Bedtime Games – Nick Keller, Conor Nolan & Kelly Fitzpatrick (Dark Horse Comics)

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Some memories indelibly stamp themselves on your soul.  Moments that stay with your forever, that retain their absolute clarity while everything else that happened around them begins to face and becomes a little fuzzy around the edges.  The first time I saw Creepshow three and half decades ago was one of those moments. A heartfelt ode to the halcyon days of portmanteau horror cinema and EC Comics, it’s a glorious celebration of the pulp infused, gorier face of the genre and the first time I read Bedtime Games I was plagued by the same nervous shivers of excitement that I felt when I first saw Creepshow and still get every single time I watch it. And that’s probably because Nick Keller, Conor Nolan and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s mini-series feels like it’s the long lost, missing chapter from that deliciously dark and subversive film.

Bedtime Games is the tale of three teenagers, whose personal and home lives have been torn to shreds by fate and circumstance, who, looking for something to alleviate the boredom of summer, steal a key from a teacher at their exclusive private school and trespass in a sealed tunnel that’s off limits to students and staff alike. After finding some pages from an old book in, and escaping from, said tunnel it isn’t long before the trio, and one of their vulnerable loved ones, are haunted by an ancient evil that’s hell bent on retrieving the tome the pages were ripped from which contains all manner of nefarious, stygian secrets. With no option but to fight back against the spirit that they’ve inadvertently helped to gain a foothold in the real world, it isn’t long before our three heroes find themselves ensnared in a life or death struggle for the future of everything that they hold dear.

A small town, teenage horror story of hidden secrets, unsolved murder and things from beyond the veil, Bedtime Games feels like a John Hughes script that’s been written by Stephen King, which is hardly surprising as the latter also starred in… Yeah, that’s right Creepshow. Keller’s narrative can easily stand side by side with any of King’s finest short stories and Nolan and Fitzpatrick’s art and colours could have been lifted straight from the pages of EC’s finest horror publications during the height of its powers. Creatively the team responsible for Bedtime Games have captured lightning in a bottle and it’s just a matter of time until Hollywood comes knocking and waves a big, fat movie cheque in their faces, because Bedtime Games belongs on the big screen.  Horrifically good… Tim Cundle  

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