IN SHOPS THIS WEEK:
DEATH HEAD #1
Writer: Zack Keller, Nick Keller
Artist: Joanna Estep
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Description: When Niles and Justine Burton go camping to get a break from their stressful lives, they expect to find peace . . . not an abandoned village hiding an ancient evil. In a turn of events ripped straight from a horror movie, a brutal killer wearing a plague doctor’s mask begins hunting Niles, Justine, and their two kids.
Our Take: As a new horror title, there’s many things to praise about Death Head: it has a suitably cool antagonist, a genuine sense of terror and a complex but intriguing narrative. On the other hand, the characters often feel flat and forced, given so little time to develop that they feel like parodies of the people they’re supposed to be. By starting so many stories in a single issue, the writers just don’t have the breathing room to make the bullies and oppressors in these stories seem anything less than villains instead of real people. But then, so much of the comic takes its cues from the B-movie end of horror films, so this isn’t particularly surprising, and the flipside is a debut issue that’s fairly gripping. Artist Joann Estep, with colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, illustrate these nightmares as best they can and it shows; the scene in the crematorium; Estep can draw the heck out of a mass grave and Fitzpatrick’s queasy, sickly orange-reds add a dried-out, nasty tone to the pages. Death Head is a solid horror comic debut that holds a lot of promise and deserves the attention of horror fanatics for sure.
GODZILLA IN HELL #1
Writer/Artist: James Stokoe
Publisher: IDW Entertainment
Description: Godzilla meets his greatest adversary of all time-the impossible tortures of Hell! Each issue of this special miniseries will see Godzilla enter a new level of the underworld to do battle with the impossible.
Our Take: WHAT? That’s right, believe it or not, Godzilla has somehow ended up in Hell. “Wait, how the fuck does Godzilla end up in hell?” you’re asking, which is stupid because WHO CARES. And writer/artist James Stokoe knows the answer; NOBODY. Nobody cares why Godzilla is in Hell. Instead, he shows us what Hell has in store for the unstoppable lizard bastard; diabolic, twisted demons in the shape of Godzilla’s many nemeses as brilliantly reimagined and rendered with loving, lavish detail by Stokoe. The issue has no dialogue and that’s for the better, as Godzilla’s grim plight has a surprising emotional heft with no clumsy exposition to get in the way of the surreal horror. Even if you don’t care for Godzilla movies, there’s so much creepy monster madness here, you’d be crazy not to be a little impressed by it all.
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Matt Taylor
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: The crime noir thrills and characters reminiscent of True Detective meet with mythical stakes worthy of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in this original fantasy/horror/crime saga for mature readers. Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse, California-style. The road to hell and back begins in a MAX-SIZED FIRST ISSUE, with fifty-eight pages of story and no ads!
Our Take: Oh boy, another noir/crime drama set in Los Angeles, California. But this one, as writer Ales Kot insists, is tainted with a streak of horror (as well as fantasy?) and the few preview images out there featured a person on fire singing a tune? So, this is relevant for sure. Kot is divisive and purposefully so, which means when I go into his books, I’m critical as hell and this one will definitely be no different, if not more so, but I do love a lot of his work; CHANGE basically changed my view of mainstream comics and The Surface was an impossible mix of intellectually stimulating and fun. Will Wolf be part of that tradition of excellence, or will it fail to make an impact? STAY TUNED. In Shops: July 22th, 2015
SOMETHING AT THE WINDOW IS SCRATCHING
Writer/Artist: Roman Dirge
Publisher: Titan Comics
Description: A collection of short poems all telling macabre and twisted tales for children of all ages! From serious sinister one page poems like “Critter Pie” and “Pear Head Man and Bread Boy” to longer stories such as “The Sideways Man” and the title story, “Something at My Window is Scratching.” this is Roman Dirge at his most macabre best, short stories with creepy stings in their tales.
Our Take: Well if it isn’t good ol’ Roman Dirge, creator of Lenore and other charmingly spooky things. What’s he up to now? Well, apparently he’s re-releasing one of his most cherished early books of creepy poetry, completely with better colors and higher quality format. Do you like cute and spooky? Do you still occasionally watch or think about watching Nightmare Before Christmas? Did you go out and buy the new Invader Zim comic? Do you not already own this collection? Well this is your lucky day then, isn’t it? In Shops: July 22th, 2015