Black Friday is nigh upon us. A time where American’s trample one another just to get their hands on whatever piece of consumer electronic trash they’ve been told they want. So instead of trampling your fellow man the day after you’re supposed to be thankful for him, why not take off your pants, curl up in the warm indoors, grab some Turkey leftovers and order these comics to your doorstep, or inbox. Unless you want a separated disc in your back from elbowing a 90 year old women in the teeth for a blu ray player, because trust me if you head out there tomorrow, you will elbow that old woman.
Alien – The Archive
Titan books has amassed one of the most impressive collections of Alien lore I’ve ever seen. Inside this book you’ll find pages of history from the landmark franchise. You’ll see things like Ridley Scott’s original pen and ink sketch of the Nostromo. Early design concepts of the facehugger from H.R. Giger, and a whole host of behind the scenes photos from the quadrilogy. If you’re a fan of these films, you owe it yourself to pick up this tome. It’ll make you the envy of all your friends.
The “Batman: Death Of The Family” Gift Set
About a year ago, the superstar team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo finished their biggest story in “Batman” yet, the return of the Joker. See, since the Joker had been gone for about a year in DC’s New 52 canon. He was last seen cutting off his own face in a effort to show Bruce something. That beneath Joker’s menacing grin… is his grin. Snyder understands the horror genre, and playfully engages in some genre conventions to really defy your expectations. The mask and the face removal may seem like a cheap gimmick to increase sales, but the reason for the face is so compelling and off putting on the page. You’ll really understand a different side of Joker when you see the husk of rotting flesh hanging from his face in the final chapter. Get in on the joke, and don’t be the punchline, buy this gift set and forever be better for it.
Dark Horse Black Friday MegaBundles!
Well holy hell. There couldn’t be better time to be a Dark Horse Comics fan. These Black Friday megabundles have been separated into their respective universes, and each of them comes jam packed with content. For $100 you’ll have enough quality comics to read until the new year. Take the Mignola Megabundle for example, it clocks in at almost 4,000 pages and has an all-star list of creators attached to it… Akira Yoshida, Alex Maleev, Andi Watson, Bob Fingerman, Craig Thompson, Dave Stewart, Doug Petrie, Eric Powell, Eric Wight, Evan Dorkin, Fabian Nicieza, Gene Colan, Haden Blackman, Jason Pearson, J. H. Williams III, Cameron Stewart, Christopher Golden, John Arcudi, Mike Mignola, Scott Allie… the list goes on. For less than 40 cents a page you’d be a turkey not to get one of these bundles.
Get Somthing at the BOOM! Studios Black Friday Sale
BOOM! Studios has been making a name for themselves by scooping up all the indie talent in comics and giving them a place to have an awesome and creative voice. As such, there is an overwhelming amount of good stuff coming out of the publisher. They are celebrating this dark Friday by having a sale in their shop. Plus they have a BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA TANKTOP!
Make sure to get the new Dawn of The Planet of the Apes series. It’s beyond awesome.
Starting on Thanksgiving Day 11/27 through Sunday 11/30, discounts include: • 25% off 7 items • 30% off 10 items • 40% off 15 items • 50% off 20 items On Black Friday ONLY (11/28), an officially-licensed Big Trouble tank top will be available for sale in the BOOM! Store. Act fast! The special tank is limited to 200 units. Have ya bought the shirt, Jack? Yessir, the shirt’s in the cart.
Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood
As far as modern horror comics go, Nailbiter is beyond phenomenal. It’s a smart blend of police procedural and a murky dare I say it, supernatural premise. Buckaroo, Oregon has been home to some of the world’s most violent and notorious serial killers, what makes them kill? Is it nature or is it nurture that creates a killer? And what secrets does the city hold? The story is pulse pounding and contains some of the best dramatic turns I’ve ever experienced in a comic. The end of this first volume will blow you away.
Deadline is reporting that Manson Girls is finally set to shoot next February (I’ll believe it when I see it).
Susanna Lo is directing the film about the female devotees who joined Manson’s flock in the 1960s and helped carry out brutal killings meant to start an apocalyptic race war.
Bill Moseley (pictured; The Devil’s Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) will portray Manson in the film (perfect casting!), which TriCoast Worldwide boarded this month at AFM.
Rather than probe the twisted brain of Manson himself, Manson Girls will chronicle how eight young women in his brood came from diverse and even privileged backgrounds to become the most notorious female serial killers of the decade’s Love Generation, says the site. The pic will follow the girls’ pre-Manson teen years through their indoctrination into the Family and up to the bloody summer of 1969 when their violent “Helter Skelter” campaign that rocked Los Angeles and the counterculture community.
Cast as some of the real-life Manson followers are Eric Balfour (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Skyline) as Bobby Beausoleil, Monica Keena (Freddy vs. Jason) as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw 3D) as Leslie Van Houten and Laura Harring (Mulholland Drive) as Alice Rainer. Lo’s also got a cameo earmarked Ron Jeremy (seriously?), who’ll play the director of The Ramrodder, the softcore film that featured Beausoleil and fellow Manson Family member Catherine Share in small roles.
Sony Pictures Animation announced yesterday the casting of Oscar-, Tony-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning writer, director, performer, composer and producer Mel Brooks in the sequel to the 2012 worldwide hit, Hotel Transylvania 2.
Today, we have the first ever look at Brooks in the role of Vlad, the ancient, undead and incredibly grumpy father to Dracula (Adam Sandler). “Dracula, Mavis, Jonathan and all of their monster friends are back in the brand new comedy adventure: when the old-old-old-fashioned vampire Vlad arrives at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together, Hotel Transylvania is in for a comic collision of supernatural old-school and modern day cool.”
Brooks – who takes on the role 40 years after helming the horror-comedy classic Young Frankenstein – said, “I’m having a wonderful time with the character Vlad. He’s been around for eons and he’s a pretty crabby guy. Basically, he reminds me of me.”
Hotel Transylvania 2 is slated for a September 25, 2015 release, and is being directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, produced by Michelle Murdocca, executive-produced by Sandler, Allen Covert,and Ben Waisbren, and written by Robert Smigel.
Kevin Bacon (Friday the 13th, Tremors, “The Following”) will re-team with Wolf Creek director Greg McLean to make survival drama, Jungle, based on the true story of adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who was lost for three weeks alone in the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia in 1981, says THR.
Arclight Films is producing Jungle, after See-Saw Films and the Spierig brothers (Undead, Daybreak’s) didn’t take the film past its early development. Screenwriter Justin Monjo, (“INXS: Never Tear Us Apart”), has written the script, with Gary Hamilton, Dana Lustig, Mike Gabrawy and Mark Lazarus producing. A
Jungle is the second project for Bacon and McLean who made Blumhouse supernatural thriller 6 Miranda Drive, in April.
FOX’s new clip from The Pyramid, in theaters December 5, takes us underground where “American Horror Story” star Denis O’Hare records a confessional begging troops to bring guns.
Gregory Levasseur, who worked with Alexandre Aja on the screenplays for High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Maniac, directed the flick starring Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman.
In The Pyramid, “The ancient wonders of the world have long cursed explorers who’ve dared to uncover their secrets. But a team of U.S. archaeologists gets more than they bargained for when they discover a lost pyramid unlike any other in the Egyptian desert. As they unlock the horrific secrets buried within, they realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.“
Watch another clip where evil gets released by clicking here.
Article by Trace Thurman
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The holidays are usually pretty barren for us horror fans, so I thought I would honor this holiday by taking you through a tour of some of the best dinner scenes in horror film history. I fully realize that I probably skipped some of your favorites, so this is by no means the definitive list on this subject (if there ever could be one). I also probably picked some that were a bit obvious, so I tried to also include two or three lesser-known films. If you think I missed one (which I most certainly did) feel free to discuss in the comments! Otherwise, let’s take a look at some of the ways our beloved genre has utilized dinner gatherings to horrify and entertain audiences over the years. Just a heads up: I’ve included spoilers for the films in this list so watch out.
While not technically a dinner scene in the traditional sense, I think Oldboy definitely qualifies for a place on this list. Granted, it is probably not very intense for Korean viewers , because although this film is crazy (and amazing), the act of eating a live octopus is considered a delicacy in Korea and also something I would love to try one day if I wasn’t so afraid of the tentacles grabbing hold of my throat as it went down (which is why typically it is served sliced, though the pieces are still moving). Nevertheless, this is a pretty gross scene to watch, and a perfect symbol of Oh Dae-Su’s desire for life (or rather, to ingest another creature’s life force) after being holed up in a room for 15 years. I felt like it would be a good moment to kickstart this list.
I had to watch this movie (part of the anthology Three…Extremes) in an Asian Horror film class I took in college and man, it’s pretty gross. Basically, a woman eats dumplings filled with crushed human baby fetuses so that she can have eternal life. What makes the film so effective is the sound design. You hear the slimy, squirmy dumplings (and the bones of the fetuses) as the characters chew them. It’s probably my favorite use of sound in any horror movie I’ve seen recently. There’s also a pretty awesome(?) abortion scene in the film as well (if you watch the extended version that acts as a standalone film). All of this being said, I still think I would rather eat abortion fetus dumplings than balut (fertilized duck egg), which is also on display in this film.
I did enjoy this movie a lot, but it was definitely a victim of hype for me. I heard about how good it was so often that by the time I actually got around to watching it I thought it was just alright. Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a good film. I just don’t think it’s amazing. I do love the “dinner” scene where they have to eat the dog though. “Love” may be the wrong choice of words but it’s just so bizarre and absolutely ridiculous. It used to really bother me when dogs died in movies but I think I’ve been desensitized so much that it just doesn’t affect me as much anymore. Like Dumplings, this is another movie where the sound really amplifies the grotesqueness of the scene. The lead characters are told they will win money if they eat the dog that has been killed and boy do they go for it. It’s hilarious and disgusting at the same time and while my feelings about the movie may be mixed, I can’t deny the effectiveness of this scene.
Tore tanzt (Nothing Bad Can Happen)
This one took the place of Poltergeist on my list (sorry!) since they both involve maggot-infested meats. I’m still a little conflicted about how I feel about this film, but that’s kind of what the director was going for. While not really a horror movie, it is definitely horrifying. Nothing Bad Can Happen follows self-proclaimed “Jesus Freak” Tore as he befriends a family and ends up living with them after the patriarch invites him into their home. It isn’t long before things take a turn for the worse (to put it mildly) as the family starts to torture poor Tore to test his religious strength. The scene in questions is probably the scene that will stick with you the longest once the movie is over and involves the parents of the family force-feeding Tore chicken that was thrown out in the garbage days before and has now become maggot-infested. I watched this movie at the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin, which meant I was eating while I watched it. It wasn’t the best plan. You’ve been warned.
Yes I know, this isn’t technically a horror movie, but it’s one of the most memorable and entertaining dinner scenes in film history. I wasn’t allowed to watch Beetlejuice growing up because I had a lot of nightmares as a small child after finding a doll of the titular character that had a string on its back that caused its head to spin around when you pulled it. I finally got to see it when I was about 9 after I tricked my grandmother into letting me watch it. I would constantly rewind and watch this scene over and over again while singing and dancing to it in the living room. This scene combines my two favorite genres (horror and musical) and goes balls to the wall with it. In my opinion, this is the quality all horror comedies should strive to achieve.
I confess, I almost forgot to put this one on the list. I’m not sure what I was thinking, as this is one of the most iconic dinners in cinema, but I digress. I don’t really think I need to go into what makes this scene so amazing but I only wish I could have been alive in 1979 in a theater watching this for the first time. I think the impact this scene had on me was definitely softened after hearing so much about it but I can’t deny that it is a fantastic feat of technology and filmmaking. I may still prefer Aliens as a film, but damn if this scene isn’t an example of how to really knock the audience off of its feet.
I really like Hannibal. I still prefer that batshit insane ending of the novel (if I lost any of you with that statement I completely understand) but I think this is a great film. It’s just overshadowed by the amazing Silence of the Lambs so it never really stood a chance. Well, that and the fact that it’s a 131-minute film and it takes Hannibal nearly 6o of them to show up. That being said, the dinner scene where Ray Liotta’s Agent Krendler gets the top part of his skull removed as Hannibal slices pieces of it off to cook and feed to him is absolutely horrifying. I didn’t get to see Hannibal until years after it was released (I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies until I was about 16) but I had always heard about this scene (and even read it before I saw the movie). It’s so brilliantly disturbing and definitely earns its place on this list.
While the clip above actually happens before the dinner scene in the film, it’s still pretty horrifying nonetheless. I love Gina Gershon. Ever since I saw her in Bound I’ve had a thing for her. I feel the exact opposite about Matthew McConaughey. I have never liked him and he has always annoyed me in most of his films (even Frailty, which I love). But I adore him in this movie. I was looking forward to it because I really enjoyed Tracy Letts’ other plays, Bug and August: Osage County, but I didn’t know anything about it. I randomly Redboxed it one night and it was a very pleasant surprise (well, pleasant in a very weird way). Seeing Gershon blow a fried chicken leg was not exactly what I expected, but it was traumatic, to say the least. I still can’t believe that scene got this film an NC-17 rating, but I’m glad director William Friedkin didn’t trim it down to get an R. The fact that after all of this Joe tried to get everyone to sit down for a nice family dinner is all the more hilarious/horrifying. I love this movie, and the final scene is my favorite part.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
I think this one haunts me so much because I remember seeing Greta’s stuffed face on the back of every VHS box for Nightmare 5 in any video store I walked into when I was a kid. Seeing the image of Greta’s body hanging out of the refrigerator door, with her mouth stuffed full of food is a pretty disturbing image for a 5-year-old. The fact that this is one of the most memorable deaths in the franchise (for me, at least) is kind of sad considering that it’s one of the worst films in the franchise (whether Freddy’s Revenge or Freddy’s Dead or both are worse is up for debate). Even still, seeing poor Greta get fed her own innards by Freddy is a twisted idea and I’m glad they writer had the balls to do it, despite the censoring the scene had.
You’re Next was one of my favorite movies from last year, and this scene is one of the main reasons why. Yes, the film has some pretty good kills in it and, while the ending is a little predictable (I admit I was expecting a little bit more to the twist, but I appreciated the simplicity of it more on a second viewing), it’s dialogue like this that really make the movie stick out for me. This movie actually takes time to establish its characters and Simon Barrett did a really good job with the dialogue in this scene. Obviously, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that things escalate rather quickly after this but I wanted to acknowledge a scene where nothing really happens to highlight the brilliance of the film. This is one of the few moments the audience gets to relax and really get to know these characters. This could easily be your family. They have real arguments and behave like real people. Then shit goes down.
I hate pus. I can handle all of the blood and gore you throw at me, but the second pus gets involved I start to gag a little bit. Nothing has made me want to leave the room more than the dinner scene in Dead Alive (except possibly the eyeball-severing bit in Hostel). I admit I’m not as big on this movie as many of you are, but I can certainly appreciate all of the talent behind the film. My feelings for the film aside, I don’t think any scene has embedded itself in my memory the way this one has. You can’t tell me that this scene does not gross you out, no matter how funny it may be.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
No list of horror movie dinners can be complete without this masterpiece. This is the dinner scene to end all dinner scenes. I admit that when I first saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, I was bored to tears. I saw it very late in my horror viewing and I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about. After many more years filled with several re-watchings of it, I have definitely come around, and I think I can finally see what makes this movie so special in many people’s eyes. I can’t say anything about the film that hasn’t been said already but the first time I saw it, it didn’t really affect me. Somewhere down the line, though, this movie really started disturbing me. I’m not sure what happened, but this scene is so freaky to me now. No film has really been able to match this dinner scene (though the 2006 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning would try) and I believe that’s a testament to how amazing this scene (well, the whole film really) is. Nothing else can really compare to it.
ABOUT TRACE: Trace is a graduate of the Radio/TV/Film program University of Texas at Austin and still lives in Austin. An avid fan of the horror genre, he spends most of his free time reading about/watching movies and TV shows and endlessly harassing his friends to watch underrated gems. He has a strong dislike for the lack of tact/respect present on Internet message boards and is on a mission to promote thoughtful, polite discussions between people who disagree about things online.
Tomorrow is Black Friday, the most violent, brutal, near-gladiatorial shopping day of the year. Then again, it also has a ton of savings, so people are willing to fight to the death to shave off a few bucks for…whatever.
Now, I’ve never gone shopping out in the real world on a Black Friday and I don’t plan on it. I value my health, my sanity, and keeping all four limbs intact. But sometimes you need some new music and, by god, that’s what I’m here to help with! Only with my way, you don’t even have to leave the safety of your couch!
Head on in for a few select picks that I think would really expand your musical tastes as well as make for great holiday gifts.
Today we give thanks to Dimension Films’ 2007 Grindhouse for which gave us the delicious bounty known as “Thanksgiving.”
Included in the epic feature film project from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were a series of faux trailers from the hottest horror directors around.
One such trailer was for Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, which at one point was being developed into a feature length slasher. While things have gone silent on that front, we still celebrate this amazing trailer that is stuffed (see what I did there?) with gore!
The headline teases two figure sets that were also set to be included in SOTA’s ‘Now Playing Series 4′, but were never released.
The American Werewolf In London box set was allegedly announced as a replacement the Tremors set, although it’s unclear what happened exactly. It was revealed at the 2007 Toy Fair in New York and showed a 2-pack consisting of a mauled Jack as well as David in werewolf form from John Landis’ classic horror comedy. This would have been a perfect addition to SOTA’s previously released Nazi demon.
Also announced at the New York Toy Fair in 2007 was this absolutely bonkers Leprechaun figure that came with an interchangeable head and well diorama. Too bad is wouldn’t come with a 1993 version of Jennifer Aniston…
Well, this is a weird one, to put it mildly.
UK garage rock band Love Buzzard have released an official music video for their track “Give It Some Range” and it’s a doozy. Animated by Russell Taysom, the video is a psychedelic freak show that features twisted visuals that may potentially be NSFW.
“Give It Some Range” comes from the band’s upcoming self-titled EP, which you can pre-order via Bandcamp.
Some last second holiday news as we head off to go eat some turkey.
We have just confirmed our scoop from this past July that Paramount Pictures’ Paranormal Activity 5: The Ghost Dimension is being fast-tracked. In fact, we’ve learned that filming has already begun with plans on getting the sequel into theaters by the original March 13, 2015 date.
Greg Plotkin is directing from a screenplay by Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark.
The interesting bit, though, is that the plan is to release PA5 in 3-D, and will be done using post-conversion technology. It can only be assumed that the 3-D is specifically for the “Ghost Dimension”?
The fact that Paramount is toying with the technology for PA means Friday the 13th could be next…
Some plot details were teased in this leaked casting breakdown from this past January.
Just yesterday Universal Pictures unloaded the official trailer to Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World.
Personally, I thought it looked wild, but not everyone is on my side.
I’ve seen complaints about the weird transportation pods (joked to be from Tomorrowland) to the shots of the park that look like they were filmed directly on the Universal Studios grounds (the theme park, not the studio). Even paleontologists are blasting the science behind the Jurassic Park sequel. It just goes on and on (people are even pissed about the crane flies in the sap).
Frankly, I think most of the haters need to STFU and save their criticism for the final product. How can you judge a movie this early?
This is how…
As we all know, Jurassic World is based around the concept of humans “toying” (this is an awesome pun) with the DNA of dinosaurs and creating hybrids (like the D-rex). Allegedly, the reason for this is so Universal can own the intellectual properties of the dinosaurs*. Clearly, Uni does not own any rights to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and anyone could create knock off shirts and toys based on the T-rex, Velociraptors, etc. So, the question remains, was the concept of the hybrid dinos organic, or forced much like the scientists agenda in the film? I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but it sort of hurts my soul just knowing that the entire movie’s heart and soul could be about greed. It’s sort of ironic and perfect when you really think about it, though. John Hammond would have been proud.
Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Katie McGrath, Andy Buckley and Lauren Lapkus star in the Jurassic Park sequel opening June 12, 2015.
This time Universal Pictures will be opening the actual park. If you’re curious what the new park has to offer, check out these leaked brochures!
(*There’s nothing wrong with Uni wanting to create merchandise and make as much money as possible with their massive investment. We just hope the movie wasn’t compromised in doing so.)
To adapt Homer’s Odyssey in any form is a ridiculously difficult task. But to adapt it into a gender bending, space opera, fantasy-esque, psychedelic comic book takes “difficult” to a whole new level. Matt Fraction and illustrator Christian Ward have started a mission so colossal it’s scary, a feat of great proportions, an epic journey. “ODY-C” #1, their (almost entirely) female cast Odyssey reimagining in space, will have readers perplexed, fascinated, and charmed. This is not a tool for education. It’s not a dumbing down or easy-reader version of Homer’s original work with pictures. If anything, it’s more complex than the original, carving out its own place in the history of ambitious comics.
WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Christian Ward
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: November 26, 2014
Homer wrote of the Greek hero Odysseus and his ship-bound voyage home to Ithaca after conquering Troy in the Trojan War. In Fraction and Ward’s reimagining, Troy and Ithaca are planets and Odysseus is Odyssia, the female captain of a spaceship. As Fraction stated himself, essentially all cast members have been gender swapped and it’s the women who comprise the military heroes we read of in high school literature classes. Troy is now Troiia; Ithaca, Ithicaa. As a war-worn Odyssia sets about to make her way back home, the gods, as with Homer’s Odyssey (only with different genders) especially Poseidon, take it upon themselves to make this space voyage a challenging one.
I’m not going to go into a lot of plot detail because ideally, we all know the story of Homer’s Odyssey. I want to focus on the manner in which Fraction and Ward have adapted such difficult source material and made it uniquely their own, frankly, against all odds. I haven’t seen any adaptation this unique since “O Brother, Where Art thou.”
First and foremost, Fraction’s script would be nothing without Ward’s art. It’s Ward’s insanely stylistic take on both the space opera genre and unique female form that carry the weight of this comic. Without it, Fraction’s words would simply be a slightly reformatted and pared down (albeit very Fraction-esque) adaptation. And by Fraction-esque, I mean…the Sebex, the updating of language, the numerical captions! So him. It’s so entirely like him to take such great risks that always pay off.
And although there are plenty of times that Ward’s art resembles an acid trip, you just need to power through. On second read, it makes much more sense. But don’t try to understand everything that’s taking place within the art. It will pluck you out of the story and you’ll not be able to follow it for your life. But there’s so much to love. The colors and loose structure, the shapely women and their abnormal forms, the vague spaceship innards that leave much to the imagination, and my favorite, the scenes with Odyssia’s memories of war, which break style for Ward in that the coloring is a complete red-wash; dark tones that move away from his rainbow of colors. It’s a beautifully offset scenery of images that truly engage and perhaps are the most traditionally adapted bits of the comic.
Many of you will go through this once, and say to yourself, what the fuck did I just read? I did. That’s okay. This is not an easy comic to digest. But it’s worth it. Read it again. Unfortunately for some readers, this is not a “stand-alone” as it were. To understand a great deal of “ODY-C” one must have a working knowledge of the source material. But this series has so much promise, and the world is ready for a space age, female dominant Odyssey.
If you’ve ever wondered what a fever dream / crime / tale of revenge looked like, you definitely have to read The White Suits: Dressed to Kill. I cannot believe how utterly original and blood-soaked this collection is with only three colors. If you miss the great conspiracy / crime sagas like 100 Bullets, this book is a worthy successor to that illustrious mantle.
WRITTEN BY: Frank J. Barbiere
ART BY: Toby Cypress
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $17.99 US / $19.99 CAN
RELEASE: 26 November 2014
Reviewed by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady
I know my reviews tend to point out similarities between current books and books from days gone by. Like music fans, comic book fans can talk to someone and get a feel for books they would like based on their likes and dislikes. If you like this, then you should try this, and so on. With all due respect to Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s epic crime book, this feels like this is the next step for crime comics. Seeing writer Frank J. Barbiere’s influences confessed in his afterword, this tale feels like something wholly new and original.
Not only is the story of a mysterious group of Russian killers in white suits simple in its premise, the details that unfold only add to the mix of a great read. The art by Toby Cypress just makes this an entirely unique visual experience. His style is so unpredictable and yet utterly hypnotic. Nothing looks like quite you expect it to but it still looks incredible. I could see these pages take over an art gallery easily. Cypress’ style is so fluid, so detailed and so visceral that it makes the story feel like it’s moving at light speed. The action is so tangible you can almost feel the bullets and blood fly all over the place when violence gloriously ensues.
Story, lettering, art and coloring are all covered by Frank J. Barbiere and Toby Cypress. That, in itself, is an impressive feat. Are these men selfish or passionate? I think you can answer that yourself when you start absorbing the visuals and the storyline of this tale. I know previous reviews have raved about the initial debut and I can categorically say all the praise this book received is well deserved. I definitely want to see what happens next and whatever these creators do next, I will be there and you should too.
“Gotham by Midnight” offers a devilish look at a different type of seedy underbelly of Gotham. The all too often neglected supernatural elements of the Batman universe are brought to the forefront here, and it’s a haunting reminder of just how sinister a place Gotham can be.
WRITTEN BY: Ray Fawkes
ART BY: Ben Templesmith
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: November 26, 2014
The Batman renaissance continues this month with something slightly different than all the rest. This is a supernatural book more in the vein of Constantine than of Batman proper. However, you have a little bit of Gotham Central in the mix and a hint of The X-Files and you’ve concocted Ray Fawkes’ recipe for “Gotham By Midnight.”
And while all the ingredients are fantastic, the actual final result feels a little undercooked. It’s not an easy task to launch an all new storyline in an established universe. There is a lot of heavy lifting that needs to be done in order to service the story, and sadly Fawkes’ script concerns itself with the lifting more than anything.
There is a terrible amount of exposition. Even by first issue standards. The pacing is out of wack because of it and it all doesn’t really amount to much either. We’re introduced to the mysterious precinct thirteen through the eyes of newcomer Sergeant Rook. He’s pitted against our Midnight team. The people who clean up the more unsightly monsters in Gotham, or so we’re told. We don’t often get to see much in the way of creepiness in these opening pages. Instead there is a constant reminder of what could lie in wait, and Rook’s incessant disbelief that such a place or concept could exist.
Fawkes’ script is more concerned with telling rather than showing, a shame really, given the incredibly creepy talent Ben Templesmith’s pencils bring to the book. His moody use of color shows a Gotham unlike we’ve ever seen in the New 52. It’s awash in pale moonlight, dirty browns stain the walls and earthy tones constantly unnerve.
Templesmith’s fantastic character designs are as gaunt and unsightly as the city itself. Furrowed brows and pale skin are normal things here. Although one wonders if Rook is capable of smiling… Templesmith’s art does its best to bring the creepy factor up to ten whenever given the opportunity, but doesn’t really let loose until the final page.
“Gotham By Midnight” should be a worthy addition to anyone’s pullist because the premise is just so damn awesome. Yet, Fawkes fails to deliver on the promise of the premise here in the debut issue. He instead offers a by the books introduction to a world we’re already pretty familiar with. Despite this, the dialogue is pointed and chilling. The art is captivates in its depiction of the most horrific parts of the already dreadful Gotham, and Jim Corrigan is an irresistible protagonist.
I can’t wait to see more, if only because I feel shortchanged by this debut issue.
Now that Bruce has returned home, and determined to solve a double homicide in the newly formed “Arkham Manor” things can really get started. This month we’re treated to a briskly paced adventure through the former safe haven that offers further psychological analysis of what makes Batman tick.
WRITTEN BY: Gerry Duggan
ART BY: Shawn Crystal
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: November 26, 2014
It’s going to be hard for “Arkham Manor” not to compare itself to the seminal classic “Arkham Asylum” from Grant Morrison. Each story has a variety of similarities, and I applaud Gerry Duggan for being so bold as to emulate the story in his own way. Now that Batman is fully immersed in another personality, much akin to Matches Malone he can begin to understand the inner workings of the labyrinth.
It’s nice to see an oddly confident Batman in light of what Scott Snyder is doing on “Batman.” Duggan showcases his protagonist as overly confident to a point, and plays with the idea of reducing him down to nothing. Inside Arkham Manor he may have a home field advantage, but he’s got none of the tools he’s used to.
Instead we see Bruce attending group therapy and given what we know now about the identity of the Joker, things have an especially sinister tone in this issue. I can’t help but giggle when the whole group notices that Jack Shaw is hiding something. What’s more is their laser focus on Batman. They have him figured out there, even the petty thugs know why he does the vigilante thing.
Shawn Crystal is a sight to behold. His muddy pencils add a certain level of gritty charm to the newest member of the batman mythos: Arkham Manor. His pencils bring the property to life with such vigor that the building itself feels like the newest character in the book. Over the course of twenty two pages we’re treated to the inside, the outside, and the grand halls of Wayne Manor.
Combined with the dark sunken in eyes of the characters you really have something different and approachable. “Arkham Manor” doesn’t look like most other Bat books and it’s a good thing. It’s got a darker charm on its sleeve than it first lets on. It’s perfect too, because the final showdown on the last few pages plays with the darkness in such a perfect way that you’ll be on edge right until the final panel.
This book doesn’t do much yet to justify its own existence. We’ve learned nothing new, and so far it just reads like an extension of the Bat-book formula which is to say a different writer taking Batman on monthly adventures against a different set of backdrops than the core series. I can’t help but wonder where things will go when the trapped inside the manor storyline resolves itself. Because this book could survive without Batman, in fact at this point it’s just what the Bat-books need: less Batman.
“Roche Limit” #3 exceeds my wildest expectations again and absolutely oozes quality. All those dangling threads from issues 1 and 2 begin to come together and the picture they paint is gorgeous. Existentialism and space are two things that get me on board with a book in an instant and Roche Limit is 110% bringing it. If you’ve been on the fence about Roche Limit or have never read it, this issue will seal the deal.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Moreci
ART BY: Vic Malhotra
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: November 26, 2014
Reviewed By: Torin Chambers
Roche Limit opens similarly to the previous issues with a monologue by an incredibly insightful man. Who this is is still very much a mystery, but a mystery that’s welcoming and will only become clearer in time. We’re treated to another infographic about ‘Roche Limit in Focus.’ Giving us a clearer idea of how the colony works with major landmarks and just the right amount of potential foreshadowing. This issue has it’s major focus on Ford and Sonya’s continued quest to find Bekka. As the issue unfolds it becomes more and more clear that Bekka’s disappearance is tied into everything. Their search eventually leads them to a genuine space-cockfight, but they’re not the only ones there. Three other parties are also attending and the way they intertwine or don’t intertwine is excellent.
If you’re eager for more of those ghouls that’ve been teased then you’re in luck. They play much more directly into the story now and are given a bit more context.
Last issue I was sure Moscow would be spilling a lot of blood in the coming issues, but I didn’t think it’d start so soon. He’s going to truly become a force to be reckoned with.
Michael Moreci is crafting a science fiction epic on par with the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I would even say it already far surpasses the current sci-fi story everyone is grooving on, Interstellar. The best part about all this is its still only beginning, there’s so much more to come and I am clamoring for it. Roche Limit is a smart and engrossing book, with fluid writing that seeps into your soul.
Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @TorinsChambers
“Toe Tag Riot” #1 is a conundrum. On the one hand, it’s touching on important issues, such as sexism and racism, that are rarely brought up in comics – and that’s commendable. On the other hand, it’s lackluster, with no real focus, and it fails to deliver a meaningful commentary. For what it’s worth, the book is very different, that in and of itself is always a good thing. It is so content with just breaking the mold, however, that it never attempts to rebuild anything meaningful in its place.
WRITTEN BY: Matt Miner
ART BY: Sean Von Gorman
PUBLISHER: Black Mask Comics
RELEASE: November 26, 2014
Reviewed By: Torin Chambers
The aforementioned title is also the name of the band that all our protagonists belong to. There’s Paulie- the guitarist/band leader, Dickie – their hot headed and impulsive lead singer, and Evie – the high-spirited amputee drummer [who’s also in a relationship with] Annie – the sassy bassist. Together, they form the punk band Toe Tag Riot, but they’re all bonded by more than just the band. They all turn into zombies whenever they perform on stage, complete with rotting green flesh and soulless yellow eyes. The duration of this affliction has gotten greater each time, their hunger for human flesh also seems to be growing.
The reason for their curse is briefly and vaguely touched on, but gives no answers or even hints at where it comes from. This is consistent with most of the book. Everything seems to happen just because. Such as Andy Hurley’s guest appearance – he adds nothing of value and could have been filled by that one guy who takes the same bus route as you and nothing would change.
The worst offender of this is the time period. Toe Tag Riot is set in 2004 and I cannot find anything that suggests this choice is anything but arbitrary. There are numerous references that make no sense if the book is really based in 2004, such as a flashback to 2002 with a Napoleon Dynamite reference. Napoleon Dynamite didn’t come out until 2004. Andy Hurley is recognized as being from Fall Out Boy, but they didn’t achieve fame until the following year, 2005.
The Westboro Baptist Church is referenced, and if you’ve been following Toe Tag Riot in any capacity, you’d know that they are going to become the antagonists. However, The Westboro Baptists are not represented in this first issue at all. This seems strange to me considering Miner’s Toe Tag Riot slogan was essentially “Punk Zombies vs. The Westboro Baptist Church.” In 2004, I bet you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who had knowledge of the Westboro Baptists. Sure they were founded in 1955 but they only came into the mainstream public eye in the last few years- another reason that I cannot understand why this book isn’t set in the present.
Matt Miner is a super awesome dude who is by no means a bad writer. He wrote a truly enthralling story in Vertigo’s CMYK Yellow that our own Zac Thompson loved to tears. Miner is trying to send a great message but the delivery leaves much to be desired.
It fucking sucks to see something that appears to be progressive but in actuality is just as hollow as the bullshit it’s trying to attack.
Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @TorinsChambers
Twitch scored the first ever images from Aeon Flux and Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama’s dark thriller The Invitation.
Logan Marshall Green, Tammy Blanchard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and Michiel Huisman star in the film, which is now in post production.
“Will and Eden were once a loving couple with a beautiful child. After a tragedy took their son from them, Eden disappeared suddenly, leaving her grieving husband behind. Three years later, out of the blue, she has returned with a new husband… and as a different person, profoundly and eerily changed.
On a dark night in the Hollywood Hills, Will returns to the house in which they lived for a reunion with Eden, his new girlfriend, Kira, and the group of friends that fell apart in the wake of the tragedy. Over the course of the evening, Will is gripped by mounting evidence that something very insidious has taken hold of his ex-wife, and that the new people in her life have a mysterious and horrifying agenda. But can we trust Will’s hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?
By the end of the night, the ramifications of what happens in this house will spread far beyond its doors.
The Invitation is a pressure-cooker adult thriller that explodes into a truly shocking climax, steeped in the dark mythology of Southern California. It’s about the way grief can form or deform us, the horror of not knowing what’s inside the people you once loved, and about systems of belief and the terrifying promises they can make.”
Director Vivieno Caldinelli (Picnicface, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), writer Matt Watts (Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays), and star Roddy Piper (They Live) have teamed up with executive producer Todd Brown (The Raid, ABCs of Death), executive producer Andrew Rosen (Todd & the Book of Pure Evil), and FX guru Steve Kostanski (Manborg) to bring horror fans the slimiest genre mash-up ever seen!
With assistance from the Harold Greenberg Fund, the short film will be moving forward in early 2015 – but with fan support via IndieGogo, the filmmakers can create bigger stunts, crazier effects, and put the gears in motion to turn Portal to Hell into an ass-kicking, feature-length adventure.
“Jack (Piper) is a simple man with simple needs. Mostly he just needs to be left alone to read his book. It’s a good book and he likes it… or, at least, he would if the tenants of the building he manages weren’t so damn needy.
And it’s not just blown fuses and clogged toilets… No, when the building power goes out, the culprit is a pair of Cthulhu-worshiping tenants opening a portal to the demon city of R’lyeh in the basement.
Does this count as building maintenance? Is battling the supernatural part of Jack’s job description? Maybe not, but if Jack can’t close the portal the entire building and – let’s face it – the whole world is screwed.“