New Haunted Mansion, Tron Comic Series
Thanks to my brother for the news on this one:
New series of comics coming soon, including Haunted Mansion, Wonderland, Gargoyles and Tron.
The whole story is here:
Haunted Mansion (bi-monthly, black and white, $2.95, issue #1 coming in October)
“This will be based on the theme park ride, not on the movie. The ride itself is one of the few ‘E-ticket’ attractions that do not have an official story. When Walt Disney was conceptualizing it, his view was essentially, ‘This is a haunted house. The rider is a person trapped in a haunted house. That’s the only story you need.’ There are elements of a story in it, and hinted at over the years, but only the one at EuroDisney [Phantom Manor] has a story.
“What I’ve done is researched the ride – a lot of which was riding the ride many hundreds of times over the course of my life – and there is a story there. In essence though, Haunted Mansion is going to be an anthology in the spirit of the ride. There are 999 ghosts in the mansion, so that produces the potential for at least 999 stories – where did these ghosts come from? How did they die? What are they doing in the Mansion?
“We’ll also tell the backstory of the Mansion itself in a thread which will run through the main stories. I consider the most central characters of the larger story to be the ‘Ghost Host’ – the guy hanging in the rafters, Madame Leota – the medium who appears in the crystal ball in the attic, and the Bride, who’s in the attic. They’re central to the story.
“That said, the backstory will be there to drive along elements of some of the other stories, but I’m not going to make paying attention to the backstory the focus of the series. After all, people ride the Haunted Mansion, not for the backstory, but for the individual elements, which we’ll touch upon in the stories of the anthology.”
HM Comic released, not quite Disney
To follow up on this.....the HM comic was released last week. My dear brother sent me this review:
"well....as I feared when it was first announced that it was going to be published by SLG (aka Slave labor Graphix) which publishes such classics as "Johnny the Homicidal maniac"(which is done by the creator of Nickelodeon's "Invader Zim") , Lenore (the cute little dead girl) and other such Hot Topic shoppers' favorites (don't get me wrong, I LIKE those titles, but...), it leans way more towards "pop-goth-culture" than towards Disney fun.
Basically this doesn't feel like something connected to Disney. Yes it takes place in or at least concerning the mansion featured in the attraction, and a few key players/names are used, but it just seems....off. This first issue comprises of several short tales done by SLG regular writters and artists, so immediately it feels like one of their books opposed to traditional Disney comics (which are published by another company named Gemstone). The art is purely black and white, with heavy, thick linework and shadowing, and you can clearly see that alot of the artistic talent has been influenced by Tim Burton's drawings of things creepy which got them to this point in their careers...but in this case they seem to miss his warped sense of fun (which may be due to the nature of an "adaptation" of this type, but it doesn't feel like the sketches I've seen of behind the scenes-type production material created by the design team for the various Mansion attractions either). The artists do their thing and not the formatted for Disney thing. Personally, I think Burton's style meshes well with my feelings and impressions of the Mansion (hence why I think the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay is a great idea...get it to Florida please!), but apparently (to me) Burton imitators do not.
Story-wise, it doesn't help that some of the tales contradict some of the lore already associated with elements with-in the rides (floating candlestick and person in the coffin for examples) and it further cements that the Mansion is indeed Gracey's (which I thought was one of those "assumed" things which was then hammered home by the movie. Also to add to the "out-of-Disney-body-experience", in the third story, the ghost of a dog utters "Let's get this **** over with"...did nobody at Disney get to look this over? To me that just really felt wrongly placed. Strangely, the comic is rated T for teen or the equlivent of PG-13....odd since the feature film was a good and fun PG.
Next issue, the SLG house character Lenore visits the Mansion...just to further cement the separation of SLG and Disney.
All in all I know this review sounds harsh and that I hated the book, which isn't the case. I just feel that this is a decent goth comic which happens to borrow from Disney's beloved attraction and I want to let the strictly Disney fans who want to check this out to be forwarned that it may not be what they are expecting. " -j_3_h