Haunted Mansion by Various
Haunted Mansion collects together the first four (or five?) previously released volumes of the Haunted Mansion comics put out by Disney and SLG. Rather than being one long story, the book is filled with several very short stories somehow connected to the mansion and its 999 happy haunts. Each story has a different writer/artist, so you’ll find a wide range of styles and stories in this short book.
First of all, I have to say that if you aren’t an avid fan of the Haunted Mansion at the Disney parks, this is probably not the book for you. Not that you won’t enjoy it, but you may not pick up on some of the nuances provided by these stories.
On the other hand, if you are a fan of the Haunted Mansion, you should definitely pick this one up! The diversity of artistic styles and stories means you are sure to find at least one that you enjoy. Plus, this is a collection of comics, so if you don’t find one you like then you didn’t waste a lot of time reading it.
I fall into this second category, so I loved this book. It was interesting to see all the stories that the writers came up with about the same set of characters. Like how that ghost in the coffin (it’s in the hallway) came to be there and why he wants out. There’s a story about how one of the people shown in the portrait gallery came to be a resident, and why the groundskeeper braves the mansion even though he’s terrified of ghosts. My favorite stories though had to be the two about Fifi, the dearly departed dog from the pet cemetery who’s stuck in a tutu for eternity because that’s what she was dressed in before she died. You’ll find a whole host of other characters here too including the Bride, Madame Leota, and the Headless Knight.
My only complaint is that the book was way too short! I wish it had been a complete compilation of the comics, instead of just the first few volumes. This collection is also missing the serialized story that tells the background of the mansion itself. Other than that, it was wonderful, and I’ve reread it several times. Incidentally, if you’re a fan of the Haunted Mansion (which I assume you are if you’ve made it this far down the review) you should also check out The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies by Jason Surrell. It’s a great book to learn about the planning, construction, back story and mechanics of the ride.
Shady Glade Rating: 9/10
This post brought to you courtesy of Recommendation Week: Ghost Stories. Don't forget to nominate your own favorite ghost books by Friday!