Haunted Horror #34
Various (this is a compilation of a number of different stories from different comic books)
This is #34 in a very beloved series that I get on a regular basis, “The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics”. What they’ve done here is take stories from horror comics, mostly of the 50s, and bring them back in a bi-monthly issued series.
The tales in each issue are usually good but this time, I felt they were exceptional. We have cannibals, vampires, incredibly disgusting skin growths that talk and kill, sea monsters, serial killers and more!
I love these vintage comic book stories. The artwork is wicked old school and the tales are edgy and creepy. I can see how these would have spooked many kids. I can also see why parents of that time might have been a little apprehensive about letting their children read such horrific tales. Back then, these would have been considered anything but desirable to most parents.
Still, to me, they are enjoyable. Although, there’s far too many tales in one issue to tell about each story. If you are looking for a good comic book read, I highly recommend picking this up.
Thicker Than Blood
Written by Simon Reed
Pencils & Inks by Mike Ploog
Paintings by Simon Bisley
I picked this up at the comic book store the other day. I grabbed it in Trade Paper which is all three issues under one cover. What drew my eye to this was the artwork. It’s creepy and spooky and perfect for my taste.
The story, however, was less than what I had hoped for. If I deciphered the code correctly, the tale is about two brothers. One lives a fairly normal life. He’s a scientist of some sort and receives funding for his research from investors. And like a lot of people, he is drastically in debt. He’s researching to find a cure to opium addiction. Or so he says. It seems more that he is looking for a cure for his brother, who is some sort of werewolf.
The story is told in a very confusing way. Normally, I don’t mind the flashbacks and such. IF they are clearly defined AS FLASHBACKS. In this comic, it is so hard to determine where the flashbacks start and stop. That makes for a VERY confusing story. I really couldn’t get much else from the story other than what I’ve summed up. And nothing really stuck in my mind. AND I was never quite sure who was narrating this whole this? Is it the scientist brother, is it just some narrator? I mean, seriously? I shouldn’t be left with this many questions after reading the whole series.
Plus, the vocabulary used in this comic book series made it seem like it was written for an English Literature major. I like to think that, in general, I have a decent vocabulary. However, in reading this I had to look up so many words that it just got plain annoying. I can’t imagine what purpose that serves. Words like gossamer and diaphanous…what the hell??? Is this a comic book or a project for English Lit 101?
Yet, the artwork is fantastic. That alone was worth looking at. It dark and sinister, creepy…like what you might imagine an Edgar Allan Poe tale to look like.
All in all, I’d say this would have to be a pass unless you really are a lover of the more classic types of literature. I swear this could have been something they handed out to read in high school at some point.
Heavyweight Messiah #1
Benito Andino III: Creator-Writer-Letterer
Fernando Flavio Giron: Artist-Colorist
Giannina Andino: Editor
I got a few teaser pages of this comic book in digital format a while back and I was very impressed. I love the artwork. I think it’s very well done. The story is good albeit not really my type of comic book. I do like the violence in this issue. I still prefer standard paper comics but this was a good looking issue to do digitally because of the artwork.
However, the way God talks in this issue makes for an extremely long-winded and practically annoying character. It seems somewhat fitting as God is supposed to be all-knowing and in this comic He’s definitely a know-it-all. It kinda gets under your skin which makes one totally understand why Jesus has decided to ignore his father’s warnings and come to Earth to do things HIS way.
Still, the idea of Jesus being resurrected to literally beat sense and redemption into people is an entertaining one. The idea makes me smile. Now, I don’t usually go for anything religion based. It’s just not my thing. But, the violence and blood in this issue made up for the religious story base.
I DID find this comic entertaining and worth the read. Especially since it’s something original and new. It’s nice to see something unusual and unique being done.
Purchase your copy here:
Writer: Ben Meares
Artwork: Ren Ferrer (pgs. 1-5) Renzo Rodriguez (pgs. 6-22)
Colors: Marcelo Costa (pgs. 1-16 & 22) Marco Lesko (pgs. 17-21)
Letters: Fabio Amelia
As Zenescope continues with their take on urban legends, this issue brings us communication from beyond the grave. This story is a twist on the urban legend about a phone call from the afterlife.
So, the earliest version of the story that I can seem to find without digging in like an investigative journalist is this:
One of the Ball Brothers, of the canning jar family, had a great fear of being entombed alive. Anyway, he had a telephone installed in his so he could call out if this happened to him.
As the story goes, he dies…this story is to have happened in the late 1930’s. A few days later, some of his wife’s family got worried because they could only get a busy signal on her phone. Upon entering her home, they found her dead, a look of fright frozen on her face, clutching the phone. When they went to entomb her after the funeral a couple of days later, you can guess what they found…yep, the phone was off the hook INSIDE the crypt.
There are different variations but, that’s the basic story.
So, for our current issue…
Meet Harry Prest. Husband, expecting father, businessman, philanderer. Harry is a charismatic smooth talker with a huge ego and a lot of charm. His selfishness has lead him to hurt a number of women, including his wife who is in the latter half of her pregnancy. His current “flavor of the week” is a gal named Jane. They had a brief hookup and now Jane is getting attached and clingy and Harry can barely remember her name.
Flashback to the past…there’s Melissa. A brokenhearted girl from his college days, a girl he thought he left in the past. After taking her virginity early on in college, he gives her the heave-ho and ignores her. Melissa becomes very depressed and feels incredibly used and taken advantage of once she finds out how much of a dog Harry really is when she catches him with another girl. Riddled with the feeling of disgust and shame and heartache, Melissa tells Harry that he’s ruined her and because she has nothing to live for she is going to end her life. Harry does not take her seriously. In fact, he tells her to stop talking about it and do it. So, she does. On graduation day, Harry and his best buddy Brandon (who has been used as an alibi and an excuse to sneak around by Harry) find Melissa bloody and dead on Harry’s bed in his dorm room. Knowing they MUST call the police, Harry realizes all of his texts telling Melissa to kill herself are still on her phone. He convinces Brandon to give him the phone and never speak of it again.
Flash forward to the present…
Harry is waking up from a one night stand with Jane. He’s lied to his wife and said he had to cover for Brandon at work and he was sleeping at the office. Actually, he was sleeping with Jane at a hotel. While he’s getting dressed, Jane asks when they can get together again. His response includes fumbling around his brain for her name and then saying it was nice to meet her…and walks out of the hotel room, reminding her to be out of the room by check out. (Quite the Casanova, yeah?)
Harry goes to work and is pranked yet again by his buddy, Brandon. This time Brandon photoshopped Harry’s face onto Marilyn Monroe’s famous picture where he skirt is being blown up and she’s holding the front of it down. Not amused, Harry tells Brandon that’s enough.
Later that night, Harry starts getting texts from Jane. Nude photos of her, even one of them in bed together. Initially, Harry tells her to lose his number. Then, when she persists by sending the photo of the two of them in bed, unfortunately Harry’s wife, Trish, sees it and they have “the argument”. Harry tries to blame it on Brandon as another one of his pranks but, Trish isn’t buying it and promptly tells him to leave, kicking him out of their marital home.
As Harry tries to piece together this most recent series of foul ups he continues to get texts…but not from Jane. The texts have been coming in from a number he knows but, it’s not programmed into his cell phone. Then, he’s sent a picture. It’s very similar to the one Jane sent of the two of them earlier except the woman in the photo is Melissa…dead. Harry is also dead in the photo and they are both covered in blood. The caption on the photo reads “All you ever did was lie to me Harry. But I kept my word.”
At that second, his phone rings. He answers nervously only to hear Melissa reminding him of how he told her to kill herself. Then, out of nowhere she pops up behind him and slices his throat.
He is found the next day in his office at the start of the business day. He is bound to his office chair, naked and bloody, a look of terror on his pale and lifeless face.
Once again, Zenescope does not disappoint. As always, the artwork is incredible and the story is well written. The cool thing about this one was, even though I knew what was going to happen I was still completely engrossed in each page and anxiously awaiting the outcome.
The story is told as a back and forth, taking place in the present and in the past. We see the flashbacks to his college days with Brandon and Melissa and then we jump forward to the present day where he ultimately hasn’t changed one bit.
I can always count on Zenescope to bring me a good horror tale. Go grab your copy to see the full scope of the story and its artwork.
Ice Cream Man #6 Strange Neapolitan
Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Art by Martin Morazzo
Colors by Chris O’Halloran
Lettering by Good Old Neon
Cover A Morazzo and O’Halloran Cover B Christian Ward
Okay, I am usually such a huge fan of this comic book series. But, this one was a complete letdown.
First of all, there is absolutely NO written content to this issue at all, just a few minor sound effects. Then, we are watching three different stories happen simultaneously, none of which seem to really make all that much sense. It’s almost like the pictorial ramblings of a comic book artist. I can’t even understand why there’s even a written credit given, there’s no writing!!!
The artwork is good enough but, why no story?
It seems like this series is fading. The first couple issues were great and now it’s just plummeting into nothingness on colorful paper.
I can’t even really begin to explain what this nonsensical mystery is. It looks like the same guy going through three separate lives…kinda like a “what if?” kind of thing I guess. But it’s not clear to me if this is three different time spans of his life, three different possibilities or what? I’m thinking it’s three different possibilities depending on the choice of direction the guy makes for his life. Almost like any one decision you make will affect your entire life kind of plot.
I have to be honest, I hate it when I read something and I’m left feeling confused and robbed. This issue felt like the writer just bailed and left the artists to pick up the pieces. The only really good thing about this issue was that we got back to the ice cream names in the title. I like that part.
I am strongly considering discontinuing my purchases of this series. It’s pissing me off.