Featured Columns

November 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 Church of Hell #1, Locus #1, Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures! #1, Jenna Blue OGN,  The Strange Tales of Emery Falls, Vegetable Wars #1, The Killing Jar #1 and Grave Tales #5.
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Issue: Church of Hell #1
Writer:
Alan Grant
Pencils:
Wayne Nichols
Cover:
Simon Bisley
Inks: Andy Brown
Letters: Ryan Brown
Publisher: Berserker Comics
Release Date:
January 2009
Pages: 24
Price: $3.99

“They say if you repent your sins, you’ll be forgiven. They say if you’re truly sorry, your evil will be cleansed away. But it’s not only God who loves a sinner – and when you enter the Church of Hell, you don’t come out with a smile on your face, unless the Devil has cut you a new mouth! The four-issue event begins here!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I can not think of a single book that is put out by Berserker Comics that is not great looking from front cover to back cover. This issue has a very real and clean look to it. It also has some of the grossest images I have ever seen. Look at the cover! It’s not a bad thing at all. The artwork works here, and is a definite selling point to the issue.

Story: 4.2 out of 5
The story is very creative. I like the way the issue started, and then went back in time to show me how it will get to that point. The story moves at a nice pace and does a good job explaining what is going on and how the main character’s life is falling apart. What got me was the ending. I like the suspense that was built up, leaving me wanting to know more.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
This is a solid first issue. The artwork and story compliment each other very well. The issue is not for the squeamish as the pictures are very detailed and kinda gross. Overall though it works, and I am sold. I love this company and the books they are putting out.

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.thedeadcomic.com/. You can also get the issue through Diamond; as a matter of fact right now you can pre-order issue #3. Just tell your comic provider this code: AUG090696

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Issue: Locus #1
Writer/Artist/Letters:
Adam Black
Publisher: Monsters and Nekkid Ladies
Release Date:
July 2008
Pages: 28
Price: $4.50

“Issue one begins the first three-issue story arc, in which a half-human, half-succubus girl named Locus tracks down the first of her father’s killers–a man named Loco, holed up in a bar in the middle of the Arizona desert. But is Loco more than he appears to be?

A half-succubus, half-human girl with a cursed sword and a foul mouth. An invisible, inhuman killer she calls “Uncle Spook”. Werewolves. Vampires. Necromancers. Succubi. And more. So much more. Welcome to the world of Locus. Locus is an ongoing horror series broken up into three-issue stories full of Boobs, Blood and Bad Language ™. If you’re weary of all the tired old horror-movie cliches, then Locus is what you’ve been looking for.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
The pages in this issue are nice and crisp. The characters look great and I love the style. Each panel is fresh and very easy to follow. It kinda reminds me of a mix of some early Shadowline Image work. I think that the issue looks great, and the coloring is spot on. Awesome job.

Story: 3.8 out of 5
The story is very good for a first issue. A nice way to introduce the characters and throw in the bit of back story needed. I liked the way the book played out while we learned everything through a discussion with two unknown characters. The interactions were good, and the story moved at a nice pace.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I like what is going on here so far. I think issue #1 really did a great job of introducing the cast and moving the story forward. The issue looks great, and I can easily see myself checking out more. This one really has that 90s feel to me, which is good, because it brings me back to when I got into comics. Love it!

If you would like to buy Locus you can get it here at indyplanet.com

For more info on the series and the creator you can go to http://www.monstersandnekkidladies.com/locus/
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Issue: Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures! #1
Writer:
Chris Wisnia
Artists:
Chris Wisnia, Arthur Adams, Mike Allred, Peter Bagge, Gene Colan, Ramona Fradon, Dave Gibbons, Russ Heath, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, Mike Mignolia, Tony Millionaire, John Severin, Bill Siekkiewicz
Cover: Shag
Inks: Dick Ayers
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics
Release Date:
November 2009
Pages: 96
Price: $9.95

“As a teen, photo-journalist Doris Danger was abducted by a giant monster. Ever since, she’s had a burning desire to prove the existence of giant monsters, but has been unable to prove her beliefs by snapping an indisputable photograph. While she has convinced many, she has also met many who doubt, try to disprove, or even lie, manipulate, and cover up evidence. Doris Danger crosses the X-Files with the famous Lee/Kirby giant monster comics, with a little bit of Godzilla thrown in for good measure!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
“THUD!” That’s my jaw hitting the floor while looking at the interiors on this book.
There are a select handful of artists I have come across now who can just nail the classic looks so well, and Chris Wisnia is now on that list. This is just amazing to look at. On top of the main artwork, special guests throw in some spreads, and this whole collection just shines.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
“THUD!” That’s may chair falling over because I am laughing so hard reading this. The jokes alone are a good enough reason to read the issue. The stories follow along the same lines as the classics, and they are just solid. It took me an hour and a half to get through all the content here. It’s 96 pages! What I have to say I loved the most were the subtle jokes hidden here and there. Just saying “Continued on next page” when I know to turn it anyways makes me laugh. This was just hidden with so many small gems.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
THUD!” That’s my hand slapping down $10 on the counter to have this book in my collection. I’ll sum it up nice and easy here. The artwork alone is worth $20. Then add in the jokes and more story than I can shake a stick at, and we’re already up to $50. Yet it will only cost me $10, so I am saving $40! An amazing appreciation of classic giant monster works by Lee, Lieber, Kirby, and Ayers that will have you wanting more. This one is worth every penny.

If you would like to buy Doris Danger, you can order it now through Diamond with the code SEP090572. For info on the book and other fun things check out http://www.tabloia.com/dorisdanger.shtml
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Issue: Jenna Blue OGN
Creator:
Jason M Burns
Writer: Jason M Burns
Artists: Steve Gendron, Ciaran Lucas
Cover Artist: Nick Bradshaw
Publisher: Outlaw Entertainment
Release Date:
July 2009
Pages: 112
Price: $7.99

Jenna Blue is the story of a ruthless female assassin with pale blue skin, a condition so rare that only a small handful share in it. When Jenna discovers her most recent targets all have the similar pigmented epidermis, a mystery unfolds, revealing that she and others like her may be the result of a genetic experiment that first began in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

Artwork: 3.8 out of 5
I liked the look of this book overall. I thought for the most part the drawings were very strong, and the male characters remained consistent. The only drawback came maybe once every 10 pages, where I would feel that Jenna was a bit off. However it was a rare occasion compared to the whole. What I liked the most was the use of the color blue in what was almost a colorless issue. I like it when a book can use something as simple as a single color to give it definition.

Story: 3.8 out of 5
The story was very cool. I liked the idea of her being built up as an outcast due to her birth defect and going into that line of work. I really enjoyed the way the book was going until halfway, when a twist came about. I felt that the part of her being a killer was kind of just cut short to pursue this new venture. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like where it went. It just means I liked where it was going and it switched. Overall though, I love the complete story and it is worth your dollar.

Dying Breath: 3.8 out of 5
Jenna Blue is a great fun thrilling story to read. The artwork is strong, and the story takes you on a winding ride full of twists and turns. I would pick this one up again, and I hope that they are working on a part 2 because this issue has that feeling that more is going to come. I like what I have read so far from Outlaw Entertainment; they give you an awesome story for your $8, and how can you beat that?

For more info on Jenna Blue and to purchase this volume please go to http://outlaw-entertainment.com/ You can also order any Outlaw trade through Diamond and Haven.
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emery

Issue: The Strange Tales of Emery Falls
Writer/Illustrator:
Jason Flowers
Letters/Logo:
Nathan Morris
Publisher: Black Thumb Press
Release Date:
2009
Pages: 32
Price: $5.00

The Strange Tales Of Emery Falls is a story that chronicles the adventures of Emery Falls as she faces all sorts of crazy situations and evils. In this twisted tale are heroine is on a mission to get back a kidnapped unicorn from a mistrusting group of drug dealing werewolves.

Artwork: 3.7 out of 5
What a strong solid effort on the artwork in this issue. I felt every panel was nice and crisp. I think that at times the shades of gray started to get jumbled, but after a while it worked very well. The characters remained the same from panel to panel, and some really stood out to me. The cover image alone is my favorite, and I can see why it was chosen. Very cool work.

Story: 3.6 out of 5
Okay, now there are two sides to this part of the review. Basing it on the story that was presented it was very solid. From start to finish the dialogue was clear and it kept my attention. It moved at a faster pace, but it was an action issue so all is good. My gripe is that I have no idea who these characters are. For a first issue, I was left in the dark on them. Now I’m cool with what went on, but I would have maybe liked a page of back story at the beginning just so I know what’s going on.

Dying Breath: 3.7 out of 5
This is a good first issue. While I had my gripe with no back story, what was presented to me held my attention and made me want to know more. The artwork was very cool, and I think that there is easily something here to jump on board with. Some minor rough edges can be touched on, but overall the creative team has my full support. Very cool start guys.

If you would like to know more about or buy The Strange Tales of Emery Falls go to www.emeryfalls.blogspot.com or www.jasonflowersart.blogspot.com

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Issue: Vegetable Wars #1
Writer:
Peter Caton
Artist:
Greg Hiatt
Publisher: Caton-Hiatt Comics
Release Date:
June 2009
Pages: 16
Price: $3.50

“In the beginning, there was Town. A simple place, where mysterious and often deadly things occurred. Town’s history has always been riddled with intrigue, chaos, discovery and death. Tonight, at the Derby observatory, you shall witness a new chapter in Town’s history, a chapter that will change all that you thought you knew about vegetables. Yes, this chapter in Town’s history will irrevocably alter the way you look those benign, yet tasty foods that your doctor always wanted you to eat more of. Tonight, the vegetables go to war…

Artwork: 3.8 out of 5
When I saw the art for this book online, I started getting excited and I knew I had to check this one out and share it with all of you. The character designs are really cool looking, and the art stays nice and constant throughout the issue. Where I started to worry was in the colors. Most panels look amazing, but a few seemed to have a little too much shading for my taste, and the art just wasn’t as strong. I want more of the vegetables though! The placing of the wording was a bit off too. I would have to say that it could have been collected better instead of its placements. I kinda got lost a few times.

Story: 3.6 out of 5
Okay, so before you start going off that it’s just Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, I will put you in your place and say you’re wrong and leave it at that. I like the story here. What started getting to me was the repetition of names in the dialogue. I get the everything-is-simple idea, like the town of Town. I like that, but repeating Mad Scientist over and over was kinda too much. Story wise it flows very nicely, full of good humor, but too short. It ended on a high note, but I thought it could have had some more to it.

Dying Breath: 3.7 out of 5
This is what I would probably refer to as an issue #0. You get the whole back story, and when you’re ready to jump into the pool, it ends. However, basing it on what is given, it is a solid first issue the just ended a little too early. I love the concept, I love the art, and I will read more. I think what they got going is really cool. There are some tweaks that I think could be made to make it more solid, but overall, awesome job.

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

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Issue: The Killing Jar #1
Writer / Creator:
Justin Zimmerman
Pencils:
Russell Brown
Lettering and Design: Shannon Zimmerman
Inks: Tom Jacobs
Cover: Logen & Justin Zimmerman
Publisher: Bricker-Down Productions
Release Date:
July 2009
Pages: 24
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 issue looks amazing. It has that great look that doesn’t need any words for you to just love the issue. The characters and settings are so solid and consistent from panel to panel. In some places the pencil work is kinda too gray for my taste; I would have liked to see some more inking done, but overall it is well done. My only gripe was with the cover. I just feel that it plays down to what you find on the inside. Overall though, solid work!

Story: 3.6 out of 5
The story runs at a nice pace. You get an nice introduction to who’s who and what’s going on. I would have liked to have been given more within the comic part of the issue. At the end there is a section where the setting and characters are laid out. My problem with this is, it came at the end. I think that summing it up more and placing it on the first page would have made it easier for me to tie things together while I read it. Then when I get to the end, give me the full version. That way I’m not learning what’s going on after I get through the story. But overall, the dialogue is great, the idea I just love, and I can’t wait to know more.

Dying Breath: 3.8 out of 5
The artwork shines above the story in the first issue, but reading the full synopsis of what’s coming, I know that there will be an amazing balance. This is one I could easily get hooked on, and I already know I want to dive right into issue #2. This is worth checking out, and I know it will only get better. Fantastic stuff.

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: Grave Tales #5
Writers: Richard Layman, Kealan Patrick Burke, William F. Nolan, Elizabeth Massie
Artists: Earl Grier, Glenn Chadbourne, William Renfro
Cover Artist: Joe Vigil
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Release Date: July 2008
Pages: 48
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!”

Artwork: 4.3 out of 5
Wow! What an awesome looking issue. Every story just shines and has its own unique, creepy feel to it. I honestly can’t choose one over another. Grier’s work is very solid in the shapes and shading, while Chadbourne is a master of detail and line work. Then you follow them all up with Renfro, who just gives you the real combination of the two. This is a solid trilogy of terror.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
While reading the first story, “Madman Stan,” I got the chills. Then moving onto “Snowmen” I was shaking in my boots. By the time I got to “Fair Trade,” I was ready to run and hide behind the couch. This is what I want in a psychological anthology. All the works are so solid, and just build up and up as they go. It’s rare to be scared these days, but this collection does it perfectly!

Dying Breath: 4.4 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 had me terrified and entertained all at one time. The art is creepy, the stories are spooky, and you just get sucked right in. This is how it’s done!

If you would like to get a copy of Grave Tales #5 please go to http://www.cemeterydance.com and grab one.

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Decapitated Dan
decapitateddan@comicattack.net

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4 Comments


  1. billy

    Good reviews DD. Grave Tales #5 looks really good.



  2. There’s a company called “Monsters and Nekkid Ladies?” That’s awesome!

    The billing for “Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures” has me intrigued!

    … what’s ‘Shadowline?’


  3. DecapitatedDan

    Shadowline the Image company run by Eric Larson with Savage Dragon and Shadowhawk



  4. […] she … around her room, including books on fairy tales, a poster of Lon Chaney as a werewolf …Decapitated Dan's Dark Delights… first three-issue story arc, in which a half-human, half-succubus girl named Locus tracks down […]



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