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!
It has risen again! The sixth annual Hallowscream! Hallowe’en Special is here! Available to download as a totally free pdf file, this sensational sixth issue features 68 pages of uncanny terror to send a shiver down your spine! Werewolves, ghosts, vampires, sheep and strange electrical devices are all to be found within!
Head on over to the official Stephen King site for a comic treat that’s a must for horror fans. Horror god Stephen King is currently showing a short story that’s been adapted by comic artist Dennis Calero (co-creator of Xmen Noir and Devil Inside).
Kingo’s short story, the opener of Stephen Jones’s 2011 anthology, A Book of Horrors, tells from the point of view of his doubting nurse the tale of a paraplegic millionaire who wants to exorcise his pain.
Katherine “Kat” MacDonald is an RN hired to care for wealthy client, Andrew Newsome, who has gone from doctor to doctor trying to find a quick cure for his lingering pain to no avail. She is convinced that he would overcome the injuries he sustained in an airplane crash but he is unwilling to endure the pain of physical therapy. In desperation, Newsome has hired a healer, Reverend Rideout, who promises to “expel” his pain.
Pretty much anything that horror ledge King does is golden so we’ll be enjoying the story in web comic format. We suggest you do likewise.
Shock Till You Drop have an exclusive ‘motion comic’ to co-inside with the release of upcoming movie mashup Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film is based on the 2010 novel of the same name, by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. Grahame-Smith is no stranger to mixing up old and new ideas, having already achieved acclaim for his zombie novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This time it’s American president Abe Lincoln who gets the supernatural treatment as he attempts to save the country he loves from vampires.
The motion comic is created using the latest HTML 5 techniques and is a pretty good example of how to make a webcomic dynamic. A swipe of the mouse or click of a button slides the images from right to left, which also triggers some neat effects using various CSS styles to give the impression of action.
One of the finest horror comic websites on the interweb, Split Lip, has announced it will no longer be producing new stories! Writer, Sam Costello, who has been creating horror comic strips for the last 6 years, has called time on his wondeful website www.splitlipcomic.com.
As a final huzzah, Split Lip has begun serializing its last story and will cease publication after that story completes. The new story, called Last Caress, features art by Douglas Draper, Jr. A new page from the 24-page story will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday until it concludes in July. The story can be read in its entirety before that by purchasing the final Split Lip book, Last Caress and Other Stories via the Split Lip website.
Costello states on his blog:
While I’m very happy to share this story with you, the bigger news–and the less happy news–is that this is the final Split Lip story. After nearly 6 years, 37 stories, and 550+ of horror comics, Split Lip is ending.
I made this decision in 2011. A number of factors led me to it–the desire to do something else, financial losses, the sense that anthologies aren’t the preferred format of many readers–but ultimately it’s a decision I’m happy with.
I’m very proud of the body of work displayed on this website. Since my first Split Lip script, I think I’ve grown hugely as a writer and specifically a comics writer, and I feel that the Split Lip stories represent a strong library of modern horror comics. I started Split Lip with the hope of doing something new in horror comics, to create stories that cast aside the traditional horror archetypes in favor of a more modern, more literary sensibility. Whether I succeeded can only be determined by readers.
Regardless of that success, though, I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many great artists, without whom my visions would never have been realized. A sincere thank you to each of them.
Thanks, too, to all the readers who faithfully followed the comic from its earliest days, to the fans who came by to say hi to me at conventions and who bought our books, and to everyone who helped spread the word. Making indie comics can be lonely, and often discouraging, and the response that I got from all of you that helped make it easier to overcome the tough times.
The full Split Lip archive will continue to remain free on the website here www.splitlipcomic.com and the books collecting the entire Split Lip series will be available in print.
We’re massive fans of anything zombie, so when someone brings out an intercative zombie web comic, we can’t help but get a little bit excited. Built using HTML 5 and featuring a musical score, sound effects, and a rather neat slidey-scrolly way of reading, Zombies Eat Republicans is a novel and entertaining attempt at an interactive comic.
An up-an-coming idealistic, conservative Republican press secretary from San Diego gets a crash course in survival when the Presidential campaign trail takes a sudden expected turn as he discovers everything he thought he knew about party loyalty and social ties comes into question as he tries to save the country from a zombie attack and potential nuclear annihilation.
It’s fascinating to see that Hype Comics have attempted elements of transmedia with Zombies Eat Republicans. The atmospheric music certainly adds tension and the groaning zombie sound effects are used well, even making us jump a little the first time we heard them. They made a video to go with it too.
Sadly, as with most things these days, if you want to read more than just the 13 intro panels, you need to open your wallet. However, $5.95 isn’t too offensive a price for being entertained, and we appreciate they have to make their money somehow.
There are plenty of web comics freely available on the interwebs, but quality can’t always be guaranteed. Getting the finances right for a web comic is tricky and most comic creators will struggle to raise enough cash to pay even the hosting fees. Kudos to Hype for trying to monetise the comic via subscription fees and an online shop. If they can make a web comic commercially viable, we’ll not only see an improvement in the quality of the content of interative comics, but the development of even more unusual online story telling techniques, as more people try to get involved in what is still a fairly unexplored territory.
Altough the scrolling feels very much like a page turn, purists will argue that the platform itself means that ZER shouldn’t be compared to a print based comic. The comic industry is still trying to find a viable way of embracing the online revolution, with similar examples of interactive comics popping up around the web. Zombies Eat Republicans is an excellent example of an interactive comic, but a normal comic it ain’t.
CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE follows two dozen human survivors who survived the Crossed plague, a worldwide outbreak that transformed a percentage of the populace into violent, insatiable murderers. While other CROSSED tales follow people who are constantly on the move and trying to avoid detection by bloodthirsty hordes, Spurrier and Barreno’s tale sees a group determined to hold their own, to convert an island into a defensible stronghold.
March is going to be a head-burstingly exciting month for fans of insane apocalyptic horror series Crossed. Beginning on March 14th, 2012, the much-anticipated Crossed: Wish You Were Here webcomic will be available over on www.CrossedComic.com. This new weekly series web comic, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Javier Barreno, originally pencilled in for October, is now just weeks away!
Wish You Were Here artist, Barreno, also supplied the art for Crossed Volume 2: Family Values so has the pedigree to pull-off another exceptionally horrific story. We hope this is the case as the web comic format the have adopted for the new series has the potential to run for a long time. Avatar Press have already seen success in the area with Warren Ellis’ FreakAngels, an on-going story that is looked upon by many as the blueprint for a successful web comic.
The Crossed universe, created by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows, already has several volumes under its belt and has proven to be hugely popular thanks to its extreme content and anything goes attitude. On May of 2011 Crossed released a 3d version which caused some uproar with its deplorable imagery popping straight out the page thanks to some very lovely Crossed 3D glasses.
The web comic launch will coincide with the worldwide ‘C-Day’ celebration of all things Crossed, including the new bi-weekly Crossed: Badlands print comic series, which sees Ennis and Burrows return to their monstrous creation for the first story arc. ‘C-Day also sees the release of David Lapham’s Crossed: Psychopath miniseries as a collected trade paperback. It’s sure to be a day that will live in infamy.
We’re massive fans of Crossed here on The Theatre of Terror and whole-heartedly recommend all the disturbing books that this series spews out in to the world. They’re sick, but then so are we!
Those who love the weekly dose of a webcomic should head on over to Ethan Nicolle’s Bearmageddon site for a masterclass in how to do webcomics right.
29 year old creator Ethan, is well know for the web comic Axe Cop which has been picked up by Dark Horse. Axe Cop is part written by Ethan’s younger brother Malachai (5) and is an interesting experiment in stream of conscience writing, and a window in to the mind of the younger generation.
Bearmageddon is Ethan’s attempt to go it alone and he writes, pencils and inks the whole story, with colourist Noah Mass doing some excellent work with a vibrant palette.
Bearmageddon tells the story of Joel Morely and his closest friends at the centre of a major attack from bear-kind on the human race. These aren’t just normal bears though. These bears are highly developed and come in a range of bear types, from your standard grizzly, to you more fearsome Octobear, or bear with machine gun/wings/(insert scary thing).
The art work of the characters is comical and light but the bears are drawn in their full ferocious awesomeness. This fun style helps to keep the story amusing, yet you know it can get scary when the bears grace the pages and limbs start getting chewed off.
There are some amazing freebie horror comics to read over on the Dark Horse website and all they ask for in return is for you to sign up for a free account. Doing so will give you access to episodes of Criminal Macarbe, Falling Skies, B.P.R.D. and now a new comic book prequel to the upcoming ‘The Thing’ movie prequel entitled The Thing: The Northman Nightmare.
Taking us into frigid Greenland, the comic introduces us to a group of Norsemen who find themselves caught in a game of survival when they discover a terrifying creature. The shape-shifting monster has the ability to turn itself into a perfect replica of any living being. It can look just like you or me, but inside, it remains inhuman. And it hides somewhere in a desolate village with few human survivors, among them a strange group of women…
The Thing: The Northman Nightmare is written by Steve Niles (Criminal Macabre), with art by Patric Reynolds (Serenity), colors by Dave Stewart (Hellboy) and a cover by Menton3 (Silent Hill). The Thing: The Northman Nightmare comes to readers as a prequel to Universal Pictures’ upcoming prelude to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 film of the same name.
The remaining 2 issues of the comic will be released on September 28th and October 5th.
You can find out more about the movie by visiting the official The Thing Movie site.
Web comics have become a popular part of the internet over the last few years as amateur comic creators of all abilities have embraced the opportunity to easily showcase their work to the masses. Zombie Ranch has been carving out it’s own name in the web comic history books since 2009 with a simple formula that other aspiring web comic creators should look to. Publishing a page a week, the husband/wife team of Clint & Dawn Wolf have gained a popular following for their post-apocalyptic Zombie herding story.
It’s the slow drip feed approach of Zombie Ranch that helps to make it, and other web comics, a success. Comic have always been episodic in nature, so readers are accustomed to eagerly waiting for the next part of the story. Web comics have embraced this approach whole-heartedly, allowing the creators to release a new part of the comic as and when they are ready. This also means that the vast majority of pages need to make an impact, delivering something of interest to the readers, similar to short comic strips you find in newspapers.
Set in a world slowly recovering from a full blown zombie outbreak, the story is cleverly told through the lens of a reality TV show floating camera bot as it follows the lives of the team on ‘Z Ranch’, a ranch in every respect of the word except that the cattle are all zombies. There are plenty of fresh ideas in this story and it had tons of room to grow. My problem with Zombie Ranch is that there is a distinct lack of horror. The art, while fine for the medium, doesn’t seem capable of offering truly horrific imagery (please prove me wrong). The meandering plot is too busy introducing its ideas and characters to give us any real moments of terror. I’m sure the creators have some scares up their sleeves but, as we only get one new page a week, it could be years till we see them!
Despite its short comings Zombie Ranch is still a top web comic. It manages to retain the readers interest thanks to the well written script which compliments the slow pace of the story. The plot has yet to reveal itself in full and this also keeps you coming back for more, especially as you know the next installment is only 1 week away. I will be keeping up with the story, let’s just hope they come round to some real zombie carnage soon.
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