May 21st, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics, Horror Art |

The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania – Review

by Decapitated Dan

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 Sony Pictures Animation and director Genndy Tartakovsky – creator of Samurai Jack and executive producer and director of Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Okay everyone, I need you to close your eyes, take a deep breath and prepare for what you are about to read. Yes that is right, it is not a horror comic book review, but a review of a book based on a horror themed movie. AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey I can read books, as long as they have pictures, and let me tell you, this book has some GORE-Geous visuals. basically what we have here is a breakdown on the art from the movie Hotel Transylvania. Each character in the movie has their own little section that includes some great commentary by Tracey Miller-Zarneke and Genndy Tartakovsky, as well as the designs, story boards and renderings of the cast. I have to say that my favorite part is seeing the whole process and how they went from concept to final design. On a design basis alone, this book is laid out beautifully. I think any fan of the movie would want to have this on their shelf, and I don’t mean just the die-hard fans, I mean every fan. I also think that anyone wanting to get a great behind the scenes look at how much time and work go into an animated film would want to read this one. Some great in-depth coverage of how it all went down. Sadly this reviewer has yet to see this movie. You better believe that my interest was piqued when I saw the trailers, but now I am just dying to go see it. This is a fantastic resource that will make everyone say AHHHH!!!!!!

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania you can find it at


Theatre of Terror

May 7th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2

by Decapitated Dan

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 on the terrible power of art in ‘Pickman’s Model’ and ‘The Picture in the House’, the ghoulish grave robbing of ‘The Hound’ and the otherworldly monstrosities which come ‘From Beyond’. This collection reveals the nightmare worlds of Lovecraft’s imagination, exploring themes of forbidden knowledge and insanity in tale after tale of unsettling horror.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
I have row emit that I am enjoying more and more Lovecraft material these days. I do still consider myself to be a newbie though. This collection contains 9 amazing stories guarantee to give you the chills. Every single story has GORE-Geously stunning and unique artwork. No two stories really look alike. Of course I have to mention that two of my all time favorite artists can be found here, Steve Pugh and Bryan Baugh. I honestly feel that every artist was able to capture the horror of their stories. Speaking of the stories, these are some really creepy and out there tales. One thing that always scares me when reading a Lovecraft adaptation is that I might not get it right away. Yes that happened on two of these stories, but it didn’t take anything away from the overall read. If anything it lends itself to how well they are written. With stories from the amazing Jamie Delano, Pat Mills and Dwight Macpherson, this book really seems to have it all. Okay, so I know you want to know which stories I liked the best, so my top thee are going to be “The Festival”, “The Hound” and “Pickman’s Model”. Every story in the book is great. I think if you are looking to start reading some Lovecraft comics this is a safe pickup. I also think that if you are a Lovecraft fan then this is perfect for you as well. Needless to say this collection is fantastic, and it should be in your horror collection already. So now that you know, go buy it, you will not be disappointed.

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

If you would like to buy or know more about The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2 you can find it at


Theatre of Terror

April 22nd, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 3 – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 3 – End of Days
Creator: Michael Mendheim
Michael Mendheim, Mike Kennedy, Sean Jaffee
Artist: Simon Bisley
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 Metal, illustrated by Simon Bisley. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance as the armies of good and evil face-off in the final battle known as Armageddon.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
Sometimes it’s sad to see things come to an end, and this amazing series is one of them. I can not commend the creative team enough for developing one Hell of a an exciting ride, pun intended. This books brings it all to a close, and it does it so beautifully. Of course I have to mention once again how GORE-Geous Bisley’s artwork is. Every panel on every page was a masterpiece, from the fantastic settings to the highly detailed cast. I personally loved his interpretations of the Horsemen, with Famine being my personal favorite. Sadly in the past reviews I never touched on how amazing Fidler’s colors were. His coloring is what adds that extra second to the face slap you receive staring at these pages. If you want to read more about me gushing on the artwork please take a look at my reviews for Book 1 & 2. The writing in Book 3 is amazing, it really brings home this fantastic story. With all of the story building taking place in the first 2 books, this one is non-stop action from start to finish. Of course we were left with a great cliff hanger from Book 2, and this picks up perfectly where that left off. The writing team of Mendheim, Kennedy and Jaffee delivered on all levels with great pacing and terrific dialogue. There was never a moment where things felt rushed or incomplete. This story was presented with a tremendous amount of detail, which had to have taken forever to research. Overall I can’t say you need to pick up Book 3, because you have to pick up the other two first, and you need to do that now. The creative team blew me away, and all I can hope for is that more is going to come. To put it simply, this is horror comic perfection that you need to read.

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

If you would like to buy or know more about Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse you can find it at


Theatre of Terror

April 18th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics, Horror Art |

Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection

by Decapitated Dan

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, this over-the-top series depicting a Martian invasion of Earth has a loyal following and continues to win new generations of fans. For the first time, this book brings together high-quality reproductions of the entire original series, as well as the hard-to-find sequel from 1994, rare and never-before-seen sketches, concept art, and test market materials. Also included are an introduction by series co-creator Len Brown and an afterword by Zina Saunders, daughter of the original artist, providing an insider’s behind-the-scenes view of the bizarre and compelling world of Mars Attacks.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
This book is perfection, I can not sum it up any better than that. Collecting the original trading card series, the second series and some more amazing artwork, this book preserves a fantastic piece of horror history. A huge plus on why this book is so good, is because not only do you get to read the original trading card set, but you also get some commentary about what was going on when the series was created. That commentary had to be my favorite part of this book. Learning about what was allowed to go on this GORE-Geous card set and what wasn’t is often time silly to read by today’s standards. As a designer myself I have to talk about the layout of this book as well. The interiors are clean and crisp. The cards, if scanned, are perfect. The dust jacket is possibly the coolest I have ever seen. Mimicking a pack of the cards, I honestly tried to open it from the back, I thought it was real. Also there is a secret surprise I won’t ruin printed on the book itself under the dust jacket. Overall I can not recommend this book more. Collecting everything Topps put out with the original card set and more, this book has it all. So glad to have this in my collection, it is just what I needed.

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

If you would like to buy or know more about Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection you can find it at


Theatre of Terror

March 11th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Crawling Sky #1 – Review

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


Theatre of Terror

March 5th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Decapitated Dan Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Crusades OGN – Review

by Decapitated Dan

Issue: Crusades
Writer: Izu, Alex Nikolavitch
Artist: Zhang Xiaoyu
Publisher: Humanoids
Release Date: Oct. 2012
Price: $34.95

“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


Theatre of Terror

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


Theatre of Terror

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


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


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


Theatre of Terror

Latest PostsPrevious Posts

Now Showing Hallowscream Horror Comic Anthology
Horror Comic Covers
Horror Art

  • Recent Comments

  • Your Horrible Hosts on The Theatre of Terror
    Ghastly McNasty

    Do you want to join the Scream team? We're looking for enthusiastic people to contribute articles on horror or comics here on The Theatre of Terror. Contact me for more info.

    Horror News Network

    Courtesy of the
    Horror News Network

    The Horrors Of It All

    The Horrors Of It All is an award winning website which has been delivering top class pre-code horror comic scans for over 10 years.

    Courtesy of the The Horrors Of It All

  • Backstage