Comic Publishers

October 26, 2009

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 Asylum of Horrors #1, Bad Kids Go To Hell #1, Grave Tales #6, Beautiful Creatures #1, Book of Legion: The Second Coming, Fearless Dawn #1, Pencilneck #1 and Split Lip Volume 1.
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Issue: The Asylum of Horrors #1
Writers & Artists: Frank Forte, Symon Kudranski, Kevin Colden, Billy George, Riste Sekuloski, Nenad Gucunja, Aaron Rintoul, Marcin Ponomarew, J.C. Wong, Robert S. Rhine, GMB Chomichuck, Attila Futaki, David Paleo, Tim Vigil
Cover: Aly Fell
Editor: Elizabeth J. Musgrave
Publisher: Asylum Press
Release Date: September 2008
Pages: 96
Price: $4.95

“Giant sized first issue! The inmates at the ASYLUM bring you a new breed of horror. This anthology features 13 stories from the best writer’s and artists in the industry. Plenty of creep, gore and twists for fans of horror comics old and new.”

Wow. I just finished dancing a nice old fashioned jig after reading this one. Fantastic collection of 13 stories for only pennies! This book delivers on so many different levels. Ranging from subtle horror stories to in your face gross out gore, it has it all.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
The first thing that will grab you is the cover art. “Hey ladies. Here’s my number give me a call sometime.” Just a fantastic piece that I want as a poster. Some of the art styles that I think stand out are “Ruined Earth,” which has a great old style look that screams Creepy and Eerie. I love the two one-page shorts that were illustrated by Gucunja and Paleo. I have to give mention to the David Hartman contribution as well. I have found myself staring at his website for hours. Overall nothing is sub par. Every artist brought it to the table.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
The stories range in so much variety as well. From the awesome introduction of “The Doctor” until the end when we meet him again, the entire book covers it all. The ones that I will point out as my favorites were “Black Milk,” which deals with Lovecraft style monsters. I will say “Ruined Earth” again, which is probably my fave all around; there is just something about that style that I love to death. Zombies, Monsters, Deals with the Devil, Serial Killers and Mad Scientists; really, what isn’t included.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
So overall you get 13 amazing stories, 96 pages of gore-geous art, and all for under $5. This one is a no brainer. Even if you can’t stand to look at the book because the pictures make you want to hurl, you aren’t gonna lose. This appeals to all of the horror fans out there, and I can guarantee that there is something for everyone. So stop reading this and go check it out.

If you would like to get The Asylum of Horrors #1, please go to www.asylumpress.com or get your comic shop to order it through Haven Distribution. If you would like to know more about The Asylum of Horrors #1 or the other Asylum Press titles, please go to www.asylumpress.com
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Issue: Bad Kids go to Hell #1
Writers: Matt Spradlin and Barry “Bazza” Wernick
Characters and Story Creation: Matt Spradlin and Barry “Bazza” Wernick
Pencils and Inks: Anthony Vargas
Colors: A.P. Colors
Letters: Lamar Pye
Publisher: Antarctic Press
Release Date: July 2009
Pages: 48
Price: $3.50

The Breakfast Club meets The Grudge in this sexy, dark comedy-thriller mini-series. A construction crew discovers a primal supernatural force when they break ground for a new commemorative library for Crestview Academy, a prestigious Midwestern prep school and home to the spoiled offspring of the city’s social elite. Three years later, six of Crestview’s richest (and hottest) students are brought together for detention inside the library. Bored, the kids goad one another into a half-hearted seance, only the joke turns deadly when they rouse an angry spirit – and start to die one by one in horrible accidents.”

The Breakfast Club meets the Grudge sure seems spot on as a description for this series. This issue is a nice introduction into these kids’ world as you learn they are nothing but spoiled brats, and I can’t wait for some to get knocked off. Great artwork and a “killer” story are found within these pages, and this issue leaves you wanting more.

Artwork: 4.2 out of 5
I really liked the artwork in this book. I think Vargas did a great job keeping everything consistent. The panels were nicely done and easy to follow. On page 27 there is one bad ass looking ghost too. The style really reminds me of Eric Battles work over at Dable Brothers (Wild Cards), and I love his style. I cannot wait to see what kind of monsters he has in store. Awesome job on this issue.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
So I will admit I hate The Breakfast Club. So for a book to kind of travel down the same story lines of kids stuck in detention, I was a bit apprehensive at first. The writers though really grabbed my attention, and held it throughout the issue. They did a great job setting up the story; explaining why the school is haunted, who the kids are, and giving hints as to what we can expect. This is a first issue done right.

Dying Breath: 4.2 out of 5
Overall I highly enjoyed this book. The art is spot on from panel to panel, and the story is entertaining. What’s in store for the kids is up in the air, but I know it will be an awesome mini series already. If they are going to use the Breakfast Club comparison, then this is the one I would rather be entertained by. Plus 48 pages at $3.50, why are you not picking this one up?

Bad Kids go to Hell #1 has already sold out. So go to your comic shop and see if they still have a copy. If they don’t have it, make them order it so a second printing can get into the works!

If you would like to know more about Bad Kids go to Hell #1 please go to www.badkidsgotohell.com/ or if you want to check out the other Antarctic Press titles please go to www.antarctic-press.com/
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Issue: Grave Tales #6
Writers: Joe Hill, Robert Morrish, Ray Garton
Artists: Seth Fisher, Langdon Foss, Glenn Chadbourne
Cover Artist: Ray Garton
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Release Date: March 2009
Pages: 40
Price: $3.95

“A brand new horror anthology comic book presented by the World Fantasy Award-winning magazine Cemetery Dance, each issue will feature three tales of terror from today’s most popular authors! If you were a fan of the old Warren comics (Creepy and Eerie) and the legendary EC horror books (such as Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror), you will absolutely love Grave Tales!”

Cemetery Dance Publications has a winner on their hands here. An awesome collection of 3 stories and great artwork that follows along the lines of other great horror titles.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
The cover on this issue really grabs my attention. The way it is drawn and colored reminds me of some great Tales From the Crypt books. The interiors are just as stunning, with two very different styles. Fisher and Foss’ work is fantastic, and the panels flow so well together. Chadbourne’s work is different and detailed. It reminds me of Vincent Locke’s work on the early Deadworld issues.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
My main draw in this book is Hill’s story (read Locke & Key). The three stories are fresh and fun, with good horror nestled in between. The writers know the medium well and are able to put the terror in you while reading. Very nicely done.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I know that there is a good mix of horror anthologies out there; trust me, I read them all. What makes Grave Tales stand out to me is the quality of the work by the creative teams. This issue in particular was really good. The stories and art will have you trembling in fear, and what more can you ask for in a good horror comic? Pick an issue up and give it a chance.

If you would like to get a copy of Grave Tales #6 please go to www.cemeterydance.com and grab one. If you would like to know more about Grave Tales and other Cemetery Dance products please go to www.cemeterydance.com

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Issue: Beautiful Creatures #1
Writers: Kurtis Wiebe
Pencils: Ash Jackson
Colors: Frank Zigarelli
Letters: Frank Zigarelli
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 50
Price: $4.95

“They say we all have a monster lurking inside of us. Four beautiful college girls uncover their secret passengers – mythic creatures of a long dead age. The surfacing of their true nature hurls them into a hidden world of awakening magic, wonder and monsters.

A cool and fun idea that is brought to the pages of the comic in a very nice way. This is one fast paced, well written and visually stunning. The issue introduces the main characters well enough and also jumps right in to get the story rolling, which it needs to since it’s only a two parter. A definite purchase in my opinion.

Artwork: 4.2 out of 5
I really enjoy the look and feel of this issue. From the ways the main girls are drawn to the little Redcaps, which look so awesome, this issue just fits with Red 5. It just has that style. The panels are great and flow just as fast as the story does. The colors really work well on top of the pencils. A great visual presentation.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
Like I mentioned above a great first issue. The story moves at a fast but good pace, it had me interested due to the great opening scene. The story does a good job of introducing you to the characters and explaining what is going on. On that same note though some things are just touched on and as a reader I was expecting to know what was going on. Overall though it makes sense and is fun.

Dying Breath: 4.2 out of 5
I highly enjoyed this issue, then again I have been on the Red 5 bandwagon since the beginning, and not one title yet has been bad in my opinion. The story here is funny and action packed. Plus you get 50 pages for under $5, so how can you lose? I know I can’t wait to see what happens in the second issue and I think #1 is worth your time.

Beautiful Creatures #1 is available for preorder now. So go to your comic shop and tell them to order you a copy, Diamond Code JUL091028. You can also have them order it through Haven Distribution. If you would like to know more about Beautiful Creatures #1 or if you want to check out the other Red 5 Comics titles please go to http://www.red5comics.com/

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Issue: Book of Legion: The Second Coming
Writers: Ryan Mojica, F.S. Hayes, Tom Sullivan
Pencils: Ryan Mojica, Anton Ruggiero, Rodolfo Buscaglia, James Helkowski
Greytones: Mean James Helkowski
Letters: Warren Montgomery, Anton Ruggiero
Publisher: Legion Studios
Release Date: May 2004
Pages: 44
Price: $3.95

“Volume II in the continuing Anthology of Horror. The mad priest is back, delving into further chapters from the primEVIL Book that is his bane – The Book of Legion. Will you choose to heed his warnings or turn away from all his depraved preaching?

You wanted more torture and agony… Prepare to enter the Second circle on your descent into Hell!”

An even better collection in my opinion than the first. Book of Legion: The Second Coming has more depth and thought in it than I would expect and it had me thinking and wondering why it is not preached on a higher level. Taking a cue from the first issue, following along the demonic side of horror stories, this book does not disappoint on its terror level.

Artwork: 4.2 out of 5
The book contains 3 stories and storyteller pages like most anthologies do. The artwork is great for each story and all contain a very creepy feel. I personally love the Mad Priest, he really disturbs me, and I find that style of art the most appealing. But each story is unique and none are below par.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
When I read this issue it brought back these strange thoughts that I used to get reading issues of Negative Burn. Kind of like the sense of hopelessness found in futuristic tales where everything is bleak. The stories all convey satanic messages and it’s strange that this is the only book I have found to do that, which makes it so original. This is a market they own the corner in and so much space to move around in. Great job.

Dying Breath: 4.2 out of 5
A great collection of stories and artwork. This is unlike any anthology title you will find. It’s kind of like these guys have found their own little style of horror and they are running wild with it. With a lot of promise to come I will be following this very closely in the future. Hands down a great anthology title.

If you would like to buy Book of Legion: The Second Coming or if you want to check out the other Legion Studio titles please go to http://www.legionsden.com/

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Issue: Fearless Dawn #1
Writer:
Steve Mannion
Pencils:
Steve Mannion
Editor:
Elizabeth J. Musgrave
Publisher:
Asylum Press
Release Date:
June 2009
Pages: 32
Price: $2.95

“Jet riding good girl FEARLESS DAWN battles her arch nemesis Helga Von Krause in this mini-series from Steve Mannion. Fearless Dawn infiltrates the vaunted “Manitoba Sector” to discover the secret behind Helga’s chemically-induced NAZI MONSTERS. Meanwhile, all is not well back at home base when Fearless Dawn’s boss discovers our hero has broken probation and flown the coop! Join us now as Steve Mannion’s beautifully rendered comic book tale unfolds in full-color glory!

The Bomb was such a great read that I knew I was going to love this issue when it came out. I was not disappointed at all. Mannion’s story telling and artwork are done so well that this is a steal for the price and you should check it out.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I am a big fan of Steve’s work. From his work on Tales From the Crypt to this series, none of it is below par. It reminds me of Mike Hoffman’s work a little bit, where it has this nice old school feel to it. The only thing that got to me was the coloring. I just found it a bit distracting because I didn’t think it lived up to the artwork.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
The story is just full of fun moments and intense action. There are nice solid jokes throughout, and as it moves along it picks up a good pace and kept my attention. I really like the concept here; every bit of this book just cries old school and it works. Can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
Fearless Dawn is a solid follow-up effort from The Bomb, and you don’t have to know the original story to get this. The story and artwork just make the whole package work on a higher level that I would love to see become more mainstream. This issue is packed full of fun and I can only hope it won’t stop any time soon. This book is a winner, and you will get the whole chicken dinner for only $2.95!

If you would like to buy Fearless Dawn or if you want to check out the other Asylum Press titles please go to http://www.asylumpress.com/

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Issue : Pencilneck #1
Writer :
Victor Carungi
Artist / Greytones: Jeff Blascyk
Release Date: 2006
Pages: 28
Price: $3.50

“Jonathan Kincaid is a mild mannered banker with an undiscovered violent streak and has spent the last 22 years of his life punishing himself for the incarceration of this twin brother, Jeffery. In those years he’s repressed even the tiniest feelings of anger which has turned him into a weak-willed pencilneck of a bank manager.

All of that changes when three mobsters crash into Jonathan’s life and offer a trade – the life of his debtor brother in exchange for helping them rob his bank. Jonathan is left with a choice – save the brother he hasn’t seen in years or do nothing and watch him die.

You can only be afraid for so long…”

A beautiful well written first issue that had me hooked instantly. This may not be along horror lines but I knew after reading other works by Carungi that I had to check this one out. It does not disappoint on any level. A great action filled thrill ride from page one.

Artwork: 4.2 out of 5
The artwork in this issue is flat out fantastic. Each panel shines with awesome character detail. The way the inking works on top of the pencils really makes it have a unique look. The shading just makes the characters pop more. Overall just a great book to look at. The panels just depict the action so well.

Story: 4.4 out of 5
This is the second work of Carungi I have read, and I just want to read more. He has such a cool grasp on the idea here. His dialogue flows so well, and the layers of story that he presents here are brilliant. You are given the main story line but there are, I guess, hidden things along the way that aren’t explained in this issue, making you know the next issue will build more. Just a great issue with a nice twisted come back for more ending.

Dying Breath: 4 out of 5
What a way to intorduce the reader to this story. Nothing about this issue is below the bar, as a matter of fact I think it’s so far over the bar you would be surprised. Great artwork on top of a killer idea only make it a complete package worth every penny. Check this one out, and watch for more of Victor’s work I think he is a name to keep an eye on.

For more info on Pencilneck and other Paper Street Comics titles please go to http://www.paperstreetcomics.com/. If you would like to get issue #1 or other books please go to comixpress.com

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Issue: Split Lip Volume 1
Writer:
Sam Costello
Artists:
Gary Crutchley, Kyle Strahm, Ayhan Hayrula, Diego Candia, Brian A. Laframboise, Iain Laurie, Nelson Evergreen, Brian McGleenon, Felipe Sobreiro, Sami Makkonen, John Bivens
Publisher: Tent City
Release Date:
2008
Pages: 158
Price: $15.00

Mysterious old men who peer into the second-floor windows of sleeping children. Corn fields swollen with otherwordly crops. Subterranean colleges where unusual students learn a fearsome craft. A pair of bank robbers stowed away on haunted trains.

You’ll find these stories, and other chilling tales, in Split Lip Volume 1.

Split Lip is intellectual horror with strong doses of shock, violence, and unsettling ideas. You won’t find vampires or zombies here, just disturbing new takes on horror. Split Lip shreds traditional horror archetypes in favor of creating dark moods, original characters, and frightening experiences.

These stories will leave you disturbed long after you close the book. Discover for yourself why The Horror Blog called Split Lip “the predominant original horror comic work on the internet.”

Now this is one hell of a collection. Great short stories all packaged in this really cool trade to check out. The stories are all different, yet they all leave you either shocked, scared or terrified. The best thing is that if this isn’t enough for you, you can go over to the website and read more. This one is worth picking up.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5

While there are 11 different artists working here all of their styles fit with the genre very well. I didn’t find any of them to be under the bar when compared to the rest. They all compliment their respective stories perfectly. The few that stand out to me are Kyle Strahm, Diego Candia and Sami Makkonen. All were perfect fits.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
The stories are all written by Costello and not a single one of them loses quality. Each has a different effect on the reader to either mess with your mind, sacre you or just make you uncomfortable. They are all written nicely and I was able to easily understand every concept. My favorites were “Straw Men”, “Fish Drink” and “School Supplies”.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
This is such a solid collection of stories, as the artwork and stories both compliment each other so well. 158 pages worth of content is worth it for the price. If you like the strange collections of horror stories you need to check this one out. It’s worth it.

If you would like to buy Split Lip Vol.1 or if you want to check out what other web comics have been posted since this came out, please go to http://www.webcomicsnation.com/splitlip/

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Decapitated Dan
decapitateddan@comicattack.net

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6 Comments


  1. InfiniteSpeech

    looks like i’m checkin’ out a couple more books soon! thanks Dan!



  2. […] Here is the original post:  Decapitated Dan's Dark Delights […]



  3. Glad to hear the Asylum Press books were solid. I’m a huge fan of Fearless Dawn, and I agree with you about the coloring; I think I liked her better in black and white.

    Bad Kids Go to Hell sounds cool, too!

    This tag line from Split Lip made my skin crawl:

    “Mysterious old men who peer into the second-floor windows of sleeping children.” Yikes.

    … and is there anything horror that you don’t like?


  4. DecapitatedDan

    Sure I don’t like a lot of horror titles. Mainly Marvel and DC stuff! AHAAHAHAHAHAHA.


  5. billy

    grave tales looks cool


  6. Decapated Dan

    Grave Tales is cool. Problem is you can only get it through Cemetery Dance which makes all the more harder to get. Plus if you got the special edition of Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft that had the Goes to Hell story, it was originally printed in issue #6 of Grave Tales.



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