ivan velez jr


A page from “Hill House Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on Me!” by Ivan Velez, Jr. - not only a tribute to Shirley’s great The Haunting of Hill House, but as you can see here, also a litany of true tales of Ivan and his family’s real life brushes with the supernatural. Read the whole thing this fall in THE SHIRLEY JACKSON PROJECT: COMICS INSPIRED BY HER LIFE AND WORK (Ninth Art Press). 

Casper the Friendly Ghost was a mild-mannered little sprite with enough innocuous charm to go around. In his Harvey Comics series, he would get into harmless adventures without any real consequences, like finding a lost dog or some goddamned thing like that. This is not to be confused with Ghost Rider, the Marvel Comics character and Nicolas Cage charity, which is a demon with a flaming skull that feeds on the souls of evil men and screams through the night on a haunted motorcycle.

For some insane reason, comic book writer Ivan Velez Jr. pitched the idea of a Casper/Ghost Rider crossover to both Marvel and the makers of Casper with a full outline, possibly to silence the howling banshees in his mind. Velez imagined a scenario in which an evil villain replaces Richie Rich’s father and shakes up the Harvey Comics universe so badly that Wendy the Witch casts a spell to bolster Casper’s powers (what powers he possesses beyond being a joyless specter of our own mortality remains unclear).

At any rate, Wendy apparently casts too much magic and accidentally summons Ghost Rider, transporting Casper to a heroin-soaked puddle in Hell’s Kitchen in his place. Casper somehow manages to thwart a bank robber, while Ghost Rider presumably rules the Harvey universe until the two finally switch places again, leaving behind a legion of young Casper fans with a literary shell-shocking usually reserved for Watership Down and Old Yeller.

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