Enjoy this older review that I wanted to bring over along with a follow-up.



Hello and welcome to Pt. 1 of a special Halloween event that I’ve wanted to do for years.   I love musicals and I also enjoy comic books.   What happens, when you have a comic that is an adaption of a beloved musical.   Well, in these next two reviews, we are about to find out.  For the past two years, I’ve looked at things relating to Rocky Horror. Whether it be the various covers of Time Warp or Creature and I tore into the awful TV remake.   This year, however, I’ll be taking a look at something I’ve wanted to cover for quite a while now.
This was originally a comic miniseries that was released in 1991 broken up into three issues and in 2015, the three issues were collected into a trade and released that way.    Really, the big thing that sets this apart from just being a comic adaption is the word, compilation.   As if offers so many things that a Rocky Horror fan could want from something such as this from an audience participation guide, song lyrics, and a profile on Richard O’Brien.    Which reading that and learning that he was inspired by Marvel comics that he grew up with,  that really puts this comic book adaption into perspective.  Speaking of, who brought us this comic.  It came from Caliber Comics.
Caliber Comics seems to be a small publisher that focuses on creator-owned titles.  They were founded in 89 and they seem as though they were a good fit for an adaption of RHPS as they seem to have quite a few horror comics under their name.
The cover is admittedly nothing special as it is just screenshots from the movie and normally, that would be a complaint but I am willing to overlook as someone that picks this up, is more than likely a fan of Rocky Horror and they may not care about the cover and instead want it because it’s Rocky Horror.
Haven’t done this in a while but I think it’s key to touch on here.
Writer – Kevin VanHook
VanHook did a good job of adapting this beloved movie into a comic and keeping the spirit of Rocky Horror alive.   It may have been condensed a hair but it still felt like Rocky Horror.   And the art was also in line with what one would expect from Rocky Horror and  I think publisher Gary Reed touches on this well in the opening of the trade.

Kevin was very conscious in applying a photo-realism to the story as we understood that Rocky fans wanted the comic series to look like the film.   They didn’t want dramatic different looking characters or stylized artwork, they wanted what the characters they loved to be familiar.

I’ll touch on this more but I think that was a wise choice as the original Rocky Horror movie does have a style that would lend itself well to a comic adaption.

The movie is very stylized already with an elaborate look that already feels like a bit of an over-the-top live-action cartoon in some areas.  And that most likely comes from O’Brien’s love of B movies and so trying to make the art more stylized than the movie wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Carol VanHook – Color

Kevin’s wife handled the coloring and that was a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion.   On some pages, the coloring is really good.  Like in the Rose Tint my World sequence.

The art and coloring work to evoke the feeling of Rocky Horror but at other times,  the coloring seems a bit runny, if that makes sense.

It’s not bad and it seems to be trying to not only evoke the movie but just like how the movie took inspiration from B movies that Richard O’Brien loved,  the coloring also seems to be taking its cue from old horror comics.

Which again works rather well most of the time but at points, it seems like the coloring is just trying to catch up with the story.

The Plot

It’s Rocky Horror and if you like Rocky Horror, you might get some enjoyment out of this.  Now, this is something I would normally complain about as the comic does include the musical numbers from the movie in the adaption.  And that is a tricky line to walk as adapting a musical into a non-auditory medium can always be a bit of a risk and including lyrics in something like this can go one of two ways but I think that there would have been more backlash if the songs had not been included as they are probably the most iconic part of the movie.

So,  including the songs was a bit of a must for adapting Rocky Horror.

My Final Thoughts

It’s cool.   You won’t be getting anything big out of this but if you want to see how Rocky Horror is adapted as a comic, this is a good adaption.  And it’s a better and more faithful take on this than the Fox remake.  And not just because they were able to include my favorite line of Frank’s.

A mental mindfuck can be nice.


Of course, it helps that this comic is rated Mature.   Again, I’m not being as hard on something like this as others may be with a comic adaption of a musical because for what the team set out to do, adapting Rocky Horror, that is no easy feat but I think they pulled it off admirably.  It’s better than the remake, that’s for sure.   Join me next time for Pt. 2 of this comic event as we look at an adaptation of one of my favorite musicals of all time.



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6 thoughts on “Halloween Comic Special: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

  1. I’m glad to hear they were able to handle such a difficult adaptation well. Though I think I’ll pass on it. For a musical, you need to experience the song, and you don’t get that same experience just reading the lyrics.

    1. I agree with you that it’s incredibly difficult to handle an adaption such as RHPS in a comic book medium but the team behind this book looked at as more than just a novelty. There was much respect in every aspect.

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