We at Back From The Depths
are once again looking for contributors for our free, annual pdf horror comic, HALLOWSCREAM
. Here are the guidelines for the 2013 issue…
Submissions should be horror orientated and must be weird or spooky to make the final cut. We are mainly looking for completed comic strips between 1-7 pages in length. Script submissions should also preferably be around 1-7 psges in length. Eerie illustrations and artwork along with interesting horror/comic articles, scary short stories, petrifying poems or anything just plain creepy will also be considered.
To get an idea of the sort of stuff we’re after, you can download previous issues of Hallowscream here.
If you’re looking to illustrate something, get in contact and we’ll give you details of available scripts to see if anything suits your fancy.
We’ll also consider material previously published elsewhere, as long as the contributors own the copyright.
Completed artwork can be either colour or black and white, and should preferably be A4 (21cm x 29.7cm) 300 dpi jpegs.
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
As this is a non-profit, small press publication, contributors will not be paid but they will retain copyright on any material submitted.
Scripts, articles and text submissions : Sunday 28th July
Artwork : Sunday 6th October
Completed strips : Sunday 20th October.
The finished issue will be available online as a free pdf by October 31st, with a physical copy becoming available via Lulu.com, shortly afterwards. You can also keep up to date with Hallowscream news via the Facebook Page
(Note : There won’t be an issue of Shocking Chillers this year, but if you still want to submit a Christmas themed story and you’re willing to wait a year or two to see it appear in an issue, we’ll happily accept it and put it aside for future use).
Stitched Vol. 1 (Issues 1-7) TPB review
What’s in a name? My wife and I have just welcomed a Second Sidesy into the world and my wife, being a teacher, was quite insistent on a name that wasn’t going to remind her of some of the less favourable scrotes wading their malodourous way through puberty. Having been raised by comics, films and television, I wanted to go with’ Logan McClane Skywalker’, but that went down like a shit sandwich.
Names evoke imagery of the person in question. And so, when it comes to our favourite comic writers and artists, their names immediately evoke our favourite of their works or their artwork – Warren Ellis (thought-provoking, politically motivated science-fiction), Jim Lee (incredibly detailed, beautifully crafted pencils), Mark Millar (superheroes, some more superheroes). And then there’s Garth Ennis.
As with Warren Ellis, when I see any book with Ennis’ name on it, I’ll buy it without reading the blurb or asking whether it’s any good because you know it will be. Brilliantly realised characters married with gloriously over-the-top visuals, you know you’re in for a good time. And with Stitched, a good time you get but it’s not the best of times.
Based on a story (and the original short film) by Garth Ennis, rather than written by Ennis himself, Stitched is the journey of three American military personnel whose helicopter has crash landed in the Taliban controlled mountains of eastern Afghanistan. With little to no supplies and with one of their number injured, they make their way cross-country to find some form of communication
that would allow them to be rescued. But (*adopt deep, gravel-filled voice*) something is in the mountains with them. Something ancient, something evil, something unrelenting. These are the ‘stitches’, the (you can stop doing the voice now) undead menace that threaten not only the stranded group, but the Taliban that control the area.
And threaten they do, in only ways that Garth Ennis knows how. Blood and gore flow liberally and nobody is safe. After being helped out by three members of an SAS regiment that the Americans were supposed to extract, the group work together to figure out what, or who, is behind the stitches before they all get, um, stitched up.
Although this is Ennis’ story concept, this is very much Avatar regular Mike Wolfer’s baby. His script is fast paced, the action never really letting up from the get go and the dialogue is snappy and drives the story nicely. The setting of ‘something afoot in Afghanistan’, similar to criminally under-rated low-budget sci-fi film The Objective, gives Ennis/Wolfer a platform to explore, albeit it briefly, the current state of the ‘war on terror’, taking the interesting angle of the killing and slavery of the local populace, a topic often ignored in the news headlines in favour of ‘Look At Harry Playing Video Games’.
The artwork is solid, Wolfer’s style very similar to fellow Avatar scribbler Jacen Burrows. I’m an avid fan of this almost European style of work; crisp lines with incredible detail complimented by vibrant colours, these courtesy of Digikore Studios. With this level of detail comes the anatomically correct gore and while not on the same level as the Crossed series, the sheer number of eviscerations in this book would make Tom Savini jealous. It also allows for stunning splash pages of the hostile terrain the group finds themselves in as well as giving us the characters’ honest reactions to the situations they encounter (I always wondered what sort of face someone might pull when having their guts pulled out through their mouth. Now I know).
Stitched is almost like an amalgamation of Ennis’ compelling 303 and clever shock-fest Crossed but not in the same league as his seminal Preacher or, my personal favourite, The Boys. It is however,
a thoroughly entertaining action-horror that benefits to be read as a trade and all at once, ramping up the action and the gore in every issue, leaving you with a quality, well-rounded blood-bath finish. Just make sure you know what you’re getting sewn up the next time you go to the doctors with a cut.
Check out some of the lovely Stitched covers below.
Buy Stitched Volume 1 Hardcover from Amazon
by Decapitated Dan
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 his dad accidentally commits murder, plug-ugly Norville had to flee with him to Texas to start a new life. Near the town of Wood Tick, Norville gets himself a bride, and they find a homestead, good as new but abandoned. The only problem is the well, which is blocked by big, white stones. One by one, he unblocks the well, unaware he’s slowly setting free something old and dark and evil…”
Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
Yes! The day has finally come when I get to lay my hand of this highly anticipated comic. For months I have patiently been waiting for this issue to come out, and it did not disappoint. The artwork by Denham is GOREgeous! These black and whites just shine on every page. On the few pages with no wording, his work just delivers everything the reader will need. I simply can not put enough praise into these words to explain how amazing the visuals are in this book. The story by the Lansdale’s is right on par with the artwork. In this issue they deliver this fantastic introduction to the cast, as well as create a suspenseful monster that has yet to be seen. I loved where this issue went, and can not wait to see where it is going. I’m not big on horror western comics, but when it is as perfectly as this, I am on board. The long wait for this to come out is finally over and it was worth it. Throw on your boots, get on your horse and get yer britches into your comic shop for this awesome first issue!
Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 5.0 out of 5
If you would like to buy or know more about Crawling Sky you can find it at http://www.antarctic-press.com
by Decapitated Dan
Writer: Izu, Alex Nikolavitch
Artist: Zhang Xiaoyu
Release Date: Oct. 2012
“An epic tale where history blends with fantasy to explosive and cinematic results. Follow the Knights Templar’s elite faction as they are sent on a secretive and perilous mission, a crusade to determine the true causes of the ‘Plague of Damietta.’ An all new take on the time of the Crusades brought to you by top European writing talent and promising new Chinese artistic voice, Zhang Xiaoyu.”
Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
I am starting to see a reoccurring theme when it comes to reviewing books from Humanoids, they are all freaking amazing! Crusades carries on this tradition by tackling a historical horror religious mystery story that left me wishing more was coming. The artwork by Xiaoyu is GORE-Geous. His panels flew off the pages and slapped me in the face on a continuous basis. With some of the cleanest, most detailed artwork I have seen in a while, this book is just visually stunning. Of course I have to mention his monsters and death scenes, because the made me weep with joy. The story crafted by Izu and Nikolavitch is not overpowered by the fantastic artwork either. Taking place during the time of the Crusades, a great mystery unravels through intense action scenes, legendary fights and some amazing character building. I honestly did not know what to expect from this book, but from what I read, I was as happy as a kid in a candy store. I never wanted to put the book down, and I was sad when it ended. While the story stakes place in the 13th century, it does leave its door open to a possible continuation in present day. I hope that day will come soon, because this book was beyond what I can even put into words. This book will appeal to horror, mystery, religion and history fans the most, but everyone should go check it out. Amazing, just flat-out amazing!
Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 5.0 out of 5
If you would like to buy or know more about Crusades you can find it at http://www.humanoids.com