by Ghastly McNasty
A real treat for you here Scream! fans. Scanned from the fabled Scream! Spinechillers Holiday Special this tale of terror will be new for many people thanks to the rariety of this largely unknown comic.
We at Back From The Depths are once again looking for contributors for our free, annual pdf horror comic, HALLOWSCREAM. Here’s this year’s guidelines (with a new email address to send stuff to)…
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 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.
We have a substantial backlog of scripts in need of an artist, so if you’re looking to illustrate something, get in contact and we’ll give you details of what’s available.
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 24th July
Artwork : Sunday 9th October
Completed strips : Sunday 23rd October.
The finished issue will be available online on October 31st.
For more info and to find out how to get involved join the Hallowscream dedicated forum on HorrorComics.org
by Ghastly McNasty
Channel Five has acquired the free-to-air UK rights to the hit American series, The Walking Dead. The AMC zombie drama has pulled in record ratings for the broadcaster and has actually increased its ratings over the course of its six-part first season. The Walking Dead stars British actor Andrew Lincoln (best known for This Life and Teachers). The drama starts on Channel Five on April 10th.
If you don’t know about The Walking Dead then this site probably isn’t for you. Just in case, here’s a mini re-cap of what the series will be about:
After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone – ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as ‘the dead’ stalk them at every turn.
Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another?
Visit the Channel 5 website for more info on the The Walking Dead TV Series
by Ghastly McNasty
Garth Ennis has achieved legend status in the world of comics and is famous for comic creations such as Preacher, The Boys & Hitman to name a few. I rate Preacher as one of my favourite comic series so was excited to get my hand on Crossed his latest horror offering drawn by the skilled Jasen Burrows. Having already read some reviews which had warned me of the ‘extreme’ content found in Crossed I was eager to see what all the fuss was about.
Crossed is a 10 part series which ran from September 2008 – March 2010. I purchased the complete work in juicy graphic novel format and set about reading with my usual childish eagerness. Publisher Avatar have this to say:
Crossed is his horrifically visceral exploration of the pure evil that humans are truly capable of indulging. This gut-wrenching vision is brought to vivid (and more than a little disturbing) life by Ennis and Burrows. Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity. Picture the cruelest affronts to decency. Conjure your darkest nightmares… and then realize it could all be so much worse. When civilization crumbles in one terrifying moment; when people are gleefully breaking into unthinkable acts of violence all around you; when everyone you love has died screaming in agony: What do you do? There is no help. There is no hope. There is no escape. There are only the Crossed.
Sounds good huh…
The Crossed, so called because of a cross like rash that appears on their faces, have lost all inhibitions and morals finding themselves driven towards acts of extreme brutality, sadism and evil with a huge amount of enthusiasm and pleasure on their part. This results in a graphic and disturbring story filled with moments that purposefully set out to revolt and terrify the reader. If you’re looking for depravity on a grand scale then this book is for you. The first chapter ends with an image that is so truly horrifying that it will burn itself into your brain.
These infected homicidal maniacs are the stars of the comic and righly so because they are what makes it work so well. Stumbling zombies are all well and scary but the fact that the Crossed are still human, fast, cunning and driven by their evil desires, make the whole story seem even scarier. They are totally dedicated to their goal of causing unspeakable acts of murder, rape and mutilation. There’s no silver bullets or get-out clauses for these villians and this just adds to the overbearing sense of hopeless doom.
I was slightly wary approaching yet another apocalyptic story. As a regular reader of the Walking Dead I have enough quality survivalist horror in my life. However, in Crossed, the villians are not zombies but deranged humans infected by some unknown disease. A decent enough twist on the survival theme to warrant a read. There is of course some well trodden ground covered in Crossed but with the amount of zombie stuff around these days it’s almost impossible not to have some similarities. Those infected are done so through some form of bite or bodily fluid transfer but the author manages to throw in a few new surprises that kept it fresh.
Jasen Burrows’ artwork is great and he compliments Ennis’ story with some great pictures. Be warned though, no punches have been pulled by either contributor. They really did set out to make it as horrible as possible so kudos to them. There’s actually a Crossed movie in the pipelines but i doubt it will be quite as graphic as the comic.
I’m both a fan and collector of graphic novels. Being drip fed continuous stories suits by addictive personality and arranging the volumes in numerical order ticks my OCD boxes. I rate comics as either keepers or sellers. If i’ve enjoyed them enough to read again I will keep them and proudly add to my collection. Those that don’t make the grade will be flogged on eBay.
I’m happy to report that Crossed easily makes the grade as a keeper thanks to the post-apocalyptic story and its ability to truly disguct and horrifiy. The only caveat is that if I ever have kids it will be sold. If one were to ever stumble upon this at early age it would well and truly fuck them up.
Some cool Crossed artwork on Flickr
by Ghastly McNasty
Mentioned in today’s Sun newspaper is the work of Danish artist, writer and kids TV producer Joon Kenn. When he’s got a spare moment he likes to doodle random scenes from his own twisted imagination on post-it notes.
What I love about this artists work is that each sketch has a story to tell. He manages to portray a great deal in just one small image, some pictures have the power to scare, other to make you laugh. The guy has a great eye for the weird.
Don describes his drawing as:
a little window into a different world
It sets a great example to comic artists to show just what can be achieved in one panel.
Check out the rest of his work on John’s blog