This is a blast from the past. A slightly nostalgic, even almost emotional, moment to see Tales from the Crypt back again. In this book we have a number of original stories accompanied by some fantastic artwork. All told in the classic Tales from the Crypt fashion, we get a variety of tales brought to us by The Crypt-Keeper, The Old Witch and The Vault-Keeper. This book is put together like an anthology. It is different issues put together in one collection. The writer and artist list is wicked long for this small of a collection.
We have an evil billionaire whose common sense is blinded by his love for money and eternal life, a Zombie Bank that encounters a “rough day at the office”, a werewolf on Wall Street, a body-shaming teen who doesn’t understand karma, the wickedness of a mother gets some light shone on it, a disgusting fashion designer with exotic taste and more!!
I love that these stories are so short. I also like that they put so many in one book as opposed to only getting the three per issue like usual. I will say that there were a couple of stories that the ending just kind of POPPED up and I had to kind of think a little bit and piece some things together, kinda go back a few pages and see if I missed something and then figured out how we got to where we ended up.
The artwork is great though. Bold color choices and incredible line work come together to create a world of imagery we can get lost in, if only for a short time. Reading the Tales from the Crypt takes me back to my childhood and watching it as a series on HBO. It was always such a treat to get to watch one of those episodes. This book definitely captures the essence of the show as well as the original comic book.
My recommendation of this goes out to anyone who loves horror comics. Although it’s old school style, it is sure to not disappoint.
Story: Joe Brusha/Ralph Tedesco/Shawn Gabborin
Writer: Shawn Gabborin
Artwork: Babisu Kourtis (not covers)
Colors: Fran Gamboa w/ J.C. Ruiz
Letters: Fabio Amelia
Another amazing issue from Zenescope! You never REALLY know what goes on in the kitchen at a restaurant…do you? Well, in this issue, we are served a tantalizing tale that sure to leave your skin crawling with goosebumps and a something of a raw taste in your mouth, with a little dash of sweet and sour.
Meet Jake, a culinary school dropout with his eye on being a chef…and one of the waitresses at the restaurant he buses tables at. Poor kid gets harassed by Steve, the current Chef de Cuisine, on a nonstop basis, his every move, even his every breath, practically being ridiculed. Not to mention that Steve gets jealous at even the implication of Callie being with someone else. His Waitress friend, Callie, comes to his defense often (guys can’t possibly dig that too much) and tries to console him in his times of sorrow.
The customers seem to really like Jake. Especially one in particular, Mr. Cartwright. This is a man with so much money he can’t possibly know what to do with it all. It’s probably stacked in his bathroom to use for toilet paper, this guy’s so rich. He even makes a snide comment to to another customer who is having trouble getting a table at the hostess station. (Apparently, this is a really high-class joint. Almost “Black Tie” kinda place. I am sure that little hostess station has some fancy French name but, I don’t know it nor do I care enough to go look it up online.)
Over the next couple of days Jake sees a couple of things happen that, by themselves might be innocent enough but, altogether add up to more than just everyday life. I doubt most kitchens bring their meat into the kitchen in body bag sized black plastic bags. Co-workers come up missing. Steve has a new watch that resembles one that Jake’s friend from work had. Something’s just not right.
Through a very well executed but, unplanned little stunt Jake finally gets his chance to be A CHEF. His first task…to make mean, old Mr. Cartwright happy. Something that no one can do. But, given free reign, Jake carefully prepares a meal that the old muskrat loves. This earns him a permanent spot as a full-time chef.
His swift promotion gives him a newfound bout of confidence and he asks Callie out on a date. That doesn’t go as he had hoped. Neither does the rest of his night.
Poor, poor Jake. Rebuffed by Callie (for Steve, no less and for no other reason than because he IS a jerk, what kind of chick does that? “No, sorry, you’re a really nice and sweet guy and see, I just want to be treated in the worst way humanly possible and well, you just aren’t qualified to do that. Now see, THAT guy over there, he is an incredible douchebag and an amazingly abusive narcissist and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in MY ROMEO for tonight, right THERE!!!” SERIOUSLY???).
And yes, Steve is an ass. So Jake suspects he has something to do with all the weirdness that has been happening. So, he turns all creepy stalker dude and follows them on their date. (Nope. That’s not psycho at all. I’m sure Callie will be flattered.) First they go to a diner. No big deal. Lots of people go out for a bite on a date. But, then they go back to the restaurant…and that’s where things get OUTRAGEOUSLY jacked up.
And I’m not going to tell you how. (I must admit, I do enjoy doing that to you guys now and then.)
Even from the cover there are parts of this story that you can infer. Like the fact that, at some point, someone is serving someone else human flesh to eat. (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.) There’s a lot of foreshadowing in this story leading you to the ultimate conclusion of what you already know and what you may not already know. The writing in this story is great. When you read it, it feels and sounds natural, not forced. It generally sounds like real people talking. That makes it so comfortable to read. It’s not choppy and disconnected verbally. But, as with a lot of issues, there may be things you already know and then there’s what the author WANTS you to already know…GTT loves to offer up little twists and turns to keep things interesting for the fans. They continue to have an array of talented writers who manifest not only new stories but, some old classics in the most genius of new ways. It’s always a pleasure to read one of these issues.
As with all GTT issues, our sexy little seductress, the little vixen I call Red all the time, still makes an appearance in this issue but it’s a small one. Two frames in fact. And it’s in the body of the issue, not at the beginning as the intro like they usually do. I enjoy that she’s almost always, if not always, included.
The artwork is fantastic. Babisu Kourtis is quickly becoming one of my more favored artists. The artwork is clean, lines are great and the detail in the facial expressions is amazing. The colors are also brilliantly used. I love the emphasis in some frames to show different lighting and ambiance in each scene of the story. Gamboa and Ruiz put together an articulate and vibrant depiction of the story that's written, so much so that you could almost know what’s going on without the lettering. (No disrespect meant to either the writer or the letterer here. Merely expressing how well the artwork tells the story.)
All in all, a fantastic issue. If you like horror comics, I think you should go get this one. It’s this month’s issue.
Story: Joe Brusha/Ralph Tedesco/Michael Gordon
Writer: Michael Gordon
Artwork: Hakan Aydin (not covers)
Colors: Marco Lesko
Letters: Fabio Amelia
I’m almost always pleased with these stories but this issue was truly a GREAT one. Zenescope continues the series on urban legends with this fourth installment. Not only is the artwork amazing but, the writing in this issue is exceptionally well done. Seamlessly written, with no choppiness and no giveaways. The artwork is a beautiful representation of the story and the colors are lifelike and realistic. The other thing about the colors is that as the time changes with the story, likes flashbacks for example, the color fades so you can equate those frames with the flashback or whatever. I think that is very smart on behalf of the artist and it really helps the flow of the story.
Not only do we have a twist on the Lost City of Atlantis but, it is merged with the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, a dangerous vortex in the sea said to have swallowed many voyagers over the years.
In this story, a father’s quest for the perfect cure eventually causes the old man to go missing. Even his son falls victim to the crazed rantings of the old raving old man in an amazing and very creative way.
Lost in a whirlwind of destiny and adventure, the son enlists a lifelong friend and a couple of unwitting civilians to embark on his journey with him. And additionally, he’s using this expedition as a way not only to try to find his father but, also as a way to understand him and connect with him in a way he couldn’t years ago. (Personally, I wouldn’t want an audience for that but, hey, more power to him.)
Will he find his father? What happens on the voyage out at sea? Who will survive???
Go get an issue of your own and find out.
Created/Written/Drawn by Rob Guillory
Colors by Taylor Wells
Lettering/Logo by Kody Chamberlain
Farmhand Calendar Design by Burt Durand
I am so glad the guys at my comic book store recommended this to me. This will certainly be added to my pulls.
It’s such a unique story idea and to me, is actually plausible with the way things are going in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.
First, we start with a great prologue. It totally got my attention IMMEDIATELY. It’s a couple of kids, brother and sister, working on a farm in the chicken pen. Apparently, something got into the pen under the fencing and killed some chickens, so they are cleaning up the mess. Their father is supposedly out of town on business…yet we soon find out different.
While cleaning up the dead chickens, the boy, Zeke (Ezekiel), uncovers a human eye in the ground. Both Zeke and his sister, Andy (Andrea), scream. Zeke then uncovers the rest of the face, only to find that it’s their father. Let me explain.
Their father, Jedidiah Jenkins, is a career farmer, as was his father and his father before him. After a moment of “clarity” I guess you could say, Jed has the information needed to grow human organs as a product of certain stem cell research. The cell is described as “an intelligent cell that not only adapted to surrounding tissue, but seemed to instinctually know how tissue ought to be repaired”.
With this invention of genetic splicing of sorts, the family farm is now a human organ farm. Body part plants are all over the property. There are plants growing eyeballs, fingers, kidneys, arms and hands growing from trees…all like regular crops and fruits. The farm even gives tours of the property, explaining the science and work behind the new development, offering field trips for school children as well.
Now, we jump forward years later. Zeke left the farm years ago and now has a family of his own while his sister, Andy, has stayed with their father on the farm. They have made the decision to go back to the family farm to live, as Zeke seems to be out of work at the moment and they moved back home to save money until he can get something going financially.
So, Zeke, with his wife and kids, go to the farm to reunite with his father and sister and see what’s been happening since he left. They are completely shocked with the “body part” farm and are a little uneasy about it. Zeke’s daughter thinks it’s really awesome and Jed offers for her to help him around the land along with her brother. Zeke and his wife say they need to think about that.
During their tour, a kid from a school field trip tries to infiltrate the farm and steal samples. This kid, Mickey, works for SOMEONE trying to steal the information for the “Jedidiah Seed” and use it as a business opportunity. Jed says he’s using it to heal people and make them whole again. He maintains it’s the next step in medical treatment, basically.
This kid spy just happens to have a mechanical arm. Although we don’t find out how he lost his real arm and hand, Jed cuts one of the grown arms off of the arm tree and attaches it to Mickey. Mickey screams in pain. Jed has already attached a grown thumb to his own hand as part of his research…human trials.
Jed walks the kid back to the main (and non-restricted) area and sends him on his way.
Interestingly, the farm personnel have a term for this. It’s called a “Code Purple”.
Jed knows someone is trying to steal his work and use it for financial gain (Nooooo, who would do such a thing with such innovation??? Not in THIS country…insert eye roll here).
Then we cut to a completely different place where we see an FBI case report, a couple of government credentials (one of an older man and one looks like the spy kid), a blueprint of some sort and a cell phone with 35 missed calls. The next thing we see is a dead man that looks like the older man in the credentials, dead, a bullet to the head, the wound still smoking. The revolver is on the floor beside him. The last image we see is the spy kid, with a “green” arm and looking terrified.
Oh wow! What a great comic book. I am so excited for the rest of these. I believe it’s a five issue miniseries. It’s all kind of creepy. In the back of the issue the author explains a little about the eighteen-month journey that was embarked upon to create this series. I really think he did a fabulous job with the whole thing.
I love the story idea. It seems so Hollywood to me (back in the days where Hollywood was still coming up with original and fresh ideas for movies). I think the artwork is unique and very well done. But, it’s really the writing of the story that gets me in this series so far. However, the artwork certainly does a superb job of bringing the story more life.
This was just released on the 11thof this month. So, it will be a while before the next issue which is the first week of August. But, the good news is it’s already been added to my pulls so I am guaranteed to get the rest of them…unless they stop printing for some reason.
Also, I was informed that Rob Guillory also wrote the CHEW series…which I picked up Volume One at the comic book store yesterday. I am really looking forward to reading that as well.
I highly recommend this comic book to anyone who likes the weird sci-fi type stuff.
Jerry Siegel (Author), Joe Shuster (Author), Craig Yoe (Editor), Jack Kirby (Illustrator), Frank Frazetta (Illustrator)
I bought this anthology because I LOVE this movie. I think it is absolutely hysterical. Although released in 1936 with the intention of smearing the public opinion of hemp and marijuana, it has formed itself a place in film history as a comedic warning of the “dangers” of partaking in such activities. Warnings of death, addiction, destruction, promiscuity and criminal behavior are blasted onto the screen, trying to scare the youth of the early 20thcentury into a straight and narrow lifestyle.
Also, at this time, a number of comic books jumped on the anti-drug bandwagon. Their thought process was to “get them young” and target the younger kids of the era. Comic books such as “Adventure Comics”, “Comics Hits” plus crime magazines such as “Detective World” featured stories of crazed drug addicts, young girls who lost their purity to the evils of dope and families and lives broken and ruined forever. Good men gone bad, good girls gone wrong and good families torn apart.
This anthology is a great collection of some of the best comics of that era. In the very beginning of the book we get a small history lesson but, it’s not boring. We learn about the rise of the smear campaign against marijuana, the apparent blame assigned to regular comics for the destruction of the nation’s youth and the outrageous lengths that people went to in order to instill fear, even perhaps terror, into the hearts and minds of the population.
While we may find these comics funny now, they were nothing short of a serious public service project at the time. The things portrayed in these stories are outrageously unbelievable and highly unlikely to be caused by smoking pot.
Not only is this a fun blast into the past, it’s actually educational as well. The collection features classic Golden Age artwork with the basic colors (mostly primary and secondary) and the wicked old school printing style (you know, the kind where not everything lines up and it has a whole pixelated look to it) bringing the nostalgic effect to a maximum.
Whether you are a pot enthusiast or a lover of comic books, this is DEFINITELY worth the pick-up. It’s truly classic.
Written: Mark Rahner
Illustrated: Edu Menna
Colors: Thiago Ribeiro/Impacto Studios
Letters: Rob Steen
Cover A by Guiu Vilanova/Vinicius Andrade (shown above)
Cover B by Francesco Francavilla
Cover C by Jay Shaw
Cover D by Jonathan Lau/Ivan Nunes
Cover A by Guiu Vilanova/Vinicius Andrade (shown above)
Cover B by Francesco Francavilla
Cover C by Jonathan Lau/Ivan Nunes
People often say that they wish they could go back in time and talk some sense into their younger self. Many wish they could go back to a point in their past and change various things, affecting the outcome of their life as they currently know it. And many also say that they wouldn’t change a thing, as their experiences and interactions through life have made them who they are.
In this story, we follow a middle-aged man, William (Billy), who has been granted the opportunity to do just that. He’s on a flight that takes him back in time to his teenage years. He’s transported back with no explanation, as is so common in The Twilight Zone, and has to figure out his purpose in this past world. The whole pretext for the flight was that he was flying back to his home town to do a book signing.
He soon finds himself as a boy, a young teenager. Living his depressed and downtrodden existence, constantly scolded and insulted by his alcoholic, loose-lipped mother. Her anger is only bolstered by the fact that her father lives with her and her son, not to mention that she seemingly has different men in and out of the house on a regular basis…and it seems they are rarely repeat visitors.
Billy has the chance to change his life, to alter the past and have a new future. This is EXACTLY what Doc warned Marty about in Back to the Future. And while Marty intelligently heeded the warning…our man William, does not.
He quickly intervenes, revealing himself not only to his younger self but, also his mother, although she doesn’t really catch on and he doesn’t go into explanation…it’s more like a slip of the tongue kind of thing. Meanwhile, he tries to convince his younger version to not do something stupid, which is kill himself. (Yes, I know…the guy is still alive 25 years later so obviously, the attempt wasn’t successful.
Older Billy has been repeatedly reminded throughout both issues not to miss his flight home. He’s warned by his girlfriend (who has a really bad attitude and doesn’t seem very pleasant, kind of like what we see Billy’s mother act like) and he’s warned by the car rental guy (which is just strange). He reassures everyone that he is going to be fine.
But he doesn’t make the flight home. Instead, he chooses to take young Billy from his hellish and abusive homelife and raise himself, himself. (Now, if that doesn’t sound weird, I don’t know what does.)
After reading the first issue, I was really stoked to read the second. And I liked the whole thing, all the way up until the end. I have to say I felt let down. It’s not that it was bad, it just wasn’t what I call a Twilight Zone ending. That seems almost more like a Disney ending to me. I wasn’t thrilled with it.
I did like the whole “mysteriously being sent back in time and confronting yourself” idea. I personally would talk some serious smack to my younger self. I don’t know that I would be good at raising ME though. I know what my folks went through…seems like a tough undertaking to me.
Also, I thought the artwork was pretty good. Some of the variant covers are incredible.
The only other complaint I have is that the younger Billy does not look like the older Billy, in my opinion AND that the dialogue isn’t always clear as to who is speaking.
I’m not going to say don’t read this but, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get ahold of it, if that makes any sense.