February 28th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Bedlam #1- Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Bedlam #1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: Image
Release Date: October 2012
Price: $3.50

“Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and criminal overlord who terrorized the town of Bedlam for years. Then he got better. This is what happens next.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
OH… MY… (Insert deity of your choice here)!!! This book was everything I could have wanted, multiplied by 6,386,513.234 and then just keep adding on 10 more for every second for the rest of your life!!!!! I honestly can’t even think of where to begin describing how great this issue was. First of all it is a steal for only $3.50 because it has 48 pages, so make sure to pack a lunch when you sit down to read this one, because it is going to take some time. The artwork by Rossmo is GORE-Geous. Isn’t it funny how I ALWAYS say that about his artwork, I guess it is no surprise why he won a Ghastly Award for it in 2011. Every single page of this book looks great, but the opening scene had my eyes melting from their sockets, there was so much blood! He is so consistent from panel to panel, and his design for Madder Red made me want to make a Halloween costume right away. The story by Spencer is a nonstop fist pounding to your face. It grabbed me right from the start, then made me giggle with excitement as things built even more and by the end I was screaming in terror because it was over. I rarely say this when I look back in my brain on comics but, I recall this issue as if I was watching it on TV. The pacing and way that Nick presented this story was pure perfection. As a writer if you want to know how to grab readers and have them hooked from page 1, look no further than this issue. I loved how he did the dialogue of Madder Red, he is such an interesting mysterious character. In #1 I had no idea what is coming, and I really didn’t care because I knew it was going to be good. I will on this book like white on rice because the concept is great and the execution is even better. Lets all raise a glass and give 3 cheers to Riley and Nick for bringing this to our comic reading eyes! Go buy this book!

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

If you would like to buy or know more about Bedlam #1 you can find it at http://www.imagecomics.com

 

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February 27th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Blah |

Madefire

by Ghastly McNasty

madefire-logoHorror comic fans can now get their freaky fix by downloading the Madefire App and exploring the exciting new world of Motion Comics.

Set up by comic legend Liam Sharp, along with some very clever tech bods, Madefire is looking to carve its own little corner in the evolving online comics market. Motion comics offer a new experience to reading comics online. Readers swipe, poke and prod their way through the comic, reading at their pace. The app includes sliding panels, movement, actions and sounds to augment the comic experience.

Madefire transform a once static medium into an interactive experience that unfolds dynamically on mobile devices, and evolves with each new episode.

iphone-5-storefrontIt’s currently worth taking a look at Madefire at the moment, as all the motion comics they have created are free to download. It’s a good range of horror and sci-fi that tick plenty of the boxes we demand here at The Theatre of Terror.

Stories such as: Houses of the Holy, by Mike Carey and David Kendall, a 1930’s vampire, monster thriller with plenty of shocking scenes – The Irons, by Haden Blackman and Gary Erskine, a psycho-killer on the loose cop story, set on another planet, and Treatment, from the mind of Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons.

The quality of the content is very high and they have some decent names on board. Madefire really has come out swinging, hoping to smash it’s way on to the comics scene, a scene which is generally very opposed to change.

Check out the teaser video below.

Madefire may not be to everyone’s tastes. The added elements of movement and sound effects certainly make for a different ‘reading’ experience. I imagine some will loathe what the company has done to their beloved medium, while others will embrace the changes whole-heartedly. It’s really up to you to judge for yourself, but you’ll need an iPhone or iPad to use the app, a factor which will piss a few people off before they’ve even started.

Find our more on the Madefire website.

NOTE: Later this year Madefire will be launching it Motion Book Tool for those looking to create their own motion comics. We can’t wait to get our hand on this bit of kit so keep watching folks, there’s gonna be some Back from the Depths Presents motion comics. You heard it here first.

 

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February 27th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Transfusion #1 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Transfusion #1
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Menton3
Publisher: IDW
Release Date: October 2012
Price: $3.99

“In a future overrun by out-of-control machines and monsters, a handful of human survivors try to fight their way back to a normal life. But what is normal in a world where both monsters and machines need human blood? And which are the real bad guys?”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
Well I wasn’t expecting that! This issue just knocked my socks off, put them back on and then knocked them off again. The artwork by Menton3 is just GORE-Geous. I will admit that I love it when a page comes across as fully painted, more than when it does look a little more comic book like, but it is all amazing. I really enjoyed his bloody death scenes in this issue, and his characters are above and beyond what I could have wanted to see. The real win though goes to his color work. This is a drab, dark future and he nails that on every single page. The story by Niles was so unexpected. Sure I read the solicit, and had an idea about what I was about to get myself into, but I didn’t see this coming. I loved the double cross. Steve was able to give a great amount of build, and still leave enough mystery to make me have to come back for more. The pacing is great throughout the issue. I loved it so much I had to read it twice! I could make the easy pitch and say that anyone who is into robots and vampires needs to check this book out, but I would be lying. Everyone needs to check this book out. This was an amazing start and all I want to do is tell the world on how great this issue was. Thank you sirs, now give me another!

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

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

 

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February 3rd, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Blah |

Revival Vol. 1 (Issues 1-5) TPB Review

by Sidesy

revivalThe words ‘reboot’ and ‘remake’ never seemed to enter into my vocabulary growing up as a bit of a film freak. There was the word ‘sequel’ which cropped up relatively often, but that was always something to be cherished (what Christmas was ever complete without ‘Return of the Jedi’?) Now, the words ‘reboot’ and ‘remake’, that at one stage would be synonymous with the word ‘shit’, are commonly used in relation to films. Too much, some might say. In fact, some might say (okay, me) that we’ve got a bit of a rehash epidemic on our hands. There’s the recent Total Recall remake, the Robocop reboot in post-production. I read somewhere a while back that someone has been tasked with writing a Lethal Weapon remake; I cried a little inside. Good concepts and original material, it seems, are hard to come by these days.

The exception to the rule here, of course, are zombies; the cultural obsession that never, ever seems to get old and die (sorry). Infused across every conceivable media and done sometimes well (Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Left 4 Dead) and not so well (the shockingly bad Day of the Dead remake-that-wasn’t-a-remake), we can’t seem to get enough. So when Tim ‘Hack/Slash’ Seeley and Mike Norton announced Revival, a ‘rural noir’ about the dead coming back to life in a small town, my Deadhead Radar (™) flickered into life and I found myself shambling to the shop to get my fix. It was here that I found out that Revival isn’t about zombies and is all together a different kettle of (dead) fish. And different is good.

revival-inners-1Now, when I say good, I mean this is one of the best of the many original stories that Image comics have released en masse recently, all of which are nothing short of excellent. Seeley and Norton deal us a story about the realistic consequences of what would happen if 23 of a small town’s recently deceased population literally just woke up and carried on with their lives. The town has been cordoned off and quarantined from the outside world (the government are worried that what has happened in the town is contagious and will spread across the country), the religious zealots are having a field day, convinced that this is all the proof the world needs that God exists and members of the scientific community are all trying to work out how the Hell something like this has happened in the first place.

Revival has one of the best issue 1’s I’ve read in a long time. Not to say that the rest of it is rubbish, it’s just the first issue is of such a high standard and poses so many interesting scenarios and possible analogies (this event could represent the current global fear of terrorism, that fundamentalism has run wild etc.) that are crafted with such expert precision in the script and the artwork that you can’t help but take a breath after reading it and then go back and read it all over again.

revival-inners-2After a darkly amusing prologue that reads like every coroner’s worst nightmare, we are introduced to Dana Cypress, a small town cop tasked by her over-protective Sheriff father to be the liaison officer to Ibrahim Ramin, a member of the Centre for Disease Control who has been sent in to study some of the ’revivers’ to find out what makes them tick. Through Dana, we meet the rest of the town but most importantly Dana’s sister, Martha, a young woman with a big secret to hide.

To explain the story too much would ruin it due to it being so tightly woven. Needless to say, Seeley’s characters are immediately engaging and believable, all of them with emotional baggage, all of them dealing with the ‘revivers’ in different ways because of that baggage. These people are drawn from a world that is exactly like ours (only the dead are walking around) and the dialogue reflects this; every line is thoughtfully crafted and directly contributes to pushing the story forward. Mike Norton’s artwork is perfect for this story, his detailed, consistent pencils capturing the essence of small town life that has been thrown into the limelight through no fault of its own. Special mention must be made to the colourist, Mark Englert, who works into the artwork such an atmosphere in places that you can almost feel the cold of the snow.
Revival reads in a similar vein to other ‘small town/slice of life’ books like Jeff Lemire’s Essex County and Craig Thompson’s Blankets but piles on the crime mystery and horror elements to create something that borrows from obvious source material but puts a unique and original spin on it. Out of all the Image titles recently released, this is definitely one for the top of the pile. A little of something different definitely goes a long way. Well, let’s hope so. Issue 6 is released at the end of this month and long may it continue.

Buy Revival Volume 1: You’re Among Friends TP from Amazon.

 

Theatre of Terror



February 2nd, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

The Strain Vol.1

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: The Strain Vol. 1
Story By: Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Script By: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: Jan 2012
Pages: 152
Price: $19.99

“When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Centers for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event—an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. Collects issues #1-#6 of the ongoing series.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
There was a point in my life, oh lets say about a year ago, when I was sick of vampire comics. The typical blood sucker story seems to just get played out when done over and over again. Sure there is some good horror and gore in those books, but the stories are so blah and easily passable. Then I get this little catalog sent to my house called Previews, and I see the cover to The Strain #1 listed in it. I’m instantly thinking, “Great, here we go again.” Being a horror nut though, I check out issue #1, and wouldn’t you know it, my head fell off. That first issue had something new, something fresh and something I needed to enjoy a vampire comic again (seriously, the last one I really enjoyed was Devil from Dark Horse).

The artwork in this series is just drop dead GORE-Geous. I love the look of these creatures, and the way that they consume their meals. Huddleston never seems to miss a beat, as each and every panel shines! Of course some of that praise needs to be given to the amazing coloring work of Dan Jackson. I personally think that the “flatness” of the colored art is what makes it stand out to me. Sure there is some shadow work put in, but for the most part it is just flat and drab. This makes the cast stand out more, because they are not buried by layers of depth, and it also lends a hand to giving the book a good horror edge. The dullness of the colors plays creates the dark atmosphere that is needed to keep the reader terrified.

The story, which is also in prose form, I wish I had time to read it, is fun, horrific and original. There is a really great mystery to what is going on in these pages. I think that adds a lot to the horror aspects, and almost makes this book come off as much more cinematic as to how it plays out. I will say that this volume really showcases how to build a horror story. You start off with a great introduction to the most of the cast, but you have to wait a few issues to really know who the main vampire is. The back story on the vampire and his main rival is epic and tragic. I love how it plays out as a folk tale told by a grandmother come true. Lapham’s writing took hold of my mind from the very start and it has still not let go. The dialogue is great and the story is even greater.

Luckily for you, these first few issues are now in trade form, because I hated waiting for what was to come next. The Strain is a balls to the wall horror mystery that has no signs of slowing down. The creative is delivering issue after issue, and incase you missed those issues, this collection is what you need. If you are looking for something new and different in vampire comics, this book is it. This is a must have for your horror comic shelf.

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

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

 

Theatre of Terror



February 1st, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Black Mass #1 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Black Mass #1
Writers: David Sandoval, Adriana Mendoza
Artist: Stefano Cardoselli
Publisher: N.A.S. Studios
Release Date: September 2012
Price: $4.00

“Set in 1690 America before the Salem Witch Trails, Black Mass is a thrilling adventure about a young woman named Scarlett who is born with gifts considered by many to be a curse. During the course of 4 issues the reader will discover Scarlett’s powers as she unexpectedly wills it herself. The innocence is taken from her as death follows everywhere and more die. It begins to take its toll and leaves her with only one option, to take revenge . . .”

Dying Breath: 3.5 out of 5
Something strange is happening around these parts, and it is up to David Sandoval, Adriana Mendoza and Stefano Cardoselli to help me as a reader figure out what that is. The concept of what is happening here is really intriguing, but I did find a few things that stood in the way of the overall execution. The artwork by Stefano looks great throughout the book, but I did find a panel or two where things came off as muddled a little confusing. I really liked that there were no graytones used here, because I think that the use of just black and white showcased his artwork that much more. The story has a really great horror mystery to it, but the dialogue did have a few choppy moments. Overall though it didn’t take away anything from the story, it just took a little more deciphering on my part. Sandoval and Mendoza were able to give this issue a great solid ending that will easily have me coming back for more. I really think this story has something good going for it, but there are a few things that could use a little touching up in future issues. So I expect that when issue #2 comes out, this one will jump up to at least a Dying Breath of 4.5.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5 • Story: 3.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Black Mass you can find it at http://www.nasstudios.net/

 

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