David’s Haunted Library: Sueño Street

When you think of horror comics you think of Tales From The Crypt or Vault Of Horror. If you never read these comics from the past you know the type of stories in them and thinking about them puts a smile on your face. Now there’s  a graphic novel that pays homage to those comics and adds a Latino flavor. Sueño Street is written by Patricia Santos Marcantonio with art by Mike Youngman.

In the introduction  Patricia Santos Marcantonio talks about her love of comics and how she wanted to make her own using Latino characters.  Sueño Street comes complete with its own horror host, a young street artist who draws scenes of nightmares and unseen places. He points out that every action has consequences and gives us six tales of horror.

One of my favorite stories here was the tale of La Llorona the weeping woman. This is a story that is part of Hispanic folklore centering on a ghost of a crying woman who drowned her kids and is now searching for her lost children along the river. In this story we hear about her orgin in 1920 from Mexico. What makes this one so great is that marionettes are used to tell the tale, sort of an art form in an art form. For a short story there is a lot of depth here as we hear about the emotions of  La Llorona and learn why she did it. My favorite part was the end as we see the emotions of La Llorona’s mother and how the street artist reacts.

Another good one is about Cucuy the Hispanic boogeyman. It takes place in 1761, a woman named Lita takes on a job caring for a child who believes that no one likes him and others believe may be evil. He says he has a special friend and that friend may be responsible for other children in the town disappearing. Lita discovers that something may be wrong with the boy but is he truly cursed? I love how this story opens up with a man telling Lita she has come to Hell and Lita answering that she has already been there. This is a good bit of foreshadowing as we see that Lita can handle such things as a monster who lives under beds.

Sueño Street is a stunningly visual walk down memory lane. Patricia Santos Marcantonio adds a certain depth to each story that you don’t often see in comics and the art compliments her storytelling nicely. As I was reading it I was reminded of the horror comics I enjoyed as a kid along with all the anthology shows I use to watch like Tales From The Darkside. These stories don’t necessarily have a moral to them they are just meant to entertain and scare us and they do a great job of it. What makes this a must read is that it centers around Hispanic folklore which is something you don’t normally see in comics. Though the main reason you should get it is great art and great storytelling, what more can you ask for?

Press Release: Sueno Street

Press Release: Sueño Street

 

A young Latino artist turns down Sueño Street. The walls along the abandoned street are canvases for his murals, which come alive with tales of horror, suspense, and nightmare.

SUEÑO STREET is a graphic novel in homage to “Night Gallery” and “Tales from the Crypt” but with Latino flavor, culture and characters.

The stories include fresh telling of traditional Latino scares like La Llorona, the weeping woman, a doomed specter seeking her lost children in the night, and the Cucuy, the boogeyman who preys on children and fear.

Other stories range in time and space.

The real price of dead man’s shoes. New and ancient betrayals in a canyon of ancient petroglyphs. Space explorers discovering evil on an alien planet and in themselves. A wife beater who gets what he deserves. A woman willing to challenge a horrible evil for love.

Differing in artistic style, the stories are weaved together by the consequences of actions, some deserved, others not.

Writer Patricia Marcantonio wrote “Red Ridin’ In The Hood And Other Cuentos,” which earned an Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award and was named an Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Title and one of the Wilde Awards Best Collections to Share. Arte Público Press, the largest US publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors, published her novel “Verdict In The Desert.” She also has won awards for her short stories, screenplays and as a journalist. Her play “Tears for Llorona” was produced by the Magic Valley Arts Council in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Artist Mike Youngman is a Professor of Fine Art at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho where he has taught for 39 years. His work has been featured in more than 70 competitive exhibits, commissions, and public projects. His body of artwork in drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media approaches 1,000 pieces. He has a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University and a Bachelors of Arts from Brigham Young University.  Figure drawing is his favorite discipline.

 

The book is available on Amazon