Title: Goosebumps: Download and Die #1
Publisher: IDW
Words: Jen Vaughn
Art: Michelle Wong
Publish Date: March 28th, 2018

Publisher’s Summary: When Mitra and her two besties find a phone with the latest and greatest technology and apps, they think they are dreaming. But when push (notifications) come to shove, they might be living a nightmare!


Goosebumps: Download and Die is IDW’s take on the popular middle school horror stories by R. L. Stine. This first issue brings us the story of three middle school girls Mitra, Kyra, and the newcomer to school, “Flips”. Within the first few pages the girls meet and bond over common interests such as online gaming. The author, Jen Vaughn, quickly introduces a seed of jealousy into the equation (because really, what would middle school be without jealousy between middle school girls?). Mitra grows jealous of the time Kyra is spending with the new girl, Flips. To make matters worse, Mitra’s cell phone gets destroyed. It just isn’t her week. Luckily, a mysterious package is dropped off for Mitra. In it is a wicked new cell phone, complete with all the latest and greatest apps. Of course, the phone is not quite what it seems. Horror stories are full of classic evil and ancient items that bring doom upon their user. Here our evil artifact is brought into the digital age.

The writing is right to the point. It is definitely reminiscent of a Goosebumps television episode. The reader knows the evil artifact when it appears and you are just anticipating what trouble it causes for the protagonists. The character dialogue is focused on developing the characters and moving the plot forward. Vaughn plays up Mitra’s teenage angst and the reader knows this emotion is going to lead to some dark, most likely supernatural, actions down the road. The art has a cartoonie, manga style to it that is effective. Kind of reminds me as if a Scooby-Doo cartoon was imprinted onto paper. Solid colors and directness in what the characters are doing and feeling. As a first issue, it hooked me in and left me wanting to see what dark path this evil phone leads these unsuspecting teens.

The Bottom Line:

A solid first issue and adaptation of the familiar R. L. Stine formula. Excited to see the coming chaos!