Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review: Vincent Price Presents # 5

Another top notch book from Bluewater Comics. I'm not sure which style of anthology title I prefer more: the traditional 3 or so short stories style packed into a single issue, or the single story per issue version that Bluewater is using for VP. Guess it doesn't matter, I like both styles at the end of the day.

This issue is a story called "Here to There," with writing credits to Scott Davis. I don't know what other writing credentials Mr. Davis has, but this is certainly a fantastic story, much more intellectual and thought provoking than most "horror" fare. One gets the feel that this was first a text short story that had possibly shopped around the world od literati before finding a home in comics. It's a character study of a "once-was" author who is living a life of self exile as a cabbie, and the strange events that unfold in his life during his daily grind. I won't give anything away other than to say you actually feel like you are READING a book rather than breezing through a comic. It's brain food and it's satisfying. I hope Scott Davis writes more for VPP.

Cover and intro/outro art is by Joel Robinson and his cool computer aided style. Interior art is all Rey Armenteros and each panel looks like a dreamlike painting. The only problem I had was that the hazy quality really makes it hard to follow the action in a few panels, and then a couple recurring characters are not really illustrated the same in a couple places, which makes you ask yourself "who is this?" for a moment until you figure out it's a guy from the previous panel.

Overall, the issue is a must read for horror comics fans. GO GET IT!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review: Amour/The Evil Inside Antholgy # 6

So, I believe this is actually The Evil Inside # 6 (with an illustrated cover, no less!) with an Amour tie-in. Amour being a romance anthology from Approbation, not a character ( I think! ). Therefore, I guess these stories are supposed to have a "romance" theme to them.

First up is "Submerged" and (as always witht his series) is written by publisher Bart Thompson. This has a nice twist end to it, and I guess because it appears to take place on a singles cruise (although that is never stated) and there is a "connection" between our leading female and male characters, I suppose there is a romance vibe going. Main downfall here is the art by Paco Zarco. Not that he is "bad," because he certainly isn't, but the action on pages 2 and 4 is so muddied that it is hard to say what exactly is going on. Maybe Bart could have helped him by adding a couple narrative boxes here and there.

Next is "Promiscuous" with art by Kevin Richardson. Witty dialogue and unique plot are the highlights here. Art is crisp and clear with no flow problems. Much better story overall than the opener.

Lastly is "Barhopper" with art by Ezquiel Pineda. Creepy little tale with probably the best art of the book. Pineda's "wife" is eeriely crafted. Good gross-out ending, and like I said, just plain creepy.

All in all, another good effort from Bart Thompson and Approbation. I wish he'd keep publishing the Evil Inside books, but I think he's done with them after this one. So, check it while you can!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Review: Warlock # 1

Looks like Bluewater Comics has acquired the comic rights to Warlock from Lionsgate Films and are launching an ongoing series here. Sweet!

I have the Cover "B" version, which is a nice portrayal by Matt Bellisle. Interior art is penciled by Jacob Bear, who works in a realistic type fashion. He gets the point across well, and the reader is never left trying to decipher what is happening. He teams well with writer Nick Lyons, as the panel layouts and angles are imaginative and pull the reader in.

Lyons' script is fast paced and aptly done. In one issue we are introduced to quite a few characters without overload, and are given the basic premise of the series in a fashion that leaves the reader wanting to pour into the next issue by the last page. The gist of the series appears to be that there is a spellbook guarded closely by a small group of people, in which a spell is contained that imprisoned a group of six warlocks who had laid waste to all in the past. Somehow, there is a Warlock on the loose who seeks to destroy the book, which would free his fellow warlocks. Good stuff, and I don't see fans of the movies being dissapointed at all. Go buy it!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Review: The Evil Inside # 2

Consider this a "retro" review, as I think this one hit the stands in 2007. Writer/CEO of Approbation Comics Bart Thompson contacted me & wondered if I wouldn't mind giving a belated opinion on this, and of course I'm certainly happy to oblige as I'm partial to indy guys trying to get exposure for their labors of love.

I've reviewed a couple other books from the series, and this one doesn't differ much from the others in format: anthology in b&w. Yippee! I love anthologies. First up is "Identity" with art by Chris Kohler (all stories written by Thompson). Kohler has a nice look to his work, reminds of 1980's Rand Holmes for some reason. Lots of nice detailed linework. The story is decent and flows nicely, but I had the "twist" figured out immediately. I've read a ton of "twist" horror yarns, so I'm pretty good at that if I have to say so myself.

Next is "A Slight Period of Adjustment," which looks like it may have been originally titled "The Apocalypse Jumpstart" from Bart's "Blab Page" at the end of the book. Regardless, art is by Michele Buscalferri and done in a sort of "clean lines" almost cartoonish style. This story does have an original twist which I never picked up on. Nice one, Bart!

Rounding out the issue is "Was He Asking For It?" with art by Alex Massacci. The linework is a good realistic style which lends itself nicely to action sequences. The tale is a neat little "just desserts" moral play, a style that has been tried and true in horror comics since the pre-code era. Good stuff.

I'd ask all you horror heads to check out The Evil Inside series and support indy talent such as this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

REVIEW: E.A. Poe's The Pit & the Pendulum

Another Bluewater endeavor, with top notch production values as always (I'm going to stop mentioning this in my reviews, I think. The point should be well driven home by now if you have read a couple of my reviews of their material).

Technically, to get this comic you have to purchase Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops to get the EA Poe story, which is a "Bonus Book" of an extra 22 pages of story/art on the back/flipside of the Titans issue.

Anyway, the art is taken from a (I believe, could be wrong) stop-motion animation DVD done by Marc Lougee & Susan Ma in association with Ray Harryhausen Productions. It is really cool stuff, ironically much superior to some of the comic linework being printed these days. As for the story, well you can't go wrong with Poe, can you? My only complaints are that the first page of the story is presented twice in differing layouts, which interrupted the initial flow a little bit. Also, there are some typos here & there which really should have been caught by somebody. Other than that, another solid effort from Bluewater, and something of a "must see" for fans of Poe. Nice job!