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Top 5 Horror / Comedy Influences on Shaman


Horror and Comedy are two genres that work along similar lines.  They either work or they don't.  It's all about timing.  This is why they're two great tastes that go so well together.  Writer Ben Kahn agrees and he's adding his own spin on the genre mash-up with Shaman, a comic he's put together with artist Bruno Hidalgo.  The duo is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of the five issue storyline.  Ben shared his top five horror / comedy stories with us which you can check out below.

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5. What We Do in the Shadows

The reason this is ranked so low isn’t because it isn’t good, but simply because it came out too late.  By the time this movie hit theaters, Shaman was already finished.  But What We Do in the Shadows represents so much of what I wanted to show in Shaman.  The meeting point of horror and comedy is when the fantastic meets the mundane.  Being a vampire isn’t as cool when you have to do dishes, and Shaman knows being a necromancer isn’t as glamorous when your bratty sidekick daughter makes fun of you the whole time.

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4. Evil Dead 2

Hail to the king, baby.  Evil Dead’s impact on Shaman can be summed up in one word: theatricality.  Everything in Evil Dead is bigger and louder than reality, and that extends to its protagonist.  Ash stands out among the endless blank slates of horror protagonists because when things get crazy, Ash gets crazier.  In the worlds of both Evil Dead and Shaman, theatricality is power.  Everything in Evil Dead 2 is iconic, the cabin most of all.  It’s a character in its own right.  Never underestimate the narrative potential of your environment.

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3. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Tucker & Dale takes a time worn tradition, the murderous hillbillies in the woods, and flips its perspective.  Our hillbillies aren’t murderous psychopaths, they’re lovable friends who just want a vacation.  Similarly, I tried to flip the perspective with ShamanShaman is all the mysterious badasses of the world, smoking a cigarette and knowing more than he’s letting on.  But here, the focus is on him, and we get to see how hard he tries to maintain that image of mystique.  The curtain is drawn, and we see there’s little method to his madness.

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2. Shaun of the Dead

Man, I love Shaun of the Dead.  It’s the best.  Do I even need to explain why it’s the best?  We know it’s the best. Shaun of the Dead taught me that the best humor doesn’t come from the situation, it comes from the reaction.  The movie isn’t funny because the zombies are silly, but because the heroes’ reactions are so ludicrous, short-sighted, and quintessentially human.  Shaman and his family will face all manner of bizarre challenges, but the humor will always come from them and their humanity.  So sit back, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over.

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1. Hellblazer

So Hellblazer isn’t a comedy.  Or a movie.  But screw it, it’s my list, my rules, and I’ll break them if I want to.  More than any other…thing, Hellblazer is infused into the DNA of Shaman.  John Constantine is the patron saint of urban fantasy, the ultimate magical trickster in a trench coat.  Shaman is a quirky, comical take on John Constantine, but a take on him nonetheless.  Both wield great magical powers, but it’s their brains and their trickery that always win the day.

The Shaman Kickstarter has a little more than two weeks left before it wraps up.  Rewards include the book itself, art prints, original artwork, and more. 


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