This October's Surprise is a special spooky review with creator Keith Brown's All-ages effort, "It’s an Extra Spooky Heebie-Jeebies Creepy Halloween!"
So what would the Inaugural issue of Indy Hunter Presents: The ZineSmiths be this October 31st without any mention of some spooky stories? I mean, we’re not always about doom and gloom, angry underground, us against them, rah, rah! No we celebrate and talk about artistic efforts of all kinds, for all ages here…
Speaking of walks?, The leaves are changing. I’m actually quite fond of this season, esp. the months of October to December. I look forward to all Hollow’s Eve themes flying across my TV and in the aisles of the stores I bless my presence with. (Wal-Mart, I just tolerate you). I enjoy me some pumpkin brews and Charlie Brown specials, and yes, I too, the Indy Hunter am cable of spawning young ones as well!
With those young ones comes questions about all sorts of subjects, an uprising of new found fears we grown-ups have become jaded with, (or so we tell ourselves). Sometimes we need a bit of folk-lore to break down shapes, catchy hooks and rhythms to help communicate concepts. Sometimes we just need a Storyteller!
The All- Ages story, “It’s an Extra Spooky Heebie-Jeebies Creepy Halloween!” By creator Keith Brown prompted me to do I something that I rarely do. Rather than internalize what I’ve read before reviewing. I figured it was time to seek other experiences of the material outside myself, (next week bellybutton lint! I swear!). So what was that? Who were they?
SPAWN OF HUNTER, I CALL THEE FORTH!
Basically I did the kid test when I started to review Mr. Brown’s all-ages story. I had my two oldest on my lap and we read through the story. Their eyes lit up, they asked questions. Once again, before I wrote this review I showed them the cover again just to make sure and they exclaimed “Ohh! I like that story, can we read it again?!” So as it stands, right here.... right now- Witness these words from my mouth! I am always on the lookout for something fun, spooky and charming that the little ones and I can read together and enjoy. My little gremlins are avid readers and tend to burn thru stories quickly, but one thing I can always rely on them for is to bring back a few of their favorites books quite often for us to read. (imagine how that feels when it's a book that sucks?!).
In a family like ours where we like to put on Werewolf masks and scare each other, (I’m looking at you Uncle Scott!), or do drawings of things turned into monsters, stuff like adding some teeth to that Fairy Princess Pony Unicorn? Yea, that's us! It’s important for us to stock up on our favorite festive stories to read every season. I truly believe we’ve found another favorite in the form of Writer/Artists Keith Brown’s “It’s an Extra Spooky Heebie-Jeebies Creepy Halloween!” Never mind that I’m not the only one that likes adjectives in their titles! I don't think my oldest will forget it when this time of the year comes around!
This Halloween rhythmic story follows our lead character, a lad dressed as a Pirate as he braves a night of trick or treat and neighborhood watchful worries from the things that go bump in the night. Author/Cartoonist Keith Brown playfully taps into those shapes and sounds that a young imagination warps into scary things with teeth and talons. It’s a fun ride as I read through the story, plentiful with twenty pages of monstrous mirth and watching the expression on my children’s faces as I played around with the emphasizing and meter of Mr. Brown’s spooky serenade.
Adults can read this and fall back on times when they too were scared of the shapes your night lite or the hallway lamp would make on the wall above your bed or across the room. It’s especially a treat…or is that a trick? (Yea I went there), trying to anticipate Mr. Brown’s artwork that excels at contrasting scary objects and descriptions right before the suspense of revealing what they actually are through our Pulse-pounding Pirate’s point of view. Brown's line art and images as a cartoonist are competent and light enough to pass even the six to almost thirty-six year old's eye brow test and Keith was also “fore-sightful “ enough to throw a few mazes/games in the back of the book for you and your child’s dueling pleasure.
I took a moment to ask Keith Brown what the motivation was for doing a story like this and here’s what he had to say:
“I wrote It's an Extra-Spooky 15 years ago. The title just pooped in my head and I had to run with it. It's nice to finally have a published version and so far it seems as if kids really enjoy it and that's all I could ever ask for.” –Keith Brown
To check out other works that Keith Brown has out now including his latest comic strip, “The Wages of Sin”, kindly click the link Spooky kid.