Edgar Allan Poe might be rolling in his grave, but that won’t stop AHOY Comics’ Editor-in-Chief Tom Peyer from keeping the horror and humour pouring in with the new Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1.
Tapping into that tricky and trendy marketing scheme of luring readers in with a shiny “#1” on the cover, the first issue of Snifter of Blood actually kicks off the third season of the series that started out in 2018 as Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror. What prompted the name change for the series, I asked Peyer. Was there a shortage on snifters of terror? Is blood easier to snift? “Ha! This is the third Snifter series, and we called the second one “Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror Season Two.” But that came to feel like a title that would repel new readers; who starts reading or watching anything with Season Two? It’s an anthology, so you can start anywhere. Changing the contents of the titular Snifter seemed like the best move. Snifter of Blood! Snifter of Bats! Snifter of Mummy Bandages! I’m scaring myself!”
Described as “the nightmare-child of Drunk History and Tales from the Crypt,” the anthology series features an alcohol-damaged Poe hosting a collection of “woeful and witty stories” by a variety of writers and artists. This latest installment of the Snifter series features “Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagining Poe’s “Black Cat” as a dog, as well as a tale in which Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles the science vs. religion debate once and for all.”
This is most certainly a comic for adults, but, Peyer points out, editing the series takes him right back to his childhood. “I loved Mad Magazine, and I loved the horror anthologies Creepy and Eerie, and this smooshes them all together.”
Stepping beyond the editing role, Peyer himself has writing credits on two of the issues of Snifter of Terror, which begs the question, will he be writing anything for Snifter of Blood? “It’s funny, Wendy,” Peyer says, “but I just started thinking about this yesterday. I have a favorite Poe story, “Masque of the Red Death,” and no other Snifter writer has touched it. The trouble is, I like the Poe parodies I write to be not just funny, but deeply stupid. And “Masque” doesn’t readily lend itself to stupidity. I have five or six weeks to figure it out before the solicitation info for EAPSOB #6, the final issue, is due to Diamond. So when you see the Previews solicits for March, you’ll know if I cracked the case.”
Now two years into their goal of publishing comics for adults that feature so much more than their sequential parts, AHOY Comics has found a comfortable niche within the industry, and while that makes Peyer feel very good about their accomplishments, there is always more work to do. Peyer’s outlook on the future is quite positive. “I’m proud of the work and grateful for the attention it gets. The future for the whole world is as unwritten as I’ve ever seen it. AHOY came back from pandemic hiatus with our biggest group of titles yet–five launching this fall and winter–and it will be nice if the plague and the economy and everything else lets us continue in that vein. All I can say is, if things turn out well, we’ll be ready.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1 will be available on October 21, and you can pick up the collected volume of season two on October 6 to find out what terrors Poe has previously been about.
As for what Poe himself would think about this series, Peyer is very clear.
“If he approved of it in any way, I’d be very disappointed.”