Scared By The Bell by Dylan Campbell
90's Art Deeper than Normal CharacterizationHumanity and Monstrosity at its Best and Worst
Self-Insert MainMaybe too Fast a Pace?
90%Not Helsing?
Monster Mash90%

Dylan Campbell’s Scared By the Bell is a coming-of-age story for a relative nobody named Peter. The poor dude’s first day of school involves him realizing he has a bunch of literal monsters for classmates. It would make any sane middle schooler cry for his mother. On the flip side, the kid does a stand-up job of survival when a girl isn’t in the picture.

You find the beginnings of a typical story about accepting others despite their differences and a chance for high-jinks, but there’s also charming characters and an interesting setting underneath it all.

There are a couple of surprises and references that I didn’t expect from this webcomic. While a younger fan might not understand them, an older one would likely have an ‘ah-hah!’ moment.

ASL, Snake-Haired Girls, & Mummies In Scared By The Bell

One character of particular note was the mummy who used ASL and the classmate that responded in the same manner. In this scene, I felt that real life and fantasy mixed together well. It creates a family-friendly webcomic that many people could enjoy. I liked how the author included a character that went beyond a metaphor for being someone considered different. It’ll be a good chance for young people to see themselves in Saved by the Bell.

There’s also an opportunity that this series may bring an older reader back to a better time. The art reminds me of a Saturday-morning cartoon and you can’t compare to that type of nostalgia.

As a result, you can expect a lot of high-energy and fast pacing, yet you won’t mind losing out on quieter moments. At the moment, there isn’t an overarching plot for the first three issues and you won’t miss it. You’ll enjoy the ride until the time comes to what the author decides to pull out of the long of horror influences.

The quips in Scared by the Bell’s writing more than makes up for any lack of current character drama for its monster characters. It does, however, show the sad part of one of these mythical creature students and the humans fear of them. This explains the animosity between Peter and his classmates.

In an understandable manner, the monsters are distrusting of those who don’t share a similar scary status. Despite the comic’s strengths making up for a lot of its faults, my biggest hope for this series is that the main character Peter does go beyond his everyman status. He’s the one person who doesn’t have any appeal beyond being a self-insert for the reader.

Why You Should Read Scared by the Bell

If you’re of an age to have children or if you’re a child yourself at heart, I think keeping this one on your roster might do you well. There’s a lot to be said and done with this premise that will give quite a bit of material.

Scared by the Bell is like remembering an old friend that you’ve lost contact. When they decide to hit you up a decade later, it’s like coming home. Shush, I’m nostalgic for the nineties.