Scary Godmother. Artist: Jill Thompson.


Original medium: Comic books
Published by: Sirius Entertainment
First Appeared: 1997
Creator: Jill Thompson
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Christmas has Santa, Rudolph and any number of other iconic toons associated with it. The Fourth of July has Uncle Sam plus, in the less-iconic range, the other Uncle Sam, The Shield, Captain America and dozens of other superheroes who pattern their fighting togs after the U.S. flag — including one who was actually named USA. Even Mother's Day has Momma. But Halloween, which is more closely associated with fanciful creatures than all of those put together, doesn't have …

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… much besides The Great Pumpkin. Or at least, that was the case before Scary Godmother, by cartoonist Jill Thompson, came along.

That was in 1997, when Sirius Entertainment (Wandering Star, Poison Elves) published it (in comics form) as a read-aloud book aimed at kids, for Halloween. In it, Scary was enjoying an evening with her "broommates", Skully Pettibone and Bug-a-Boo, and a couple of other monster friends, when a band of trick-or-treaters interrupted their revelry. Among them were Jimmy and his younger cousin, Hannah-Marie, whom he was tormenting because the adults in their lives had forced him to take her along on his Halloween excursion with his friends. Scary, who wasn't really scary except when she wanted to be, took Hannah-Marie's side and saw to it that Jimmy wound up the frightened one, while the little girl's bag wound up bulging with candy.

Thompson, whose work had already appeared in several DC/Vertigo titles, including Sandman, The Invisibles and The Black Orchid, as well as non-DCs like The Elementals, The Badger and the First Comics version of Classics Illustrated, says she created Scary Godmother because she couldn't find a Halloween-themed storybook that she liked, for her niece.

Scary Godmother was so well-received, she was back only a few months later with Scary Godmother: Bloody Valentine. Later that year, she was back again, with The Revenge of Jimmy. Before 1998 was over, she was in The Scary Godmother Holiday Spooktacular. Other books and comics followed, including a 6-issue comic book series in 2001-2,

But that's not all. Mainframe Entertainment (Reboot, Shadow Raiders) produced an animated version, Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktacular, which aired on October 31, 2003. Scary's voice was done by Tabitha St. Germain, who has also been heard in My Little Pony, Transformers and Care Bears animation. Other voices heard include Scott McNeil (Ace the Bathound in Krypto the Superdog), Gary Chalk (Mungus the Giant in Dragon Tales) and Britt McKillip (Sabrina in 21st century productions).

A couple of years later, Mainframe did Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy with the same cast. It aired on October 7, 2005.

Scary hasn't been extremely active in more recent years. But she fills a need for Halloween-themed storybooks, and for Halloween's own holiday toon.


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Text ©2009-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Jill Thompson.