November 29th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

Descent of the Dead #3 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Descent of the Dead #3
Writer: Rich Perez
Artist: Francis Penavic
Inker: Rage Ledbetter
Publisher: Tango Unlimited
Release Date: August 2012
Price: $3.99

“Within the confines of the Roanoke Colony, Tango Company begins to weave together the events which took place seven hours earlier and makes a grisly discovery. The team begins to quickly realize that they are dealing with an adversary far more elusive and cunning than ever encountered.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
What do you get when you combine Zombies, the future, the army and holy shit awesomeness? Why you get Descent of the Dead of course! My favorite thing about this issue, was that I did not have to go back and read the first two issues to recall what was going on. There is a fantastic recap on the inside cover, and I will even got out on a limb and say that this book is safe to just pick up and read. That is a huge comment to the writing of Perez, because when you self publish, there can be some big gaps in between issues. The story in this issue was a slowed down, take it all in, let it all build for what is to come. The dialogue is sharp, and some great thought and detail went into explaining what had happened in the city. Penavic has a style of artwork that I just love. It’s edge-y, and I just love that everything has this sharp look to it. His zombies are GORE-Geous too. This series is one I always say I need more of, and I am so happy that the guys are delivering such a great book. So guess what Tango team? I need more!!!!

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Descent of the Dead #3 you can find it at http://www.tangounlimitedllc.com/

 

Theatre of Terror



November 28th, 2012 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Graphic Novels & Comics |

The Walking Dead – Something to Fear TPB review

by Sidesy

American TV drives me mad. Not because of the quality, most of it is of an incredible standard, but due to the whimsical way that the networks decide their fates. Prime example is ‘Lost’, a show I loved but got increasingly frustrated with because it was pretty obvious where it should have finished but the networks squeezed every last ounce of story out of the writers to milk the cash- cow for all it was worth. Alternatively, you have ‘Defying Gravity’; a science-fiction show that was so brilliant, so ambitious and so (literally) out of this world and the network cancelled it after one series. If I had hair, I’d tear it out.

However, one show that was positively guaranteed more than one series is The Walking Dead, due to the wealth of source material it’s based on – all 104 issues and counting. And, judging by the latest collected offering (97-102) from Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn, it shows no signs of letting up in the foreseeable future. Which is good, because it’s f-ing brilliant.

This story arc is a no-holds barred tour de force which sees Rick and the rest of the survivors come face to face with the mysterious Negan that has been plaguing the hilltop community they met in the last arc. The continuous, masterful story development is all there; Carl is becoming increasingly hardened against the hopeless future that he has to inherit, Andrea and Rick’s relationship develops and Maggie has some big news to impart on Glenn but it’s the monumentally heart-wrenching issue 100 that makes this collection worth reading, not least because it features one of the series’ most brutal scenes since the ‘eye surgery with a spoon’ issue, but because Kirkman and Adlard pace it so perfectly that you are literally on the edge of your seat when reading.

The pacing should be perfect, mind you; they’ve had 99 issues to make it so, but the trick is they make you care about everything that happens. They make you care about the characters because you’ve been following them through Hell since the beginning and you’re willing them to survive, to live, to be happy and Kirkman teases these survivors with that possibility all the way through this arc only to whip it out from under them in such a shocking manner that you can’t help but feel it in the pit of your stomach. All of this is captured by Charlie Adlard’s ever-consistent pencils, producing arguably some of his best (and most gruesome) Walking Dead work to date. (Man, that guy can draw guts).

As always, the ‘meat puppets’ are there in the background, shuffling and moaning, waiting for an unsuspecting survivor to slip up so they can turn the poor sod’s brains into poo. There’s an exchange between some of the characters about the zombie situation that makes for interesting speculation as to the eventual end of the dead-head threat but it’s not them the survivors really have to worry about anymore.

The media is saturated with post-apocalyptic horror/sci-fi but The Walking Dead remains one of the best due to its consistency, pace, believability and most importantly, its cast of characters. Through Kirkman’s compelling story-telling and Adlard’s expert use of close-ups and facial expressions, you get drawn into their world kicking and screaming, you believe the injustices of what happens in issue 100 and as a result, you want to exact bloody retribution as much as Rick does. And you’d enjoy doing it, too.

 

Theatre of Terror



November 25th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

Flesh and Blood Book 2 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Flesh and Blood Book 2
Writer: Robert Tinnell
Artist: Neil Vokes
Publisher: Monsterverse
Pages: 104
Price: $12.99

“Dracula. Baron Frankenstein. Abraham Van Helsing. Carmilla Karnstein. In FLESH AND BLOOD Book One, these icons of Gothic horror battled for supremacy in an edgy re-imagining of vampires, monsters and heroes as sensual as it is dark and terrifying. Now, in Book Two, Van Helsing and the cursed lycanthrope, Horst, are on the vampires’ trail, hoping to not only avenge themselves on the bloodsuckers, but also rescue Frankenstein. The notorious doctor is now a prisoner of the beautiful vampire, Erzebet, who forces him to put his unholy science to work on his most blasphemous experiment yet! From acclaimed writer and artist team Robert Tinnell and Neil Vokes (THE BLACK FOREST, THE WICKED WEST) comes volume two of their horror epic, FLESH AND BLOOD. Cover art by renowned horror illustrator Dan Brereton.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Tinnell and Vokes are back, and they are upping the ante with Flesh and Blood Book 2. Have no fear Hammer Horror fans, this book will take you right where you want to be. But what about those of us who don’t know much about Hammer Horror? Does this book relate to us? Can we enjoy it as well? The simple answer to those questions is a loud and proud “HELL YES!” While I will admit that the story took an odd time leap to the future, it did not take anything away from my overall reading experience. To clarify what I mean by that, at one point the story progresses what I think might be about 25 years. What I loved about Tinnell’s writing, was the fact that he was always pushing things in my face. From the great cast to the intense moments, it was all there. I can not recall a single dull moment, it was just action, slower action, faster action and then more action. His dialogue comes across to me as very cinematic, which you would already know had you read my review of Riven. With a story hitting all cylinders you might be wondering if the artwork was able to keep pace. Luckily Neil Vokes was not going to let the readers down. His art on this book is just GORE-Geous. Teamed with the coloring of Matt Webb, my eyes melted out of their sockets page after page. Vokes did an amazing job of being able to visually capture the great pace that was set in the story by Tinnell. Overall I could not be happier with what I just read. This book appeals to certain demographics that you won’t get with all horror comics. It has a great appeal to all horror comic readers, but it also crosses the stream and works for horror movie fans out there. This series is amazing, and I can not wait for more!

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Flesh and Blood Book 1 you can find it at http://monsterverse.com/

 

Theatre of Terror



November 23rd, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

86′d #1 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: 86’d #1
Creators: Nick Perry, Bill Hook, CW Cooke, Kelsey Wroten, Jeff Johnson ,Brian Patterson, Greg Smallwood, Doug Griffin, Scott Griffin, Brian Holderman, David K. Rose aka Grfxmonkey, Glen C. Davies, Arnus, Antoine Duthoit
Publisher: 86’d Studios
Release Date: September 2012
Price: $10

“Inspired by the old Warren magazines Creepy and Eerie and mixed with a less traditional sensibility from independent comics. 86’d is the brainchild of artists Nick Perry and Bill Hook. Volume one will focus on the horror genre, it will feature stories and pin-ups from a variety of indie comic creators and poster artists. It will be magazine format with black and white interior art. It will also feature covers from 86’d Studios artists Perry and Hook.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Wow! This issue was more than I could have ever asked for. When it comes to reviewing anthologies, it is hard to really give them number that represents the entire book. Sometimes I don’t like the art on a certain story, or I don’t like a certain story. 86’d said to me, “Dan, you’re gonna like me, because I am solid on all levels.” So I took the book up on this challenge, and man was that statement 100% accurate. These 2 covers alone (Perry cover shown above) left my eyeballs on the floor. Perry and Hook won the battle to get me to turn the cover, and if you see this book you will do the same. Now since this is an anthology I will say that my favorite art I enjoyed most was anything done by Perry, Hook, Smallwood and Wroten. But it was all great looking stuff. Perry’s style really reminded me of the work of Charles Burns, so it was obvious to see why I liked it so much. The stories did range from Horror to Sci-Fi, but they were all off the wall creepy and disturbing. I loved the story “Full Circle”, it was a great choice to open the book with. The “A Day in the Life” stories were short and sweet involving some Classic Monsters. The last thing I have to mention is basically just a small little treat that was thrown in at the end of the book. Since this book plays on the classical horror comics, Perry and Hook included a fake ad page, and all I can say is I am getting a Big Ass Knife. This is hands down a solid horror anthology, that will hopefully surprise a great deal of people when they read it. I for one am highly anticipating more from these guys, because this issue was GORE-Geous!

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about 86’d you can find it at http://www.86dstudios.blogspot.com/

 

Theatre of Terror



November 19th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Graphic Novels & Comics |

‘Ghosts’ #1 Review

by Sidesy

I used to live in a haunted house. True story. As in a ‘what’s that noise coming from the attic?’/’should we call in a priest?’ haunted house. Our ghost wasn’t that bad though (the place was a converted grain mill, hardly the stereotypical, murderous hack and slash pit that seems to characterise haunted places).Occasionally you’d hear footsteps coming up the stairs, some rooms were permanently colder than others and on one or two occasions, we’d hear scratching in the walls, which my Dad attributed at the time to birds nesting in the roof. The fact that birds couldn’t get into the roof was only told to me after we moved, but that’s neither here nor there. The idea of being in the presence of a supernatural entity scares the shit out of me.

So, with that in mind, I bought Vertigo’s one-shot anthology ‘Ghosts’, expecting a veritable feast of paranormal activity. While there is some, ‘Ghosts’ veers from the obvious titular spook fest and instead examines themes of loss, regret of lives never lived and relationships that grow apart and fade into the ether. Oh and there’s a sci-fi, ghost ship pirate story but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The stories here are strong, not surprising given the talent on board. Al Ewing’s ’The Night I Took The Data Entry Job I Was Visited By My Own Ghost’ (yes, that is the title) is a funny, almost Dickensian take on the choices we make in life whereas Cecil Castellucci’s ‘Wallflower’ is a sparsely written tale of a relationship that fades over time, the couple becoming like ghosts to each other, that lets Amy Reeder’s superlative artwork pull at the heart strings.

One of the main attractions of this anthology is the superstar pairing of Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire on ’Ghost-For-Hire’, a quirky tale of 2 brothers, one dead, scaring folk out of houses for a cash payment. Johns and Lemire tease the possibility of more whereas the other star attraction, the Neil Gaiman created ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ (literally does what it says on the tin) absolutely guarantees more in other Vertigo anthologies which left me feeling a little cheated. The hidden gems in this collection, however, are Gilbert Hernandez’ ‘The Dark Lady’, a superbly crafted story of inexplicable innocence with a satisfying ending and Joe Kubert’s ’The Boy and the Old Man’, particularly poignant as this was the last story he produced before he died. The artwork is rough, consisting of just his unfinished pencils, but the story of a dying grandfather trying to protect his grandson from an evil spirit is one of the best of the bunch.

The rest of the stories border on the gratuitously surreal – Neil Kleid’s ’A Bowl of Red’ about the creation of a transcendental chili is beautifully drawn by the ever reliable John McCrea, the slightly disappointing ’Treasure Lost’ by Paul Pope and scripted by David Lapham, included in this collection by the most tenuous of links – a ’ghost ship’, is a sci-fi, adventure romp that feels a little out of place but it is the utterly bonkers ’Bride’ by Mary HK Choi that I struggled with; the story of a rich, drug dealing hedonist’s grief at the loss of his spouse who then seemingly ODs after snorting his wife’s ashes. The artwork, by Phil Jimenez, however, is outstanding.

Is it worth 8 dollars/5 of your good pounds? Of course, it’s Vertigo after all and anything that Jeff Lemire stamps his name on is worth the price of admission. But if you’re expecting to read this looking for some brown-trouser inducing terror, I’d look elsewhere.

 

Theatre of Terror



November 19th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ News, The Thirteenth Floor |

Egmont release digital Edition of The Thirteenth Floor

by Ghastly McNasty

Egmont UK’s Classic Comics imprint was created to re-publish the wealth of classic comics in their archive.

Four volumes of Roy the Rovers kicked off our e-comic publishing in June this year and now we are excited to announce the launch of further classics on popular comic series from the 70s and 80s.

A fifth Roy of the Rovers has been made available along with publications from Misty and The Thirteenth Floor. From Battle Picture Weekly we will be publishing various strips including Johnny Red, Major Eazy and the ground- breaking Charley’s War. Some of the biggest names in British comics were involved in the creation of these stories, including Pat Mills and John Wagner.

David Riley, Managing Director of Egmont Publishing Group, said:

“these are iconic magazines which still have a place in the national consciousness. They deserve to be brought back; their appeal also has the potential to transcend the generation gap and reach an entirely new, younger audience. With the limitless possibilities offered up by digital publishing, there has never been a better time to bring these comics to the fore.”

You can purchase these 2 lovely editions via iTunes.

 

Theatre of Terror



November 16th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

Lenore: Swirlies HC – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Lenore: Swirlies HC
Writer: Roman Dirge
Artist: Roman Dirge
Letters: Roman Dirge
Colors: Roman Dirge
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 120
Price: $17.95

“Everyone’s favorite cute little dead girl is showcased in all her morbid glory in this all-new collection of the timeless comic strip from Roman Dirge! Return once against to the dark, surreal world of Lenore, the girl with a knack for unintentional mayhem and occasional wanton destruction in this fourth volume that includes the extremely rare #13, beautifully and painstakingly illustrated by creator Roman Dirge himself.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
They say that good things come to those who wait, so you better believe that this book is pretty damn good when it takes 5 years to come out. Collecting the rare #13 of Lenore Vol. 1 and issues #1 – #3 of Vol. 2, this book is a perfect starting point for someone who is new to Lenore. I have to start off by saying that issue #13 is possibly the funniest Lenore story I have ever read. Introducing Wicket as a character had me rolling on the floor, but when Lenore attends the birthday party I just lost it. I have said this in reviews before, but Dirge is one the same level as some of the greatest cartoonists ever when it comes to drawing facial expressions. So much humor is contained in the man’s artwork alone. The stories had me laughing so hard my head fell off. No matter how many times I go back and read them, they always make me laugh. Roman delivers on these jokes in the dialogue word balloon after word balloon. This title has inspired me to create an all new comic genre that I am calling “Horumor.” By combining some really GORE-Geous artwork with some of the best jokes in comics, it is easy to see what makes Lenore so great. This book contains two of my all time favorite Lenore tales (V1 #13 and V2 #3), and is a welcome addition to my shelves. I seriously can not praise this book any higher, and I highly suggest you take the time to check it out.

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5Story: 5.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Lenore: Swirlies HC you can find it at http://titanbooks.com/ and http://www.spookyland.com/

 

Theatre of Terror



November 12th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

Riven OGN – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Riven OGN
Writers: Robert Tinnell, Bo Hampton
Artist: Bo Hampton
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: 2012
Price: $17.99

“Katya has been in a coma for five years, and when she awakes, everything has changed. Now she is a gorgeous teenager with a mysterious, gruesome past, becoming aware of a growing, terrifying power inside her body, triggered by the touch of the full moon, eager to break free . . . Can Katy solve the mystery of her blood-drenched nightmares before they become reality?”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
Okay, seriously, WOW! When I read the solicit on this book, I knew to expect something good, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good. This book has the words “Turn me into a movie” written all over it. The artwork by Hampton did present a bit of a curve for me to get used to. I think that is primarily based on what I am guessing are water colors, and it is just something I am personally not used to seeing in comics today. Looking back at the pages now all I can say is that this book is GORE-Geous, and you have to be Howl-ing mad to not think that this is some of the best Werewolf art to date. The death scenes alone gave this book a solid 5 in terms of a score. The story presented here has already won awards in my mind. There were so many twists and turns, that there is no way, I would have been able to expect what would happen next. The cast just comes to life and shines on every single page. This book by Tinnell and Hampton should have the entire horror community (not just comics) talking, so please do yourself a favor, read this book and then spread the word. Now if you will excuse me I need to board a plane to Hollywood and go talk to some producers. READ THIS BOOK!

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 5.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Riven OGN you can find it at http://www.darkhorse.com

 

Theatre of Terror



November 10th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews |

The Zombies that Ate the World: Book 2 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: The Zombies that Ate the World: Book 2 HC
Writer: Jerry Frissen
Artist: Guy Davis
Publisher: Humanoids
Release Date: 2012
Price: $24.95

“In Los Angeles in the year 2064, the dead have risen and corpses live again, cohabiting among us…well, somewhat. As a zombie apocalypse engulfs America, we follow a group of friends on a their journey to start a little business of their own…zombie catchers!”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
I think we should just straight up change the title of this book to “This Book is Pretty Damn Awesome, Why Do You Not Own it Yet?” Well I guess it’s not too catchy, but it really does sum up how great this book is. First of all you get the artwork of Guy Davis, and this man can draw “horror funny” (I am starting a new genre). He has such a great command on facial expressions, and being so good at them only makes this overall story that much better. I died laughing at the cheek shaving scene, and no I won’t tell you what that means, so just go read this book. When it comes to the stories, Frissen brought his A game. There is the perfect balance of emotions, horror and of course humor. Let me again refer to the fact that someone had to come up with the idea of cheek shaving. The way that Jerry writes the dialogue for Freddy is enough to tie my stomach up in knots. The translations are flawless, and this book is just a solid winner all around. This book is a prime example of what we are missing in American comics. Humanoids has done us all a favor and brought this to us now, so do not miss out, you will be sorry if you do.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about The Zombies that Ate the World you can find it at http://www.humanoids.com/

 

Theatre of Terror



November 9th, 2012 | → 4 Comments | ∇ Blah, Graphic Novels & Comics, Original Comic Strips |

Print edition of Hallowscream! 2012 & Deadline extension for Christmas Special

by M.I.K.

Just a quick note to tell you that you can now purchase a physical copy of the fourth issue of Hallowscream HERE!

 

All three previous issues are also available.

Plus, we’ve extended the deadline for people submitting finished material to the Christmas Special. You now have until December 10th.

Incidentally, the Christmas Special now has a name…

 

Theatre of Terror



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