Comic Publishers

March 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 Church of Hell #3, The Anchor #1, The Ghoul #1, The Punisher #12, Orc Stain #1, DreamKeepers Vol #2, Nightmare World Volume 1 and Possessions Vol. 1

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Issue: Church of Hell #3
Writer:
Alan Grant
Pencils & Inks:
Glen Fabry
Covers:
Clint Langley, Rich Buckler
Letters & Colors: Ryan Brown
Publisher: Berserker Comics
Release Date:
January 2010
Pages: 24
Price: $3.99

“Dom Ragnar hoped that his troubles were almost over, that his horrific nightmare was at last coming to an end. But Satan takes a personal interest in every sinner, and his boast is that he’s never lost one yet. The Road to Hell is wide and easy to travel, and Dom will find it much harder to get off than it ever was to get on!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
Oh what’s this visual delight I see before me, could it be another amazing looking book from Berserker? Why yes it is. This issue looks fantastic. The character designs are solid from page to page and I cannot help but feel grossed out when I see the deformed images of the disfigured main character. What I really loved about this issue was the demons. They look great. The coloring is spot on and adds so much more to what I was looking at that it just makes me smile.

Story: 3.5 out of 5
The story here seems to build slowly. Sure the first two issues were a great build on the character development which pushed the story along, but I felt it might be going slower than it should. So with issue #3 we finally move out into the world and see what ills can befall our troubled star. I like how the writing played on my mind, kind of helping me distinguish between what is right and wrong while I see the main character’s misery unravel. Good progression here and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Dying Breath: 3.5 out of 5
This is a great looking issue that is kind of hard to sum up story wise. I only say that because I don’t want to give much away. It is kind of like a journey into madness brought on by bad choices. I do like what they have going on over at Berserker, amazing talent on all sides and that is something that keeps me coming back again and again. Check this series out and maybe you will learn how to behave, you damn devils!

If you would like to buy Church of Hell or check out check out what else Berserker Comics is working on go to http://www.churchofhellcomic.com
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Issue: The Anchor #1
Writer:
Phil Hester
Artist:
Brian Churilla
Colors: Mathew Wilson
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Editors: Matt Gagnon
Cover Artists: Brian Churilla, Rafael Albuqurque
Cover Colors: Dave Stewart
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date:
October 2009
Pages:
24
Price: $3.99

“The Anchor. Holy warrior, unholy war. Freak of nature, beast of burden, hulking outcast, medieval prize fighter, Viking raider, God’s leg-breaker. One thousand years ago a hulking outcast sought refuge in the crumbling ruins of an ancient monastery, offering in return the one thing he had to give – his fists. Transformed into an immortal warrior monk standing at the gates of Hell itself to keep our world free from its invading armies, The Anchor is mysteriously tricked into centuries of slumber. But today, this holy warrior rises to battle all the unholy monsters unleashed during his slumber. Cataclysmic action, quirky humor, and profound pathos for fans of Hellboy and The Goon.

Artwork: 3.5 out of 5
Welcome to the world of The Anchor, a mix of two worlds actually, that is portrayed beautifully within these pages. I really like the character designs and the whole concept of what is being shown here. The depiction of the two worlds look great and the fight scenes are GORE-geous. I have to point out that the scene where the blood shoots out was presented with such humor that I could not stop laughing. This is a great looking book.

Story: 4.0 out of 5

This is not what I was expecting at all. I love the idea that the main character is fighting on two different worlds at the same time. I mean how cool is that, working within both worlds to fight the evils presented to him! I really liked the build up of who’s who and only hope that future issues will gain more depth. From start to finish you get a great story that of course has a nice ending that leaves you wanting to know more.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
There is something special hiding behind the cover here, I can just feel it. While the first issue isn’t going to give the whole can of beans away, it does an amazing job of getting you interested. The artwork is solid and the story is intriguing and unique. I can not wait to read more.

If you would like to buy The Anchor you can grab it at your local comic shop. For more on BOOM! Studios please check out http://www.boom-studios.com/

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Issues: The Ghoul #1
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Colors: Tom Smith
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Tom Waltz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 2009
Pages: 32
Price: $3.99

When Los Angeles Detective Lieutenant Lloyd Klimpt finds himself in the middle of a Hollywood mystery that falls way outside the norm, he knows he’s going to need a different kind of help than he’s used to. He finds it in the bizarre form of The Ghoul, a monstrous investigator with a reputation for solving the world’s weirdest crimes. Written and created by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), with art by industry legend Bernie Wrightson.

Artwork: 3.5 out of 5
I have always been a big fan of Bernie Wrightson and I did enjoy the overall look of this issue. However, I found at times the inks to be overpowering to the point where the whole panel seemed too dark. Now I get the feel for the noir/monster story, but I just found it to be a bit too much. The coloring was great as it gave off that needed vibe to set the story. So overall it worked but there were some instances where I was put off.

Story: 3.0 out of 5
The story in this issue seemed to stall a bit. Sure I get the idea that you don’t want to give too much away, but I didn’t feel enough was presented. The case that our two characters are working on is presented nicely, but everything else just wasn’t defined the way I thought it should have been for a first issue. Even the cliffhanger style ending seemed strange as it didn’t fit with the rest of the story. I am intrigued enough to continue on but I hope some more build up can be brought to the table.

Dying Breath: 3.0 out of 5
I liked the artwork but it wasn’t enough to overcome what holes I saw in the story. The issue seemed short, as you get a backup tale that ended up taking pages that could have been used for more of the comic. But that’s just how I feel. I think getting Niles and Wrightson on the same book can easily make it a winner, I just want to get more from it with issue #2.

If you would like to know more about The Ghoul you can go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/
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Issues: The Punisher #12
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore
Colors: Dan Brown
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Mike McKine, Morry Hollowell
Editors: Sebastian Girner, Alex Alonso
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: January 2009
Pages: 28
Price: $2.99

The Punisher is dead, so who, or what, is the giant patchwork monster skulking through the tunnels under New York? And what do those strange armored Japanese hunters tracking him want? Criminals are no longer being killed; they are simply vanishing into thin air. Listen closely, you can hear their pleas far below the streets. Those forgotten by society have a new protector. The Legion of Monsters has found a new leader.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I have to admit I have a soft spot for some Tony Moore. Whether it was Fear Agent or The Exterminators I have always just loved the look of his work. This issue falls into the same class as those great titles. I really like the sketchy style he is using here and all of the monsters just look fabulous, except for one. I can not get over how Morbius comes off. He just seems too old. That aside though, the colors shine and the cover rocks. Overall a great looking issue.

Story: 3.5 out of 5
I will make this very clear, I am judging this issue on the story presented. Just like Moore, I am a huge Remender fan, and while this issue has some great moments I felt it was kind of slow. Sure I get that we need time to build up the new Frank and his location, but there was not too much to really keep me going within the issue. The dialogue is great but the pacing seemed off. After a while though we get some nice progress and a good ending to take us into the next issue.

Dying Breath: 3.5 out of 5
I liked this issue overall. I think if you can look at it within itself and not at what you expect, you’ll find a fun twist on an old classic. And who doesn’t love some Legion of Monsters! The artwork is great in this one while the story slowly moved along, I will be on board to see how Frank handles this new situation.

If you would like to know more about The Punisher you can go to http://www.marvel.com/
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Issues: Orc Stain #1
Creator, Writer, Artist & Colorist: James Stokoe
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 2010
Pages: 36
Price: $2.99

A one-eyed orc with the ability to find the weak spot in any structure has started to notice cracks in the endless war and conquest of orc existence. JAMES STOKOE, who won over hearts and minds with his space trucking cooking adventure Wonton Soup, brings you his first ongoing series. Frontline green slaughter comics in full orc color.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
Wow! Well okay hold on let me try to rephrase that…WOWZA! There that’s much better. This issue is amazing in detail, color and just all around fantastical beauty. Sure I am making up words but, when there aren’t words to describe something, that is what ya gotta do! This book has the look that it should be in an issue of Heavy Metal and by all means  it is NOT for all ages; it hits that mature audience market. The characters and the world around them are so detailed that you could spend hours just looking at the panels. Hands down amazing issue here.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
While the art just hits the ground running the story seemed to build as it went along. The dialogue took me a little time to get used to but I got the hang of it. I love what is going on here, as I was brought into this vast world of monsters and everything just seems to contain so much evil. The idea of using actual creatures as safes was so cool and yet so disturbing. I am hooked and cannot wait to see where this goes, because I think that there are endless possibilities in this world.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5

The artwork may have taken off out of the gate, but the story sure did catch up fast. I can’t even begin to dive into how much I am looking forward to issue #2.  Once again, this is a mature book and the closest I can come to a similar idea would be within the pages of Heavy Metal. This one is unique and fresh which just leaves the possibilities so wide open. I will be on board with this for a long time. Check this book out.

If you would like to know more about Orc Stain you can go to http://www.imagecomics.com/
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Issue: Dream Keepers Vol 2: Flight to Starfall
Story & Artwork:
Liz Thomas, David Lillie
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Release Date:
2008
Pages: 104
Price: $19.95

“The dreamworld is a mysterious reality that parallels our own. Humans cannot enter this plane – we can only catch fleeting glimpses of it through our dreaming minds. Dark things lurk in this fantasy world, however – and we are vulnerable while we sleep. They thirst to cross from their world into our unconscious and defenseless minds – using our dreams as the bridge. The only thing blocking their path is the existence of the dreamkeepers.

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5
WOW! And I thought Vol. 1 was an amazing looking book. We might as well just jump right into the colors on this. One word can easily sum them up: Breathtaking. The way that the environments are detailed is just jaw dropping, and then you add the characters on top of it and you have a near flawless looking book. The design and style of the characters is fun and inviting, but the winner in this volume was the Tongue Monster. Haha. Overall I don’t know what more can be done to make this book look any better.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
The story in this volume doesn’t deal with as much horror and monster material as the first did, but it is an excellent read. As the story moves forward I understood better who the characters really were. The dialogue is believable and even though we have cute characters, it does not dumb down the edge. So many things are going on here and Lillie and Thomas have done a great job to make it all work. A solid read.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Hands down one of the most gore-geous books I have ever seen. The story is fun and really addicting. I want to read volume 3 yesterday. This is a great concept done right and I just want to see it all collected into one massive volume in the end. How none of the major companies have picked this up yet is beyond me. Check this story out, that’s about all I can really say.

If you would like to buy Dream Keepers Vol.2 or if you want to check out what the creators are up to, please go to http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com
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Issue: Nightmare World Volume 1: Thirteen Tales of Terror
Writer:
Dirk Manning
Artwork: Len O’Grady, Erich Owen, Anthony Peruzzo, Jeff Welborn, Ray Dillon, Kristen Perry, Jamie Jones, Mark Winters, , Mark Matlock, Marvin del Mundo, Jason Meek, Dominic Marco, Austin McKinley, Josh Ross, Dan Boultwood, Renae de Liz
Letters: Jim Reddington, Anthony Peruzzo, Mark Winters, Austin McKinley, Ray Dillon
Editor: Kristen Simon
Publisher: Shadowline
Release Date:
October 2009
Pages: 128
Price: $15.99

“Psychological horror in the vein of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt! In this first “Definitive” Collection of stories from the acclaimed online comic series, we delve into a world of ghostly lovers, demonic abductors, vengeful victims, and sexy Cthulhu priestesses as these loosely connected stories weave an epic tale of a world not unlike our own where nothing is what it seems. Welcome to Nightmare World! Written by “Write Or Wrong” Newsarama columnist Dirk Manning, featuring remastered art, extras, and a new in-continuity prose story.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I don’t know what it is about large anthologies that I love more, the art or the stories. In this collection there are some great art styles. Not a single one of them was a let down from one page to the next. Each artist had a unique style that they brought to their stories, adding to the demented tales. My personal favorites were Anthony Peruzzo and Dan Boultwood, but overall an amazing group.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
I take my hat off to these anthology writers who do EVERY SINGLE STORY. Manning does an amazing job bringing you something new on every page. The forward by Arvid Nelson does an amazing job summing up how hard it is to do something like this and make it work. Sure you don’t get this massive story, but each one of these shorts had what it takes to work. I really enjoyed “Knee Deep in the Dead” because it was so funny, even though it was so over the top.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
Anthologies are tough to review. One story might grab you while the next one makes you want to put the book down. This collection works from page 1 to page 128. Manning does a great job of keeping your interest from story to story, as they are all unique. Then when you add in the artists, it just takes it one step further, making this one a great book. Check it out, it’s a great price and worth the read, because it’s all just silly horror goodness!

If you would like to buy Nightmare World Volume 1: Thirteen Tales of Terror you can grab a copy from Amazon.com or get one through your local comic shop.
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Issue: Possessions Vol. 1: Unlean Getaway
Writer and Illustrator:
Ray Fawkes
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date:
March 2010
Pages: 88
Price: $5.99

“Meet Gurgazon the Unclean, the cuddliest little pit demon ever trapped in the Llewellyn-Vane House for Captured Spirits and Ghostly Curiosities! This pit demon may look just like a cute little 5-year old girl, but it isn’t interested in playing checkers with other ghosts. The Gurgazon is determined to escape! Will the house contain it? Or will the world of peace and friendly bunnies come to an end as the Gurgazon exacts its revenge?

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
You know it’s not always the most detailed work that can make a story seem perfect. In this book Fawkes does an amazing job of capturing the correct feel and look needed to get this great story across. So why a 4 rating? It’s just due to the style. Each panel is fun, and I love the look of Gurgazon when she gets all crazy faced. The other factor that sells this is the 2 tone printing. Choosing green was the right move with all the vomit scenes. A great looking book.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
I didn’t know what to expect with this one. I will admit this is not something I would even look at on a trip to the LCS, but I may have to keep an eye out now for a gem like this. The story wasn’t shocking and suspenseful, but it was fun and fresh. The dialogue was full of humor and was always on point. There was never a moment that left me wondering what was going on. The real surprise here was the build up. I thought it might just be a done in one story, but there were some good plot lines left open for more.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
It’s hard to remember at times that there really are other types of horror out there. I can get so focused on the next big zombie book and easily over look something like this. The artwork and story can not flow together any better than here. If you’re looking to find a book that steps away from the traditional horror and have some fun check this one out, it is worth it.

If you would like to buy Possessions Vol. 1: Unlean Getaway you should be able to get it at your Local Comic Shop with the Diamond Code: JAN10 1074. You can find more info at http://www.onipress.com/
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Decapitated Dan
decapitateddan@comicattack.net

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7 Comments


  1. infinite speech

    I remember reading the premise to Anchor in Previews a while back and it looked pretty interesting and fun. Glad to see it’s a decent read though. Nightmare World looks worth checking out I’m sure with that many stories there’s something good in there. Thanks Dan



  2. great as usual Dan!
    Though clearly I think more of The Ghoul than you do. I had nothing bad to say about that title.
    Just curious, Have you read 2, yet? if so, what’d you think?


  3. DecapitatedDan

    I did read Ghoul #2 and found it to be the same thing. It’s strange though because your talking about 2 modern masters of the genre, and to me it just falls flat. But to each his own. I mean I can love so many books that I am sure others don’t like.


  4. billy

    I don’t follow Punisher but I do want that issue for the cover. The Ghoul(cover) looks like Tombstone by the way. lol



  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComicAttack: Decapitated Dan reviews some of the hottest horror titles on the shelves in his quick hit style!! http://tinyurl.com/ycn4u94 #comics #horror…



  6. Ok, I’m convinced: I’ll check out Orc Stains!!

    Oh, and Frankencastle? Yikes.


  7. Aron White

    “Well, shit the bed!”, that guy on the cover of CHURCH OF HELL #3 looks like none other than my friend and yours…Captain Spaulding!

    I dropped THE PUNISHER series back when it was still in single digits. It was too “Mickey Mouse” for me. I think Garth Ennis has me spoiled when it comes to Punisher books. I even dropped the MAX title after Gregg Hurwitz’s “Girls in White Dresses” story line. (I’m thinkin’ I need to get in on Jason Aaron’s run. Anyone recommend it?) But, Franken-Castle? What the hell happened?! Do I even want to know?! Is it “real” or an alternate universe tale?



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