Archive for the 'horror' Category

31
Aug
07

Walking Dead #41

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art and cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Image Comics $2.99 

After a mild and pretty much peaceful(if you don’t count the amputation) issue last month, Walking Dead comes out early this month and arrives with quite a bite.  By reading this issue you get the strong impression that, when the crew at the prison aren’t practicing shooting, they’re essentially waiting around for the war with Woodbury to start.  Though there isn’t much dialog devoted to the subject, Kirkman devotes a bit of his time to showing the tense mood building, which just might erupt next month maybe kind of sort of.  I actually have come to really have a fondness for not knowing when the shit is going to hit the fan, but knowing that, at some point, there’s going to be this kind of gang war in the post apocalyptic world full of zombies.

I figured Carol was up to something stupid when she was acting normal and trying to be friends with Lori again.  And I was right as hell, but it was incredibly entertaining to watch her go down via a pair of rotten teeth.  I’m all in favor of killing off the idiotic characters, not because I really hate them or anything, but because I know that eventually they’re going to fuck it up for the group.  Oddly enough, I really care about the group and want them to be okay, so when Carol goes down, it’s for the better and makes me smile.  What is VERY interesting is Alice’s idea to keep a zombie under surveillance and study them.   I think that her desire to understand them or find a cure could prove to continue to conflict with Rick’s personal craziness and controlling attitudes and it could become a lot of fun to unfold.  The idea of science in a new era without electricity or any of the advances our society has enjoyed over the last 100 years.  One of the most interesting concepts about Walking Dead is the idea of rebuilding in a world that isn’t destroyed, but it’s almost devoid of intelligence.  I hope that these concepts will be touched on sometime in the future.

Or maybe just a whole lot of fighting with some murderous strangers.

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06
Aug
07

Grimm Fairy Tales #16

Written by Ralph Tedesco and Joe Tyler

Art by Andrew Magnum and Roland Salvidor

Zenescope Entertainment $2.99

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Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away

Well, that’s how it was when I was a kid. This, of course, is not a story by the Grimm brothers, in fact, no one is sure who wrote the little rhyme that was first published in 1805, in a book titled Songs for the Nursery. Yet, Little Miss Muffet is the title and main focus of this issue of Grimm Fairy Tales.

Sela, the main character of the series, who is given the power to change people’s lives at the beginning of the series(which I missed, this being only the second issue I have read) by telling people who have lost their way and are a danger or annoyance to humanity old stories to fix their lives, has been abusing her power. Giant spiders are sent to chase her down and demand answers, along with zombies, ghosts and other beings you wouldn’t normally see in the comic shop bitching about all those damned World War Hulk tie-ins. We are given a short history of all the people she’s tried to help, but ended up killing, including those nazi pigs(literally) from last month’s issue.

The issue wraps up by showing Sela over a grave, reminiscing about someone she tried to help, but Sela says she couldn’t, in defiance of the cliched old Chinese man who has been reviewing her life for her ever since the spiders tracked her down in the middle of the issue. Over all, not as enjoyable and fun as last month, but it’s trying to add to some larger story(I think/hope). Otherwise, as a new reader, it made no sense to me. In fact, I had to go to Wikipedia –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_Fairy_Tales_%28comic_series%29 – to get the full story, because I didn’t know there was any continuity to this comic at all. Previous to this issue, I believed the series to be fairy tale themed one shots that use a lot of sex appeal and violence to modernize the old stories. Well, I’m still correct about the latter. This issue stars giant breasts, skimpy clothes, zombies, giant monster-like arachnids and trying-to-be-creepy scenes. It co-stars Sela.

04
Aug
07

New comics for August 03, 2007

I’m a week and a half behind, so this week I ended up picking up quite the pile. I was glad to see so many great issues in my pile this go around. I was particularly excited about walking dead, which is already reviewed, batman, dark tower and JLA. I’ll be putting up several reviews per day and working my way through my pile over the next several days.

Action Comics #853 – Kurt Busiek(w), Brand Walker, Livesay, Lee Loughridge(a)
Batman #666 – Grant Morrison(w), Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang(a)
Black Panther #29 – Reginald Hudlin(w), Francias Portela and Val Staples(a) Arthur Suydam(c)
Black Summer #1 of 7 – Warren Ellis(w), Juan Jose Ryp(a)
Chronicles of Wormwood #6 of 6 – Garth Ennis(w), Jacen Burrows(a)
Countdown #39 & 40 – Paul Dini, McKeever(w), Jim Calafiore and Jay Leigten(a)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 – Peter David and Robin Furth(w), Jae Lee and Richard Isanove(a)
Deathblow #6 – Brian Azzarello(w), Carlos D’Anda, Henry Flint(a)
Fallen Angel #18 – Peter David(w) and J.K. Woodward(a)
Futurama # 32 – Ian Boothby(w), Mike Kazaleh and Andrew Pepoy(a)
Grimm Fairy Tales #16 – Ralph Tedesco and Joe Tyler(w), Andrew Magnum and Roland Salvidor(a)
Justice Society of America #8 – Geoff Johns(w), Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos(a)
Metal Men #1 of 8 – Duncan Roleau(a & w)
Midnighter #10 – Keith Giffen(w), Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Randy Mayor(a)
Raise the Dead #4 of 4 – Leah Moore and John Reppion(w), Hugo Petrus, Marc Rueda and Ivan Nunes(a)
Speak of the Devil #1 of 6 – Gilbert Hernandez(Spider-Man Fairy Tales #3 of 4 – C.B. Cebulski(w), Kei Kobayashi, Christina Strain(a)
Star Trek: Klingons Blood Will Tell #4 – Scott and David Tipton(w), David Messina and Elaina Casagrande(a)
Star Trek: Year Four #1 – David Tischman(w), Steve Conley, Leonard O’Grady(a)
Uncanny X-Men #489 – Ed Brubaker(w), Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennessey(a)
Unholy Union #1 – Ron Marz(w), Michael Broussard(a)
Walking Dead #39 – Robert Kirkman(w), Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn(a)
Welcome to Tranquility #9 – Gail Simone(w), Neil Googe(a)
Wetworks #11 – J.M. Dematteis(w), Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott(a)
World War Hulk #3 – Greg Pak(w), John Romita Jr, Janson, Strain(a)
World War Hulk: Ironman #20 – Christos Gage(w), Butch Guice, Dean White and Gerald Parel(a)
World War Hulk: The Incredible Hulk #108 – Greg Pak(w), Leonard Kirk, Scott Hanna and Chris Sotomayor(a)
World War Hulk: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – Robert Kirkman(w), Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Bill Crabtree and Val Staples(a)
X-Men #201 – Mike Cary(w), Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas and Edgar Delgado(a)

04
Aug
07

The Walking Dead #39

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Image Comics $2.99

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Picking up my comics late this afternoon, I rushed home and quickly flew through this issue first. At one point I even peeked at the first page when I was at a stoplight. I’m absolutely STILL in love with this comic 100%. This series is so satisfying, so well written, drawn, inked, plotted, Christ, it’s the perfect serialized story. I hope it never ends and, according to the notes in the letters column in the end of this issue, it’s sales are higher than they’ve ever been at a time when the comics market is busier than it’s been in a while, which means good things for geeks like me.

I think this issue should make the zombie nerds feel more reassured, as there’s an attack while trying to get gas for the generator. There’s also a moderate level of violence. I say moderate because with this series it ebbs and flows, but the bar is set really high as far as freak out crazy violence goes. The issue opens by closing off the conflict that happened at the end of issue 38, facing the people who were probably from Woodbury in the Wal-Mart where Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Tyrese, Michonne and I swear Axel was with them, but he’s nowhere to be seen in this issue. It’s verified that they’re from Woodbury, one of them recognizes Glenn. And shoots him, unexpectedly. I really didn’t expect that at all, it was random, like most of the other horrible shit that happens in this comic. Just like life. Andrea keeps getting more and more interesting as the series stretches out. She manages to kill half of the hostile men and Michonne dismembers the other two. I like how strong and able the main female characters are in this book, they’re in stark comparison with Lori, who is so incredibly annoying and essentially useless. Glenn, shot, though he was in riot gear, lays on the ground with Maggie quietly mumbling, “no. no. no. no. no.” It’s done incredibly well.  And he turns out to be perhaps okay.

I have really grown to love Adlard and Rathburn’s combined art using black, white and grays in all of their various shades.. The realism of the art style helps to ground the series in reality. Often times I forget that this is a zombie book at all, because there are large chunks of time without zombie attacks, where it’s just a human drama steeped in tragedy. This is my favorite thing about this book, it is about human suffering and companionship, which makes it one of the most realistic comic books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, despite it being set in a universe overpopulated with zombies.

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In the meantime, useless Lori has her baby and Billy and Dale run into some zombies while looking for gas to help run the generator to keep the lights on during the delivery. Despite the ominous cover, there was no zombie baby, which I thought was going to happen, or something equally horrible, until the last page when a normal baby girl is shown.

Another great issue by Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn, more development on these great characters, putting them through odds that seem insane and realistic at the same time.

01
Aug
07

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death #1 of 2

Written by Laurell K. Hamilton and Jonathan Green

Art by Wellinton Alves and Color Dojo

Marvel Comics/Dabel Brothers Productions  $3.99

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Apparently the Guilty Pleasures adaptation of the novels have been pretty successful. I even saw that the people at Borders had posted up a comic book rack with the comics in the horror section where Hamilton’s novels are. That made me pretty happy, because there seems to be this hard separation between a large amount of comics and traditional literature readers. Being avid fans of both, I like to see everybody conveign and have a good time with a good story. Hamilton must have been happy with all of the sales, because, to my knowledge, she has no real history writing comic scripts, yet she designated this story, with 100% new material, for a comic book and helped write it herself.

The First Death is a two-parter that promises never before seen story and appears to occur before Guilty Pleasures, as Anita says she’s never been in the all male, all vampire strip club that she spends so much time in in the miniseries. It took me awhile to get into the miniseries, something like five or six issues, but I finally liked it. I think it was the dense amount of narration and long speech bubbles that made it hard to get through. Until this year I’d been mostly reading superhero comics, which have little important dialog, and sitting down with a comic book and spending a half an hour reading it felt strange and entirely out of place. But now I’ve rather enjoyed it. The writers manage to get a huge amount of story into an individual issue by using tactile, relevant dialog only and using the hell out of narrative boxes. It achieves a much more complex and detailed story than one is used to seeing in most comic books, especially one with a Marvel logo on it. Personally, it’s a welcome change.

Though Brett Booth did the cover and was the art supervisor of this issue, he doesn’t actually do the inside art. This was kind of disappointing for me, I’ve become a fan of his pretty quickly. At first I found his art to be kind of weird, disjointed in a way that made perfect sense, but it looked different. His sharp, detailed designs just stood out from the pages of Guilty Pleasures. Then I bought the first volume of Magician’s Apprentice and got to see six more issues of his work, by the end of the second issue, I really liked his stuff. Instead, in this issue Alves uses a softer, more gentile approach to character designs and uses a more generalized, less detailed attention to the little things. This, accompanied by less colors, results in paler characters and dull backgrounds.

The story focuses on a series of child murders, which is proven to be done by vampires. Anita is called in to help the police with their investigation and, as part of finding suspects, she attends Guilty Pleasures, a male vampire strip club, for the first time. This also serves as her introduction to Jean-Claude, the vampire who runs the club, with his victorian style clothes and hyper-sexualized masculinity that makes Anita incredibly uncomfortable. This book isn’t bogged down by the unnecessary inner-dialog of odd, out of place sexual thoughts that Anita has that plagued the Guilty Pleasures series, which makes for a much better read. Along with a generally more focused plot line and a faster pace, The First Death looks to be a pretty good read, better, I should say, than the first mini-series.

25
Jul
07

Grimm Fairy Tales #15

Written by Joe Tyler & Ralph Tedesco

Art by Joe Dodd, Justin Holman and Lisa Lubera

Zenescope Entertainment $2.99

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This issue was the first of the actual Grimm Fairy Tales series that I’ve picked up, I decided to add it after getting the Return to Wonderland series added to my pull list. I’m glad I did, because these comics aren’t very contentional in the way that they’ve been adapted to tell these old fairytales. You can view the covers for, and in the process figure out what the issues are about, here – http://www.zenescope.com/bookpages/grimm01.htm Each issue seems to be a one-shot focused on a fairy tale, usually written by the brothers Grimm. They’re done well, as far as hyper-sexualized violent artwork goes, and they’re written pretty solidly as well. As a side note, they’re are incredibly fast, this issue took less than ten minutes to read.

This issue is dedicated to the story of the three little pigs, or so I thought. According to the Zenescope website, it’s actually about little red riding hood and her success in eluding the wolf. In this version of the story, a female teacher goes to check on her poorly performing students at their homes, the students, who happen to be skinhead nazis, try to attack her, but she turns each of them into pigs. Each of them flee the scene and hide from the wolf, hiding in homes of obvious constructs, but the wolf eats them all. It was a sharp and quick little issue, if nothing more than a fun rouse on an old story.

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19
Jun
07

30 Days of Night: Eben and Stella # 2

IDW Publishing $3.99

Written by Steve Niles and Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art by Justin Randall

Eben and Stella has been a great return, almost to the very first mini-series, in the sense that it picks up on old characters from the early stories , but it’s also a Steve Niles story, which improves everything drastically.   In addition, the art is much improved, in fact, the art for this book is down right fantastic.  It reminds me of J.K. Woodward’s work in the second Fallen Angel series, utilizing photoshop to manipulate brush strokes and more traditional art to make the work look incredibly realistic.  I wouldn’t call it computer art at all, because it has a distinctive life-like quality, not the well-known downfalls of CGI art – rounded, blatantly fake plastic skin tones and awkward light reflections.  It’s great art.

The story goes back to show what happened to Eben and Stella Olemaun, the former of which was bitten by a vampire and committed suicide to stop himself from hurting Stella, his wife.  She managed a way to bring him back, he infected her.

This mini picks up, expanding on Stella’s feelings of betrayal and she soon finds herself in a poor position, stealing a car that just happens to have a baby in the back seat.   And that baby just happens to be part of a vampire prophecy that the vampires believe will destroy them.  Because she has the child, the vampires believe Stella is part of the prophecy, wishing to fulfill it and end her suffering, as she had never wanted to actually become a vampire.

The story is good and interesting, backpedaling to old characters I’ve been wondering about since the first 30 Days series, and it looks like it will continue well throughout the year, with one more miniseries planned before the movie is released in October.   2007 should be a good year for vampire nerds of the non-Joss Whedon order.