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!
Appearing just in time for Hallowe’en, this new collection will reprint two stories, originally printed within the pages of 2000AD back in 2001, and both illustrated by the talented Frazer Irving.
Necronauts, written by Gordon Rennie, tells the story of a team-up of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Fort, as they attempt to thwart dark forces with plans to enslave humanity.
A Love Like Blood by John Smith is kind of like Romeo & Juliet but with vampires and werewolves. Yes, it does sound a bit like Underworld, but this appeared two years before Kate Beckinsale showed up in that tight leather outfit.
…What was I talking about again?
Tharg’s Terror Tales Presents Necronauts and A Love Like Blood will be published 18th October.
Most of the readers on this site are already well trained in the art of surviving a zombie apocalypse thanks mostly to reading countless zombie books and watching plenty of zombie films. Let’s call it a rather unhealthy obsession with zombies! (or healthy, once the zom-ocalypse finally kicks off) So, you wouldn’t want to find yourself playing against one of these trained survivalist next time you’re at a party and someone whips out a copy of the new ‘The Waling Dead‘ board game!
Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment and publisher Z-Man Games have created a board game that allows you to become the legend that is Rick Grimes or one of his fellow survivors and battle off hordes of zombies while scavenging for supplies. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
“The Walking Dead” board game will arrive late summer 2011. You can find out more by pressing your mouse button twice here.
Step right this way for The Theatre of Terror’s 10 Top Horror Comic Logos. Yes, we have been very busy down here in the depths and have collected together a fangtastic selection of horror comic signage. This list brings together logos from across the history of horror comics. The selection was chosen based on style, font, overall look and the cultural significance at the time it was released.
1. Tales From The Crypt
There are few horror comic logos that opitimise the very essence of the horror genre and this classic logo from EC. Comic’s Tales from the Crypt pretty much defines horror comics and sets the standard to which all other strive to achieve. A worthy victor.
2. The Tomb of Dracula
Marvel Comic’s The Tomb of Dracula is rated by many as the best horror comic of it’s generation. Thankfully it has a beautifully crafted logo to match.
3. 30 Days of Nights
This logo has a sinister beauty to it.
4. Ghostly Tales
Ghostly Tales was published by Charlton Comics and ran from 1966 to 1984. It’s a simple logo with just a hint of ghostly quivering. Delicious.
Vertigo’s turn of the century horror anthology looks fairly normal until you reach the scrawled ‘N’ in the middle. It looks out of place, scrawled and scary. It’s a clever trick and is very unnerving for the reader.
6. Locke and Key
Neat logo for this modern horror comic hit.
The hottest vamp in comic history has a massive and loyal fan following. Just like the lady herself the Vampirella logo oozes class.
8. Swamp Thing
This logo looks like it’s just dragged itself straight out of the swamp. Thing shaped as well. Creepy!
Exiled fetish-witch superstar Violet Grimm’s logo is the brain child of Dan Schaffer and thrilled gothic horror fans from 2002-2005.
10. Tales of the Zombie
Wobbly letters with a hint of Voodoo. Lovely stuff!
Ben Templesmith is probably best known for his artistic skills in Fell, 30 Days of Night, and Criminal Macabre. In Welcome to Hoxford, Templesmith unleashes his creative writing skills and, just as his exceptional artwork proves, this talented award winning Australian is a grand master in horror.
Welcome to Hoxford is a four-issue mini-series released by IDW Publishing in 2008. The story centers on a group of murderers, rapists and psychopaths so deeply damaged and deranged that the state prison system cannot treat or even house them. Instead they are delivered to the privatized correctional institution of Hoxford and in to the hands of Warden Baker chief representative of the mysterious Usmanov Corporation.
It’s a fantastic setting for a horror comic. Trapped within the confines of a soulless private prison under the control of a faceless corporation, the inmates are beyond any form of salvation. These criminals are off the radar, without hope and without a way back. It’s a desperate situation which only adds to the oppressive atmosphere of the book.
As we get to know the prisoners we start to feel thankful they are locked up with no chance of redemption or escape. Morton: Pedophile and Murderer, Burly Bill: Rapist and Murderer, Skunty: Necrophiliac and Murderer, Gravy: Cannibal and Murderer, Jones: Cop Killer and Sadistic Torturer. Each character is introduced along with his own particular brand of craziness, almost like how members of the A-Team would be introduced via their own skill or talent (this is Face, he’s the ladies man), but just horribly evil. These are the guys we’re supposed to be routing for?
The main protaganist is one Ray Delgado a delusional monster of a man with more servere mental issues than the rest of the cast put together. While the other criminals are simply very bad people, Ray is crazier than a coconut and rather bitey! Oh yes, he’s just stopped taking his medication! Overall it’s a fantastic cast which only helps to draw you deep into the story.
With an awesome setting in place and a cast of psychotic killers lined-up for slaughter Templesmith unleashes his monsters in to the mix with an abundance of violence and gore. The frantic action suits the artist’s wild style and the simple colour palette of prison grey, dirty brown and blood red blur together to disorientate the reader and ramp up the fear.
With so many villainous types in this novel the real monsters needed to be truly horrible. Fortunately I really enjoyed the werewolves in Welcome to Hoxford. Visually they are all teeth, claws and ears. These are the type of slobbering carnivorous beasts that made werewolves frightening in the first place. You wouldn’t cuddle up to one of these bad-boys for warmth. I thanks the artist for making his werewolves old school scary.
It’s also a credit to to the authors writing skills that we find ourselves cheering on Ray Delgado. His insanity is so creepy and odd that we almost take pity on him. He drifts through the comic like an unstoppable destructive force showing the path of the righteous man can not be broken by even the most horrific of creatures.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic horror novel. It’s got that something special about it that makes it great, a confidence in it’s own ability to impress and scare. This positive vibe has meant that Welcome to Hoxford is also due to get the Hollywood treatment in 2012. I advise you to read the graphic novel before you watch the movie. The author had a vision of a great horror story when creating this book, you should enjoy this raw experience before it gets sanitized.
Greetings horror fans and a very Happy Friday 13th to you all. To celebrate this most excellent of days we have a treat from the twisted mind of master animator Robert Morgan. We’ve features a story of his on The Theatre of Terror before, the excellent The Cat With Hands. This time it’s a disturbingly freaky film called The Seperation.
Yes, my fiendish friends we have a real classic horror treat for you today. This is Foul Play from the E.C. Comics horror archive. This particular story is renowned for being especially gruesome and if often quoted as one of the stories which caused the creation of the Comics Code Authority (boo, hiss). Enjoy…
On my eternal quest to read every horror graphic novel on the planet I came across many reviews of ‘Black Hole’ and most seemed to hold Charles Burn’s epic coming of age/sexual awakening story in very high regard. The history of Black Hole makes for good reading itself. A compilation of a twelve volume comic book which Burns wrote and illustrated over a 10 year period! A real labour of love which must be applauded. Black Hole won the Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work and Burns also won the 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Harvey Award as Best Inker for Black Hole. When it arrived in the post I eagerly tucked in hoping the story would live up to the intriguing and well designed jacket cover.
The story focuses on the lives of a selection of disaffected adolescents living in Seattle during the 70’s. The reader is invited to join the protagonists as they explore their young lives, survive high school, experiment with drugs, go skinny-dipping and run away from home. Looming over the whole proceedings like an enormous black cloud is the threat of a sexually transmitted disease which seems to affect those promiscuous enough to indulge in sex.
Burn’s art is the highlight of this book. His rich artwork adds a visceral heaviness to the story giving the teen characters angst a disturbing visual presence. Considering the story was completed over 10 years it’s a triumph that the style remains consistent.
The many metaphors the novel carries on its shoulders are also reflected in the artwork. There is an abundance of gash shaped pictures and the contrasting deep dark black and white drawings add an additional resonance to many of the dream-like imagery crafted onto the pages. It can be quite disturbing at times.
Ultimately I found the book cold and distant. I found one reviewer who stated “For many people—including myself, naturally—high school felt like an endless, inescapable vacuum without air or light.” Ouch! Maybe because I didn’t experience the same trials as the cast members growing up. Maybe I couldn’t connect with the American high school drama or the fact it was set way back in the 70’s made it seem distant. I was not as engaged in the book as I had hoped I would be.
Although you may find plenty of reviews placing Black Hole on a comic book pedestal please be aware that for some it’s not as great as the reviews make out. It does not reach out to a universal audience, which to give it credit, is a fairly neat trick for a graphic novel about alienation. The story is oddly paced and skips about. The horror is infrequent. The artwork is sublime but the story fails to deliver. Maybe a second or third reading would help with these issues but I sold it soon after I completed reading it. I had hoped this beautifuly drawn story would have demanded a worthy place in my horror comic collection. Looking at the space on my shelf, like the title suggests, it just left a Black Hole.
The Mortal Kombat series of video games has just released its 9th edition of the game which has shot to the top of the gaming charts. Mortal Kombat is a finger bashing fight game that stands apart from its competitors thanks to its extreme gore fatality scenes. Just check out the videos below.
No wonder this game was banned in Australia. Finish Him!
The University of Derby is now offering a postgraduate MA in Horror and Transgression.The one-year course, which is aimed at would-be film-makers and writers, will examine all aspects of the horror genre. Students will learn about the history of horror on screen and in books while the transgression part of the course will focus on films and literature with disturbing and taboo themes. Sounds just like the kind of thing we love!
British horror author and director Clive Barker has given the degree his backing and hopes to take a class. According to Dr Jason Lee (no relation to Christopher Lee), the university’s head of film and media, this is the only MA in the world of its kind.
The new MA Humanities – Horror and Transgression is an innovative postgraduate course in film, literature and cultural studies offering the opportunity to work both critically and creatively. Drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned practicing writers and critics, the themes of Horror and Transgression explores what our limits consist of and the boundaries of culture and society. Through the analysis of culture we understand what defines us collectively and individually as humans and what is beyond the human. The course has the support of horror writer Clive Barker who is planning to be involved, saying “Thank you for Raising Hell in Derby!”
A marvelous course for those interested in the macarbe. Who wouldn’t want to be a real life Master of Horror!
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