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Archive for the ‘Comics & Graphic Novels’ Category

David Kendall – Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

David Kendall (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics (Robinson, 2008)


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Cover image: Carlos Kastro
Cover design: Pete Rozycki

Blurb:

The Undead are heading your way – 18 of the greatest zombie comics ever.

You can’t keep a good (or bad) corpse down, and they rise up in spectacular form in this new collection. These days zombies are the rock and roll of horror monsters.

Presenting a mix of voodoo victims, creepy somnambulists, and flesh eating deadheads, This collection brings you the best the graveyard can yield up, including:

Vince Locke’s first ever Deadworld comic, Black Sabbath, in which a little window-shopping turns out to be a big mistake.

Scott Hampton’s awesome adaptation of R. E. Howard’s slice of Southern Gothic, Pigeons From Hell.

Darko Macan’s short E.C.-style shocker The Immortals.

Askold Akishin’s The Haunted Ship, in which shipwreck survivors discover an apparently abandoned vessel.

Steve Niles’ modern twist on the traditional back-for-revenge story, Making Amends.

If it’s dead, moving and hungry, you’ll find it here!

“The mindless, shambling zombies of yesteryear are rapidly being replaced by sprinters and runners with an insatiable appetite for human flesh …. “

Unlike the other Mammoths mentioned in this section, … Zombies doesn’t delve back into pre-code days – presumably any pre-nineteen eighties zombies are now far too mouldy to resurrect! I’ve not had time to study everything at length, but as there’s been much response to the recent Robert E. Howard threads, Pigeons From Hell seemed as good a place as any to dip in, a very dark, claustrophobic strip with no dialogue whatsoever. Artist Scott Hampton remains faithful to REH’s original throughout, but perhaps it helps if you know the story or you might struggle to make sense of what’s going on. It’s early days yet, but so far I’ve been most taken with Buddy Scalara’s epic, Necrotic: Dead Flesh On A Living Body from 2001 which answers that big question i’m sure we’ve all put to ourselves at one time or another: can the walking dead still enjoy a love life and if so, what happens when they get …. carried away?

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Peter Normanton – Mammoth Best Horror Comics

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Peter Normanton (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics (Robinson, 2008)

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That line-up in full!

Peter Normanton – Foreword

1. The Dark Age Of Comics: 1940’s – 1950’s

Famous Tales Of Terror (Yellowjacket #1, Sept. 1944)
Hitler’s Head (Weird Terror #1, Sept. 1952)
No Rest For The Dead (Journey Into Fear #12, March 1953)
He (Black Cat Mystery, Aug. 1952)
The Secret Files Of Dr. Drew (Rangers Comics #49, Oct. 1949)
The Corpse That Wouldn’t Die! (Web Of Evil #2, Jan. 1952)
Bride Of Death (Adventures Into Darkness #7, May 1952)
Dungeon Of Doom (Chamber Of Chills #6, March 1952)
Terror Of The Stolen Legs (Dark Mysteries #18, June 1954)
Den Of Horror (Weird Terror #3, Jan. 1953)
The Living Dead (Dark Mysteries #20, Oct. 1954)
Marching Zombies (Black Cat Mystery #35, May 1952)
Grave Rehearsal (Strange Fantasy #7, Aug. 1953)
A Glimpse Of The Pit (Horrific #9, Jan. 1954)
The Horror Of The Walking Corpse (Dark Mysteries #16, Feb. 1954)
The Thing That Walked At Night (Ghost Comics #9, Winter 1953)
Partners In Blood (Journey Into Fear #6, May 1952)
Dead Man’s Revenge (Shocking Mystery Cases #50, Sept. 1952)
The Hand Of Glory (Chilling Tales #13, Dec. 1952)
The Man Who Would Be Fate (Hand Of Fate #21, Aug. 1954)

2. The Terror Returns: 1960’s – 1970’s

The Master Of Dread End (Ghost Stories #1, Sept. 1962)
Santa’s Claws (Web Of Horror #3, Apr. 1970)
The Game Keeper (Ghostly Haunts #40, Sept. 1974)
Fatal Scalpel (Weird Vol. 2. #1, Dec. 1966)
The Weirdest Character I’ve Ever Known! (Ghostly Haunts #38, May. 1974)
Now … Another Maniac! (Psycho #18, May. 1974)
Through A Glass Darkly (Ghostly Tales #113, Feb. 1975)
Ghosts Walk Among Us (Psycho #15, Nov. 1973)
Tradition Of The Wolf (Nightmare #23, Feb. 1975)
Sea Of Graves (Web Of Horror #2, Feb. 1970)

3. The Faithful Few: 1980’s – 1990’s

Killer Planet (Death Rattle Vol. 2, #1, Oct. 1985)
Over His Head (Twisted Tales #2, Apr. 1983)
Christmas Carol (Demon Dreams #1, Feb. 1984)
Mr. Monster: His World (Dark Horse Presents #14, Jan. 1988)
Home Ties (Twisted Tales #6, Jan. 1984)
One Of These Days (Deadworld #6, Dec. 1987)
The Dunwich Horror (The Haunter Of The Dark & Other Grotesque Visions, 1999)
Dream Snake (Robert E. Howard Mythmaker, 1999)
Purgation (The Confessor Demonicus-ex-Deo, 1999)

4. A New Millennium Of The Macabre: 21st Century

Dread End (From The Tomb #12, Feb. 2004)
The Festival (Bedlam #5, July 2004)
The Crawlspace (From The Tomb #18, Christmas 2005)
Immortal: A Vampire Tale (Black Boar Press, 2003)
There Was An Old Woman (Fleshrot Tales From The Dead #2, 2003)
Cal McDonald: A Letter From B.S. (Drawing On Your Nightmares #1, Oct. 2003)
Luna’s Story: Little Red Riding Hood (Nightmares & Fairy Tales #8, March 2004)
The Graveswellers (Morbid #2, Feb. 2005)
Shuteye (Zacherley’s Midnight Terrors #2, 2004)

Acknowledgements.

Blurb:

In over 500 pages this book collects the finest tales of terror from the past sixty years of comic book publishing. It encompasses all eras of the genre, from the ‘weird menace’ horror of the perennially popular 1950s pre-Code comics published by EC, to the dark modern gems of the 90s and 2000s.

Discover the tales that drove the American youth of the 1950s into a frenzy and resulted in legislation to put an end to their gruesome content – the pre-Code comic book macabre that was Dark Mysteries, Chamber of Chills, Weird Terror and Journey into Fear. Contributors from these early years include Bernie Wrightson, master adapter of Lovecraft, Mary Shelley and Stephen King; Mike Kaluta, the man behind The Shadow, Metropolis, and The Spawn of Frankenstein; and Rudy Palais, the EC artist responsible for such twisted works as Marching Zombies.

Modern contributions include Pete Von Scholly’s The Graveswellers (the man behind The Shawshank Redemption, The Mask, and The Green Mile), David Hitchcock’s self-published Immortal – a Vampire Tale (creator of the Jack the Ripper comic Whitechapel Freak), Thomas Ott’s G.O.D. from Greetings from Hellville (acclaimed Swiss noir artist), Legendary Canadian counter-culture cartoonist Rand Holmes’ Death Rattle, and Vincent Locke’s One of These Days (famed for his underground hit zombie comic Deadworld), and comic-book legend Steve Ditko’s Disaster Doom Death

Not had a chance to give this anything more than a cursory browse yet, but it looks terrific! The second strip, from Weird Terror (Sept 1952) for example, is a delightful little thing entitled Hitler’s Head and who could resist The Terror Of The Stolen Legs? Review to follow ASAP but, in the meantime, has anyone else had the pleasure?

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Robert Tinnell & Adrian Salmon – The Faceless

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

The Faceless – Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon (Image, 2005)

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He’s Willing To Go To Hell … So You Won’t Have To …

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ENGLAND – 1962.

By day, Terry Sharp is a hard-living, skirt-chasing, celebrated director of classic horror films. But by night, the horror turns real – Terry has discovered a shadowy group of Satanists hell-bent on taking control of the British government. This knowledge has made him a marked man. Black magic or bullets – the Faceless conspirators don’t particularly care which – as long as the end result is Terry’s death.

Too bad for them, Terry Sharp isn’t ready to die just yet – not without taking a whole lot of bad guys with him.

That’s just the blurb!

Meet Terry sharp, celebrated director of The Return of Frankenstein and other Midwich horror masterpieces. Unknown to his colleagues, our granite-chinned friend leads a double life, triple if you include his penchant for bedding beautiful women within two or three frames of meeting them. Away from the studio is where Sharp’s real work begins: combating the shadowy Satanic Organisation, the Faceless, who are intent on overthrowing the British Government!

This is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read to the end (twice!), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As mentioned, there’s plenty of The Saint about it, tons of Hammer references and a smidgeon of Wheatley’s hysterical “the Commies are Satanists!” pot-boilers. I’ll not be the first to comment that it’s beautifully drawn, but the script is top notch too: very economic with not a word out of place. And Terry’s sidekick Elspeth is a bit of a looker, of that you can be sure.

The one criticism I could make, and even that’s not unique to me, is that while it’s a blinding introduction to Terry’s adventures, just as the story’s hotting up, you’re left in mid-air awaiting the continuation in the next book when you just know our hero will start upping the body count, especially now that he’s got revenge on his mind!

Check out the trailer and other goodies here !

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Paul Gravett – Mammoth Best Crime Comics

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Paul Gravett (ed.) The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics (Robinsons, 2008)

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Cover design by Peter Stanbury: Illustration by Jordi Bernet

Here is the first ever popular collection of crime comics – the 24 best graphic short stories in the crime genre, spanning all the colours of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces.

This must-have collection is fully loaded with some of the greatest writers and artists in comics publishing, including Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, Johnny Craig, Alex Toth, Joe Kubert, Bernie Krigstein – plus adaptations of/collaborations by famous crime writers, such as Dashiel Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Lesley Charteris and Raymond Chandler.

Meet a gallery of hard-boiled, iconic heroes and killers inside including:Dashiell Hammett’s smooth operator Secret Agent X-9, Will Eisner’s masked mystery man The Spirit, Mickey Spillane’s heavyweight tough-guy Mike Hammer, Muñoz and Sampayo’s brooding ex-cop Alack Sinner, Abuli and Bernet’s venal hitman-for-hire Torpedo 1936, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty’s femme fatale investigator Ms. Tree, and Charles Burns’ Mexican wrestler and defective detective El Borbah.

About the Author:

Paul Gravett is the leading light in the UK comics industry. Freelance journalist, curator, and broadcaster, he has worked in comics publishing and promotion for over 20 years. He writes for publications as diverse as the Guardian, Bookseller and Comics International; and is author of Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics and Graphic Novels; Stories to Change Your Life.

Published by Robinson 18 July 2008, paperback, £12.99

I don’t do “bedside books” because I’m always far too busy having sex, but let’s pretend for a moment that I was like you poor fellows who lead a life of solitary vice and, most likely, wear pyjamas and comfy tartan slippers; then I’d have no hesitation in snuggling up in bed with a steaming hot cup of cocoa and a copy of The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics because it’s epic!

Only intended to flick through it for the time being but I wasn’t reckoning with the irresistible pull of Jack Cole’s drug soaked Murder, Morphine And Me (True Crimes, 1948), masked wrestler El Bordah (reluctantly dragging himself away from his copy of Bongo Butt magazine to investigate a bad show at the Sperm Bank in Charles Burns’ Love In Vein, 1987) and the squelchy horrors of Johnny Craig’s suitably malodorous The Sewer (William M. Gaines’ Crime Suspense Stories, 1951).

Ruthless Mr. Big’s, ultra-violent hoods, double-dealing dames, unscrupulous PI’s, cops of all stripe, stacked broads, the occasional juvenile delinquent – they’re all present and up to no good. I’ve not spotted any blackmailer’s or fat guys called ‘Mo’ yet, but chances are they’re in here. When I get time, I’ll try and give you the full table of contents for this and the companion volume of sorts – Mammoth Horror Comics – but hopefully this taster will at least give you some idea of the sickly treats in store.

Thanks, Sam!

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