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!
The live action adaptation of the controversial Speed Date from the 2010 edition of Hallowscream, (previously mentioned HERE), is now available to view online, so here it is. It’s probably not for the squeamish among you..
A short Film by Alan Rogers.
Starring Alan Rogers and Gráinne O’Sullivan. Shot and Edited by Shane Robinson.
Sound by Sean Markey. Assistant Director – Vonnie Durran.
Based on a comic written by Derrick Domican.
Music by Luminous Black.
Featuring members of No Drama Theatre.
The drawings in the closing credits are from the original strip and are by Liam Matthew Byrne.
When I were a lad, the BBC released an adaptation of the Chronicles of Narnia. None of this sweeping, multi-million dollar teeny bopper bollocks with Liam Neeson voicing the lion (‘I will find you, White Witch…and I will kill you’) but a budget version, with a brilliantly realised animatronic lion, intense over-acting and people dressed up as beavers that made them look like the dirty bear from Bo’ Selecta. It was great. Until we were introduced to Maugrim, the White Witch’s ‘chief of police’, who just happened to be a werewolf. And then I shit my pants.
Werewolves get a bit of a bum deal in fiction. Maugrim is an example of how werewolves should be; change-your-trousers scary, but there’s not enough of them to make a real dent in today’s horror market, particularly in comics. Ben Templesmith’s Welcome to Hoxford is the stand out example of how to do a werewolf comic (the fan-made film adaptation is totally worth 20 minutes of life). And now, there’s Ferals, a comic that is more Dog Soldiers than Taylor Lautner. Thank God.
The story is seemingly standard werewolf fare. Man meets seductive lady in a bar, they get frisky, she scratches him, he wakes up with long nails, a hairy back and a sudden urge to howl at the Moon. Not so. We follow Officer Dale Chesnutt, who’s called out to a brutal crime scene where they find the body of his friend, torn limb from limb. Drinking himself into oblivion to forget what he’s seen, he meets and beds (well, ‘toilets’ in this instance) the mysterious Gerda (a really well written femme fatale; a totally unpredictable personality) who turns out to be on the run from a secret society of werewolves who have found their way of life to be threatened. Terrorising Chesnutt’s town is ‘The Great One’, a monster who seems intent on killing the ones closest to Dale. But for what reason?
Writer David Lapham keeps us guessing throughout this first arc, which ends quite abruptly, leaving you with more questions than answers. Who are the ‘men in black’ that know about the werewolf community? What’s the strange, almost spiritual connection between Chesnutt and Gerda? And why would a werewolf leave a severed penis in the mouth of said victim? (Yes, it’s in there; yes, it’s disturbing).
Lapham isn’t afraid to rewrite the rules, too, which is great to see. The beast is out in the daylight, silver bullets aren’t needed, the werewolf lineage is almost treated like a disease with something bizarre, almost alien, planted in the bodies of those who are ‘on the turn’, so to speak. And behind all this, a strong cast of characters, many of whom you find yourself disliking, Chesnutt included, because they’re all out to screw each other over. This adds to the dynamic of the story, adding an air of volatility to proceedings. Just as well because Lapham, he likes a good dismemberment, he does, and when those heads roll, it could be anybody’s.
And who better to do it than Gabriel Andrade. His work on the Crossed 2013 Annual was outstanding and he’s on excellent form here. His lines and character work are all top notch but it’s the beast itself where he’s excelled. With its almost overly long limbs, hulking body and long-toothed grin, it’s a force of nature that literally tears into anything and anyone it comes across.
What both Lapham and Andrade do very well in this comic is action. There are some brilliant set pieces in this book; the beast ploughing its way into the town’s police station to get at Chesnutt is great as is the final showdown, bringing all the major players together for a climatic bloodbath. It’s good, (not so) clean fun that tweaks the werewolf genre slightly but doesn’t totally reinvent it. The mysterious suited government types are a nice addition and it’ll be interesting to see how this angle plays out. Ferals is about to finish its second arc, expect a volume 2 trade soon. Unless, of course, Lapham and Andrade decide to dismember all the characters. It’ll probably finish then.
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.
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).
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.
It will also probably also be available from Back From The Depths later on (where you can download issues of Hallowscream), and viewable online at MYEBOOK if it stops being awkward and lets me upload the bloomin’* thing.
Page 3 : Beaten Path Story by John J Owens, Art by Neil Roberts Page 9 : The Gravedigger Story by Matt Garvey, Art by Erick Marquez Page 14 : Sucked Story by Dirk Van Dom, Art by El Chivo, Letters by Jim Campbell Page 17 : Farmin’ Story by Paul Eldridge, Art by Chow Martin Page 19 : Cash 4 Souls Story & Art by Gordon Innes Page 20 : Youkai Chronicles : Mokumokuren Story by Dirk Van Dom, Art by Antony Rothwell Page 25 : Terrorvision Guide by Malcolm Kirk Page 26 : Gaki Story by Paul Bristow, Design by Malcolm Kirk Page 29 : Charles Wynford Lodge Movie Posters by Julian Jones Page 30 : Buck Tucker : Enemy of Love Story by Dirk Van Dom, Art by Bhuna Page 33 : Terribly Bad Monsters : To Be Frank Story & Art by Christopher Geary Page 34 : The Pond Story by Chris Sides, Art by Chris Travell Page 41 : Terribly Bad Monsters : A Curse Unwound Story & Art by Christopher Geary Page 42 : A Grim Tale : Freakshow Story & Art by Malcolm Kirk Page 43 : Dead Wood Story by Dave Roberts, Art & Letters by Michael Kennedy Page 47 : The Nuisance Story & Art by Antony Rothwell Page 49 : Rayne : Demon Hunter Story & Art by Rattan Bhagwandin Page 54 : AAIIEEE! Advertisement Page 55 : The Wanbies Story by Tim West, Art by Neil McClements Page 59 : Deadvertisements by Malcolm Kirk
…and… Page 60 : Back Cover Skull by Malcolm Kirk
You can now purchase printed copies of Hallowscream via the all new Comicsy website.
With just over 2 weeks until the launch of Hallowscream 4, we are delighted to announce you can now swot up on the 3 previous issues by taking a trip over to the wonderful new UK small press website Comicsy. This excellent site contains a whole host of comics, antholgies and small press doodlings from some awesome names in the UK comics scene, may of who have graced the pages of our beloved Hallowscream.
If you’re too skint to purchase Hallowscream, dont forget you can download them as free digital PDF’s by visiting the Hallowscream website.
We at Back From The Depths are once again looking for contributors for our free, annual pdf horror comic, HALLOWSCREAM…
we’re also looking for contributors for something else.
That’s right. This year we’re doing not one but two creepy comics, and we need all the scares we can get. What is this second scare-filled tome? I’ll tell you what it is – it’s a Christmas special.
It’s yet to be named, but we’re looking for yuletide based horror yarns along with the more general stuff.
Ideal 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 pages 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.
XMAS SPECIAL GUIDELINES
Identical to the Hallowscream guidelines, but submissions must have either a Christmas or winter theme. Anything which doesn’t meet that criteria will be more likely to end up in Hallowscream.
If you’re looking to illustrate something, get in contact and we’ll give you details of available scripts.
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.
This website is neither endorsed by nor has any association with Egmont UK Limited which is the owner of the copyright in and all other intellectual property rights connected with 'Scream!'
The Theatre of Terror is a free service provided for people of all ages to share and enjoy, and to help further enhance the preservation and enlightenment of comic book history and its creators. All images are owned and copyrighted by the respective holders.