The twisted and spooky tales inspired by Edgar Allan Poe are back for a second showing in Ahoy Comic’s Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror Season 2. This issue features a story by Dean Motter, Alex Ogle, and Julie Barclay present The Tell-Tale Black Cask of Usher, a chilling story about Poe’s dispute against one of his publishers and his spiral into madness. This issue also has two short pieces, Four Poems and Voodoo Burger, and one bonus comic short, Poe and the Black Cat.
The Tell-Tale Black Cask of Usher follows Edgar Allen Poe as he is drinking his troubles away at a saloon. His former colleague had stolen Poe’s writings, leaving Poe angry and bitter. While at the saloon, Poe meets a lonely old man that invites Poe to enjoy a rare wine back at his mansion. However, in Poe’s state of mind, a night of drinking soon becomes a challenge of his own sanity when his own dark thoughts in control.
Dean Motter pays homage to Poe’s literally works and the many influences the gothic writer would later inspire. This twisted take on Poe’s history has references to The Tell-Tale Heart, the Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher and many more elements that shaped American horror. Motter steps into the mind of Poe as events and details capture the descend into Poe’s madness. The pace is well written to slowly build up the horror before everything gets chaotic.
The art style is clean and easy to follow. Character designs have a thick outline that draws attention to facial expressions. There is a lot of zoom in shots that emphasize the anxiety building up in Poe, and the works well with the narration. Alex Ogle and Julie Barcla nicely play on Motter’s use of heavy shadows. A once pristine mansion is now filled with lost memories and engulfs all those inside in darkness. Poe is rarely seen without hiding in shade, always appearing trapped in the gloom.
Four Poems consist of four short poems written by Walt Shepperd and illustrations by Greg Scott, and each tells a modern experience about life. Voodoo Burger is the story of a gross fast food experience that sparks a supernatural event. and is written by Brendan Mallory and illustrated by Elliott Mattice. Poe and the Black Cat sees the black cat and the frustrated writer gets some extra help with a flying friend, all written and illustrated by Hunt Emerson.