New Comic Book Day is here! This week I have a few real stinkers and some fine works of art to submit for your approval. One quick reminder here readers, the views expressed here in this magnificent column are my own. I have no wish to denigrate any one taking a stand or a point of view differing from my own. I respect each individual’s right to have their own opinion in these matters. Even if you are a mindless, idiotic fucktard who couldn’t tell a work of genius from the feces smeared on your face. Obey me fucktards. Obey the Clown.
No anxiously waiting out the thirty or more days on the next issue for fans of this extremely graphic title! The next Crossed follows only two weeks after the gore-tastic #34. Our less than mentally stable cannibalistic heroine, Amanda has encountered a peculiar pack of crossed. This group of infected are religious zealots obsessed with the meticulously malicious mutilation of the male member. I find this story arc to be an extraordinarily devilish example of horror, as I am rather attached to my boy parts. As I have mentioned in the past, this is a great book. Deliciously drawn scenes of torture and mayhem bring this comic to life, often making one cringe. This is a must read, and one to hide from the kiddies.
If you are a lover of zombie comics, this is one to add to your collection. Taking place four years after the original 1968 outbreak in Night of the Living Dead, Aftermath follows a group of survivors from the overrun city of Las Vegas as they fight for their lives against hordes of the ravenous undead. The campy early 1970’s decor and fashion, and the interesting characters make this book stand out somewhat amongst it’s peers in the genre. I also enjoyed the gross, anatomically correct zombie attacks and the gory kills perpetrated by the desperate humans. Lots of blood, guts, and decomposing flesh make for a fun, exciting story.
I love the first three Hellraiser movies (Who doesn’t?) but I was unsure as to the goodness or suckness of the comic book series. Though I haven’t quite caught up with all the back issues of this sweeping epic, I did finish The DarkWatch series up to issue 6. My conclusion, not bad. The plot seems to have much to do with the politics of Hell and the mobilization of a frightening army of cenobites. I did not find Doug Bradley but I was reunited with Kirsty Cotton who seems to be much changed since the movies. I found this to be a rather interesting book and would not be averse to further exploration of the title.
This title, initially a Hellboy spinoff, chronicles the adventures of the agents of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. As began to read, I was reminded of the old X-files television program. This book is similar, but with way more ass kicking. I have never been much of a reader of Mike Mignola’s work, but after opening a few back issues of this long running Dark Horse series, I have come to the conclusion that this is not a bad title. Most of the characters are familiar from the Hellboy movies and I enjoyed the story quite a lot. The rendering of the monsters was achieved with style and uniqueness and I found the artwork in general to be fairly pleasant to look upon. Having had a slightly above average reading experience, this is a comic book that I would not mind following in the future.
First published in 1964 by Warren Publishing, Creepy has been recently resurrected by Dark Horse. This bi-monthly black and white horror anthology series retains much of the character of the original. That being said, I found this title lacking in flavor. Uncle Creepy and the rest of the Creepy clan were annoying and much of the humor seemed forced. Some of the stories had competent writing and artwork but most were too short and poorly tacked together. This book simply does not pay proper homage to what was one of the great American horror comic magazines of the twentieth century.
I can scarcely contain my jubilation at the thought of getting my sweaty little hands on the next issue of this fine series. The Fall is the second volume and continuation of Guillermo Del Toro’s graphic novel adaptation of The Strain. Originally a trilogy of horror novels and co-written by Chuck Hogan, The Strain is an excellently told vampire tale. Unlike the more mainstream romantic vampire stories of late, this one differs in that it is much more of a true horror experience. These vampires are not mysterious, haunted creatures forever doomed to a tormented existence, partaking of human blood only to satisfy a terrible, unendurable hunger. Instead they are hideously ugly, mindlessly savage killers. No soft nip on the neck here. Instead, a grotesquely deformed, barbed tongue, taking prey with the ruthless efficiency of a toad. Refreshing. Imagine the patrons of your local Walmart (just admit it, you shop there too!) naked and shrieking, spreading a virulent plague across an entire city, and then, the country. This is a great book and I look forward with much anticipation to tomorrow when I can drop my $3.99 and commence with the awesomeness.
The Living Corpse: Haunted
This one-shot from Dynamite is the latest comic featuring The Living Corpse, John Romero. First published in 2007 by Zenoscope Entertainment the book is written by Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson. Recently made into a CG animated movie, this is a somewhat original
story featuring a mindless revenant turned hero and champion of the living world. I would not be surprised if this single issue series turned out to be nothing more than a promotional for the newly released DVD. The older stories are not bad however, and worth excavation from the dusty back issue boxes of your local comic store. I suppose I reserve judgement for tomorrow when I will tentatively explore this latest Living Corpse title.
I can’t imagine this issue of Vampirella being any more uninteresting than the last one or the one before that. To put it succinctly, I loathe this book. It contains not even the most miniscule grain of entertainment value. In addition to the tedious story, the artwork has an almost soporific quality. Readers of the male persuasion thinking to purchase this book as “private time” reading material be warned, her ass does NOT look as good as it does on the admittedly beautiful cover. This comic might, however, be of some use in the bathroom. I stash one behind the toilet for emergencies. You never know when you might run out of ass wipe.
Written by comic book virtuoso Steve Niles, this tale of the occult is set in the 1920’s prohibition era. The first issue, although maddeningly short, is quite tantalizing. This book shows much promise, from the opening scene depicting a nameless private dick carving runes on his bullets to the last panel featuring famed mafioso, Al Capone. I very much enjoyed the detailed artwork of Tony Harris who somehow manages to produce a noir atmosphere in a color comic. Gangsters, demons, and Untouchables make a fascinating read for most horror comic fans. Unless you mind waiting ninety days between issues.
Revival is a well drawn black and white title that I have been following for some time. It takes place in a rural Wisconsin town where for one day, the recently dead have returned to life. The residents of the town struggle to resume life with their newly resurrected friends and loved ones in normal fashion. Officer Dana Cypress must maintain order in the quarantined village while dealing with murder, black market body part smuggling, and growing panic. This book is very nicely written and easy to read. The characters and story are compelling and the plot moves along at a brisk pace. I consider this to be a fine comic book and definitely worth checking out.
Having subjected myself to the first soul crushing issue of this book, I must now, for your sake dear reader, at least give number two a glance. And while I feel somewhat like Johnny Knoxville preparing to ride scrotum first into a sea of ignited M-80s and broken glass, I must in the name of objectivity put aside my dread and bravely face what is to surely be a traumatic reading experience. On a positive note, I ask myself, how much worse could it be? Perhaps the second issue will be where it all turns around. It’s not unheard of. I might even like it. Pray to the dark god Cthulhu that my features do not flow as tallow from my skull like a Nazi opening the Ark of the Covenant. Nobody likes a clown with a melted face.
I will be the first one to tell you that I am no fan of the kind of garbage Marvel comics has been churning out for ages now. That being said, I do still have a few old favorites loved since childhood. This character first appeared with Ghost Rider in a crossover miniseries called “Rise of the Midnight Sons”. I was new in my love of comics when I discovered this new hero, a scientist turned vampire while trying to reverse an incurable blood disease with an experimental serum derived from bat DNA. When Marvel released this new series featuring Morbius, I was naturally curious. Reading the first seven installments, I can unequivocally state, “Eh, I don’t hate it.” This is still pretty standard super hero comic fare, but one issue did feature Spiderman. I did not find anything really outstanding about this book, but if you’re looking for something for your ten year old to read, this isn’t your worst option.
Another horror anthology comic, Tales from the Grave is a fun read. Hosted by, as you may have deduced from the title, the legendary Bela Lugosi, Dracula himself introduces each of these terrifying short stories. Each one is done by it’s own artists and writers, giving each a unique feel. Another thing I like about this title is that while tongue in cheek is common among books of this type, this one is actually pretty funny. I feel that this vintage style comic is a skillfully executed tribute to some of the greats including, Tales From the Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Tomb of Terror. After some deliberation, this clown has decided on this as one of his new favorites.
Correction: Dark Shadows Year One #5
My fellow horror freaks, I must humbly apologize. I must admit as I kneel trembling before you, that the usually reliable DeathClown may indeed have made an error. Last week I told you about Dark Shadows Year One #5. And while my opinion of the book has not changed, I have discovered that the initial publication date of 8/14/13 is in fact wrong. The actual release date is tomorrow, 8/21/13. If I have offended you with the inaccuracy of my original report, fuck you. I suppose you are Mr./Ms. Perfect and have never made a mistake in your stupid life.