Greetings ghosts and ghoulies and welcome to The Theatre of Terror the home of horror comic news, reviews, classic comic scans and creepy art from around the world. Just remember, it's not for the nervous!
When we first heard Locke & Key was coming to the small screen there was a huge buzz of excitement in comic geek land. Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s horror story feels almost perfect for an on-screen adaptation. Imagine the dissapointment when, after loads of teasing, industry reports and a full blown pilot episode, Fox decided to drop the project. Don’t worry, they will rot in hell. The full episode was shown at the recent San Diego Comic Con, hopefully it will eventually make its way on to the internet. For now we just have the trailer…
Looks pretty awesome as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it will get picked by another network…we live in hope.
Joel-Peter Witkin is a photographer whose images explore grotesque aspects of the human condition including physical deformity and sexual deviance. Witkin gets much of his inspiration visiting medical schools, morgues and insane asylums. Born (1939) in New York later in life he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This allowed him to be near the Mexican border where he was able to get hold of corpses and body parts needed for his art without being arrested!
Witkin begins each image by sketching his ideas on paper, perfecting every detail by arranging the scene before he gets into the studio to stage his elaborate tableaus. Once photographed, Witkin spends hours in the darkroom, scratching and piercing his negatives, transforming them into images that look made rather than taken. The effects are both frightening and fascinating.
I recently came across Wulf and Batsy while researching awesome horror comic artists. Needless to say Bryan Baugh, creator of this delightful little comic series, is a black belt in drawing kick-ass comics. As the title suggests Wulf and Batsy follows the story of a werewolf and a vampiress as they travel across the land looking for a place to call home. The title sums of the essence of the comic as well. Clearly we can tell what the comic is about from the title and the same sort of easy going approach can be found within the simple storylines and sterotypical characters. The author does not make any demands of his readers. There’s no deep emotional undertones about teen angst or soap box moralizing. Instead it’s just a fun filled romp filled with excessive violence and gore that’s a feast for the eyes rather than the brain.
The author himself describes it as,
…the comic book equivalent of a trashy, low budget, exploitation horror movie with cheesy special effects.
Baugh’s style is influenced by old school E.C. horror comics and kids cartoon. The artwork is a rich deep blacks and whites while the style successfully juggles both cute and gruesome images. The lovely Batsy oozes feminine sex appeal while Wulf looks terrifyingly ferocious as he goes about ripping off faces in his aggresive tank like role. The man really can draw, just check out some of the illustrations on his his own website www.cryptlogic.net
Wulf & Batsy’s first story ‘We Have No Home’ is a fantastic introduction to their world. Upon oustaying their welcome at a backwards superstitious village the twosome have to fight off pitch fork wielding locals. We see both the strengths and weaknesses of the title characters and gain a little understanding about their relationship together. The second story ‘Bizarre Experiments’ ramps up the campness as the duo do battle with an evil professor straight from classic horror territory.
This comic series first began back in 2008 with the most recent issue released 2010. Mr Baugh has gone on to work on top horror comics such as Hack/Slash and spends his days working on the Hasbro animated TV series of Transformers: Prime. Will Batsy & Wulf ever make a comeback…only the author knows.
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Marvel’s Crypt of Shadows ran from January 1973 until November 1975. During this time Marvel were producing some great horror titles which seemed to be successful with comic fans looking for scares rather than superheroes. The covers on Crypt of Shadows are works of beauty, take a look for yourself in the gallery below.
Marvel’s Ghost Rider gets his second movie due for release February 2012. Once again Nicholas Cage is the demon stunt rider with the flaming skull. Check out the trailer below or visit the official site here www.thespiritofvengeance.com
Zombies seem to be springing up everywhere these days. Just this morning there were 6 in the queue at the Butchers! Never happy either, all they seem to do is moan. This story harks back to a time when you needed a bit of black magic or Voodoo in order to see a Zombie! Good times. Art by Johnny Craig.
Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan’s vampire triology is to be given the comic book treatment by Dark Horse. Del Toro will be involved, ‘executive producing’ the comics, with the creative team of writer David Lapham and artist Mike Huddleston bringing their own skills in to the mix.
If the comics can live up to the books then we should be in for a real treat. The novel of The Strain is a real page-turner of a book filled with tension. If your a fan of Guillermo’s work you can spot his influence concerning the creatures within the book, which Chuck Hogan adapts to the written word extremely well.
The trilogy will unfold in 24 issues, 8 issues for each book, The Strain, The Fall and The Eternal (Released this October). The first issue of The Strain will be on sale on the 14th December at an introductory price of $1.00. Dark Horse have also announced they are launching the digital version on the same day and that will be available to download for a mere $1.99.
The 3rd issue of Hallowscream, the Scream! inspired horror anthology is set to be released this coming Halloween. This community based project brings together horror writers and artists to produce a yearly comic filled with fearsome stories and creepy comic capers. We have been busy reading horror comic scripts and stories from writers and matching them to artists looking to illustrate a complete strip. It’s a unique project ideal for those looking to break in to the industry and for those established contributors looking for a platform to promote their work.
Thanks to a huge response from horror comic creators around the world this year’s issue will be the best yet! We are now no longer accepting story submissions for this year’s edition of Hallowscream. A massive thank you to all those who have sent in a story. Not every submitted story has been selected to appear in the 2011 issue. Don’t worry though, there’s always next year.
We have a load of finished stories already with many more still being worked on. For those artists out there still furiously drawing and painting the official deadline date for final submissions is Sunday 23rd October. Please make sure you have submitted the completed work by that date. Anything later and we cannot guarantee it will make it in to the comic.
LAST CHANCE SALOON: If you’re an comic creator still looking to be part of this awesome project and believe you could illustrate a story before the the deadline (2 months away) then get in touch immediately. We have plenty of great stories that need bringing to life at the hands of a talented artist.
The finished issue will be available online on October 31st 2011. For more information and to get involved visit the dedicated Hallowscream Forum over on HorrorComics.org
Web comics have become a popular part of the internet over the last few years as amateur comic creators of all abilities have embraced the opportunity to easily showcase their work to the masses. Zombie Ranch has been carving out it’s own name in the web comic history books since 2009 with a simple formula that other aspiring web comic creators should look to. Publishing a page a week, the husband/wife team of Clint & Dawn Wolf have gained a popular following for their post-apocalyptic Zombie herding story.
It’s the slow drip feed approach of Zombie Ranch that helps to make it, and other web comics, a success. Comic have always been episodic in nature, so readers are accustomed to eagerly waiting for the next part of the story. Web comics have embraced this approach whole-heartedly, allowing the creators to release a new part of the comic as and when they are ready. This also means that the vast majority of pages need to make an impact, delivering something of interest to the readers, similar to short comic strips you find in newspapers.
Set in a world slowly recovering from a full blown zombie outbreak, the story is cleverly told through the lens of a reality TV show floating camera bot as it follows the lives of the team on ‘Z Ranch’, a ranch in every respect of the word except that the cattle are all zombies. There are plenty of fresh ideas in this story and it had tons of room to grow. My problem with Zombie Ranch is that there is a distinct lack of horror. The art, while fine for the medium, doesn’t seem capable of offering truly horrific imagery (please prove me wrong). The meandering plot is too busy introducing its ideas and characters to give us any real moments of terror. I’m sure the creators have some scares up their sleeves but, as we only get one new page a week, it could be years till we see them!
Despite its short comings Zombie Ranch is still a top web comic. It manages to retain the readers interest thanks to the well written script which compliments the slow pace of the story. The plot has yet to reveal itself in full and this also keeps you coming back for more, especially as you know the next installment is only 1 week away. I will be keeping up with the story, let’s just hope they come round to some real zombie carnage soon.
On 24th March 1984 Scream! hit the shelves of newsagents around the world. The fantastic stories within its pages had a generation of comic loving kids shaking in their shoes in a way they had never experienced before. Then, after only 15 issues, Scream! mysteriously ended. Rumours of strikes at IPC Magazines, the comic’s creators, could have been the cause. Declining comic sales in the UK another. Possibly the grizzly nature of Scream! caused hordes of desperate mothers to get the comic banned. Who knows? Maybe a darker mystery lies at the heart of this puzzle, a bizarre twist that no one has the answer to.
In 2001 backfromthedepths.co.uk was created to keep the memory of this much loved comic alive and to bring Scream fans together. Originally the site included a selection of the juiciest most horrible stories. Now, a recent update means you can read all 15 issues of Scream! online.
Scream survived as part of the Eagle masthead until March 85 then it was dropped for ever. Scream did emerge for 5 holiday specials. Check them out in the cover art section.
Issue: The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania Writer: Tracey Miller-Zarneke, Genndy Tartakovsky Artist: Various Publisher: Titan Books Release Date: October 2010 Price: $34.95 “The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania brings to (undead) life a fresh new spin on the classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, and the Invisible Man from [...]
Issue: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2 Writers: Various Artist: Various Publisher: SelfMade Hero Release Date: October 2012 Price: $19.95 “A graphic anthology of tales from the renowned master of the eerie. Building on the success of the first volume, it showcases the talents of a new roster of adapters and artists. The anthology includes reflections [...]
Issue: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 3 – End of Days Creator: Michael Mendheim Writers: Michael Mendheim, Mike Kennedy, Sean Jaffee Artist: Simon Bisley Colors: Chad Fidler Publisher: Heavy Metal Release Date: October 2012 Price: $14.95 “The End of Days is the third and the climatic finale in the highly anticipated trilogy from Heavy [...]
Issue: Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection Writer: Len Brown (Introduction), Zina Saunders (Afterword) Publisher: Abrams ComicArts Release Date: October 2012 Price: $19.95 “In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mars Attacks, this comprehensive book is the first-ever compilation of the infamous science-fiction trading card series produced by Topps in 1962. Edgy, subversive, and darkly comedic, [...]
Issue: Crawling Sky #1 Writer: Joe R. Lansdale, Keith Lansdale Artist: Brian Denham Publisher: Antarctic Press Release Date: January 2013 “Horror novel legends Joe R. Lansdale and Keith Lansdale team up with Brian Denham (X-Files, Zombie Kid Diaries) and Antarctic Press to bring you a tale o’ terror set in the wild, weird West! When [...]
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