Thursday, January 24, 2008

Review: The Evil Inside # 1

Here's another one I've had around for a little while to review, mostly waiting for the changeover to the new website. Long time HCR readers will know that I am a huge fan of the anthology format in horror comics. The anthology was my first exposure to horror in the comic medium, and the style remains an addiction which I cannot shake. So, let's dive in to this b&w offering, shall we?!

The first tale is "Southern Hospitality" and is written by Bart A. Thompson (in fact, he penned all three installments) and illustrated by Paul Schultz. I usually don't give away anthology story endings, and I won't start now. Quick summary: travelers cross paths with what looks like an inbred country clan, but all is not as it would initially appear. Decent enough stuff. Bart describes this as his best horror story, but I'm not sure I'd agree with that statement. Don't get me wrong, it is not bad writing, but after reading the entire issue I think that at least the second story stacks up equally.

That second story is "Word is Bond," is illustrated by Jake Sumbing, and revolves around the play on spelling between the words Santa and Satan. After reading this one, you'll think twice about telling Santa Claus what you really want for Christmas! Nice!

The third and final chapter is "Fox in the Henhouse" and sports art by Giovanni P. Timpano. It's the shortest of all three stories, and is about a convenience store robbery gone supernaturally awry. There is a little confusion with the flow of the tale, but it is adequately clarified in the last couple panels.

All in all, the writing is good enough and gives the anthology addict like myself three quick, satisfying hits. The weakness of this issue certainly lies in the artwork. Schultz and Sumbing have a much too cartoonish style for my taste, and with Schultz there is a muddiness which causes problems with character differentiation and leads to overall flow problems. Timpano gives hands down the best, cleanest overall art job. However, he would have been better to have taken advantage of the b&w medium and applied more detail to his work in order to showcase his sharp lines. Anyway, I look forward to future issues of this title!

$3.50 from

Monday, January 14, 2008

Review: Coffin Kids # 1

This one is a recent favorite of mine. Billed as a throwback to campy 1980's horror movies and inspired by young teen flicks like Stand by Me and The Goonies, this book revolves around a young boy named Reaper who is living alone and supporting himself as a thief. Reaper's burglar skills are aided by a strange skin disease which prevents him from going into the light, but consequently provides him the ability to "disappear." Things begin to snowball one night when upon breaking into a house, he discovers a coffin in the basement with a young boy tied up inside of it. Towards the end of the issue we are introduced to the orphan Smoke, who is searching for his missing brother who may be the kid Reaper had seen earlier. I won't give away the end of the first issue, suffice to say it is somewhat shocking and leaves the door wide open for the rest of the series. I can't wait for the second issue!

The art and story is by Roslyn T. Amparo, with co-writing and editing credits going to Previn Wong. If you like B&W wash tones, you will like this book. The washes are expertly executed and create a nice atmosphere which suites the storyline. Eerie!

$2.95 US from:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review: WEIRDLING graphic Novel

Hey! Our first review since starting the new format! Please forgive us if we have to work out some kinks.

Anyway, Mike Dubisch illustrates & writes this excellent effort about a female soldier aboard a space warship who has recurring all -too -real dreams that whisk her back in time to Earth & the infamous Miskatonic University. Sound far out? It is, & in a good way!

Mike's linework is unbelievable! The B&W format clearly brings out the detail of his illustrations, which will make any fan of the old Warren mags drool. Mike is a true horror artist, his work is able to evoke mood & atmosphere, & is never cartoony. I think this guy is one of the better horror illustrators working in the medium today!

The pleasant surprise is that Mike's writing is some of the most intelligent material I've read in the genre in awhile. Obviously, there are HPL roots, but there is much more to Mike's writing. The plot will keep you turning the pages feverishly, and is layered with entertaining sub-plots. I liked the Van Hise character; I wonder how many out there will get it. My only beef with the story is that I was kind of scratching my head at the end, going "so what really happened?" Regardless, this is well worth the price of admission.

Strange Fear publications, $15.95

Horror Comics Review

Horror Comics Review will be changing from a print fanzine to a strictly web based publication. We will also no longer be updating the Angelfire website, as all updates will be done in this blog format. Stay tuned!