Monday, August 29, 2011

Vault #2 – Review

Issue: Vault #2
Writer: Sam Sarkar
Artist: Garrie Gastonny
Colors: Sakti Yuwono
Bagus Hutomo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 2011
Pages: 32
Price: $3.50

“A small team of treasure hunters struggles to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the Graveyard of the North Atlantic.. Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature’s fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash from the Vault.”

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
Another drop the jaw to the ground cover and some amazing interiors are what you can find in this second issue of The Vault. Gastonny bring all he has to this issue to not only give you visuals that will drive shivers up your spine, but he also has an amazing ability to keep panel after panel consistent. Let me just say to those of you who read issue #1, what is in the tomb will creep you out. The visual action and how it all plays out leads to some great drama that delivers on a horror comic level rarely seen, fear in this reader. Overall this is done just right.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
In the first issue we had a lot of build. This issue takes what you already know and places into the realm of fear and terror. The way Sarkar wrote the intense action scenes on top of the mellow ones, shows that he knows his craft well enough to find perfect balance. The pacing is near perfect and the dialogue is, like in issue #1, spot on. This book has what I want in horror comics, can I get a little S.U.S.P.E.N.S.E.! I am worried about one thing though and I will touch on that in the recap. On a whole this book is solid in the writing department.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
The presentation with issue #2 is very cinematic. The words put your mind in the right place and the visuals drive it home. This story is building to something that is either going to scare the crap out of me, or deliver me into the realm of higher horror comic bliss. I can not wait to get to issue #3. However I am terrified that a story that is two issues in is going to be rushed with only being a 3 issue series. I pray to the horror comic higher beings that I will not be let down. I think that in the hands of Sam and Garrie I will not be lead astray. The Vault is a must read on my list so make it a part of yours… NOW!

If you would like to buy or know more about Vault #2 you can find it at

Deadworld: Last Siesta OGN – Review

Issue: Deadworld: Last Siesta OGN
Writer: Gary Reed, Gary Francis
Artist: Mark Bloodworth
Publisher: IDW
Release Date: September 2011
Pages: 112
Price: $15.99

“King Zombie heads across the border and finds himself plunged into a bitter dispute between a former drug cartel and the assassin Raga.  This original graphic novel runs 112 pages and retails for $14.95.”

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5
I bow down to you Mark Bloodworth. I have seen artists do styles like this, I have seen artists make it work within their own books, but I have never seen this style work so well. Mark was not afraid to show you anything in this book. From his character designs, to the way he laid out a page, there was nothing I could have wanted more from this book visually. The consistency was perfect, but the over the top work came from the way panels transitioned into each other and, of course, the depiction of the undead. Mark your work on Deadworld, whether old or new, is beyond what I need and I can not ask for more. You have achieved visual perfection on this book.

Story: 5.0 out of 5
When I try to describe the writing on Deadworld, I do my best to describe how many levels there are. I think that this book shows off how different this series is than all the rest. You  have 2 protagonists in Raga and King Zombie. If anyone wants to fight me on saying King Zombie is a protagonist bring it. The basic breakdown of this book is that you have 2 characters, who cross paths, through animal means, and yet you get a complete story on both. How often is it that you can feel for King Zombie, I really wanted him to get a helicopter damn it! Raga was an awesome character in his own right. The back story given was good, but I want a full book on it. For those of you who have not read Gary Reed yet, this book will showcase his talents to you. Gary has done amazing work in St. Germaine and Baker Street before, but when you see how he can change his style with this book and make it fit the genre, ugh, total love for it on my end. One quick last thing… the ending was the perfect closure to this book.

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
I still think that Slaughterhouse was the highest point in the Deadworld series, but you can not go wrong with Last Siesta. This book follows more of how the writing and art were done in Requiem for the Dead and Frozen Over, so it’s pretty damn good, so damn good I gave it a perfect score. I love Mark Bloodworth and can not express enough how perfect his style was for this book. Page after page I was bathing my eyes in the GORE-Geous panels. Gary Reed you know how to write this series, hands down. You know what you want in your cast and you are able to give that to the world. Last Siesta is a welcome addition to the DW universe and I can not wait for me. I NEED GRAKEN!!!!!

If you would like to buy or know more about Deadworld: Last Siesta you can find it at

Underneath #1 – Review

Issue: Underneath #1
Writer: Tom Stillwell
Artist: Jim Terry
Letters: Jason Arthur
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Publisher: Spinner Rack Comics
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 28
Price: $2.99

“Before Chicago was a city, before the white man cleared the prairie and swamp to build their roads and towers, there was the pool. The pool had always been. A doorway to another place, a place filled with dark things seeking to enter our world. The Keepers of The Fire kept watch over the pool, keeping the Weendigo, the man-eaters at bay.

Now, the guardians of the pool are the unwanted of society. The ones no one will miss if snatched in the night to be Weendigo meat. Under the city they clash, the man-eaters and the forgotten Keepers.”

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I had to do a double take on the cover of this comic to make sure it wasn’t an Image comic. The artwork of Jim Terry really reminds me of something I would have seen in the late 90′s or early 2000′s from Image. His designs on this book look great, and from panel to panel are very consistent. In terms of the monsters they truly rock. My only downside on the art was the coloring. I felt that the book was too muted at times. Some more vibrant colors really would have pushed this book up a level, but it is a small thing to pick it because the overall look it great.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
I think it is safe to admit that I didn’t think book would be this entertaining. The synopsis played it out to me as something that could be interesting but not personally my cup of tea, I was wrong. Stillwell does a great job  of building as the story goes along. The recap as to what has already transpired eliminates the need for a prequel, and I had a great sense of what was going on from start to finish. The dialogue was good, but I think could have been a little better because at times I found it to be a little rushed. Overall though I think it comes off very nicely.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I didn’t know what to expect from this title, but I was really happy I got a chance to check it out. The artwork was great from panel to panel, but the colors could have upped their game a little more. Apparently, and spoiler alert, all it takes to decapitate a troll is a guitar swing to the head, I am still enjoying the visuals on that. The writing moves the story along with some great action and descent dialogue. Underneath is not just a book for C.H.U.D. fans, all horror comic fans will like this one.

If you would like to buy or know more about Underneath you can find it at

The Dead Cell OGN – Review

Issue: The Dead Cell OGN
Writer: John Barker
Artist: Scott DM Simmons
Publisher: Arcana
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 80
Price: $14.99

“How would the world be changed if the mentally ill were allowed to determine reality? The Dead Cell explores the experiments of the recently graduated Monica McCoy, and her employment with the secret “Dream Research Program” at Breckenridge State Hospital. While being briefed on the basics, nothing can prepare her for the horrors she encounters upon reporting for duty. What ensues is a tale of madness, reality, and the supernatural chronicling one woman’s journey as she comes face to face with the horror of The Dead Cell.”

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I have been treated to Simmons’ work before, but it was not in a horror title (lookup Wannabe‘s). I think overall that the book worked on a high level. However there were a few panels that personally I thought some angles were a little off. Did it distract me from enjoying the book though? No not at all. I think the way that really odd/psychological stuff was depicted came off great. Scott did a great job of bringing a very complex story, at times, to life. The black and whites worked so much better than color could have even dreamed of. Overall a great looking book.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
At first I was really hoping this was not going to be too much like Syndrome, and after reading further into it I was glad it wasn’t. Barker has a very unique voice that he uses to tell a very complex story. I don’t want to spoil anything but I thought that the main character was just a horror comic narrator until the end. The way she was presented was different and I thought really great, until the end when we got the twist. And don’t get me wrong great twist. The only problem that I had with any of the writing had to be the “Hood” story. I found it to be a little too stereotypical. For the depth that John put into the other stories, that one seemed to flat.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I liked this book a lot. I thought it gave a fresh breath to a look at psychological horror, and it was presented on an anthology level. Now saying that it was an anthology don’t let that remove you from knowing that there is an overarching storyline at work. Simmons’ art was great and fit the stories really well. Barker’s use of the english language to get the story off was fantastic (better than I can do in trying to sum it up, haha). The Dead Cell might not be for everyone, but it was for me. Worth a look if you want something that is unusual and makes you think.

If you would like to buy or know more about The Dead Cell you can find it at

Green Wake TPB – Review

Issue: Green Wake TPB
Writer: Kurtis Wiebe
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: Image Shadowline
Release Date: October 2011
Pages: 136
Price: $16.99

“The highly acclaimed, repeat sellout series from writer KURTIS J. WIEBE and artist RILEY ROSSMO is a riveting tale of loss and horror. In the forgotten town of Green Wake, a string of grisly mutilations leads Morley Mack on the trail of a young woman named Ariel, who is the prime suspect. But when a stranger with startling connections to Ariel arrives under mysterious circumstances, Morley unravels a dark plot with a surprising link to his past. Collects GREEN WAKE #1-5.”
Artwork: 5.0 out of 5
Have you read a comic book that visually made you want to spend your whole day examining each and every panel? Studying the line work, trying to figure out how the colors work together so well, looking for anything that could be hidden visually? I said it on each review I did for this series so far and I will not stop now, Riley Rossmo was born to draw this book. If I loved his work on Proof and Cowboy Ninja Viking than it’s official that I am head over heels for what he has done on this book because it is just pure simple perfection. enough gushing, the panels in this collection contain a great amount of detail and information. The designs fit the mold set by the story and are consistent throughout. The over the top 2 page spreads though, made this headless man drool and slightly pass out. This is how this story was meant to be seen.

Story: 5.0 out of 5
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Kurtis Wiebe is stepping up to plate. He’s a relative newcomer to horror comic writing, but has a solid batting average in the medium. Here comes the pitch… OH WIEBE GOT A HOLD OF IT! IT IS LEAVING THE STADIUM FOLKS! A SOLID OUT OF THE PARK HOME RUN!” Where on Earth, Mars or even within the Milky Way Galaxy did this story come from? I personally will start thanking Mr. Wiebe on a weekly basis for bringing this solid writing to my life. The idea and concept of Green Wake is 100% a mystery to one and all, however it seems that it can present itself differently to everyone. I see that, as the reader, as limitless potential to create a world that can never really end. If you like mystery books, this one is for you. If you like horror books, this one is for you. If you like amazing storytelling, this one is for you. Kurtis has a way with telling this tale that never left me bored, always had me at the edge of my seat, and threw me for so many loops, that even in the end I am going back to see what I missed the first time. Perfect storytelling.

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
If I were to tell you that horror comics were Mexican food, then Green Wake would be the world’s perfect burrito. The layers it takes to come out with a comic book that I will give a solid 5 to is so few and far between. Rossmo and Wiebe were meant to do Green Wake, and I seriously, deep down as deep down can go, think that you would love this book too. The way that every single aspect, compliments the next aspect is just amazing. I can not and will not shut up about how great Green Wake is. Grab the issues or get this trade, because issue #6 is coming and it’s going to be adding more to this amazing horror comic burrito!

If you would like to buy or know more about Green Wake you can find it at

Drop Dead Dangerous #0 & #1 – Review

Issues: Drop Dead Dangerous #0 & #1
Writer: Chad Cabrera
Artist: Mike Banting
Publisher: Happy Lockjaw
Release Date: 2010 & 2011
Pages: #0: 24, #1: 44
Price: Free & $1.99

“They thought it was over. They were wrong. Back on the hunt for the maniacal figure known as The Raven, private detective Jack Smith must face a nightmare from his past— but not all is as it seems. A new evil comes to town as he and his dumbstruck partner Alice, a young woman with secrets of her own, get tangled in a web of deception without realizing that the most dangerous truths are the ones they keep from each other. Meanwhile, The Raven paints the town red as the clock starts ticking for a final showdown in this debut issue of DROP DEAD DEAD DANGEROUS, a murder mystery manga by Chad Cabrera and Mike Banting set in the weird, weird west. Who will be left standing… and who will be left in pieces?”

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
Fans of the artwork found in Hellsing and Priest gather around because this book is right up your alley. This book had its moments where I didn’t quite see what was going on in the action scenes, but there might have been only 2 max. This book is drop dead GORE-Geous plain and simple. While it does look like most Manga style titles, it’s consistent from panel to panel , and the death scenes are to die for. Character design is solid, but I have to bow down to the decapitation scene in issue #1. I love the look on these books.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
The story here is something I have been wanting for a while in comics, a serial killer story that has legs. The dialogue had its choppy moments, but overall moved me along at a great pace. A serious and yet cheesy, but great cheesy, highlight was during the decapitation scene because the wording was perfect. The written action, the suspense, the poetry, it is all a mix that is blossoming as the issues go on. I have no doubt that issue #2 and beyond will drive this book and it the same level as the artwork.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
This book was an unexpected surprise. I am shocked that it’s not in Antarctic Press’ line of horror titles (yet). I love the concept, I love the setting, I love the writing and I love the artwork. I want more of this and I want it now. This book is being done right so far. It is hitting on a subject in horror comics that is not often done and that is a shame. If you want a serial killer title that is on track to having it all you need to read this book.

If you would like to buy or know more about Drop Dead Dangerous you can find it at

Descent of the Dead #2 – Review

Issue: Descent of the Dead #2
Writer: Rich Perez
Artist: Francis Penavic
Inker: Rage Ledbetter
Publisher: Tango Unlimited
Release Date: August 2011
Price: $3.99

“Picking up from where the first issue left off the town of Roanoke has lost communications with HQ and the tech repair teams who have went to investigate have gone missing. The call goes out to Tango Company to investigate. Tango company a specialized zombie elimination squad consisting of entirely of a team which have all survived “the bite”; At the time are participating in a slice and dice eradication process called “Operation Twilight.” Operation Twilight consists of all the remaining elimination squads that have gathered from across the globe in hopes to eliminate one the last of the known zombies hordes off the planet. In order for the teams to accomplish their mission the squads must first extract a large radiated meteor. The meteor represents the source of the dead’s re-animation and their unnatural longevity. Once the meteor is removed it can do away with the threat of the undead permanently but it won’t come easy.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
Now this is a book that my eyes like to look at! The designs, being futuristic, are all awesome and I want to see more and more of this world. The zombies are GORE-Geous, but to me the highlight is the look on the military guys. Each one has a different weapon and the just happen to be all around bad ass. Some of the panels though have a little too much going on, and the cover also falls into that category. It’s not distracting and doesn’t take away from anything else, but it does stand out enough. The visual action is almost always present and it works from start to finish.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
The winner in the story department is the dialogue. The way the characters speak is very believable and in my opinion so spot on. Every word in a talk bubble works and it moves the story along so well. The action scenes move at a perfect pace, and the whole issue has an on the edge kind of feel. While issue #1 brought you into this world, it is not until you get into issue #2 that you get a real feel for the main cast.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
This issue was great. The artwork is so unique and works so well with the story. It does have a few down points, but the overall way it works out is great. The story took me further into this world and I have to say now there is no turning back. There is so much to look forward to with the future issues of this book, they just need to come out more than once a year. I need them now guys!

If you would like to buy or know more about Descent of the Dead #2 you can find it at

I Am Legion – Review

Issue: I Am Legion
Writer: Fabien Nury
Artist: John Cassaday
Letters: Crank!
Colors: Laura Martin
Publisher: Humanoids
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 184
Price: $19.95

“World War II rages as two supernatural entities pursue collide in a conflict hinged on ideologies and the lives of men. The outcome will decide the end of the war itself! Beneath it all, the Nazi pursue a project called “LEGION,” centering on a young Romanian girl with powerful abilities.”

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
Have ever seen a movie where you wondered what it would look like as a comic book? The way that the art team came together to present I Am Legion did just that. This book looks amazing. The artwork is near perfect on ever single page. Add to that the colors, inks and letters and you have one GORE-Geous book. I have to seriously highlight the way that Cassaday chose to show the “transformations”. I won’t spoil it, but it was done right. The action scenes had a great visual pace, and the down scenes were full of emotion. This is so close to visual perfection in comics.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. Sadly reading the back cover I saw the word Nazi and was just like, “Oh man not another one.” However I was wrong. There were times in this book that I felt moved at too slow of a pace, however the horror mythos that they chose to approach in this book was done in a new and very unique way. I honestly can not get over how I want to know more about what I didn’t see in this book. There is so much more to be told with some of this cast. The inclusion of the Dracul family and they way they were brought into this was fantastic. The slow points could be too slow but the action scenes picked them up and carried this book to an amazing finish.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
This book was not what I expected, and learning that it originally came out in 2004 made me mad I didn’t check it out then. Luckily I was able to get my hands on it now and I loved it. Was it always moving at the right pace, no, but for the 2 hours I took to sit down and read it I was highly entertained. This is a movie put on the comic page. So much depth in the story and presented with the correct visuals just means a win-win in my book. This is a book that needs to be on the shelves of horror, drama, mystery and war comic fans around the globe.

If you would like to buy or know more about I Am Legion you can find it at

Dick’s Anthology – Review

Issue: Dick’s Anthology
Writers: James Andre, Tom Taylor, Jason Franks, Jen Breach
Artist: Thomas Bonin
Publisher: Name
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 60
Price: $16.00

“Thomas Bonin illustrates four short stories of tentacles, Gorgons, Singapore and the undead. Follow private dicks Tom and Bill as they battle their way through four of Australia’s top indie and professional writers.”

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
Each story in the Dicks Anthology is drawn by Thomas Bonin and each one is amazing. The detail in the black and white images just make my jaw drop to the floor. It is the monsters in the stories that make me use the word GORE-Geous though. The black and whites work so well here, and I have to think that if any grey tones had been used it would have taken away from the overall visual storytelling. I throw some special mention to the story Us of Them because of the amazing decapitations. Overall this book looks great and your eyes will melt with joy when you take a look.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
All four stories in this book are fantastic. Humor prevails in every story where you can easily. The stories themselves move at a great pace, and each has some great action moments. There was not a single moment where I was not glued to the page wondering what would happen next and then seeing it play out. Overall the writing in the book is on point page after page, and that is not easy to come by with different writers. However when your writers are Andre, Taylor, Franks and Breach, I can easily see how something like this could happen.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
This is not the Dicks book that most people here in America are thinking of. This book is a great take on humor and horror that I can highly suggest find some space on your shelves. The book looks fantastic and the monsters are drop dead GORE-Geous. The storytelling is spot on and I can not say anything more. This book rocks, rolls and is in control from the moment you pick it up until the moment your done reading it and screaming for more.

If you would like to buy or know more about Dicks you can find it at

Motel Hell #1-3 – Review

Issues: Motel Hell #1-3
Writer: Matt Nixon
Artist: Chris Moreno
Colors: Tom Smith
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 24 (each)
Price: $3.99 (each)

“Welcome back to America’s favorite cinematic psycho siblings, Vincent & Ida Smith as these two insane farmers recruit some new prospective “crops” for their special garden. A group of wine snobs are flown into to their Napa Valley winery for the time, as in last, of their lives!”

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
Damn that’s a big hog! Want to know what I mean by that, then I guess you would have to read Motel Hell. These books had a great gritty look to them, that placed me directly where I needed to be. Sadly I have not seen the original movie, but I am guessing that the character designs are spot on. The new cast looks great as well. The one thing that this book had going for it was the gore factor, and for that alone I have to say it was a GORE-Geous collection of issues. Sadly the first issue seemed to have some rough spots with pixellated images, but overall I loved the look of this series.

Story: 4.0 out of 5
Again I need to mention, I have not seen the original movie, but how cool is it that a comic book sequel would make me want to run to the video store to find a copy! This story had everything I needed to give me a classic slasher movie feel. The dialogue was spot on and completely in line with a B-Movie. I do have to say that if I had to complain about one thing, it was the choice for the cast, I found them to be a bit to cliché. However it didn’t take anything away from the overall story and I was in love with it all from page 1.

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
Who would I suggest pick up this book? Honestly anyone and everyone reading this review. This story was packed full of great moments that would be found in any classic B-Movie. It may seem like an easy thing to achieve in writing, but I think it’s harder than writing something serious. You have to know when you cross the line into dumb, and then come back and make it work. This book delivers on the artwork, story and everything in between. I’m sorry I missed the initial release of these issues because I would have been spreading the word of Motel Hell so much sooner.

If you would like to buy or know more about Motel Hell you can find it at

Hoax Hunter’s Part 1 – Part 6 – Review

Issues: Hoax Hunter’s Part 1 – Part 6
Writers: Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley
Artist: JM Ringuet
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 13

“Chupacabra. Yeti. The Montauk Monster. All the creatures of folklore, legend, and Internet fame–what if they were real? They’d be made to appear fake by a reality TV show, of course! HOAX HUNTERS is that show, though to their viewing audience, their goal is the exact opposite: seeking out YouTube sensations, tabloid creatures, and reported monsters and proving them to be false. The HOAX HUNTERS demonstrate that the truth isn’t out there.”

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
Magnificent! I think that describes Ringuet’s style quite well. He seems to have a great grasp on being able to create the right image to put that fear into the reader. The colors on these stories are great and overall it just looks fantastic. Half man half (read it to find out) is creepy as hell folks.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
Moreci and Seeley are doing an awesome job on this back up story, which is why I needed to make sure to review 1-6. The writing is on point, with an awesome concept, that is being executed perfectly. The guys are able to take 2-3 pages per issue and tell a story that leaves you wanting more every single time.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
The only downside to these stories is that you get 2-3 pages at a time. Image should take this half way mark, and just give this story a one shot. Get the ball rolling already. Awesome art and a creepy storyline, and I’ve only read 13 pages. If your reading Hack/Slash you need to be reading this back up, if you’re not reading H/S then you need to pick it up and read this story anyways.