Upturned Stone (1993)

It’s time to get scared.

Not just classic Universal Horror-comfort scare or the horror porn from the turn of the millennium, but under-the-blanket, five-year-old scared. The kind of scared that’s almost as good as sex when you get that release.

Upturned Stone (1993)

That’s what Upturned Stone is about. The kind of monsters who are real. The ones not afraid to hurt their victims. For real.

It’s a return to the Ben Cooper Halloweens when orange Jack o’ Lantern heads served as candy repositories. The kinda candy that didn’t need to be checked before eaten.

Scott Hampton pulls the film off a happier era to show shadows were haunted even then. All in a story told in four parts by four reluctant participants who grow up before their time.

An unlikely vessel unleashes a series of incomplete nightmares. Incomplete until told together, through the eyes of the boy buried long ago in a mystery never solved.

Revenge is exacted for the innocent victim against a predator not fearing retribution.

Hopefully there weren’t too many spoilers in the description. This is a title you need to seek out and read for yourself. It’s just that good.

It’s a book I passed on initially. My pull box was a full one in the early 1990s. My wallet was not.

There were too many good things happening below the surface of the comic book landscape. Sandman was still on the stands. I was playing catch up with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis tag teamed on Justice League. Aliens v Predator and their solo titles kept us hoping they would one day unite on the big screen.

To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Business was good and experimentation was allowed. Well, product was needed. The boom before the bust.

If you dug past the dreck, there was a lot of good books on the periphery of the main stream. Upturned Stone was one of the gems and will echo in your soul for a long time.

Mr. Hampton is a journeyman comic book artist and creator. His works include Batman, Black Widow, Sandman and Hellraiser. Upturned Stone was optioned in 2005 by David Foster Productions for release on the silver screen. This never materialized, but the story has been optioned again recently. Time will tell.

Again, happy Halloween. Be safe and check under the bed.

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