Comic Review: R.L. Stine’s Just Beyond: The Horror at Happy Landings (BOOM! Studios)

BOOM! Studios releases a Goosebumps inspired like a supernatural story written by the same novelist, where the horrors are happening in a park in Just Beyond: The Horror at Happy […]

BOOM! Studios releases a Goosebumps inspired like a supernatural story written by the same novelist, where the horrors are happening in a park in Just Beyond: The Horror at Happy Landings, the graphic novel.

So what happens if you take a portion of the children horror fiction novel series of Goosebumps in the 90s, take the story much more further to create a graphic novel which soon makes it as a teenage rating icon and make something much more interesting to add some sci-fi and fantasy genre elements, then you’d get this out of Toph Beifong’s color blind test. Apparently, this graphic novel led to more than just horror and children’s literature, but it’s about some middle school kids venturing in some supernatural stuff, which sooner or later coming to Disney+ as a TV adaptation. The story is written by no other than R.L. Stine himself, and illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews, the illustrators are twin sisters and make their comics and illustrations together, more like dynamic duo as my friend said.

Apparently, back in middle school my friend and I used to draw comics together, even for that, the art style is different, but the art that they do, I’ve never met some artists who worked together developed the same style, but it’s impossible to imagine because comic artists now tend to work solo or together and given some different tasks, like making backgrounds, inking, doing drafts, all these kinds of stuff. But the question is, how are these twin artist’s styles can become equal to none?

The front cover shows the two children who are spooked by some white alien’s hand as if it’s going to grab one of them. And the cover was drawn by Julian Totino Tedesco because his style makes this cover more menacing and gets a lot the detail to the characters and the background. Right next to the scaredy-cat children shows a sign of “Happy Landings Nature Preserve”, it’s most likely to have something to know what is going on through the forest. The story takes place in the forests in Ohio where the parents are taking the children for camping until one night, and then something bizarre has happened throughout the forest. Apparently from the start of the story, the children are having fun in the day, even for that it’s would mean that something is weird is going on around the forest. But, no seriously there is something wrong with nature itself, first off when Parker stumbled his head right at the beehive after he dropped his phone for being a dork, and then a swarm of bees is chasing them and trapped by creating some kind of vortex.

It’s weird but have you seen a swarm of bees surrounding them by going circles? The other thing about the forest is when the alien spaceship landed in the middle of the forest and sent some monster-like aliens from a fantasy RPG video game, and those hairy monster guys, they looked like the trolls. However, to those children, they think that all of this is like a dream surrounded by monsters, even if they don’t know what they’re doing. However, the other kids, Annie and Parker just stumbled to these Troll creatures, thinking that they’re some kind of a squeaky toy, right until the creatures took the kid’s brains, and believe me the mind control that the creature’s ability possesses to those kids makes Marik’s and Mad Hatter’s mind control look like pussies. The Trolls are talking more like a human, even for that it makes no difference between weirdness and coincidence on the following panels. But right until these creatures got out from one of the children’s heads they have been attacked by an alien-like Zu from Final Fantasy games and ripped one of its heads off.

The next day is that the children are in some house, and those things are still under the children’s control, which would mean one thing is that these creatures are a threat to the human society or should IT’S THE WORK OF AN ENEMY STAND!!, perhaps I would like to call those two “World Tour”, hahaha… I’m kidding, moving on. The whole chapter of this novel is about one of the hairy looking aliens who got stranded through the forest on this planet and wanted to get back on the ship to get home. And at the end of the comic one of the members of the family who is a bully, got him trapped and took this ship to planet Mars, it’s strange but it’s his fate after all.

The thing about the story is that it suppose to be scary, but reading this comic just makes it more fun to read, and it’s J.L. Stine’s Goosebumps kind of a story. The illustrations are cute and all it seems to be more family-friendly. I’ve read enough sci-fi and fantasy stories as you believe, but going through this story seemed to be less intimidating than the beehive, the most intimidating part is the Zu alien bird-like creature and a Venom Snake. The fact that the twin artists draw these characters very well and how they interact like in real life is more likely to have the characters in action, and the creatures too. As I said, the whole story is about alien who got stranded and took over the children’s brains, perhaps I would call it manipulation because why would anyone think about writing a story about that. Well anyway, Just Beyond in happy landings is a fun comic to be read and all, if you rather want to read a comic about a horror story family-friendly, then this is for you.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.