Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I want to apologize to everyone for falling behind on updates here on the FTT page. I hope that you all know that reviews can still be found on the review page and that you can always place orders for the back issues. Dan has just been busy starting some new podcasting shows. But rest assured the magazine is still alive and well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Horror Comics Podcast #6 - Anthology Comics Pt. 1

You can also download the podcast here:
Podcast #6 - Anthology Comics Pt. 1

Join Decapitated Dan, Rob Caprilozzi and David Pickney as they dive into the vast world of Anthology comics. Covering EC Comics, Warren Publishing, Skywald Publishing, Eerie Publications, Marvel, DC and sooo much more. This one had to be stretched out into a 2 parter!

Dan even tells you how one Con can go so wrong.

The show runs for about 60 minutes.

Music by Call the Paramedics.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ComicMonsters.com Podcast #4 - Werewolf Comics

You can also download the podcast here:
Podcast #4 - Werewolf Comics

It's Werewolf comic week here at ComicMonsters.com. Join Decapitated Dan and Rob Caprilozzi as we take a look at Werewolf books. Talking about everything from Werewolf by Night, Astounding Wolfman, Bane of the Werewolf, Wulf & Batsy and so much more. We try to cover it all and open the discussion to you. So stop on by the boards at ComicMonsters.com to discuss your love of Werewolf Comics.

The show runs for about 70 minutes.

Music by Call the Paramedics.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ComicMonsters.com Podcast #2 - Vampire Comics

Click here to listen to or download the show.

It's Vampire comic topic week here at ComicMonsters.com. Join us and our newest member Dave, as we take a look at Vampire books. Talking about everything from Marvel's Vampire titles, Blade, Hellsing, Vampirella and so much more. We try to cover it all and open the discussion to you. So stop on by the boards at ComicMonsters.com to discuss your love of Vampire Comics.

The show runs for about 80 minutes.

Music by Call the Paramedics.

Monday, June 28, 2010

ComicMonsters.com Podcast #1 - Zombie Comics

Click here to listen to or download the show.

Welcome to the first installment of the ComicMonsters.com podcast. With our first show The Big Bad Wolf and Decapitated Dan sat down to discuss a history of horror and that quickly turns into zombie comics. So join us as we discuss the Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Crossed, Deadworld, The Living Corpse and everything we could think of.

The show runs for about 50 minutes.

Music by Call the Paramedics.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Shane Oakley

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Shane Oakley into the depths this week to pick his brain about life and everything in between. So sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does, and what we can expect from him in the future. Trust me, you will like what you read!

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.

Shane Oakley

Old enough know better, young enough not care.

Living with partner, Suzanne. 12 years and still going strong!

A doberman called Satan, well, that's an exaggeration, actually a complete and utter lie. We've a shiatsu called Mojo, but he thinks he's a doberman.

Highest Education Level:
Pass in Foundation Art and Design at the North Staffordshire Polytechnic, equivalent of an A-level. Not that it made ANY difference whatsoever in helping me get a job in Stoke-on-Trent or in the comic book biz - DROP OUT NOW!!.

High School Mascot:
We didn't have one, that's more an American thing.

First Job:
Delivering newspapers or shoplifting, not sure.

Childhood Hero:
Kwai Chang Caine

Favorite Type of Fish:
One that's still alive.

Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do:

Comic(s) you created/worked on Before 1990:
Short strips: Growing out of it, written by Jamie Delano, and The Great Cool Challenge by Neil Gaiman.
Gags for satirical humour magazine, The Truth. 6 issue run on the retro-futurist detective mystery Mr.X, published by the long gone Vortex Comics

January 1, 1991 - October 1, 2005:
Covers, illustrations, writing and inks for horror anthology, Killing Stroke. Layouts, inks and covers on Stratosfear. Script and art on action comedy serial, Fatal Charm, with co-creator Matt D'israeli Brooker, for Deadline magazine. Illustrations for kids book, Zool. 3 issues of Rock and Roll High School with Bob Fingerman. Strips for Dark Horse Presents, various indy publishers and porno mags, which i've mostly forgotten about or would very much like to.
And contrary to online information I NEVER drew an issue of Sandman, just one single measly pin-up.

October 2, 2005 - the day after tomorrow:
Co-instigated and pencilled 6 issues of Albion with writers Alan Moore, Leah Moore and John Reppion for DC/Wlidstorm. Drew an updated version of The Fall of the House of Usher, adapted by Dan Whitehead for the Poe anthology, Nevermore. Did many covers for Zombie Tales and Cthulhu Tales, along with a strip written by Steve Niles called The Hiding Place, and wrote a tale for each book, art by Paul Harrison Davies and David Hitchcock.
Squeeze in spot art and covers for small press giants Accent UK, From The Tomb and Little Shoppe of Horrors. Recently completed two covers for Sam Costello's Split Lip book.

And right now I'm just putting some inks down on Channel Evil #3; a contemporary, hard-edged horror mini-series, about demonic gods and possession, written by comics legend Alan Grant.

Alright all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?

All time best comic movie you ever saw and why?
The Chris Reeves Superman still gives me tingles of joy. It's bright, grand, mythical, and unashamedly old-fashioned. A film full of romance, clean cut heroes, gentle humour and enormous charm, unlike the cynical, cocky, leather-clad ultra violence that they spit out today. Yes, I do sound like an old fart.

All time worst comic movie you ever saw and why?
I haven't seen that many, but i endured 25 minutes or so of Catwoman, that was like someone sucking out my brain with a vacuum cleaner. Batman and Robin sucked even more.

Any TV shows grabbing your attention these days?
Don't really watch TV anymore, I sit thru piles of movies and shows on DVD instead. But we do keep up with Supernatural, Dr.Who and Spongebob, but mostly it's old classics like Twilight Zone, Magnum PI, Sapphire and Steel, The Avengers and Jeeves and Wooster. Currently enjoying Rent-a-Ghost, Space 1999 and the Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes box set.

Favorite music to listen to, right now?
The Horrors, Buzzcocks, Count Basie, Tangerine Dream, and many soundtrack albums from the 60's.

What could you do with an soccer ball, a torch and a big box of Pez dispensers?
Entertain brain-damaged children at birthday parties with a captivating mix of of slalom and shadow puppetry.

Back to comic stuff for now.

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Come on, Dan. Nobody other than Eminem makes a convincing white rapper.

Favorite comic character when you were 5, 10 and 15?
Parsley the Lion, Brassneck and Sam Slade;Robo-hunter

You find a genie lamp, but he only offers you 3 comic related wishes what are they?
1.To own one of those astounding two-page spreads from any Jack Kirby comic, but preferably Captain America or Kamandi.
2. I'd take a trip back in time to 1950 and feed Dr. Wertham arsenic-laced bratwurst.
3. And finally, I'd alter the minds of all adolescents and emotionally-stunted adults(those with minds) and make each and every one of them seek diversity outside the pages of superhero books which in turn would reinvigorate a stagnant medium and shake up a monopolized industry and make life more interesting and reading more rewarding and our racks would be adorned with comic books that represent all genres all ages and all tastes like movies and books do and not just cater for obsessive virgin fanboys with bad ass power fantasies...same goes for the artists and writers that make them.

Alright your making a comic about a headless man who sees the world through his belly button. Whats the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch, Go!
From The Tum; A man in the middle of a waist-land, fights prejudice and seeks the legendary monocle of the gods.

We all know your a great artist but what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Someone rich and successful or Kwai Chang Caine.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
Movies, computer games and obsessive virgin fanboys with bad ass power fantasies .

When your making comics whats going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
Always, always music, or at the least talking books or radio shows. I like to choose bands/composers specifically for the mood of whatever I'm working on. And it helps to mask the voices in my head and the sound of the rats scratching inside the walls.

Favorite character you ever created/worked on and why?
All my favourite characters I've yet to work on. But when I was six or seven, I was pretty damned proud of Marvo the Mystic Budgie, and still am!

5 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
5 years from now? I'm not even sure about 5 days from now. Though, to be terribly serious for a moment, I would love to be drawing a creator owned book that would indulge my love for dark fantasy adventure and/or Gothic horror. Have many projects with writers that would tick all the right boxes, but progress is frustratingly slow. So, in five years, i just hope I'm still not waiting...

Alright we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Zombie Tales?
Underrated and overlooked

Channel Evil?
Doom. Agony. Terror. Chocolate biscuits.

Horror Comics?
Chocolate biscuits.

Fish & Chips?
The most frustrating smell possible for a vegetarian.

Chionophobia — Fear of snow?
Living in the desert.

Pink Elephants?
My next door neighbours in their tracksuits.

Brides for Frankenstein.

Decapitated Dan?
Crack whores, armed robbery and tragic early death in a Nazi cos-play bondage mishap.

Shane Oakley?
Trapped in a world he never made - same as his bed.

Thanks so much Shane.
Pleasure, Dan.

To know more about Shane and see what he is up to please go to http://shaneoakley.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 7, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Alex Grecian

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Alex Grecian into the depths this week to pick his brain about life and everything in between. So sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does, and what we can expect from him in the future. Trust me, you will like what you read!

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.
Alex Grecian

Older than my son, but younger than my father.


A cat named Zoe and a small tank of what appear to be dead Sea Monkeys, none of which had names.

Highest Education Level:
College at the University of Kansas.

High School Mascot:
If I remember right, it was the Scotties my freshman through junior years and the Chargers my senior year (transferred high schools three-fourths of the way through).

First Job:
Age 14. A summer job at a comic book store.

Favorite Ice Cream:
Root beer float.

Best Cartoon EVER:

“Water, Water, Every Hare,” in which a pint-sized mad scientist chases Bugs Bunny around a damp castle, shouting “Come back here, you rabbit” in slow motion, while they’re both high on chemical fumes.

Staying with short answers let’s talk about what you do:

Comic(s) you created before 2004:
I drew short stories for a bunch of comics, but the one that mattered most was “Little Remains” a 24-page comic that ended up being picked for the very first 24-Hour Comics collection, edited by Scott McCloud. That book also included stories by Neil Gaiman and Steve Bissette, among other talented folk, and I was very proud to be involved in it.

January 1, 2005 - October 1, 2007:
Seven Sons was my first collaboration with Riley Rossmo. We got a ton of critical praise for that original graphic novel and it paved the way for our future work together.

October 2, 2007 - the day after, the day after tomorrow:
Proof debuted at Image in late October, 2007 and is still going strong. The series is relaunching with a new #1 later this year. Meanwhile, I have graphic novels (Squeak! and RocketBots, among others) in the hopper, miniseries for a couple of comics publishers, and I’m working on a prose crime novel, which will be out at some point after the day after tomorrow.

All right, all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?
Write novels and short stories and screenplays, play with my son, read, watch movies, cook, try to avoid learning how to fix up this charming old house we bought.

All-time best comic movie you ever saw and why?
American Splendor. It was structurally sophisticated and Paul Giamatti could probably act out scenes from the phone book and still be interesting.

All-time worst comic movie you ever saw and why?

Monkeybone. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

When you were 6 and 14 what were you for Halloween?
When I was six, I think I was Batman. By fourteen, I was too old to trick-or-treat anymore.

Any TV shows grabbing your attention these days?
Fringe, Dexter, 30 Rock, I’m really looking forward to seeing Treme.

Favorite music to listen to, right now?

I’m writing a dark thriller, set in England, so I’m listening to stuff that helps put me in the right frame of mind: James Newton Howard’s score for The Village and lots of Tori Amos.

What could you do with a hockey puck, two kittens and a big box of packing peanuts?
Make two kittens very very happy.
Back to comic stuff for now:

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Because everyone knows that The Flash could kick Iceman’s ass almost instantly. Best to keep him safely hidden away.

Favorite comic character when you were 5, 15 and 25?
The Flash, The Flash and The Flash. (But when I was five, that was Barry Allen and when I was 25 it was Wally West.) I probably strayed away every once in a while for Sandman or Robot Man or even Wolverine when I was really young, but The Flash has always been a constant for me.

You find a genie lamp, but he only offers you 3 comic related wishes what are they?
1. All the issues of Flash that I’m missing.
2. To magically organize my comics so I can find everything.
3. Readers checking out Proof when it relaunches with a new #1.

All right, you’re making a comic about a team of bowlers who control the fate of the world by how well they bowl. What’s the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch, Go!
Three Fingers: Monty McGillicutty (“Cutty” to his friends) discovers that his custom bowling ball is an Earth familiar and that when he rolls it, the world responds. Unfortunately, there’s another ball just like it and Cutty’s team’s arch-rivals have it. If they won the championship, their ball will knock the Earth out of orbit and we’ll all plunge into the sun. Too bad Cutty’s behind the bar in a nacho-coma.

We all know you’re a great writer but what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Nothing else I’d rather be. (And nothing else I’m very good at.)

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
Being Jim Lee.

When you’re making comics what’s going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
I make iTunes play lists for each of the projects I’m working on and keep specific music going for whatever mood I need to be writing. I hear the same pieces of music over and over to the point where I don’t notice them anymore, but I think they still affect my writing. Other than that, I prefer isolation and silence.

Favorite character you ever created/worked on and why?
So far, Proof. Despite his appearance, he’s an idealized version of myself.

5 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
Straddling at least two industries, writing both comics and novels. I’d like to have a hand in writing screenplays, as well, but that’s not as sure a bet yet.

All right, we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Negative Burn?
Gave me my break in comics… twice; first as an artist in the ‘90s and then as a writer with the creation of Proof.

My finest comics-related work so far.

Horror Comics?
Something my collaborator Riley and I are working on right now, outside of Proof.

Poker Face?
An irritatingly catchy song that I occasionally hear at the grocery store and can’t get back out of my head for the rest of the day.

Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body?
A perfectly reasonable problem for half of all identical twins.

Vastly inferior to Hawaiian Punch.

Chester Cheetah?
An annoying hipster cat who needs to quit bogarting all my Cheetos.

Decapitated Dan?
Creator of the weirdest interview I’ve done.

Alex Grecian?
Worn out.

Thanks so much Alex!

To find out more about Alex and what he is up to please go to http://www.alexandergrecian.com/

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: The Vegetable Wars Guys

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured the Vegetable Wars guys, and a zombie cow, into the depths to pick their brains about their horrifyingly awesome comic. So sit back and relax we find out why we should all be reading The Vegetable Wars.

Decapitated Dan: Hey guys! Thanks for taking time to talk with me about Vegetable Wars .

Peter Caton: Greetings and salutations. I want everyone to know that the answers for this interview have been compiled with the cooperation of The Evils of the Unknown, who graciously allowed Greg to transmit a single response from the stomach of a zombie cow. The rest of the interview was completed by the single-source of evil which binds Greg to the flesh eating cow, his partner in crime and co-creator of The Vegetable Wars.

DD: Well now don't we feel lucky! So first of all lets talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?

PC: DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER! This sort of question sets of all sorts of alarms as both Greg and I are overly cautious about our alter egos, or secret civilian identities. I will say that presently, we are both spirits in the material world. That is, we both have jobs outside the realm of comics, and we can be found somewhere in the vast unknown of technology. Whoa! Even that is a bit too revealing for us, as we do strive to protect our secret identities. We just have too many enemies that could hurt us and our families, those we love.... okay, honestly, there isn't much to tell about our personal lives. So we prefer to let our creations do the talking for us.

DD: How did you find yourselves getting into making comics?

For us, comics offer a great medium in which to fuel our creative energies. We've always loved the combination of words and art. Seeing pictures, feeling the words. Comics offer so much to readers, so it is a perfect environment for us to nurture our artistic souls.

DD: So what can you tell me about Vegetable Wars?

PC: The Wars is a confluence of many ideas, genres, and influences. We have created a world that is both entertaining and topical. The fusion of different ideas, from B-movies, to epic poetry which help dictate the overall tone of the Wars.

DD: What's it all about?

PC: The Vegetable Wars is but one chapter in the long history of Town. Town, being the place, the city, the geographic area where all the strange events take place. The chapter known as The Vegetable Wars picks up on a dark and stormy night where the evil madman, Mad Scientist, brews a mysterious formula using the power of X. With this formula, Mad Scientist creates a vegetable army that he intends to use for world domination. Past decisions, present mistakes all collide as the dangerous future unfolds. Where the story will end, no one knows. And thus the tale begins, of The Vegetable Wars....

DD: Who are the main characters?

The Wars boil down to a struggle between good and evil. The principle characters are therefore, Mad Scientist and the General. Both of who represent the two polarities of ultimate badness and holy goodness, respectively. Along the way, readers will encounter new villains, new heroes, that support the two main rivals in this epic story.

DD: Building on the previous question. Why did you choose to go with, this is not meant as an insult, such simple names for the cast and location?

PC: The Wars often pays homage to silly B-movie horror and science fiction. As Town rose from the flames of creation, it seemed apropos to continue in the same vein of naming characters in silly or often ridiculous ways. As for reasons behind Town's mad scientist being eponymously named, there will be more exploration to the origin of his name in our new graphic novel, The Origin of Madness, coming out in late summer.

DD: Where did this idea come from?

PC: The idea of the Wars came to me in high school while sitting in study hall. A good friend of mine had just moved a couple States away. There was no Internet in these days, heck, there were only Commodore 64's and ~ 2400 BAUD modems in a scattered few American homes. So the only way to realistically stay in touch was by snail mail. As a way to keep the letters interesting, I invented the Vegetable Wars. The idea of mutant vegetables taking over the world was just so appealing. Killer carrots. Marauding potatoes. Staunch and steady tomatoes. What else could one ask for? And watching the vegetables battle endlessly helped dampen some of the monotony of any given day. Back then, I'd just draw battle scenes. Sort of a Spy vs. Spy style, where one side would triumph in one drawing, and the other side would triumph in another. As the Wars expanded with Greg's vision, the story itself evolved. Town emerged, the Narrators, the General, Odysseus Amadeus, Diomedes Zen and other characters of the like were born. Town's history grew, and so did the story of The Vegetable Wars driven on by Greg's artistic direction, and by the muse of a narrator's fiction.

DD: If you were to give this book a movie style rating (G, PG, PG-13, R, X) what would it get, and why would you say that?

PC: We give The Vegetable Wars an "X" rating for sure..... if you know the story, then you'll understand this answer and probably have a laugh. For those unfamiliar with the Wars, then I definitely should clarify that the X rating does not indicate that there is any pornographic content whatsoever in the Wars. So parents, no need to hide your children from the Wars. The Wars has violence, not sex and it is geared more for teens and adults. So I should say that if you are unfamiliar with the Wars altogether, then consider it a PG-13 type of experience. You'll understand the X rating reference more when you start reading our stuff. Briefly, the X-rating is about intrigue and mystery, the power of the unknown, all of which is explored in the vast world of the Wars.

DD: For those of you who have read the books that is an awesome answer! So what are you hoping readers can take away from this story?

PC: Entertainment. The Wars was designed to entertain our readers. The stories are layered, and there is a lot to take away from a story after one is done reading it.

DD: Greg, lets talk about the art. What initially drew me to the the story was the seeing this Bad Ass Tomato staring over the edge of a cliff. So what went into coming up with the look for the sinister vegetables?

Greg's answer is now being transmitted via a stomach of a Zombie Cow:
Can, can you hear me? We’re good? Okay, well, I initially started scribbling with a crayon, concentrating on a mix between V8 juice and AK-47's, and of course- turtle wax.

Seriously, though- after discussing the idea(s) behind the Wars with Peter, I started noodling out the various character sketches- all the while trying to keep the designs unique and exciting as possible. I had this vision of (pumpkins originally, I believe, later assigned to the tomatoes) these terrifying organic mutant-monsters springing over a hill towards their unsuspecting victims, their vines bouncing and stretching all over the place.

Since vegetables don't have claws or teeth, the only 'weapon' they could really have would be their vines/thorns, and even that's not too scary- unless these vines could help propel them, and perhaps also be stretched like tentacles or spider-webbing weapons at times. Unarmed, they needed something that would still make them look a bit menacing..the vines actually could be whips, nooses, ropes, you name it, they fit the bill.

So, since any vegetable-type characters I'd seen previously always had arms and legs extending from their 'bodies', I thought inverting them and using their vines as spring-like 'legs' would be different as well as useful.

Initially I had the arms constructed from vines too (or roots). Now, Onion and Celery, for example, have nothing but roots. Potatoes and carrots have the old-fashioned arms and legs though. They don't usually have a lot of vines to speak of, so they went the 'normal' route of legs and arms as body-extensions, and the carrots needed their hair due to the fact that they are afflicted with perpetual vanity.

One great part of drawing these guys is their flexibility. They are mutants, so one never looks exactly like another - some have more arms (or eyes or legs), some less, etc.

I have to say, the Wars and all of the Town-related stories are great to draw. Every type of monster or creature imaginable has either lived or lurked there at one time or another. Peter's stories keep expanding into new avenues, and that's great; not only for the readers but for myself- I don't get a chance to become bored of drawing the same characters over and over again.

Well, the zombie cow’s stomach is rumbling… I’d better turn the interview back to Peter before the digestive juices eat away my vocal cords away….

DD: Peter, when it comes to the way the story is told, I think you take a very unique approach. You seem to have a great grasp of the narrator (no relation to the actual character) style. Why go in this direction?

While searching for the voice of Town, I discovered the character of John Narrator. From there, the world of Town grew and grew, nourished by the rich tradition of the Narrator families. One can think of John Narrator as a Rod Serling-esque character. The main difference is that Narrator interacts with the characters, the events in Town, whereas Serling, in most cases, did not. John Narrator is a student of literature, and therefore often digresses with poetical phrases and bombastic descriptions, all of which add to the charm of the story itself.

DD: Is this a series that we can expect more from in the future?

PC: Certainly. The battle between good and evil continues this summer with an all new, not so-different graphic novel called Origin of Madness. A lot will be revealed in this story, new characters, new events both strange and bizarre will be unveiled as the secrets behind Mad Scientist and the power of X come to light... or I should say, come to the dark, as Mad Scientist, since he's evil, doesn't like the light too much.

DD: So how did you two come together to work on this book?

PC: In our secret civilian lives, we were both sitting around one day talking about heroes and villains. The conversation turned to comics, and the idea of creating a comic together emerged. I threw out the idea of the Wars, Greg latched on to this and with a few hours, had done some of the early character design sketches. From Greg's sketches, the muse of fiction took over and created the world now know as Town. Town is therefore created by a synergistic, inspiring cooperation between artist and writer.

DD: Can we expect more books from you guys in the future?

Most definitely. We will have another graphic novel called The Origin of Madness out in late summer. The Origin of Madness is a collection of seven original stories which detail the creation of Mad Scientist. The stories go beyond a simple origin and also offer complementary events which reveal others secrets in Town, such as how the unknown variable X got its power. One can think of Origins as a spotlight issue as well as many new characters and many new stories from the world of Town are introduced. There are some amazing stories in Origins. Hellish vixens, decaying zombies, and superheroes galore! What else could one ask for? After Origins is released, we hope to continue the bi-monthly Wars series, which will pick up after the events in issue 3, or the Ever Present Sound of Thunder.

DD: Can you talk a bit about your experiences so far with working in comics?

PC: We are entirely independent. Unfortunately, being entirely independent, funding the book on our own, means that it is often a struggle to produce and distribute our books. Sure, there are plenty of resources on the Internet for independent publishers to use, which is a big help. And of course, the Internet itself provides us with a way of advertising our book. But it is nonetheless an uphill battle to get people aware of the Wars. Through it all, though, we solider on. The story is exciting to us, and with a little luck, the Wars will rule the world!

DD: How has it gone doing everything on your own through Indyplanet and LuLu?

PC: Things could go better. The idea behind such sites is great. Sometimes the execution is not so great. With Ka-blam, they produce excellent books but take at least a month to deliver with standard shipping rates. With Lulu, they have fast printing times but the print quality is severely lacking, especially on darker colors. With Indy Planet, their credit card ordering system failed during the sale of issue 2, which made a lot of our fans frustrated as orders failed or were delayed significantly. All of these things have put a damper on things. I wish these companies would fix their respective problems as it would help all of us who use them. Us independent guys need a company who can print fast, print high quality stuff and help us distribute our titles to comic shops and fans. Hopefully some savvy entrepreneurs are reading this and can start just this sort of company.

DD: Any strange or interesting stories from shows you care to share?

Town is a mysterious place. Hardcore readers may find themselves transported into Town. Becoming a part of the vast History of this strange place. So if you're a hardcore fan, don't be surprised if you see yourself in one of the histories of Town. Just ask our headless interviewer.....

DD: Were you guys into any horror titles growing up that lead you to want to create a book like this?

PC: I read Hellboy and The Nocturnals at different stages in my life. I also liked Dark Horse's first Alien series. Too bad 20th Century Fox couldn't have made Alien 3 based on the comic series. Much better than Ripley diving into a pool of volcanic flame. Speaking of film, I also am a fan of horror movies. Not "celebrity horror" movies, which horror movies seems to entrenched in today. But classics like Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead, Fright Night and Evil Dead to name a few.

DD: What comics are you currently reading?

Sadly, I am not reading anything at the moment. There probably is amazing stuff out there and I just don't know about it. When I walk into a comic store, all I see are the faces of Marvel and DC. There simply a lack of representation of independent voices at comic stores in general. Which certainly is a reason why very few know about The Vegetable Wars. We're very thankful that the Internet exists, as we can connect with guys like you who help to remind the rest of the world that there are great things beyond the borders of Marvel and DC.

DD: So where can readers find out more about this book?

PC: Our Facebook page is the best place to go for updates. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vegetable-Wars/15054873618 Become a Fan and get lots of updates, behind the scenes stuff and bonus material not found anywhere else!

DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Vegetable Wars and why fans should give it a try.

PC: The Wars is something both familiar and new. It is a story that will hold you, entertain you, thrill you, and even scare the hell out of you. Each single issue is jammed pack with adventure and mayhem. Do not think of a single issue of the Wars like your standard comic. It is so much more. So on the surface, you may see similarities, but once you dive in, you'll find a new world ahead of you. Violent vegetables ready to kill and slaughter the innocent. A mad scientist so aptly named that his name itself, is well, Mad Scientist. There is good. There is evil. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, the world of Town will be torn asunder as this eternal struggle continues to unfold, right before your very eyes. So beware! Beware! And dare yourself to read on, on, into the vast unknown that is the great universe of Town.

DD: Thanks so much for your time guys and cow stomach.

PC: Thank you for you support!

To check out more on Vegetable Wars and what else the guys are up to please go to the Facebook Page or http://www.thevegetablewars.com/

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Gabe Rodriguez

Welcome back kiddies. This time I have lured Gabe Rodriguez back into the depths to pick his brain about everything he is working on. I personally have to suggest that everyone reads Locke & Key and The Great and Secret Show, of which Gabe was the artist on. So sit back and relax as we learn all about the man, the myth and the soon to be legendary artist, Gabriel Rodriguez.

Decapitated Dan: Hey Gabe thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Locke & Key.
Alright so lets start out simple. Who are you?

Gabe Rodriguez: I’m a Chilean architect, born in 1974, that always loved to draw and to read comics, and whom by a miraculous turn of fate, ended up working in my dream job….

Decapitated Dan: Comic wise what have you already done?

Gabe Rodriguez: I started working professionally in comics back in 2002, drawing IDW’s early CSI: Crime Scene Investigation comics. I did 5 miniseries published right now as graphic novels, written by Max Alan Collins, Kris Oprisko and Steven Grant, and a 48 page special issue named CSI: Thicker Than Blood with Jeff Mariotte. After CSI, came the comic adaptation of George Romero’s Land Of The Dead, with Chris Ryall, which was also my first collaboration with Jay Fotos in colors, with whom I keep collaborating until today. After that, with the same team, we did the graphic novel adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Great And Secret Show, which was for me the first opportunity to design and develop with total freedom the visuals of a story. It was a 12 issues run that ended as a graphic novel. After that, I did another movie adaptation, Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, again adapted by Chris Ryall from the script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, and while I was starting that book, I was contacted by IDW with a guy named Joe Hill, that has this idea for a dark fantasy epic called Locke & Key….

Decapitated Dan: Alright so what do I need to know about Locke & Ke
y up to this point?

Gabe Rodriguez: That you should be reading it!…..haha. Well, seriously, you should know that all started when the Locke family was torn apart by the vicious murder of the father, Rendell Locke, by the hands of a vicious couple of teenagers from the school in which he worked as a student counselor. The widow, Nina, and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, crossed the country from San Francisco to Lovecraft, Massachusetts, to live in Keyhouse, an ancient property of the Locke family. While trying to mend their broken lives, the Locke children found out that they have not just deal with their trauma, but also with magic powers that wait for them, hidden in the old house, waiting to be “unlocked” with mysterious magic keys….

And that’s not all, since there’s also the presence of a mysterious boy that seems to be the mastermind behind the murder of Rendell Locke, Zack Wells, also known as Dodge. He approaches to the kids as their best friend, while plotting and manipulating people and events to find where is a specific key, the Omega Key, which was hidden by Rendell decades ago….

In a couple months, simultaneously with the launch of the fourth part of the Locke & Key saga, Keys To The Kingdom, IDW will be publishing a special edition of Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft #1, as a 40 page book that will include the 32 pages of the first issue, plus an 8-page recap of where the series has gone before… and all this for just $1.00! Can you believe it?

Decapitated Dan: How did you come on board to draw this series?

Gabe Rodriguez: It was a curious process...It all started when, Ted Adams and Chris Ryall contacted Joe Hill after reading his famous short stories collection, 20th Century Ghost. The original plan was to do comic adaptations of some of this stories, but guess what… Joe Hill was a hardcore comic book fan, and has already conceived an idea for an original comic book series, about a family facing their tragedy while dealing with magic events in their old Victorian mansion in New England….

They loved the idea, and with Joe they checked samples of several artist to find someone for this project, and Joe saw some potential for the story in what I did in the adaptation of Clive Barker’s the Great And Secret Show. So, Chris Ryall set up the team, and we started working with Joe in the first design stages, based on his notes and ideas, and there started an incredibly fluid creative relationship that let us create the Locke & Key universe as a vehicle for this amazing and charming story….

Decapitated Dan: Was there any inspiration to the character designs?

Gabe Rodriguez: In this case, just an attitude inspiration for Nina and Bode Locke, from my wife and my first son, but all the other characters just popped out from my head while reading the scripts. Which is weird, considering for example that for The Great And Secret Show we defined a complete reference cast to design the characters.

In this one, they were all so vividly written in Joe’s scripts, that just appeared in my mind as I read the first chapters.

Decapitated Dan: How much fun are you having creating this universe?

Gabe Rodriguez: I can’t have more…This really is a dream project, a fantastic world to explore with visual creativity, and also with the tremendous luck of having the chance to work with such a talented writer as Joe. It really is a one in a million opportunity to be involved in an original project with whom I think it’s one of the best comic writers right now.

Decapitated Dan: What is it like when you get the script from Joe? Can you walk us through your process?

Gabe Rodriguez: I receive the script one or two months before I would start drawing. So that gives me the chance to read it 3 or 4 times, just to start shaping images in my head, trying to imagine alternatives for the different scenes before drawing a single line. If necessary, I use that time to research references, or to develop new designs for characters, objects or locations. So then, when I finally face the white page, I’m pretty much decided of how to start, always aware that sometimes it’s just when you’re drawing that you discover unexpected alternatives that worked better than planned.
I also use to discuss scenes and ideas with Joe, to solve doubts or explore new ways to deliver a better story. I must admit also that he is absolutely generous as a creative counterpart, always insisting that I must consider the script as a guide, giving me room to change sequences or panels if I think we should do it to benefit the story. And he’s also a compulsive detail freak, that’s constantly revising the script and dialogues. I use to receive the 4th or 5th draft of the script to start working with, and the final version of the dialogues comes up over the drawn page…

Decapitated Dan: Seeing how you get to read the issues before the rest of us, are you often shocked at what Joe can come up with?

Gabe Rodriguez: Not often,…. ALWAYS! And not always surprised with the turn of events in the story, but also amazed by how aware is Joe about the potential of comics as a narrative tool and as a reading experience. His use of the medium is as amazing as his skill to develop the story.

Decapitated Dan: Do you find it difficult at times to depict what the story might call for?

Gabe Rodriguez: Just check every single issue of Crown Of Shadows, especially the last three…. Or wait ‘til the first one from the next arc!
Joe is constantly challenging my storytelling and drawing abilities, and though hard at times, it really helps to tell this story as it deserves to.

Decapitated Dan: Can we expect you to stay on board until the end of Locke & Key?

Gabe Rodriguez: That’s the plan, so help us God….

Decapitated Dan: Do you have any other projects in the works?

Gabe Rodriguez: Just Locke & Key so far… I’m completely devoted to the series. Maybe just some covers here and there from time to time, and the chance for any other project should wait until we finish this epic.

Decapitated Dan: In general how have fans responded to the Locke & Key so far?

Gabe Rodriguez: Much better than we expected at the beginning… we don’t have a huge fan base yet, but the people following the series is EXTREMELY loyal and enthusiast about it. And also we’re having the pleasing experience that being constantly contacted by people telling us that they didn’t use to read comic books, but they started loving them with Locke & Key.

Decapitated Dan: Any moment from a convention or show in particular since you started that just stands out to you?

Gabe Rodriguez:  My only convention so far was the San Diego ComicCon in 2008 (not easy to attend living so far), in which I had the chance to depart with the awesome IDW and also finally meet in person with Joe Hill.

Decapitated Dan: Can we expect you to be at any upcoming shows? 

Gabe Rodriguez: Hope to be there in the next New York Comic Con in October, I think… Fingers crossed!

Decapitated Dan: So what are you reading these days?

Gabe Rodriguez: In comics, just ended Y The last Man (finally!), which I loved, and just purchased the Ultimates Omnibus by Millar-Hitch, and the first volumes of Planetary, by Ellis - Cassaday. But I must admit that since I started working in comics, I have such few moments to read. I’m also reading a freaky science-fiction novel named Ygdrasil, by Chilean author Jorge Baradit.

Decapitated Dan: So lets sum it all up, why should people go out and get Locke & Key?

Gabe Rodriguez: Because the story is SO good, that even if they hate the art, they will love it….
Decapitated Dan: Thanks so much for your time Gabe.

If you want to learn more about Gabe and how awesome his work is go to http://www2.gr.cl/

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Remembering Bill DuBay 1/11/1948 – 4/15/2010

Sometimes in the comic world we can overlook those who came before and made an impact in our beloved industry. Especially when in a short amount of time we lose a few of them. William Bryan "Bill" DuBay was a comic editor, writer and artist whose work was seen in the Warren publications of Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.
His comic book love began when he was a child. Reading Mickey Mouse comics and later on Brave and the Bold issues. From there his love spiraled into being a fan artist for Komix Illustrated. His earliest credited work can be found in Charlton Comics Go-Go #4 (1966) in a story titled “Bound in the Badcave.”
Getting his start with Warren came after sometime though. In 1966 he did have a piece of fan art published in the "Creepy Fan Club" section of Creepy #12, but it was not until 1970 that his art was put into a story. Working with R. Michael Rosen (writer) DuBay penciled “Movie Dissector” in Creepy #32. In an interview James Warren recalled his first encounter with DuBay, “You are too young to work for this company, too young to work for anybody. You are a callow youth. You don't even shave yet. Let me see your work'. I took one look and said, 'You're hired'". Just like that his career at Warren began.
When DuBay was officially listed as the Editor for Warren in 1973, he started to make some changes. The magazines were given a new redesign, by dropping the fan pages and implementing newer features to add to the overall look and feel. It wasn’t until 1976 that DuBay, was replaced as editor on the magazine lines, when he took on more of a contributing editor role, but that did not last long, as he went back and forth with the Editor title and stuck with the magazines almost until the end.
After leaving Warren DuBay did some work for the magazine Heavy Metal and eventually became the Editor of the Archie Comic superhero line. It did not last very long. In 1984 he headed into animation work. Working for Marvel Productions and later Fox Kids.
DuBay had his hand in the horror comic pot from his early days as a fan contributor to the editor on the famous Warren titles. Hopefully we can all take a moment to realize the impact he had on some of our favorite works, whether they were scary stories, hero comics or even cartoons we thank  you Bill for what you gave us over the years.
 - Decapitated Dan & Frank Forte
What follows are some excerpts from two interviews. One tha Bill DuBay did with Jon B. Cooke and one Jim Warren did with Jon B. Cooke.
Jon: How did you break into comics?
William: As I said, I worked hard at my studies. By the time I was sixteen, I was convinced I was the best comics writer/artist who’d ever lived. I started submitting my work to DC, Marvel, Charlton and Gold Key then, and it would come back to me with the standard form rejection. After two or three months, I couldn’t understand why I was having such a hard time breaking into the field. Jack, who’d become a friend by that point, explained that comics was an “old boys’ network” in those days, and not just anyone could walk through the door. That’s when I hit on the idea of sending my art and story samples to an editor using his name, coupled with a note saying, “I’d like to get back into it.” Sure enough [laughs], it worked. The first assignment was from Dick Giordano at Charlton—for Go-Go Comics, one of those really hot, cool sassy ’60s titles. [laughs] I completed the assignment, a simple fourpager, and turned it in with a note from “Jack”: “Didn’t have time to finish this, so I gave it to my assistant—Bill DuBay. Did a wonderful job, didn’t he?” Dick wrote back when he sent the first script intended for me. “Boy, he sure did!” [laughs] From there, I was off and running.
Jon: How did you begin working with Warren Publishing?
William: I was in the Army and had been stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for about two years—editing the newspaper there, The Ft. Bragg Paraglide—when I took a trip to New York, walked into Jim’s office and introduced myself. Jim was always pretty confrontational, so the first words out of his mouth were, “So, what makes you think you’re good enough to work for me?” I shot back, “‘Cause I’m the best who ever was!” I then whipped a couple of pages from my portfolio and threw them on his desk. “That’s why I think I’m good enough.” [laughs] We struck up an instant adversarial friendship—and I walked out with a script. That was in ’69—and it was that regrettably forgettable story that appeared in Neal’s “Rock God” issue of Creepy. [#31]
Jon: Which leads to how you became Warren’s go-to guy.
William: He was Jim Warren. He needed someone good. Did anyone have a better suggestion? Writer. Artist. Chameleon. Boy Wonder who knew he was the best of the best!
I was out of the Army, going to college, 12 units from my B.A., doing cartoon art for everybody under the sun and publishing a laughable little rag called The Bay Area Entertainer. People liked it because it was free and told them where to party—and it got me in everywhere. I was having a time and still doing the occasional story for Warren. Jim knew I was the guy. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Jon: Did you have strict standards as an editor? Were you tough?
William: I felt I had to be. I was representing Jim with every decision I made. I had to constantly ask myself, “What would Jim want? What would Jim do? Does this meet Jim’s standards?” With that mindset, you have to constantly strive to make sure your contributors— both writers and artists—are among the best in the business.
Jon: How did Warren’s writers feel about you?
William: I think most knew what I expected and attempted to meet those expectations. Still, there were very few scripts that got though intact. As a matter of fact, there was only one writer whose scripts I’d pretty much leave alone: Jim Stenstrum. When he brought in a story, he’d been working on it a minimum of three months—and it was ready to go. He never made much money, but he was the most brilliant comics writer (if you can use that adjective with that noun) with whom I ever had the pleasure of working. He became a close friend and, towards the end, around ’81, ’82, when I was burned out, I wanted him to come in as editor. He lived with me for a while—in my studio, actually—but, the job turned out to be a lot more than he bargained for, so he moved to California to work in animation.
Jon: Any memorable staffers?
William: All of them were memorable. We were in the trenches together, so they all pretty much became family.
Bill Mohalley was my first assistant and first hire. I took him out of The School of Visual Arts and ran him through the same sort of near-sadistic basic training Jim had given me. He produced virtually every page of every issue of Famous Monsters and stayed with the company till the very end. After that, he went up the street to Starlog and has been their Creative Director for the past 15 years. Louise Jones came in as my assistant around ’75. I met her when Jim threw a party at the Plaza Hotel to welcome Will Eisner and Rich Corben to the company. She walked in with then-husband Jeff Jones and, when the party carried over to my apartment, I learned of her interest in comics. I didn’t bother to take her number, but called Archie a day or so later to set up an interview. She was working as an editorial assistant for McFadden Publications at the time, but apparently found Warren more interesting.
Then there was Sherry Berne, our Captain Company advertising designer, sweet, pretty, and talented—someone who just filled the offices with her contagious good spirit. Michele Brand, Roger’s widow, came aboard to produce our color comic separations. Suzin Furst, another wonderful production artist, was a lot of fun. As were Ray Gailardo, Kim McQuaite, Tim Moriarity and Nick Cuti. We had some great people—and some great times!

CBA: When did Bill DuBay come on board?
Jim: I remember the first time I saw him. I said, "You are too young to work for this company, too young to work for anybody. You are a callow youth. You don't even shave yet. Let me see your work." I took one look and said, "You're hired." [laughter] Bill had a habit of never doing the job I gave him. He would do the job plus 25% more.
CBA: He brought in a very strong design element into those books.
Jim: We agonized over the graphics. We needed to give the books a total Warren look, something different and instantly recognizable—and that design was classic. He was able to take my sketches, ideas and concepts and translate them into reality—and if you think that's easy, it isn't. You can say the same thing to three other art directors and they won't get it—they'll do their version and ignore the concept you're trying to establish.
CBA: On and off, he spent 13 years with you.
Jim: He didn't spend 13 years. Let me clarify that: He spent 20 years because Bill DuBay didn't come in at nine and leave at five; Bill DuBay usually came in at 10:30 and left at 10:00 at night—not eight hours a day, but 12.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Posted 12 New Reviews this past month! Daffodil #3, Wire Hangers #1, Clive Barkers Complete Great and Secret Show TPB, The Killing Jar: Dirty White Boys, The Bald Avenger Vol. 1, Random act of Violence OGN, Crossed: Family Values #1, Little Shivers #1, Macabre Massachusetts #1, Careful… #1, Blokes Tomb of Horror #2 and Celebrity Zombie Killers OGN. Come check them out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Asylum Press releases the first preview to a new horror anthology entitled EEEK! From Australian creator Jason Paulos.

Asylum Press announces the release of an all-new horror anthology entitled EEEK! by creator Jason Paulos.  Shipping in Sept. 2010 it’s just in time to shake your bones for the Halloween season.

EEEK! is a homage from artist/writer Jason Paulos to the classic horror comics of his youth. Taking a pinch of black humour from EC comics and mixing it with the art stylings of House of Mystery and Warren comics, Paulos blends a heady broth that hits you like a burning incense stick to the retina.

'EEEK!' is my love letter to cheesy 'retro' horror comics” say creator Jason Paulos,”... in particular Charlton, House of Mystery, Warren, and to a lesser extent 80's stuff like Death Rattle and Twisted Tales. If you made a movie of 'EEEK!' it would be described as the bastard child of Evil Dead and Austin Powers. One of the story titles is 'Death Wears Hotpants', so you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

“We’re very excited to have EEEK! Join the ranks of the horror titles we have brewing at Asylum Press,” explains publisher Frank Forte, “ Jason Paulos has a knack for bringing bringing back those morbid feelings I got when I read the old Eerie and Creepys, but he does it with a new twist.”

EEEK! VOL. 1  will be a soft cover TPB annual anthology.  Standard comic book dimensions. 152 pgs, B&W with COLOR s
ection , perfect bound. Retail Price: $14.95. Ship Date: Sept 2010. Intended Audience: General Readers. ISBN13: 978-1-61724-010-2

Writers:Jason Paulos, Bodine Amerikah, Daren White
Artist: Jason Paulos
Cover Artist: Aly Fell
Back Cover Artists: Jason Paulos and Daniel Cox

This retro-style comic book anthology of all-new horror tales is guaranteed to give you the eeries and the creepies!  Taking a pinch of black humour from EC comics and mixing it with the art stylings of House of Mystery and Warren comics, EEEK! blends a heady broth that hits you like a burning incense stick to the retina. Jason Paulos delivers the goods with over 15 tales of revenge, zombies, vampires, ghouls and monsters. Each tale drawn in a different style reminiscent of the B&W horror mags of the 70's and 80's. In '
Deadline of Death' we witness rival comic artists dabbling with malevolent forces that arrive in the form of a chain smoking goatee wearing Satan. In Lights! Camera! Murder!, A lovesick starlet and a ruthless film director embark on a doomed love affair that ends in pieces! 
In "Easy Prey" A helpless girl, lost in the wilderness ... but is she all that she seems? In "Head Trip" a hippie's love for music goes horribly wrong.  Other titles include "Confessions of a Thrill Killer", "Like Son, Like Father" , "In Too Deep" and many more.  Includes full color section, cover gallery and sketchbook section.

Official website

EEEK! Preview can be seen on the web here:
Asylum Press can be found on the web at

Founded in 1999 by Frank Forte, Asylum Press is a unique publishing house specializing in high profile projects from some of the industry's biggest rising stars. Steve Mannion’s Fearless Dawn is the company’s newest title and has been a great fan favorite.  Publishing superhero comics with Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis, continuing their tradition of horror with Undead Evil, Satan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell, the upcoming Asylum of Horrors and Beyond Lovecraft, venturing into dark humor with Billy Boy The Sick Little Fat Kid and The Cletus and Floyd Show, Asylum Press continues to be on the cutting edge of comic and graphic novel publishing. Asylum Press is distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors, Haven Distributors and Tony Shenton and to the Booktrade by Partners Book Distributing, Paterners/West, Ingram and Baker and Taylor.

Jason Paulos exploded onto the Australian comics scene in 1989 with the first self published issue of 'Hairbutt The Hippo', the story of a hard boiled anthropomorphic private eye roaming the seedy underbelly of a future city. Over the years Jason has regularly contributed to Australian MAD magazine (over 100 pages of Hairbutt strips), DC comics (5 page Green Lantern story for Bizarro Comics book 2), Judge Dredd Megazine (wrote and drew 16 page horror story called 'Easy Prey') and published a dozen Hairbutt comics. He's now busy writing, drawing and publishing the second series of 'EEEK!' books.