Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Very Zombie Christmas #3 – Review

Issue: A Very Zombie Christmas #3
Joseph Wight, Fred Perry, David Hutchinson, Rod Espinosa, Ben Dunn
Publisher: Antarctic Press
Release Date:
December 2011

“Antarctic Press presents another chilling and thrilling collection of ho-ho-horror tales for the ho-ho-holidays! Go walkin’ (or better yet, running) through a nuclear winter wonderland once again!.

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Ho Ho Ho a zombie comic reading we go! It’s the holiday season and that can only mean one thing, my favorite anthology is back! While I won’t push it down your throat that you need to be reading all horror by Antarctic Press, I will tell you that this series is so worth checking out. The first story follows along the lines of the recent Zombie War stories that have been showing up as back up stories in other books from AP. It is a great take on Naval horror and something that isn’t really expected, because it takes place on the water. I loved it! Then of course we get a “Littlest” story. I didn’t include the zombie in that title, because this one by the amazing Fred Perry, takes place without the little guy showing up. Instead it focuses on another character, who I won’t spoil, but it was easily my favorite of the bunch. Then you get a sprinkling of some great Espinosa artwork, followed by the best happy Christmas story of the year featuring Hutchison’s “Living Dead Girl”. Finally the book is wrapped in a bow with a Warrior Nun story by Ben Dunn. Plain and simple, this is an easy buy for me. I love this company, I love this book and I want it monthly already!

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to know more about or purchase a copy of A Very Zombie Christmas #3 please go to http://www.antarctic-press.com/

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Strain #2 – Review

Issue: The Strain #2
Story By: Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Script By: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: Jan 2012
Pages: 32
Price: $3.50

“As an eclipse covers New York City in midday darkness, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Centers for Disease Control struggle to find an explanation for what happened to Flight 753. But when the symptoms don’t add up to chemical warfare, and bizarre circumstances unexplained by modern medicine arise, Ephraim begins to entertain the ramblings of a Holocaust survivor who knows too much about this unknown threat.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Are you reading this yet? No really… are you? If not, I have to ask why not? The Strain has come on this new year like a… strain! It’s a virus people and you need to get infected by it. The artwork in this issue is fantastic, but it really shines brightest towards the end of the issue, that is when the killing starts. The story still has its mystery as to what is happening and why. However it moves at such a great pace, between action  and talking scenes. I find myself  so wrapped up in this story that I am so sad when it ends. Taking off from the first issue and just nailing the suspense and intrigue has this series on the top of my must read lists. I can not wait for more and I am very impatiently waiting. You really need to check this series out.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about The Strain you can find it at http://www.darkhorse.com/

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whispers #1- Review

Issue: Whispers #1
Writer: Joshua Luna
Artist: Joshua Luna
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: Jan 2012
Pages: 28
Price: $2.99

“A mentally troubled man is suddenly empowered with the ability to leave his physical body in “ghost” form and manipulate people in strange and disturbing ways. With this incredible power, will he control his demons…or discover even more?”

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I was an a fan of the series Girls, I liked Ultra and never had real chance to check out the Sword, so why on Earth would I check out Whispers? It’s because I really enjoy what I have seen the Luna brothers do. That being said Joshua is flying solo with this series and he delivers. The artwork is like that of the other books I mentioned. I love the style, love the colors and love the whole package, but it is nothing new. It delivers where it needs to and it works throughout the issue. The real highlight here is writing. From the very start I was amazed at how well he depicted the main character’s O.C.D. It is almost like an uncomfortable feeling watching him suffer with it, but I have this feeling it will lead to something great. The opening scene was above and beyond in terms of external and internal dialogue.  I loved the realism of the writing as again, I really felt for Sam as he was being, as I felt, attacked by his friends. The way Joshua sets Sam up leaves some mystery and intrigue to his character. What did he do?  Why is he like this now? Then you come to the “dream” state which is where this issue takes off even further. There is a lot here to take in and it seems to be leading up to something big. So consider this issue a teaser of sorts. I can’t wait to see where this series is heading.

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about  Whispers #1  you can find it at www.imagecomics.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valen The Outcast #2 – Review

Issue: Valen The Outcast #2
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: Jan. 2012
Pages: 32
Price: $3.99

“The King is dead – long live the DEAD KING! King Valen Brand was a just king and a great warrior until he was killed by a Necromancer in battle and resurrected as one of the walking dead. Now he’s considered an abomination in his own realm, an outcast with only one purpose: to restore his lost soul… From the mind of fan-favorite creator Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, ROBERT E. HOWARD’S HAWKS OF OUTREMER) and DEADPOOL artist Matteo Scalera comes OUTCAST, a visceral new ongoing series that blends “epic fantasy” with “sword-and-sorcery.” Perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Conan. Don’t miss this action-packed second issue! “

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
Alright BOOM! I got a problem. First you floor me with issue #1 and now you come back and make me start to think I really like Fantasy Books! Valen the Outcast makes something I didn’t really care for before a lot of fun. The art in this issue was great for the most part, but I did still find a few panels to be a little cloudy. The action scenes are depicted so well though. I actually ducked for fear of bricks flying at my head. I love the character designs and the vibrance that they all have on each page. The winner though is the story. Like I said, if you can get me to like something I normally wouldn’t, you win. Nelson does a fantastic job telling this story, and the little things, like the pigs in this issue, make me wonder how he can come up with this stuff. The dialogue is fun with a serious tone. Overall this series is shaping up to be a great ride. So sit back, relax and enjoy it with me!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Valen The Outcast #2 you can find it at www.boom-studios.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Green Wake #9 – Review

Issue: Green Wake #9
Writer: Kurtis Wiebe
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: Image
Release Date: Jan. 2012
Pages: 32
Price: $3.99

“Morley starts to understand the path laid before him as Green Wake begins to change after the rebellion settles, but the murders that happen behind the scenes are growing more mysterious. The heinous acts of violence hint at a growing thirst for blood.”

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
OH HELL NO!!!! You better be kidding me! These will be the words that come out of your mouth when you read this jaw dropping issue. Like most issues of this amazing series, I am sitting here waiting for more, so let me spend some of that wait time telling you about this issue. Rossmo brings it to a new level with the artwork  on this one. There is a monster that shows up that had me drooling, and when you are just a head and your drool, it is easy to drown. Thanks for trying to kill me Riley! Page after page I can not get enough of his style, and I am still 100% in love with the way he depicts the cold in these issues. Now onto my gripe… Wiebe you know what you did, and I am not happy! Everything leading up to that event had me on the edge of my seat and now I am in complete shock. The pacing is spot on throughout the issue, the mystery just grows and grows and there is only one issue left to wrap this one up! The way that these two come together to bring me the BEST BOOK ON THE SHELVES right now makes me want to just hug the crap out of them. This is a story that you should be reading, you need to be reading and you will read again and again. 

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 5.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Green Wake you can find it at http://greenwakecomic.com/

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Creepy #7 – Review

Issue: Creepy #7
Writers: Various
Artists: Various
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: Jan 2012
Pages: 48
Price: $4.99

“Hope your New Year’s resolution was to be terrified, because Creepy is back to start 2012 with a scream! Featuring the latest from bone-chilling scribes Joe and Keith Lansdale, Christopher Taylor, and Dan Braun, this installment of the abominable anthology is sure to leave you shivering in the corner until next year!”

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
Have I mentioned how much I love the fact that new issues of Creepy are being made? Well I LOVE that new issues of Creepy are being made! Issue #7 keeps the amazing tradition of the horror anthology going strong with some amazing shorts that are sure to terrify you to your core. Art wise the highlight for me was seeing the classic story by Steve Skeates, “The Ultimate High”. I am such a sucker for that art style, it is just GORE-Geous! The other stories look great as well, with my eyes digging Torres’ “Bloodsuckers” story. The  stories themselves though were a little hit and miss. I didn’t really care for the opening story “Mud” or the final story “Deep Ruby” which was a reprint from Eerie. Overall though this book will not disappoint. At a time when it can seem Anthologies lean more towards more modern storytelling, it is great to see that Dark Horse is carrying this classic style. Now I sit and wait for #8.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Creepy #7 you can find it at www.darkhorse.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peter Panzerfaust #1 – Review

Issue: Peter Panzerfaust #1
Writer: Kurtis Wiebe
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: Feb. 2012
Pages: 32
Price: $3.50

The city of Calais is the first city in France to fall to the Ger­mans in the spring of 1940. A mys­te­ri­ous Amer­i­can boy named Peter ral­lies a hand­ful of plucky French orphans and they must work together to sur­vive Europe’s dark­est hour.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
I have to admit, that I didn’t catch the name hidden in the title. I blame this on the fact that I was never a big fan of the Peter Pan story. So this book comes along and I start to see some similarities and it hits me, a big “DUH” appeared over my head. So after admitting I am not a fan of the basic PP story, I absolutely loved this book! While it is not horror based, sorry fans, it is war based and what comic book fan isn’t on board for that? Jenkins artwork is fun and loose. I think it does an amazing job depicting the flow of this issue in terms of all the action. It is almost as if the book had come alive in my hands. The colors are perfect for this period, it was just overall GORE-Geous. For people who read my reviews you know Wiebe can just kill it on a story, Green Wake, so I had my head up expecting good things with this book, and I was not let down. The pacing is great, the dialogue is awesome and well it makes a concept I found boring fun. Now I keep saying Peter Pan, this is not Peter Pan, this is a book that to me read like it has connections to the concept, but then makes it its own. This issue was great from start to finish. I know I will be on board for a while if this can keep up, and with a team like Wiebe and Jenkins I have no doubt in my mind that it can. Highly recommending this one to everyone.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Peter Panzerfaust #1 you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/PeterPanzerfaust

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Model Nation OGN – Review

Issue: One Model Nation OGN
Writer: Courtney Taylor-Taylor
Artist: Jim Rugg
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: Jan 2012
Pages: 160
Price: $24.95

“From US rock band The Dandy Warhols’ frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor comes an original graphic novel illustrated by indie super star Jim Rugg. A work of historical fiction set in Germany in 1977, it follows four young men who were to become the voice of their generation. This is the epic journey of art noise band One Model Nation, the final dark days of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and the band’s mysterious disappearance only months later. Features a host of bonus extras: sketches, director’s commentary, deleted scenes and more.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
If you want to talk about removing oneself from their comfort zone, than you can look no further than me taking a look at One Model Nation. Typically, I review horror books, this is not one of them. I am a Metal Head, this book is not about that genre of music. So why on Earth would I even take a peak at
this new OGN book from Titan Books and love it like I did?

Easiest way to start is to admit, I am not a big fan of the character designs here. While the style did not appeal to me personally, it did do something very right, which was fit the tone of the book. Rugg’s artwork does more than set the scenes, it captures a tone that I can only compare to something you would get from a movie soundtrack. High moments are depicted in colors to reflect the scene, while the down moments hit lower tones on the color scale. Visually this book is on point from start to finish.

The story though is the real winner. The sense of history, even though the band is fictional, places the reader (in this case an American reader) into a world that they might not be familiar with. I don’t know much about the music scene in Germany, but after reading this I get a feeling of what it might have been like. Taylor-Taylor crafts some fantastic dialogue that moves the story forward as it covers music and politics at a time where a movement was needed.

The more I find myself recalling this book, the more I see it playing out as a movie. I can’t say who this book would directly appeal to, but I think that anyone with any kind of interest in music and comics should check this one out. I am so happy I was given the opportunity to read this, because it has broadened my love for the music culture and how it has progressed to what we have today. An amazing read!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about One Model Nation OGN you can find it at www.titanbooks.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Deathbourne #1 & 2 – Review

Issue: Deathbourne #1 & 2
Writer: Andrew Hall
Artist: Zack McDivitt
Publisher: A to Z Studios
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 28 (each)
Price: $4.50 (each)

“Find out what really happened after the final page of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and how it paves the way for the extermination of an entire country and the heroes that can end the threat once and for all.”

Dying Breath: 3.5 out of 5
They created a monster. A MONSTER of a comic I say! Hall and McDivitt have something here that is original, fun and compelling. Lets start with the artwork. On a high note the character designs are great. I love the way that the monsters look, and think they are very consistent throughout the two books. The colors are good, as they really bring the pages to life. While I think black and white could easily work on this, color does just as well. My one gripe on the art side was  the lettering in the first issue and the sound effect lettering in the second. These are just minor things though, and typically you see things like this get worked out over time as it is part of the learning process. Story wise this is a world that is just beginning to open up. There are hints at different monsters here and there, but the Deathbourne are at the forefront. The first issue did a good job of bringing everything together, your basic setup. Issue 2 though added in the action and really started to run with the story. Like I said, there is a grand world to explore here, so I really hope that the pace and quality of the writing stays consistent. Overall this is a book that started with its training wheels and is now really starting to take off. You can see the learning curve play out over the 2 issues, and it is only getting stronger. Fans of Frankenstein and the classic monsters should take a look at this one. A nice start that I will be back for again.

Artwork: 3.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.0 out of 5
If you would like to buy or know more about Deathbourne you can find it at http://a-to-zstudios.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Hammer Vault

Title: The Hammer Vault
Author: Marcus Hearn
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 176
Price: $34.95

“This remarkable journey through the Hammer vault includes props, annotated script pages, unused poster artwork, production designs, rare promotional material and private correspondence. Hundreds of rare and previously unseen stills help to create a rich souvenir of Hammer’s legacy, from the X certificate classics of the 1950s to the studio’s latest productions.
Written and compiled by the official Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn, and featuring exclusive contributions from the actors and filmmakers associated with the company, this is the most lavish book ever published on the legendary House of Horror. “

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
I have to be honest and admit I am not a big horror movie buff. I grew up watching some great films in the 80′s and 90′s, but not the Hammer movies. So when I was presented with this amazing book to review I was looking for 2 things, history and a list of what movies were Hammer Horror. This book delivered on the list front, and man did it deliver. Out of the 176 pages over 160 of them are dedicated to the films. I will get to the page design in a second, but basically this book is a timeline from start to finish, giving some information on the movies and showing off some of the great press material that was put out. So in terms of history you don’t get too much, but you do get enough to be content with. It’s like a tease that will lead you to want to know more and more. The design of this book is GORE-Geous. As a Graphic Designer, I can spot a great layout and the way these spreads are put together is a work of art. I found myself spending so much time just taking in all the material presented. From the posters, to the press books, to the on-set photographs this was just a great collection of items. I know that any Hammer Horror or even Horror Movie buff will need to have this as a part of their collection, and I am happy to say it is now a part of mine. This book presents a visual history of the Hammer Franchise that will now be preserved forever. Now if you will excuse me I need to go watch about 100 different movies.

Layout: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about The Hammer Vault you can find it at http://titanbooks.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Strain #1 – Review

Issue: The Strain #1
Story By: Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Script By: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: Dec. 2011
Pages: 28
Price: $1.00

“When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event-an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Wow! This issue was all that and more! The Strain is a new vampire comic, that if it can hold the feel of issue #1, will be on point to be on any top 10 list in 2012. The artwork in this issue does a fantastic job of putting creepy images into your brain. The art team did a great job of creating a dark ominous setting that plays so well into the stories hands. Just take a look at those covers, they are GORE-Geous! The story starts off on this perfect pace of that builds up throughout the pages. Like the artwork an overtone is carried out from the first few pages, where a monster is formed in your mind through words. A ghost story that becomes reality. So much is left to play out here, but there is no way you should pass on this first issue. I mean it’s a dollar for Cthulhu’s sake! I can not wait for the second issue to come out, I really think this will be the Vampire book of 2012.

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about The Strain you can find it at http://www.darkhorse.com/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monster Dudes #1 – Review

Issue: Monster Dudes #1
Writer: Dave Scheidt
Artist: Matt Fagan
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 28

“Monsters are so sweet, man.”

Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
DUDES! This is one sweet comic for the reading holes you need to fill in your lives. What this book brings to the table is laughter galore topped with sprinkles of visual goodness. Fagan’s art style fits this type of story telling so well. The mummy is my personal favorite, but there are plenty of monsters to choose from in order for you to find yours. A big highlight from this issue was the lettering, I have a big soft spot for hand lettering. Scheidt’s writing will make you laugh, and if you laugh hard enough you might cry. I don’t want to pinpoint a single short in this issue as a favorite, I really enjoyed them all. This is a great book to add to your horror collection. It should have you rolling on the floor like when the werewolf has fleas. I can not wait to get my hands on more!

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.0 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Monster Dudes you can find it at http://www.facebook.com/monsterdudes