soon Claudia raises thousand year old God Theseus, which incites the wrath of his minotaur nemesis.
13 "Pup Pet" November 1989 While Peter endures hardships shooting a film, Charley takes over as host on the Fright Night TV show, which features a movie about a lonely little girl who hides an unusual collection of pets in the basement, where her handicapped father can't find them.
Note:
  • This is a one-off in which Charley and Peter have no direct involvement with the issue's main story.
  • This issue includes a pull-out photo centerfold of Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, shot on the set of Fright Night Part II.
14 "The Resurrection of Dracula, Part 1" December 1989 Peter’s enrolled into “The Institute for the Performing Arts and Expansion of the Subconscious,” where he’s been hypnotized into thinking he’s Abraham Van Helsing. Charley and Natalia attempt to bring him back to reality by putting on a Count Dracula performance, but Evil Ed convolutes matters.
Note:
  • Artist Neil Vokes urged the crew to do a Count Dracula story, and this was the result, for which Vokes received a "co-plotted by" credit.[8]
  • Character Boris Christopher was modeled after actor Christopher Lee.[8]
15 "The Resurrection of Dracula, Part 2" January 1990 The experimental play has been a resounding failure, Natalia’s life in jeopardy, her Aunt shows up to unmask the doctor as a fraud, and Peter ‘Van Helsing’ decides to save the day.
16 "Potion Motion" February 1990 Aunt Claudia finds herself under the control of evil sorceress Constance Beauregard, who plans to resurrect Jerry Dandrige.
17 "Blood Ball" March 1990 Evil Ed finds himself in league with a vampire basketball player. Meanwhile the Legion of the Endless Night make their final preparations to resurrect Jerry Dandridge.
Note:
  • This is the first issue penciled by Kevin West.
  • This is the only issue in which neither Peter nor Charley appear.
18 "Fang Fusion" April 1990 After Evil Ed alerts Charley to the resurrection of Jerry Dandrige, Aunt Claudia decides to form an Anti-Monster Society. Meanwhile, bartender Derek decides to take matters into his own hands.
Note:
  • This is the only issue penciled by James Lyle.
19 "Daddy's Girl" May 1990 The Anti-Monster Society takes on Jerry Dandrige and Claudia's father, Jacob, whom she discovers is the leader of The Legion of the Endless Night.
20 "The Charge of the Dead Brigade" June 1990 The Anti-Monster Society tries to find a way to lift the zombie curse from Derek when they encounter a gaggle of other zombies.
21 "Were-Wolf, There-Wolf" July 1990 When Charley has his soul transferred into the body of a timber wolf, he has trouble convincing Peter, Natalia and Aunt Claudia that he's more than just a stray animal.
22 "Reign of Terror" August 1990 Jerry Dandrige has been amassing an army of Parisian vampire prostitutes and everyone agrees that he must be destroyed. Evil Ed attempts to enlist Charley and Peter for help, but when they refuse he decides to kill Dandrige himself.
Note:
  • The plans and ultimate fate of Jerry Dandrige were never revealed, since this was not intended to be the final issue. One additional story, "Nightmares" was completed and later released in 3-D, but the plot did not revolve around Dandrige.
  • The cover art is credited to Eric Brant but Hannibal King's signature is prominently displayed.

Special issues

Title Date Plot
"Fright Night Part II" 1988 Adaptation of the second film, released as a stand-alone Graphic novel.
"Fright Night 3-D Special" 1992 A 3-D reprint of “Psychedelic Death” parts 1 & 2.
"Fright Night 3-D Fall Special" 1992 A 3-D reprint of “The Resurrection of Dracula” parts 1 & 2.
"Fright Night 3-D Halloween Annual" 1993 Debut printing of “Nightmares,” in which Constance Beauregard returns to summon a flock of demonic harpies.
"Fright Night 3-D Winter Special" 1993 A 3-D reprint of "The Dead Remember."

References

  1. ^ "NOW Comics News". ebay.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "The NOW Comics Astro-Boy History". zoraan.wix.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Comic Book Terms – Prestige Format". comicbookgraphicdesign.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  4. ^ A Comic A Day: Rust #1
  5. ^ a b Fright Night #4: Eight Arms to Hold You
  6. ^ Fright Night #6: The Legion of the Endless Night
  7. ^ Fright Night #7: The Legion of the Endless Night (Conclusion)
  8. ^ a b c d That's All Vokes!: I Am Dracula - Enter Freely
  9. ^ a b c d "Now Comics FRIGHT NIGHT #3 plus a PHOTOCOPY SCRIPT & UNPUBLISHED PLOTS". ebay.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2010). Comic Book Price Guide, p. 291
  11. ^ "It's So Long For Now: Caputo Files for Bankruptcy Liquidation," The Comics Journal #140 (February 1991), pp. 11-12.
  12. ^ NOW Comics 3.0 -- The Return of an Innovative Company, Fan Favorite Titles

External links