Featured Columns

January 13, 2010
 

Decapitated Dan’s Dark Delights

Hey there Boils and Ghouls. Welcome back to another installment of the Dark Delights. This week we dive into the dungeon of reviews and take a look at Spooksville: The Bone Jangles Cases #1, Gunbreed: Ghost Town Ressurected #1, Vegetable Wars #2, The Killing Jar #2,  Wulf and Batsy Vol.1,  2012: Final Prayer, Dead Future # and Victorian Undead #1.

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Issue: Spooksville: The Bone Jangles Cases #1
Writer: Justin Fox
Artist: John C. Narcomey Jr.
Editor: Daryl Auclair
Publisher: High Tower Comics
Release Date: November 2008
Price: $5.00
Pages: 32
“Welcome to Spooksville. A demented city full of ghouls and ghosts. One particular ghoul is the skeleton detective, Bone Jangles. In this premiere issue, Bone Jangles must protect the Eyeball Kid, soul heir to the Chocolate Geezus Candy Company, from two bumbling hitmen, and the unknown foe who has hired them. If you’re a fan of low-brow art and slapstick/pulp storylines, this comic is for you.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
A very nice looking issue. I think that the art really fits the style well. Plus I like skeletons. The characters remain consistent from panel to panel and it just plays with the humor involved. Overall a very nice job.
Story: 3.7 out of 5
As a whole the story works well. I like the concept, and the style kinda reminds me of The Goon. A very nice job of dealing with the time period too. The only thing I found off was that at times the story seemed a bit rushed and jumpy. But there are some good laughs to be had and I was not let down when looking at the book as a whole.
Dying Breath: 3.9 out of 5
A good book that is solid on the art side and funny on the story side. The two do a nice job coming together and I can say that I want to see more of these characters. This is one for fans of The Goon as it just has that same kinda of vibe and location to it. Very good book overall and worth checking out.
If you would like to buy Spookville: The Bone Jangles Cases #1 or check out more books from High Tower Comics please go to http://www.hightowercomics.com/

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Issue: Gunbreed: Ghost Town Ressurected #1
Writer: Angel Fuentes
Artist: AC Osorio
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: Razor Blade Apple Studios
Release Dates: June 2009
Pages: 24
Price: $3.99

“A grudge is a terrible thing to die for, but a hell of a reason to come back from the dead. Gunbreed is a supernatural western about a Sheriff who witnesses the death of his son and the people of his town at the hands of a criminal gang that practices black magic. Powder Cain comes back from the dead to get his revenge.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
The cover and interiors in this issue have a real nice look to them. Just on character designs alone I am impressed. The coloring brings out another element though and it is what makes this issue shine. Nice looking monsters and some good ol’ gore just make me enjoy what I am looking at even more.

Story: 3.5 out of 5
I liked the overall idea behind this story. I felt that the flaw was it was told too fast. Now that doesn’t mean that the issue moved at too fast of a pace, just that there seemed to be jumps from this part to that part, and it left me a little confused. However when I was done with the issue I got the overall idea down nicely. I just would have rather seen it play out over 3 or 4 parts.

Dying Breath: 3.7 out of 5
This is the first book I have had the pleasure of checking out from Razor Blade Apple Studios, and I liked it. The artwork does shine above the story here, but I think that with time the two can easily balance each other out. I look forward to seeing where this series goes, because I think there is something to build on for sure.

If you would like to buy Gunbreed: Ghost Town Ressurected #1 and check out what else Razor Blade Apple Studios is up to please go to http://www.razorbladeapple.com/
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Issue: Vegetable Wars #2
Writer: Peter Caton
Artist: Greg Hiatt
Publisher: Caton-Hiatt Comics
Release Date: August 2009
Pages: 16
Price: $3.50

“Enter the nightmare. Mad Scientist’s nefarious plan for world domination continues. The tension is thick in the air. Anxiety. Anticipation, trickle down the spine of everyone watching these gruesome events unfold. Events, unspeakable in every aspect. Every shadow and flavor, tainted by the foul, filth of X. It has been six days since Mad Scientist gave the vegetables life. Six days… and we are now on the seventh. Awaiting feverishly what will emerge from the old armory. Come now, take my hand and witness these terrible events for yourself. Behold the terror. The madness. Live this nightmare with us all!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
You know, back when I reviewed issue #1 I really liked the artwork. Well that has now just turned into a full blown crush. I am blown away not only but the style of the characters but looking at them in color just adds so much depth to the look of this book. I already want to own these action figures. From panel to panel I think that this issue show cased more of what Hiatt can do. Then of course there is the Zombie Cow which is flat out GORE-GEOUS!

Story: 3.8 out of 5
This issue shows more growth on the part of the writing. I think when I read issue #1, I felt it jumped back and forth a good deal. The narrator voice in this issue is more solid, the writing is much more deep, and overall it flows much better. A good way to explain what you’re getting here is to think back to some classic horror books where you were told a story and pictures just went along with it. I won’t get to deep into it but the extra Zombie Cow story, oh man! An excellent job on this issue.

Dying Breath: 3.9 out of 5
So lets start with this nice little stat. It took me 25 minutes to read these 16 pages. That is a lot of material. I read another book right after this one that had 24 pages, finished it in under 10 minutes. The growth from the creative team from issue #1 to #2 is great. The artwork just floors me and now that I understand the storytelling style I am hooked. It still gets me a little on the placement of the wording. I kinda wish it would just stick to one side of the panel, but it’s not a big distraction to where I didn’t want to read anymore.

If you would like to know more about or buy Vegetable Wars #2 go to http://www.thevegetablewars.com/.

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Issue: The Killing Jar #2
Writer / Creator: Justin Zimmerman
Pencils: Russell Brown
Lettering and Design: Shannon Zimmerman
Inks: Tom Jacobs
Cover: Heather A. Riggs & Justin Zimmerman
Publisher: Bricker-Down Productions
Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 28
Price: $4.00

“A small Colorado town. Three drug runners with a van filled with product. Two police officers investigating suspicious activity. A heroic young woman with a violent past, a mentally handicapped little brother and her dead father’s .38 police special. And a throng of ravenous townspeople out of their minds with drug lust. Mix and…BANG!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
This is such a nice looking book. I like the abstract covers that open into some amazing looking interiors. The characters are so consistent from panel to panel. The shading and inking just adds to how great the pages look. The last three pages of the issue are some pinups that they should be selling as posters too. Just all around, this book looks spectacular.

Story: 3.8 out of 5
The story continues on at a fast pace in this issue. It would be my only downside to it. I want to say it took me ten minutes to finish and while that’s not horrible, I just want there to be more. I love what is going on here. It is nice and action packed from front to back but when it ends I just need to know more. I hate you cliffhanger endings! The dialogue is clear and the story follows a very nice path. It’s what you want in a good comic.

Dying Breath: 3.9 out of 5
So lets see, overall we have some killer artwork, a very interesting action packed story and a headless reviewer who is hooked. The creative team on this seems to be knocking them dead on every page. So why is it that you are not reading this yet?

If you would like to know more about The Killing Jar and to purchase copy please go to comixpress.com

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Issue: Wulf & Batsy Vol.1
Writer / Creator / Artist: Bryan Baugh
Cover Illustration & Introduction: Josh Howard
Publisher: Crypt Logic Comics
Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 240
Price: $20.00

“Nominated as BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK of 2008 by the Rondo Hatton Awards! Wulf and Batsy by Bryan Baugh chronicles the adventures of a ferocious werewolf and his cute female vampire companion, as they wander the earth in search of a place to call home. Along their way they run into angry villagers, zombies, mad scientists, and a horde of other weird monsters. Wulf and Batsy, Volume 1 is the first collected trade paperback in this series. This 240-page volume contains the first 2 complete Wulf and Batsy stories: “We Have No Home” and “Bizarre Experiments”. Also included is a Pin-Up section featuring images of Wulf and Batsy drawn by guest artists such as Josh Howard, David Hartman, and others. The last section of the book is a 40-page supplement, packed with sketches and explanatory text, showing how the characters were created and how the stories were developed.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
I will start out plain and simple, Bryan Baugh is easily on my top 5 favorite artists list. This collection does nothing but make me sit back and wish I could draw zombies, skeletons, vampires and monsters this good. Alright, so now that we got that out of the way, the character designs are very cool, especially Wulf, and they stay consistent from panel to panel. So why do I give it a 4.3? The art isn’t rich in detail, but it’s playful and fun. It makes the subject matter seem light hearted when it’s not. It’s a great trick. So jumping to the extras in this collection, Bryan does a cool job of throwing in some history on how the characters were developed and some of his old page designs. Overall I can’t get enough of it.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
This is what shines above and beyond here. There is this old-school sense of Harvey comic, where your favorite little characters get into trouble and have to be saved somehow. I mean it’s such a simple premise but it’s so dark. So while your thinking it’s kid-like in nature the themes are so adult you can’t go wrong. Mix that in with the humor of Captain Bloodclot’s Famous Novelties and you’re easily entertained for two hours. I touched on the artwork in the extras section but Brayn also supplies you with some real in depth commentary. Walking you through his designs and process is a real nice touch.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
So overall you got Super Fan Decapitated Dan praising this collection because it is just that damn good. The artwork and story are fun and playful but also quite decieving. You will know what I mean when you see this cute little werwolf tear off a man’s jaw. I was highly entertained from start to finish and all I know is I want more. So while I go over to Bryan’s house and force him to start making more issues, you go and buy this trade. I cannot reccomend it enough.

If you would like to know more about Wulf & Batsy Vol.1 or to purchase a copy please go to http://www.cryptlogic.net
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Issue: 2012: Final Prayer
Writers: Robert Heske, Chris McJunkin, Ollie Masters, Shawn Gabborin, Jim Alexander, Shamere Borg, Xander Bennett, Arno Hurter, Christopher Barker, Craig Gilmore, Rita Gorgoni, Adam Grose, Dino Caruso, Don Smith, Jr., Duncan Eagleson, Jason Light, Martin Hayes
Artists: Chris McJunkin, Andy Fish, Mario Cau, Andrew Dodd, David Edwards, Marc Jameson, Monty Borror, Stefano Cardoselli, Tony Suleri, Sami Kivela, Jason Dube, Adam Swiecki, Stephen Downey, Dirk Shearer, Anthony Diecidue, Zeu, Reno Maniquis, Melanie Cook
Letters: Andy Fish, Mario Cau, Andrew Dodd, Melanie Cook, Arno Hurter, Marc Jameson, Monty Borror, David Paul, Tony Suleri, Ed Brisson, Jason Dube, Adam Swiecki, Stephen Downey
Covers: Preston Asevedo, Paul Cartwright, Chris McJunkin
Publisher: Heske Horror
Release Date: November 2009
Pages: 154
Price: $15.00

“What will go down on 12/21/12? Extinction … Ecstasy … Or another Y2K non-event? Comic Creators from around the world share their creative interpretations! From the award-winning publisher of BONE CHILLER, comes an “End Times” anthology that is truly a global event. 2012: FINAL PRAYER features graphic tales from indie comic creators from the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and South Africa.”

Artwork: 3.8 out of 5
Wow, this is a nice collection of artists. Each has a unique style that really plays well with the stories of impending doom. I have to say that some of them really had a disturbing touch, while others were more on the realistic side. They all stand out in their own right. Each artist really did a great job on the consistency of his or her work, as it all reads perfectly to the eye.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
You know it’s the psychological horror that gets me every time. I cannot stand to think of what might happen in 2012, if anything, and here I have 20 stories of possible scenarios. This was a head trip for me, that is for sure. The stories are broken down into sections, which is a nice touch to break down the mixed themes. I was kinda happy to get to the humor section. Of all the stories the one I have to point out as my favorite, probably because I am a Cubs fan, is Hollow Victory. What an awesome ending.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
This is a great collection of original stories by some amazing writers and artists. The styles are all so different and yet I am still so freaked out after reading each and every one. You know I say give me some monsters and I will tell you how funny they are, but if you make me think about the world ending, you got me scared. This is an excellent anthology that is just fun and hopefully not going to come true, otherwise I am burying my head in the sand.

If you would like to know more about or purchase a copy of 2012: Final Prayer please go to http://www.coldbloodedchillers.com
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Issue: Dead Future #1
Writers: Martin Brandt II, Roberto Macedo Alves
Artists: Paul Petyo, Martinho Abreu, Roberto Macedo
Letters: Paul Petyo, Martin Brandt II, Josh Gorfain
Publisher: Grim Crew
Release Date: October 2009
Pages: 40
Price: $3.99

” There is a story that is passed down through the ages. This tale of the undead, arisen to devour the living, leaving nothing but a wasteland behind them. Yes, that is what you find here. Contained within the pages you will be taken on a twisted ride through the end of the world. From docile day dwelling zombies to a side line view from space as the world falls apart and back to one beginning of it all. When you reach the end you will truly come to understand our, Dead Future. Dead Future is a zombie outbreak anthology, with contribution from writers and artists all over the world.”

Artwork: 3.8 out of 5
This book has a really unique look and feel to it. Maybe it was just because the first story was done with photography, but it was kind of nice. A good way to separate itself from other anthologies out there. The two other shorts were very well done too. Both did a great job of capturing the atmosphere that the story conveyed. Overall this is a nice looking issue that offers something different.

Story: 3.8 out of 5
I love some zombie stories, I really do. What i noticed here were three very original takes that I had not seen done yet. Each story had good dialogue and did a nice job completing itself with a short amount of pages. I really liked Major Tom because it’s one of those stories that makes you wonder what would happen, and of course it has the nice ironic ending.

Dying Breath: 3.8 out of 5
This is a really cool anthology of zombie stories. From all the different variations I have read, these are pretty original. I loved that idea with the photograph style, makes it kind of like a movie. What it all comes down to is this, if you like zombie stories check it out. It can easily stand out from some of the other ones that are out there.

If you would like to know more about or purchase a copy of Dead Future #1 please go to http://www.grimcrew.com/
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Issue: Victorian Undead #1
Writer: Ian Edginton
Artist: Davide Fabbri
Cover: Tony Moore
Publisher: Wildstorm
Release Date: November 2009
Pages: 24
Price: $2.99

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. Those are the words of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the world’s first consulting detective, yet even he finds his skills tested to their limit as he and his erstwhile comrade Dr. John Watson are confronted with the most extraordinary case of their career – the dead are returning to life! Can a plague of Biblical proportions be far behind for Victorian London? And who – or what – is behind the resurrection of these ravenous revenants?

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
To me this is what was the highlight of this issue. I really enjoyed the style on the cover by Moore, and the interiors by Fabbri. Each panel was really well done. The characters were consistent from panel to panel. And of course who doesn’t like a good, scary looking zombie.

Story: 3.0 out of 5
So maybe it’s just me here, but I thought that the issue was kind of jumpy. It starts off with the nice event on how the zombies are “made” but doesn’t go into great detail. Then it jumps a few years ahead. A nice introduction to who Holmes and Watson are but I am not sure it was necessary. By that I mean just in terms of this issue. I would have liked more build up overall.

Dying Breath: 3.5 out of 5
Really great art and an okay story starts off this new mini-series. The story needed to pick itself up and leave out what I think could have been used on a quick recap/intro page. While I was not super impressed by what I read, I am still kind of intrigued to see where it might go. So be prepared for a review of issue #2.

If you would like to know more about or purchase a copy of Victorian Undead #1 please go to your local comic shop and grab a copy.

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Decapitated Dan
decapitateddan@comicattack.net

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