Review! IN THE DARK a Horror Anthology

Drawn from a wide range of inspirations, stories reminiscent of childhood campfire tales, or Lovecraft-esque, or teenage action influenced and featuring creepy kids, self-sacrifice, monster hunters, petty revenge or something more existential, good people going bad, and bad kids going good from the tampering of horrific entities. What if the reason that jerk always checks his phone so much is that he needs to know when he’s going to change into a horrific beast? Nothing is as it seems here IN THE DARK.

inthedark

Among my faves:

The Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley penned story Guilloteens a punk rock Buffy homage with a Scooby gang monsterhunters and on one night they find a house being used by were-wizards for nefarious reasons. Were-wizards. So cool. Cute characters and extra blood spatters made awesome by artist Christian Wildgoose.

All Things Through Me by Mike Oliveri, artist Mike Henderson follows the son of a fallen priest who can communicate with the dead and has a knack for possession on a house call in a small town and stumbles on something local law enforcement would rather he hadn’t.

When the Rain Comes by Steve Niles is a creepfest about repercussions of fearing what you don’t understand. Damien Worm’s super creepy art is killer here, cloudy scratches, scribbled silhouettes capture the essence of the mysterious creatures that come forth to a farmhouse after a flood.

The Body by Tim Seeley, art by Stephen Green, mixes urban violence with a supernatural avenger.

Final Meal by Christopher Sebela and Zack Soto makes me glad to be vegan after reading this eerie tale about feeling like a God on the top of the food chain following a sad character who can’t get enough of sucking life from between his teeth.

The One That Got Away, written by Scott Snyder (who, y’know, writes both metropolis and Gotham’s heroic dudes) plays off our expectations when a young boy is approached by a knife wielding character.

Brian Keene’s The Lost Valley of the Dead is set in a wild West zombie plague. Tadd Galusha brings it with well drawn zombie animals sporting dripping fangs and exposed ribs. In trying to escape the disease they find a hidden entrance to a world of dinosaurs ..things get even crazier when the T-Rex ingests the zombie coyotes. Zombie freaking dinosaurs.

Swan Song by Rachel Deering takes a break from the plethora of werewolves and features a gorgeous vampire and the dashing would be hero who unknowingly unleashes a monster.

Extra treats- faux vintage ads and page 185’s horror trivia crossword! I’m thinking about sending $3.25 to get my “Creature in a Crate”.

Whether you like your villains internal, supernatural or humanly homicidal and your main characters twisted, teenaged, tragic or triumphant and your settings futuristic, realistic or rustic IN THE DARK has something for you. If you didn’t get in on the ground floor for this one order one from your local comic shop, IDW is printing and shipping this rad compilation soon.

My Blog is 3 Months Old!

The best book I read this month: Parasite by Mira Grant, out for consumption on October 29th, get ready for this sci-fi tale to eat your brain! In the not so distant future, human bodies are regulated with “intestinal bodyguards.” Sally Mitchell is the first to have her tapeworm save her life after a near deadly accident leaving her an amnesiac lab rat for SymboGen. It’s not all bad for Sal, she gets along better with her sister, has a gig at an animal shelter and a doctor boyfriend. But when people start getting a “sleepwalking sickness” she finds herself in the heart of a SymboGen cover-up. Who’s good, who’s bad? Twist turns and gray areas ensue.

Image

 

I was going to squick you out with some tapeworm photos, but opted for this gem: an ad for a tapeworm diet!

Top Posts this month:

Rachel Deering’s Anathema Vol. 1

Movie Review for Elysium

Discussion: The Slut Shaming of Buffy Summers

That’s it for August! What will September bring?

Image

“Girls Don’t Like Comic Books” & other hot nonsense

This post has been brewing in my cranium for a while. More so since last week when I went to pick up my comics and this dumb dumb behind me said “I can’t believe girls by comic books” in front of me with my stack and the girl working there. And he follows up with: “Cute girls, too.”  And this isn’t that surprising, it happens all the time. The stereotype that how people happen to look has to have some effect on the kind of things they are supposed to like. Of course Mr. I-have-no-goddamn-social-skills-and-have-no-idea-about-what-girls-like is feeding into his own comic book nerd stereotype, but I digress.

I didn’t read comics for years. Years and years.

And then this:

Image

And I said, “Oh HELL YEAH!” (even though I will say that I got PO’d at comments on CNN.com where dudes were all “feminists better support this, they say they want equality but then they don’t like Women’s MMA, women won’t read this” here’s the deal: feminists and ALL WOMEN and really ALL HUMANS like different assortments of things. I don’t have to like everything. I don’t have to like something because an empowered woman is there if it’s not the type of thing I would otherwise like. I don’t watch MMA. You know what feminists don’t love? When men tell them they HAVE TO love something. Seriously.)

But since I was at the comic book store, I found some other stuff to dig:

rsv2-01-cov-scottadnvshslazarus_001_cover_color_logo_text_sizedMovement-2-0coverchew-vol6-webanathema_vol__1_trade_cover_by_theironrachel-d618tcd ExtinctionParade1

 

Now look at these. Look at all the females! And they are all different!

When people bring up female fronted comic books that fail, someone undoubtedly says “Red SheHulk is cancelled” Red She-Hulk is a knock off of a knock of. Red Sonja is a fierce Barbarian and adventurer, Cassie Hack is a serial killer killer out for revenge, sharp tongued enough to keep Ash to his toes. While both females are scantily clad and quick witted no one would mistake one for the other. Toni Chu bites people to see the future and works for NASA, the females of Extinction Parade bite because their vampires, Mercy wolfs out to save the soul of her dead lover. Lazarus main protag Forever Carlyle who was considered “too butch” for one male fan (who got schooled hard by Greg Rucka) would surely not be raiding Sonja or Cassie’s closets, she’s a genetic experiment who can take bullets and barely miss a beat, she isn’t funny like Cassie or serious and experienced like Sonja… because women aren’t all the same.

That why “the all girl X-men” is so frigging good. The characters have different strengths, speak differently, have their own faults, interact in ways that you think they would based on previous events. Not just “I’d better like it because there are women there.”

And then today I read this in which rape and victimization of women that are so present in comics is passed off a “okay” because it’s not “for women.” The author of the article rightly points out that it is not okay for men and young boys to be repeatedly shown rape scenes because it normalizes this behavior and, frankly, women should be concerned if men enjoy reading unadulterated rape scenes.

…”comic creators Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Gerry Conway (The Punisher) have unabashedly inferred that it doesn’t matter how they portray women in their comic creations, because comic books are not for women, anyway. “…

WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTT? No, jackasses… your books are not for women, who you have no respect for, clearly. But there are plenty of good female centered comics out right now (some by women and some not). Why creators are trying to appeal to less of the population instead of more, I don’t know. But if you write like crap… I won’t read it. And if you build it, they will come, fuckers. “Women liking comic books” isn’t the responsibility of the women. I won’t like a female character who’s a default knock off, or who has no relationships with other women. I will not like a book that uses rape to advance the plot. I will not read one dimensional characters.

It’s like I expect you to write good or something.

Anathema Vol. 1

Anathema Vol 1’s cover boasts “Monsters! Girls! Bloodshed! Revenge!” and it delivers.

The story begins with Mercy Barlowe watching her love, Sarah, being burned at the stake. For being with a woman, considered a crime against God, her father carries out the execution. As if that wasn’t heinous enough, before her death, Sarah curses God and a demonic creature takes her soul.

Mercy is helpless and cannot stop any of this. But she vows to free Sarah’s soul from the creature that has stolen it.

What does Mercy do to get her revenge? Well, she becomes a werewolf

Image

 

Many things in this book went more of the Classic Horror route. Mercy drinks rain water from a wolf’s paw print. As a werewolf, she can’t talk. She encounters creepy soul eating blackbirds, giant monsters, mean with the head of a goatskull and giant hammers. And everything is really bloody and terrible. It’s wonderful.

Mercy is fighting for her love’s soul, against the rise of Count Alderic Karnstein and ultimately against herself for her own inaction. She feels guilt ridden for watching as Sarah burned and she’s on a quest for retribution.

Volume 1 is titles “The Evil That Men Do”

Count Karnstein renounced God after the death of his wife and children (which is all well and good, but then), slipped into delirium aligned himself with demons, started eating souls of tortured women and the feasting on blood. His appetite grew so hideous that he was vanquished by knights, his heart cut into 4 pieces and hidden at the ends of the earth.

Sarah’s family burns their own daughter alive because of their bigotry.

Mercy transforms herself into a monster seeking vengeance and justice.

Image

 

There’s a whole lot of evil and a whole lot of awesome.

Buy the first three issues here. Issues 4-6 are in the works.

4.5 demonic ravens!