When I chose House of Fear as the name for my series of scary comics for kids, I knew I wanted a host to introduce each story. Using a host reminds me of my favorite horror comics from the 50s, which had memorable hosts like the Crypt Keeper and the Old Witch.
I decided the character should be a butler who takes care of the House of Fear. In each issue, he’ll invite young readers to sit back and enjoy another spooky tale. Of course, he can’t be any ol’ butler. He needs to be creepy. Ugly even. So when I asked James Hislope to present designs, I suggested he make the butler “nasty looking….balding, but with some wispy hair flopping around for effect…probably a nasty wart/mole of some sort.”
As you’ll see, James designed one heck of a creepy dude.
Our host has a little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on. For our introduction pages, he’ll present his “warmer” side. As you can see in the first image below, which will become the introduction page to The Curse of Cottonwood Ct., he’s just an old butler welcoming kids to listen to a scary story.
But after the story is complete, he shows his nasty side. In the image below, which appears immediately after the comic pages, he’s telling kids to scram. He’s got to chop down the trees surrounding the House of Fear before they overpower the demons in the haunted house. (His actions tie directly to the comic book, so if you haven’t read it yet, download it here.)
We know what the host looks like. And we know he’s got a nasty split personality problem. Now we just need a name.
I’ve narrowed it down to two names: Boyle and Graves.
Both Boyle and Graves are great names for a butler. They work well for someone who sneaks around cemeteries at night, too. Plus, they both provide subtle references to something creepy and scary, which kids will get a kick out of.
So which do you like? What do your kids think? Boyle or Graves? In the end, there can only be one host for the House of Fear, so let me know what you think.