‘Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death’ Writer and Editor-in-Chief of Ahoy Comics Tom Peyer: The Conskipper Interview

Ahoy Comics irreverent horror/comedy anthology Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death gets a trade paperback collection right in time for Halloween, and Tom Peyer has something to say about it!

Naturally, as one of the writers featured in the collection and the editor of the series (and Editor-in-Chief of Ahoy Comics), Peyer would have some things to say about the mash-up that features work by an impressive line-up of artists and writers, all working in Ahoy Comics “house style”.

Learn more about the series, and why Poe makes the perfect centerpiece for a terrifying and comedic comic, in this exclusive interview.

How did you come up with the idea for a horror/comedy anthology that was based around the legend of Edgar Allan Poe?

Tom Peyer: Well, I gotta say… it ain’t pretty… but Poe was famous and great and he wrote genre fiction, and everybody knows his face, which is important in a comic… but the main things were, he didn’t cost anything and he couldn’t complain, because he’s dead. Which is fitting enough if you read him. Given his body of work, I saw exploiting his corpse as a mark of respect. 

Poe is a comedic character in many of the stories, so what qualities about the real poet/writer lend themselves to comedy?

Peyer: He has this persona in people’s minds of a tragic, self-destructive boozer. Which is disputed; it’s now widely believed that this reputation was the result of a posthumous character assassination by a jealous rival. But if lacks the advantage of being true, at least it’s funnier. So we’ve gone with it. 

The variety of stories in the collection is very impressive, and they all walk the line between horror and comedy very well.  Why do these genres work so well together?

Peyer: It’s been said they’re closely related. If you scare me or make me laugh, I’m losing control either way. Also, if you think transgressive humor is funny, horror is a straight shot to it. It’s easy to find things you’ll laugh at and maybe don’t want to. 

As the editor, did you ever have to tone down any of the humor/horror in the stories? 

Peyer: No, it hasn’t happened. Either our writers are tasteful or I’m a heartless brute.

Your “Gore of Frankenstein” story shows an obvious love from Universal Monsters.  Why are they still such enduring characters and is there a particular character that you would like to feature in a future story?

Peyer: I love the original Universal Monsters collectively, because all of their movie series started out great and got worse as they went, but stayed fun. We started seeing all the monsters together and it became like this Transylvanian Marvel Universe. The makeup, the performances, the fairy-tale evocations of 19th Century eastern Europe, it’s all great. 

Ahoy Comics has built their brand on irreverent, satirical material.  Is this because these types of stories are underrepresented in modern comics? 

Peyer: Kind of, yes. But I don’t know what else the AHOY people could do together. Humor is where our sensibilities overlap. They don’t have to be comedies, but funny on some level. That’s what interests us. 

Can we expect more Snifter of Horror in the future?

Peyer: I hope so, but we don’t have any plans right now. Instead, we’re working on another, kind of thematically similar, quite dissimilar anthology. You’ll hear more about it in 2023.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Death graphic novel will be in stores on September 28.


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