You are sitting in your den one evening reading a book trying to forget how frightening things are when all of a sudden you smell something sweet… and deadly. You follow the scent to your oven, in confused and savory fear, and open it ONLY TO FIND:
Bites of Terror [10 Frightfully Delicious Tales] is created by the folks at Cuddles and Rage, Liz and Jimmy Reed, and collected by Quirk Books. This tome collects confectionary horrors in the style of Tales From the Crypt, right down to the sinister host known as the Cake Creeper. As if the food angle isn’t enough of a fun twist, the entirety of this book is done in clay dioramas.
The threatening Cake Creeper finds himself hosting a lost stranger, and in doing so decides to share some delicious tales of evil. From mold that creates cannibals out of fruit to unsuspecting foods disappearing in the woods at the hands of baked monsters this book is nothing but fun. Some of the tales pay homage to horror stories of yore while others are totally original, but regardless of each stories origin they always end in a punch line. Some of these stories portray some characters that are truly going through some twisted tragedy, but during that it’s never so much that a kid couldn’t get the same enjoyment an adult will.
As I mentioned earlier, every panel of this comic is “illustrated” using clay and dioramas. Every food in this book is alive and has their own life and expressions. The personalities are typically naive and trusting, often leading to the situations that lead to the foods’ inevitable demise. You can tell that our creating duo loves what they’re up to because they are always sure to occupy their stories with handmade characters and scenery, giving a lot of growth and nuance to the world these vignettes occupy. I feel like color is a bit of a silly thing to bring up when it comes to clay, but everything sculpted is vibrant, making even the most “gory” scenes [dare I say] colorful and cute. I feel like it’s hard not to compare some of the tone to something like Adventure Time, but even if the flavor seems familiar the delivery is very unique to this book.
If you’re a horror fan, then you won’t get many scares out of this. What you will get is a love letter to horror presented in a way that might get some younger folks engaged while giving the mature scare fans something to laugh along with. It feels both welcoming and new, and is a one of a kind experience within an abrasive genre. So come, sit by the fire and get comfortable, as the Cake Creeper treats you to some tantalizing tales that are sweet, salty, and very inventive. You can preorder Bites of Terror here, it gets unleashed on the world next week. Also, check out the process photos (they’re REALLY cool) from Cuddles and Rage here.