Here it comes. Its Wednesday, October 27, 2010, and this is The Side. Only a few days remaining until Halloween and I spotted a new story about age limits placed on Trick-or-treating. What's weird is I thought that this was the norm. I thought everywhere had an age limit of 12 for trick-or-treating. Sure I hit up a few places in high school, but those were people I knew and there was a smile and wink to it. It was my way of wishing them a Happy Halloween. I was busy riding my skateboard through the neighborhood and spraying the kids and their parents with silly string as they were out and about. No problems and all in good fun. The kids would scream. A few of the parents would too. Most of the dads would laugh. But still, that amount of effort on my part required a little sugar boost, so if I needed to stop in for a treat, it was a great reason to say "hi" to some folks and ask how their holiday is going.

I do have a bit of a problem with high schoolers trick-or-treating, especially if i don't know them. They don't put much effort into their costumes. They don't say "tick or treat". I have a hard rule. You want candy from me on Halloween, you better say "trick or treat". It's just sad when I see some goofy kid holding out a bag and looking at me expectantly through a cheap rubber mask. "And what do we say?" I'll ask him (its always a him). "Um... please?"

Damned kids have no since of tradition. What are we teaching out children when they can't even beg of candy properly on candy beggin' night?


DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS #3 is in stores today. This comic is really taking its time with its pacing, but there's still all these things going on that keep me in the story. We have a new element with a vampire hunting family investigating the killing of the research team from the last issue. This immediately made me think of VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST and the monster hunting group in it. There's not a ton of resemblance between the two groups, but it just had a similar feel to me. Its a good thing that they did get introduced in this issue because they deliver the only action in it.

That is not to say in any way that this was a boring issue. Evan is under a ton of pressure from his uncle to get Dracula to do his bidding and use his powers to aid in a hostile take over. At least that's what Evan is told. He's getting grief from his friends and co-workers about not keeping them the loop about the project he's working on. And let's not forget the vampire in the basement.

Dracula is written very interestingly here. He's highly intelligent, and spends his time locked up but studying the word around him through media. This isn't Dracula like we know Dracula. We expect the devious monster. However we are shown Prince Vlad, who calmly discusses business, politics, and his life. He seems very honorable here, especially in his treatment of Evan, whom he treats with the utmost respect. At the same time, he'll ask to be let out of his confinement and that voice in the back of our heads starts whispering, 'the second he gets loose everyone is going to die'.

This is an old school horror story like I love them. A person messes with something he really should, like Victor Frankenstein or Henry Jekyll. And like them he unleashes something he can't control. Certainly Conrad seems to have the upper hand now. But literary statute tells us that that's only temporary.


I do enjoy a good monster, and certainly there are plenty to choose from. Growing up I did enjoy the classics, vampires and werewolves. Nowadays, zombies are all the rage and I like zombies alright but not so much as monsters themselves but for the situation in which they're often used. There's been a few stories with "vampire apocalypses" but I haven't seen one with a "werewolf apocalypse". OK, the werewolf one I understand. Things would only go straight to hell one night out of the month. The vampire apocalypse stories I've read were pretty lame as well. Zombies still are the reigning champs of apocalypse creatures. I think a lot of it has to with their relentless unreasonable nature. They're more of force that needs to get beaten back, and in most movies and stories can't ever really be beaten. There's always more zombies and they're always still coming for you.

One thing all three of the creatures I've mentioned have in common is biting. Getting bitten is the way one typically becomes a vampire, werewolf, or zombie. And here's where it starts to get weird. If a zombie bites you, its horrible. Usually there's a character who tries to hide it from the others hoping he doesn't turn into a zombie, but he almost always does and turns on everybody at an inopportune moment. Werewolf bites are always treated the same. Some animal attacked someone. They thought it was a big dog or something. Next full moon, the zaniness ensues. Vampire bites are the sexy among the crowd that wears black way too much. The predatory act gets sexual twist to it, because it doesn't matter that these guys are just zombies with slightly higher IQs, they have much better skin and brood a lot.

Here's the break down:

Zombie bite - Having an affair with that really heinous person from the office. You try to hide it the best you can, because once people find out you're as good as dead to them.

Werewolf bite - You were at that party. You had too much to drink. Things got a little fuzzy as the night went on. You woke up the next morning wondering what happened. Then its, "Wait I did what? With who?"

Vampire bite - It was a sensuous and seductive night of passion which you know you shouldn't have had. Unless you're a guy, in which case, some pasty faced bastard put the swerve on your girl.

Its a nasty and drooly state of affairs. Its pretty much accepted in society that biting people is just not done. That's unless its behind closed doors and with two, or more, consenting adults. So there's a little bit of a taboo, intimate element involved. With the zombies and werewolves we don't see them as human so the act becomes something purely predatory. But, make the monster look a bit more like an attractive person, then its all sexy fun time, please drink my blood.

It such a horrible bias.

People only seem to like the pretty monsters.

But remember people: if you love vampires then you're a necrophiliac.


Because most songs about vampires and zombies suck:

Alrighty, that's it for today. Join us next time for comic reviews and the tale of my final year of trick-or-treating.

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