Inhale a sniff in Poe’s snifter glass and discover two strange and macabre tales. In the first story, Edgar Allan Poe investigates a mystery at a mental asylum that blends together fact and fiction in Tar Feathers. Taking the role as a private detective, Poe interviews the staff and inmates to learn about the asylum’s practices and treatments. But as the clues start to point to a greater mystery, will Poe be able to tell what is real and what his mind has created? The second story documents the fall into paranoia in The Sphinx. Gunther, a filmmaker, visits his rich friend Spencer at his mountainside mansion, the two discuss the cost of making films and the future of their partnership. But when the stress of trying to make the next big hit movie gets to them, something unimaginable will manifests itself to shock and awe, and possibly make great footage.
Tar Feathers is an adaptation of Poe’s short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. Written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by Fred Harper, Tar Feathers takes a look at Poe’s personal demons and a few references to our modern day nusiances. Instead of confining the mentally ill, they are treated with openness and allowed to safely indulge in their delusions. When in the original tale, the narrator reflects on what he sees in the mental institution, Poe is comforted by his own terrifying thoughts. Ann Nocenti uses Poe’s frantic mind and sets it loose onto itself, causing an overload of Poe’s worst fears to flood the panels. Fred Harper adds a touch of political satire and trippy visuals, showing what kind of weird thoughts must have appeared in Poe’s drunken stupors.
Paul Constant and Russ Braun adapt The Sphinx for a modern take Poe’s classic story about fear. Instead of a narrator losing himself to his own fearful thoughts, it’s about the aging filmmaker Gunther looking for his chance to make a hit film in today’s society. The struggles of trying to stay relevant and stressed about his projects have Gunter feeling worried for his future. The true horror appears when something is in the far distances inspires his imagination to talk off.
Included in the issue from Ahoy Comic is another struggle between man and cat in Poe and the Black Cat by Hunt Emerson, murder mystery in a museum Bewildering Mysteries #26: The Mummy That Never Was by Kek-W and Rick Geary, a hooded figure gets summoned to a family in Horsey by Johanna Beate Stumpf and Kira Bill, and instructions for some truly crafty drinks in Craft Cocktails For Troubled Times by Bethany Jean Clement and Dan Schoeneck.