Japanese rock superstars Vamps will be heading to the US to play two intimate shows, one at Los Angeles’ House Of Blues (December 4th) and one in New York City’s Roseland Ballroom (December 8th). These shows are the band’s first US appearances in over three years.
The band comments, “A concert is like a living, breathing thing. You never know what’s going to happen. We can’t wait have that experience with our fans on both coasts again! Our American fans and American audiences are always so good at expressing themselves with us during the show, making it fun to perform in front of them.”
Vamps is Hyde from L’Arc En Ciel and K.A.Z. from Oblivion Dust.
Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Nine Inch Nails performed the funky “All Time Low”, which comes from their latest album Hesitation Marks (review). The performance was NIN’s first ever TV performance. You can watch video below.
Personally, I was not impressed by the performance at all. Trent was 100% into it but it was just a really poor choice of song for their first TV performance. For something as memorable as a first TV performance, I would’ve gone with a song that had more energy, something that would capture audiences a bit more. I mean, look at the crowd. They’re just not feeling what they’re seeing. What do you think?
Marvel made big waves this morning with the announcement of multiple properties making the jump into television by way of Netflix. The plan is to bring Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones to the streaming service with the whole thing culminating in a “Defenders” miniseries.
The whole thing is an incredibly ambitious plan to bring Marvel’s “street level” heroes into the television world. The effort is a streamline approach to build this world into a cohesive experience between each of these characters that would see the small screen equivalent of “The Avengers.”
Read what Marvel had to say after the jump.
Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment had publically issued this statement “This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty, this serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
While Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say “Marvel’s movies, such as Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels, with House of Cards and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”
Truly remarkable stuff. Marvel is taking a huge approach to developing their content over a series of years that is actually quite remarkable. These long term plans have aided them in the cinematic universe they have created. While Netflix as delivery system will allow them to tell more mature serialized stories. As “Agents of SHEILD” is something remarkable in its own right, it does have a more episodic and campy feel than what these series are being pitched as.
With the right creative teams involved these series can set a new standard in terms of comic book storytelling across other mediums. Daredevil will be the first series to roll out in 2015, and the rest of them will shortly follow suit.
Who would have thought we’d ever get a Power Fist or Luke Cage TV series? Not this guy. I truly welcome this development as it opens the door to all kinds of other development opportunities if this effort is a success, although given Netflix current track record all signs point to a big win for both parties. In any event we’ll have to wait until 2015 to see how it all plays out.
Sanitarium ‘s David Mazouz, pictured, has booked a lead role in director Brad Peyton’s thriller Incarnate, reports Deadline.
He will play a boy found by an unconventional exorcist (Aaron Eckhart) who is possessed by a demon from the man’s past.
Jason Blum is producing and Couper Samuelson exec producing with Michael Seitzman and Trevor Engelson.
An effective horror/crime thriller, “12 Reasons To Die” #4 balances its shocking scares with its insightful social message. Surprising reader’s expectations, Ghostface Killah’s first foray into comics presents two socially conscious tales about racial attitudes and diversity. The “12 Reasons To Die” series continues to deliver the horror goods and more.
WRITTEN BY: Ghostface Killah, Adrian Younge, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Ce Garcia
ART BY: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Joelle Jones, Edwin Huang, and David Murdoch
PUBLISHER: Black Mask Studios
RELEASE: November. 6th, 2013
In the first tale, “The Lead Years” follows Anthony Starks and his Black Suits as they take down the crime underworld of mob bosses and drug kingpins. In order to rise through the ranks and make himself a made man, Anthony has to make his message heard loud and clear. Causing trouble, Anthony and the Black Suits disrupt a private meeting with a group of Satanists. In the second tale, “The Dead Years, ” a record hunter, Migdal, is having second thoughts about retrieving a rare item. As if cursed, the lost record plays the Devil’s music and turns its listeners into demons. Facing heavy competition, Migdal isn’t the only one who is searching for the Devil’s missing record.
In “The Lead Years,” writers Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon build the war between crime families as a new breed of gangster takes over. Anthony represents the changing tide of time as he continues to diminish DeLucas’ power in the urban city. A growing army, the Black Suits are merciless as they plunge into death matches over territory control. Showing that he is more than just a common thug, Anthony thinks ahead of the competition as he cleverly sets up his latest trap.
In my favorite tale, “The Dead Years,” Migdal is at a crossroads as he discovers more secrets about the Devil’s record. Realizing his life is hanging by a thread, Migdal is having doubts about whether he should continue with his mission. There is a masked killer knocking out the previous owners of the cursed record. Rosenberg and Kindlon craft a suspenseful narrative as Migdal slowly recognizes that the Devil’s record has a mind of its own.
In “The Lead Years,” artist Breno Tamura captures the gangster clothing and look you would regularly see on the TV series, “Boardwalk Empire.” In a big crooked panel, Anthony walks into a room with a vibe of coolness as he holds his smoking cigarette. At the climax, Tamura showcases Anthony’s brutality as he illustrates a splash page of the Black Suits in a massive shootout. Drenching the page in blood, the Black Suits are shooting nonstop, blasting off people’s necks and heads.
The best part about “The Dead Years” is how artist Gus Storms conjures up the hallucinations of the devil’s music. With the deadly spell playing in the background, Carmine sees a young man possessed by a demon and a samurai statue brought to life. Mid-way through the narrative, Storms delivers a thrilling action sequence as Carmine slashes his sword back and forth, blocking hits. The eerie last page is definitely going to excite readers about what’s to happen next.
Full of edgy anti-heroes and bloody kill scenes, “12 Reasons To Die” #4 is a must-read for horror fans. Ghostface Killah and his crew use the horror genre to deliver an unflinching social commentary that will stay in the reader’s mind.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis
If you want nonstop zombie-shooting mayhem, die-hard horror fans should look no further than “’68: Hallowed Ground”. You can expect an unnerving graphic experience that will stay with you long after reading. This one-shot special is perfect for anyone who hasn’t picked up the “’68 series” (for shame) and wants to be in the know.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Kidwell
ART BY: Kyle Charles, Josh Medors
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: November 05, 2013
For the returning soldiers, the their time in Vietnam is done but the war is far from over. The zombie plague has spread to their homeland and the rising dead are multiplying to huge numbers. In “Sympathy For The Devil,” a small group seeks refuge inside an abandoned church from the zombies. Will their faith in God protect them as the undead attempt to break through the stained-glass windows? In “Angel On High,” a burnt-out American soldier protects the church from the bell tower. But as he continues to pull the trigger, will he have enough bullets for his sniper rifle to last through the night?
Writer Mark Kidwell explores the two zombie tales through such well-developed characters. In “Sympathy for the Devil,” Apollyon still defends the church even though religious persecution has scarred him both mentally and physically. Kidwell dives into the spiritual themes using the church setting as a metaphor for humanity’s internal conflict with God. Is having faith in yourself the same as having faith in a higher power? Struggling to find the right path, Apollyon realizes that saving the innocent child is worth fighting for.
Interestingly, Kidwell uses a nonlinear structure to tell what’s happening around the church between “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Angel On High.” In “Angel on High,” we’re outside the church, in the bell tower, as the events steer towards the massive explosion. As a sniper, Matthew Angel writes down the name of a saint each time he kills a zombie. Much like Apollyon, Matthew is searching for absolution, much-needed forgiveness, for the carnage he committed in the Vietnam War.
In the first six opening pages, Josh Medors’ layouts are quite cinematic as they capture the small group of survivors in a wide shot. In the first shot, we see how violent and bloody the zombie apocalypse has become. There are limbs scattered around the front yard of the church and a faceless zombie clinging to the barbed wire. The character designs of the zombies by Medors is nasty , dirty, and disturbing. The dead are wearing torn clothing, as if they are supposed to be homeless, have rotten teeth, and the last remaining bits of flesh are sticking to their bones.
What I really enjoyed about Kyle Charles’ illustrations is how he is able to tell two stories at the same time. In the foreground, we see Apollyon in a heated argument with the priest. In the background, Charles uses the stained-glass windows to tell another aspect of the narrative. Using the spiritual themes, the stained-glass windows tells the story of Mary and Joseph protecting their first-born child. Charles heightens the suspense as a zombie climbs up the wall while Matthew is flirting with Clara in the bell tower.
A definite must-read, “’68: Hallowed Ground” is a special treat for fans of gore, zombies, and bloody headshots. Though this is his last comics work, the creativity of Josh Medors’ storytelling and artistic talents are on full blown display in this installment.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis
After wrapping his fan-funded “Veronica Mars” movie, Rob Thomas is reuniting with the film’s co-writer Diane Ruggiero for a zombie drama series project based a DC property. Deadline reports that the CW has put in development “iZombie”, which Thomas and Ruggiero will write based on the characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint.
“iZombie”, from Warner Bros TV and Rob Thomas Prods, “is a supernatural crime procedural that centers on a med student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity. But with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories, and with the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head.“
It was announced out of the American Film Market Thursday that Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales for Somnia and Oculus.
They reveal that Straw Dogs‘ Kate Bosworth, pictured below, and Thomas Jane (above; The Mist, The Punisher) will star in Somnia, which will be directed by Oculus‘ Mike Flanagan and was co-written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard.
Somnia is a haunting, emotionally absorbing horror film “about an orphaned child whose dreams—and nightmares—manifest physically as he sleeps. The film explores the enduring bonds between parent and child and is punctuated by sequences of intense, visceral terror that only a child’s imagination could conjure. In addition to Bosworth and Jane, the film will introduce Jacob Tremblay as the child.”
The film starts production next Monday, November 11.
The next generation is almost here! We’ve rounded up the launch titles for both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One and now I’d very much like to hear which one you plan on grabbing, if either. Feel free to vote for the console(s) you’re planning on picking up and if you’re feeling extra chatty I’d love to hear why you chose the console you did.
Canadian progressive rockers Protest The Hero have released a very playful music video for “Underbite”, the band’s latest single from Volition (purchase on iTunes). The video features a finger puppet band performing, complete with pyro and merch, only to be seen for the hack impostors they really are. It’s a funny, potentially NSFW video (thanks to an erect paper penis) and is definitely good for more than a few laughs. Check it out below.
Evan Dickson caught wind of a new film from Intandem Films starring Sharon Stone, Billy Zane, Gina Gershon, Tom Berenger, Brad Dourif, Edward Furlong, Caterina Murino, and Claudia Gerini. WOWSA.
Entitled Twisted, Pitof directs.
“As a child, margot was witness to brutal events in her home. Now an adult, and a famous novelist, she finds her inspiration on the darkest forums dedicated to violence.
In the steamy city of New Orleans she writers Twisted, her latest thriller live on the Internet. Each chapter describes a murder which is matched by a real-life crime.
As the murder investigations deepen, the carnal worlds of sex and violence that rule The Big Easy are exposed in all their brutal savagery.”
Polish black metal masters Behemoth have released a video teaser for the upcoming music video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, the first single from the upcoming The Satanist, which comes out Spring 2014. The single will also be released on a mini-EP that features an additional two non-album tracks, “If I Were Cain” and a cover of “Ludzie Wschodu”, originally by Siekiera. Pre-orders for the extremely limited vinyl-only release of this single can be found here. Head below to watch the trailer.
I can honestly say that The Satanist is my most anticipated metal release in the near future. Behemoth are unbelievably brutal and their music hits levels that few others dare to even think about. Bring on the blasphemy!
With Halloween swept under the rug, the focus turns to “the most wonderful time of the year”. Image Comics just announced that this year Brian Joines and Dean Kotz will be spreading the holiday horror with a new ongoing dark Christmas series, “Krampus”. Ongoing? Yep, that means Christmas terror twelve months a year!
The series follows The Secret Society of Santa Clauses who have lost their magical powers. In their time of need they turn to none other than the child-punishing demon, Krampus, in a desperate effort to deliver their gifts on time.
Official Press Release:
The only thing chillier than a Christmas Day blizzard is a visit from Krampus, the child-punishing demon of holiday lore. But when The Secret Society of Santa Clauses discovers their powers have been stolen, there’s no one else to turn to for help but their worst enemy.
Brian Joines and Dean Kotz team up to add a frosty touch to the festive season with their spin on Old Saint Nick and his demon counterpart, Krampus. In KRAMPUS!, a new monthly ongoing series, Father Christmas, Ded Moroz, Hoteiosho, and the rest of The Secret Society of Santa Clauses must rely on Krampus’ help or risk not being able to deliver gifts on time.
Writer Brian Joines was inspired by the one-on-one relationship that the Krampus figure has always had with Santa. “I liked the idea of the Krampus beholden to an organization greater than he was, something that lent itself to the portrayal of the Krampus as a put-upon protagonist,” Joines explained. “Given that Santa has so many names around the globe, I thought it would be fun to make each name an individual working that particular territory. It shakes the paradigm up a bit.”
Joines puts a dark twist on Christmas and chooses to reimagine a long-forgotten demonic character from traditional tales. “I’ve always had a darker sense of humor and liked the idea that all the stories and legends we knew as kids had darker underbellies… like the Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” said Joines. “When I found out that there was this demonic thing that used to ride around with Santa and punish wicked children… I knew I had to do something with that someday. It took a while to figure out how to use him, but once I did, the Krampus wrote himself.”
KRAMPUS! is a darkly comedic adventure series launching just in time for the holidays and for fans of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It is sure to boost any reader’s Yuletide cheer, all year long.
KRAMPUS! #1 arrives in stores, just in time for holiday window displays and Christmas gift shopping, on 12/11 and is available for $2.99.
Final orders are due from retailers on 11/18. KRAMPUS! can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code OCT130448.
From Archstone Distribution comes Kantemir, starring Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hatchet), Diane Cary, Daniel Gadi, Justine Griffiths, and Stuart Stone.
In it, “A group of actors gather in a remote New England Town to rehearse for a mysterious stage production only to be plunged into a nightmarish world where their real lives mirror the grisly story of the play.”
Check out the sales art.
Unfortunately there can only be one winner of the awesome “The Walking Dead” Season 3 Blu-ray Box we’re giving away courtesy of Zombified (check out their site – it’s cool). If you’re unfamiliar with the set, check it out in the video below.
1. We pick a still from a movie. You head to the comments section and submit your best one-liners, zingers, pathos riddled couplets etc… In this week’s case you have to do is come up with a caption for the pic! It can be from the POV of one of the characters, or a comment on it as a whole!
2. You can enter as many times as you like and submit as many captions as you want, but each caption must be in a separate comment. Otherwise it will be too hard to tell where one caption ends and the other begins. Your entries can be posted anytime after the still is announced – just be sure to check that I haven’t announced that the contest is closed in the comments (you don’t want to submit your winning zinger after we’ve picked the winner). Also any racist, sexist, homophobic or generally hateful jokes will be disqualified. You don’t have to be insanely PC – just use your best judgement. Try and keep it brief! It has to fit on the photo now!
3. We pick the winner and announce them and their winning caption when the next photo in the contest is posted. We will address you by your BD Infected name. You can then DM me your US mailing address (no PO boxes) and I will send you your prize in a timely manner (i.e. you should have it in a couple of weeks). You must be a US resident to receive your prize!
The next generation of consoles is almost upon us, starting with the PlayStation 4 on November 15th and followed quickly by the Xbox One on November 22nd. We know what the Sony has to offer and now we’re going to take a gander at what Microsoft has scheduled to launch alongside the Xbox One. Fair warning though — after the break, there be pirates, zombies and dragons…
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Dead Rising 3
Forza Motorsport 5
Just Dance 2014
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA LIVE 14
Need for Speed: Rivals
Ryse: Son of Rome
Skylanders: Swap Force
Zumba Fitness: World Party
Do you plan on grabbing an Xbox One, and which console manufacturer do you think has the better lineup? They each look pretty similar to me. Whichever console you’ve decided to go with (or both, neither), there’s a pretty decent selection for each.
Directed by Ron Scalpello from a screenplay by Alan McKenna and Paul Staheli comes Pressure, for sale at the ongoing American Film Market.
The pic stars Danny Huston (30 Days of Night, X-Men: Origins: Wolverine), Mathew Goode (Stoker), and Alan McKenna (7 Lives).
“Beneath the most hostile ocean on Earth and beyond the extremes of human endurance, four deep sea divers are trapped. As they face their deepest fears, hold your breath, control your fear and experience where terror runs deep!
A heart-stopping underwater adventure. A taut claustrophobic suspense movie.”
Check out the awesome sales art.
In the near future, people are plugged into each other’s heads, making it easier to communicate with each other through thought alone. From Image Comics, “Alex + Ada” #1 follows a broken-hearted young man dealing with the aftermath of his break-up and how an android might be his only hope to reconnect with the world. A different kind of relationship is about to begin for Alex when Ada suddenly arrives at his doorstep.
Bloody-Disgusting spoke to creators Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn about the sci-fi romantic premise, building the futuristic design of Alex’s world, and what lies ahead in his journey with the android named Ada.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell us about the genesis for “Alex + Ada.”
Jonathan Luna: I’ve wanted to do a futuristic story for a very long time. I’m fascinated with robots and androids. And since I have a leaning toward drama and romance, I decided my next project would be a story of a young man and a female android.
Sarah, a good friend, is a writer and is very much into romance comics. She was very helpful to me with my fairy-tale picture book, “Star Bright And The Looking Glass.” We had great creative conversations, so I asked her if she was interested in co-writing the series with me, and she was immediately on board. What I didn’t anticipate was how larger in scale the story would become. We’ll let that play out in the book, but society plays a role.
BD: With this being advertised as a 12-issue maxi-series, is it a finite story or is the door open in case the book becomes a hit?
JL: We’re actually still figuring out the length. It’s at least 12 issues. It could be up to 15. And I like creating stories with a beginning, middle, and end. I’ve never lengthened or shortened a story due to success or failure, and don’t intend to.
BD: Jonathan you took a break from comics after the completion of “The Sword.” You released a hardcover fantasy/children’s book, “Star Bright And The Looking Glass,” but haven’t worked on a monthly title since. Why such a long hiatus from comics and what was it that brought you back to producing a monthly title?
JL: With “Ultra,” “Girls,” and “The Sword,” I co-plotted, penciled, inked, colored, and partly lettered those series for six years straight. It was exhausting. From a TED talk, I had heard of an idea of taking a full year off after working for six or seven years. I thought that would be a healthy and inspiring thing to do. I ended up taking two years off. I spent one year doing photography mostly as a hobby, and I spent the other officially learning how to paint (with oil) by taking a class, then putting some pieces in shows. Painting lead me to doing the Star Bright, which is ironically water colored. In the middle of Star Bright, I realized I really missed telling a story in panels, beat by beat.
BD: Jonathan, typically in the past you’ve often collaborated with your brother, but on “Alex + Ada,” you’re working with co-writer Sara Vaughn. How is it working with Sarah verses your brother?
JL: Pretty similarly actually. Very collaborative. We talk just about every day involving every aspect of the book.
Sarah Vaughn: It’s actually really weird when we don’t talk.
BD: Sarah, what’s it been like working with Jonathan in bring this book to life and what is the collaborative process like?
SV: It’s been exciting and challenging. Jon is great to work with. This is the first comic I’ve written. I’m learning ten things a day, and he’s been really patient as I get up to speed and learn the ropes of the comic industry. The collaboration is intensive. We’re constantly discussing the past, present and future, and how to make the book better.
BD: Sarah, tell us about your web-comic, “Sparkshooter” and why fans should check it out. Also, how has it been making the web-comic to a monthly book, “Alex + Ada” and being published through Image for you as a creator?
SV: “Sparkshooter” (Sparkshooter.com) is a comedy about an indie rock band circa 2003 that brings in a female lead singer and how she affects the dynamics of the group. It’s written by Troy Brownfield, and I was the artist until I had to step down to recover from a repetitive stress injury in my drawing hand and arm. The train just started again, thankfully! Ben Olson is finishing up Chapter 2, and then the new artist, Enraku, will be taking over; so there’ll be new pages for everyone to read.
You would think a serial web comic and print would be vastly different, but they still fall under the same strategy. An update or issue needs to be as interesting as possible, self-contained, but that same update/issue also needs to keep within the flow of the entire story.
BD: In the opening pages, we see how everything, from clothing to taking a shower, is practically done for Alex. Tell me about the introduction to this futuristic world.
JL: Actually, I wouldn’t say that things are even practically done for Alex or anyone else in the Alex + Ada world. Robots and machines help them live a more efficient life, but people still clean, dress, and feed themselves. I can be quite cynical about society at times, but even I don’t think people will ever be that lazy not to take care of themselves in that way.
SV: I’m totally that lazy. I would be on board for a conveyor-belt morning routine. But, Jon’s right. The technology in this future makes everything much more convenient, but it doesn’t necessarily take away the manpower or effort needed to maintain personal hygiene…sadly.
BD: In the opening pages, we are introduced to a flying cup-holder and a holographic alarm clock. Tell me about creating these sci-fi ideas that seem futuristic and grounded at the same time. How fun was it to build the futuristic world where Alex exists?
JL: I love futuristic design. And there’s a lot of amazingly designed stuff in sci-fi films and art. But I do think that a lot of it wouldn’t work in our world today. It’s too difficult to read or interact with as an interface, or it wouldn’t make us feel comfortable. I try not to make the designs too crazy because of that. It’s all so much fun, while intimidating to design so many things, but yeah, it’s a challenge to keep it grounded and not go too wild with it.
SV: This is when I really enjoy being a writer and getting to just type, “Robot waiter takes their order.” Jon’s the one who really needs to bring it to life. We agree on the function, but he’s done such an amazing job at creating the form.
BD: Is the book meant to be a sort of statement about how we as a civilization has really have come to depend on technology for everything? Simple things like one on one communication are gone in favor of communicating via text or electronic device…
SV: I’d say that’s an aspect of the story, but the statement is far more how we as humans relate to things and people who are different from ourselves.
BD: In the future, people are waiting for a possible Artificial Intelligence Attack, a metaphor for a terrorist attack. Tell me about this aspect of the story and how important it will be throughout the story?
SV: It will certainly play a role. Issue one starts with the aftermath of the Nexaware Massacre a year after it happened, and we’ll continue to deal with the restrictions placed on advanced robots to make sure it never happens again. Nothing is at it seems.
BD: Tell me about the mindset of Alex, who’s still dealing with the emotional fallout from a bad break-up.
JL: Alex is dealing with a break-up like many of us have. He’s having trouble moving on. He’s lonely, but doesn’t necessarily not want to be alone either.
BD: Tell me about the relationship between Alex and his grandma. They have a phone call conversation that is open, honest, and humorous at the same time.
SV: Grandma knows she has no filter, and delights in teasing Alex, who’s a bit of a square. They love each other, but she does take advantage of being an elder and the respect that demands. But, Alex also knows when to draw the line.
BD: Tell us about the emergence of Ada in Alex’s life and how that relationship will drive the story…
SV: Well…I’m not sure we can say anything about this without spoiling it! She’s integral to Alex’s journey, and vice versa. Alex never asked for her, and never wanted to own a companion android, but here she is, and now he needs to figure out what to do with her.
BD: What can you tell us about the next issues of “Alex + Ada?”
SV: We’re definitely expanding on what it means to have and be a robot in a world of prejudice and fear of the unknown.
BD: “Alex + Ada” has been described as a science-fiction romance story. How hard of a sell is a book like this in today’s marketplace?
JL: There aren’t a lot of creators doing it, but I don’t think that means it’s necessarily a difficult book to sell. “Saga” is doing very well. And the orders for “Alex + Ada” #1 are the highest orders I’ve ever gotten in my career to date. So I’m very pleased with that, and would endlessly like to thank the fans and retailers for their interest and support.
BD: How important is it for you to continue working on your own creator-owned works rather than doing work for hire? With the success of your Image books, you must have been offered work with other company owned creations?
JL: Creating my own work is very rewarding to me, but I’m not against doing work for hire. I have had to turn down work in the past, and that could be why I haven’t been offered more lately, but I hope that’s not the case.
BD: Jonathan, “The Sword” was recently optioned as a feature film by Lakeshore Entertainment (“Underworld”). What can you tell about the development of the film so far and what has your experience been like so far dealing with Hollywood?
JL: As it was announced a few months ago, David Hayter, who co-wrote the films “Watchmen,” “X-Men,” and “X2,” and voiced Snake from “Metal Gear,” has been writing the screenplay. I’m very excited that he was chosen. As for Hollywood in general, everyone that I’ve been dealing with has been great, professional, and enthusiastic. This is a great time to be making movies and TV series, and I’m such a huge fan of them and grateful to be a part of it.
BD: What other projects are you working on now? What’s next?
SV: I’m staying involved with “Sparkshooter,” albeit on a much smaller scale, and am currently working on a couple illustration projects still in their early stages.
JL: I definitely have many ideas in my head, but I’m just concentrating on “Alex + Ada” for now.
“Alex + Ada” #1 is in comic book stores now.
Interview by – Big J and Jorge Solis
[Interview] Cradle of Filth's Dani Filth & Kurt Amacker Talk 'The Curse of Venus Aversa' Graphic Novel
Dani Filth is the frontman for England’s extreme metal band, Cradle of Filth. The group’s music has always been explored the dark arts and the depths of horror. Now Filth has partnered with writer Kurt Amacker to make the transition into the comic book world with the new graphic novel, “The Curse of Venus Aversa”.
This 72-page graphic novel drags readers back to the cold, dark days of Victorian England, where the salacious poet Lord Daniel Impudicus faces down authorities, hoards of vampires, and an ancient goddess after the murder of his lover Gabrielle. The book is illustrated by Monty Borror, who delivers some phenomenally gruesome black-and-white artwork to bring this story to life on the printed page.
Rather than go the traditional route, Filth and Amacker have a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of the book. Fans can check out the “The Curse of Venus Aversa” campaign online at and pledge their support. With just a few days before the campaign closes, Filth and Amacker sat down with Bloody-Disgusting to spill all the gory details about “The Curse of Venus Aversa”.
Bloody-Disgusting: Kurt tell us about your background, because you have said that Cradle of Filth’s music was an inspiration for you becoming a writer. What was it about the music that spoke to you on a creative level?
Kurt: When I first heard Cradle of Filth I was kind of shiftless. I wasn’t in trouble with the law or failing out of school, but I was just unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. A friend introduced me to Cradle of Filth, and their reverence for English literature and history reminded me of some interests I’d had before video games, the Internet, and Goth clubs started taking up all of my free time. I hadn’t read much recreationally in years outside of my weekly comic books, and Cradle inspired me to pick up a book again. I quickly developed an interest in the sort of true crime history—Elizabeth Bathory and Vlad Tepes, namely—that they sang about. Fortunately, I was smart enough to read respected history texts as opposed to watching the History Channel—and while that might sound a bit arrogant, discriminating between the two has served me well. After reading a lot in a very short amount of time—books about Tepes, and Bathory, along with Jack the Ripper and others—I got this idea for a comic book that ultimately became my first miniseries Dead Souls. After finishing school, my reserve unit in the United States Marine was activated for the Iraq war. But, a knee injury put me on my ass for months, so I wasn’t able to go over. So, I did administrative work at Camp Pendleton and spent a lot of time recovering, reading, writing, and listening to music. I finished the script for the first issue of Dead Souls there. And, what started out as a sort of superheroes-by-way-of-Cradle story ultimately became more like crime fiction with a supernatural angle, cults, conspiracy theories (none that I subscribe to, but what great ideas!), and, of course, Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory running around New Orleans slaughtering criminals. I met my publisher, Marc Moorash, of Seraphemera Books, in early 2008, and he lit a fire under my ass to finish the first issue. I’d had the art done (I don’t draw, just to be clear) for a while, but I just needed someone to get me on a schedule. Since then, I’ve put out comics with Seraphemera for five years, including the first two parts (of three) of the 69 Eyes’ graphic novel series.
In short: Cradle of Filth’s themes and imagery inspired me to read a lot again. And the ideas from both digging through historical tomes and listening to their music (over and over again) inspired me to write a comic book.
BD: How did you go from being a fan to eventually getting hooked up with Dani and collaborating with him on this project?
Kurt: When the first issue of Dead Souls was ready to come out, I really wanted Dani to read it. I’d met him at a signing in 2007 and gave him a fan letter that thanked him and the whole band for (unbeknownst to them) setting my life on a very positive course in a relatively short amount of time. I called Amy Sciarretto at Roadrunner Records, with whom they were signed at the time. I asked if I could interview Dani for a supplementary feature in the back of the comic. I thought it would be cool to—while not avoiding the subject of music—talk to him about history and literature like students and readers of those subjects, and not just as a member of Cradle of Filth and a fan. Roadrunner sent Dani the comic. He (thankfully) liked it a lot, and so we did the interview. I was really pleased that he was well-spoken and had a solid grasp of history (as opposed to, again, History Channel sensationalism). After that, we just kept in touch and I’d always send copies of the other comics I put out with Seraphemera, or we’d hang out after a Cradle of Filth concert. One morning, I woke up and there was this e-mail asking if I’d be interested in writing a Cradle of Filth comic. I wasted no time in saying yes, and we were off to the races.
BD: Dani, tell us a little bit about your background as a comic book fan. What got you into comics and what types of books are you currently reading?
Dani: As a youth I was really into Eagle (Dan Dare, et al), 2000AD (Judge Dredd, Anderson, and of course, the Dark Judges) and a child’s horror comic called Scream! which was awesome. Then I progressed into Marvel (especially Ghost Rider, The Uncanny X-Men, and Secret Wars), and then in my teens a bunch of Tim Vigil stuff like Faust, Splatter, and the Texas Chainsaw comics, and anything a little risque, though my favourite of latter years has to be The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman by Alan Moore.
At the moment I’m reading whatever I get my hands on, namely a rather cool ghost story by the name of 326 Belisle Street, some gritty zombie fiction by Wayne Simmons, the new Susan Hill, and a nitpicked slew of Lovecraftian shorts. Oh, and my Bible!
BD: Cradle of Filth has always been a visual band and there is a theatrical element to the group’s show. The Curse of Venus Aversa graphic novel takes elements of Cradle of Filth albums and the concepts of those albums. How do you go from translating those elements and stories from one medium to another? How do you pick and choose what elements to use?
Dani: Well, Cradle Of Filth has a huge wealth of source material to draw upon, with the main antagonist of this graphic novel being the dark goddess Lilith, whom has been venerated and explored within Cradle’s lyrics for quite some time, especially on the concept album Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa from which some of the initial storyline has been plucked and bastardised.
Kurt: That’s always a challenge with comics based around music. It’s been tried a bunch of times and it’s rarely succeeded, I’m sorry to say. Initially, Dani and I worked out a rough story based on some of the songs on The Manticore and Other Horrors. But, trying to draw out stories from songs proved to be more of a challenge than we anticipated. The end result was both unspectacular, and it also neglected the English Gothic literary tradition that Cradle of Filth has, on most albums, drawn from. We decided to do a story that was inspired by the overall aesthetic of Cradle of Filth and that ultimately ties into the band’s origins. I won’t explain how Lord Daniel Impudicus is tied to Cradle of Filth, because that would mean giving away the ending!
BD: Tell us a little bit about the genesis for The Curse of Venus Aversa and why it lent itself to adapting it into a graphic novel…
Kurt: I should be clear here. The Curse of Venus Aversa is a graphic novel drawn from Cradle of Filth’s extensive back catalogue. It’s not a direct adaptation of the song “The Cult of Venus Aversa” or the album Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa. Actually, that album has a sort of novella written to accompany it that came with the album’s luxury boxed set. This isn’t a graphic novel adaptation of that, either. Rather, this is an original story that draws on the literary influences behind the band, while liberally sprinkling bits of lyrics in the dialogues and the book’s ongoing narration. It also explains where the band came from in a larger sense. It’s not a biography—fictionalized or otherwise—that ends with the formation of Cradle of Filth. It reveals the dark forces in the universe that will lead to the band’s creation one day.
BD: Cradle of Filth’s concept albums have always been extensively researched. What kind of research when into this project and was there an effort to keep the historical elements accurate or are you simply trying to create compelling fiction devoid of any limitations?
Kurt: We are trying to keep the history accurate when it applies. Obviously, most people don’t encounter angry goddesses and Wonderland-like alternate worlds. But, Oscar Wilde shows up as a supporting character. We had to make sure that the book took place when he wasn’t imprisoned. And, though the story occurs when he was living in France, we work around that by explaining that he snuck into England to see an underground performance of his Salome. That play hadn’t been presented yet, so we make it clear that it’s a clandestine thing. And, because he’s just out of prison, we see an older and world-weary Oscar Wilde. He’s going to die a few years from the story’s conclusion, so he isn’t quite the libertine bon vivante we normally think of.
BD: Is this a finite story or does it leave the door open to come back to this world with future graphic novels?
Dani: Oh this definitely leaves things open for another foray into the dark side for sure!
It is an enclosed story in its own right, but there are so many possibilities to extend this further, as the proverbial gateway to Hell is pulled completely off its hinges at the end of the book…
Kurt: I love that the book isn’t even out yet, and we’re already talking about sequels! I’m completely serious in saying that. I never knew the fans wanted a Cradle comic quite so badly, but here we are. Yes, I’d love to work with the band again on a sequel (or prequel or spinoff or pornographic parody or what have you). And actually, without giving anything away, the book ends in a place where we could take it in two remarkably different directions—but both completely logical in the context of the story.
BD: Talk a bit about the artist on this series, Monty Borror, and why his style was a perfect visual for this story… From the preview pages his style reminds me of old-school horror books from Boneyard Press or even artist Frank Forte (Vampire Verses) work.
Dani: Well that’s exactly it. He is also a music fan who has a real penchant for this type of visceral period horror, who just lives for illustrating it. Plus he really wanted to undertake the project. Enough said!
Kurt: It’s funny you should mention Boneyard Press. Hart Fisher is one of my heroes, so that’s a very complimentary comparison. Honestly, though, meeting Monty was like finding a $100 bill on the floor of a bar. He’s a fantastic artist, and he understands that we are trying to create not just a gory horror comic driven by metal, but a work of legitimate Victorian horror fiction. He understands that marriage between the horrific and the sublime—and when to emphasize both.
BD: This project currently has a KickStarter campaign to raise the funds to bring the book to fruition. Why not take this project the traditional route and try and find a publisher?
Dani: Well, considering the extensive fan base Cradle possesses and the difficulty in securing any kind of publishing deal that is in favour of the people that actually write the bloody thing, then this was definitely the best option by far, as it is a lot more immediate and fan-driven. You actually feel like a part of something important with a campaign like this. And at the end of the day, no-one is actually twisting your flesh to make you buy it!
Kurt: There are a couple of reasons we went with Kickstarter. First, graphic novels based on rock bands are considered toxic by the actual comics industry. They’re rarely any good and they don’t sell. KISS, Alice Cooper, and Ozzy Osbourne are the only bands I know that have had successful comics on a critical or commercial level. There might be a couple of others, and if I’m forgetting them I sincerely apologize. A lot of musicians have written comics, but I’m referring to titles actually based on a band or its songs. And, the comic industry is famously difficult to break into. I’m an underground comic writer with a loyal (and beloved—thanks y’all) following. Just giving this to a publisher would’ve meant months of waiting and rejections before settling on someone. Publishing one book like Cradle of Filth is doing isn’t all that difficult. It just made financial and artistic sense for the band to self-publish. And, Kickstarter gives you a way to test the market without risking thousands of dollars up front. If you budget accurately and then make your goal, you’ll know you had a good idea. If you don’t, then you know that something is wrong and you need to go back to the drawing board.
BD: In recent months, KickStarter has drawn a fair amount of detractors who equate the site with a digital form of pan-handling. How do you respond to that and what are your thoughts on the surge in popularity in crowd-funding sites?
Dani: As I just mentioned, no one is forcing you to buy it! Times change and people have to adapt, too. Musicians are having a rough time of it of late what with all the digital download sites, and those who feel that music should be given freely, despite it being the bread and butter of people’s careers. At least going down the Kickstarter route, you’re ridding yourself of all the bloodsuckers and middlemen who are leeching off of your hard work. This is no easy picnic by any means, and every campaign involves a massive amount of work. But, at least it connects the artist directly with their core fans and provides those fans with some real connectivity with the artists they look up to.
Kurt: I used to be very anti-Kickstarter. I will admit that up front. I felt like if the market wanted your work, you’d sell well enough. But, I’ve since converted after working on this project. I admit that I was wrong. There is a tendency among fans to not buy things when they feel like they will be available later. You figure you’ll buy it sometime and it’ll always be around. With Kickstarter, if the project doesn’t make its goal you don’t get paid. That gives fans a sense of what’s at stake. Artists and companies create products hoping that people will buy them quickly. Their paintings, comics, DVD, CDs, t-shirts, or dolls aren’t meant to sit in a warehouse waiting for fans to get around to them. When you pledge to this campaign or any other, you are adding to the inventory of orders we ultimately place to the comic printer, the dollmaker, the t-shirt printer, and the like. And, as Dani said, file-sharing and even Youtube have completely changed the business model. You have to make fans understand that these creations literally depend upon their participation. It’s just laying bare the way things have always been, if you think about it.
BD: Tell us about the idea to offer handmade voodoo dolls created by Dani Filth and then have them ‘blessed’ by a New Orleans vampire tour guide… Who came up with the idea (which we all love by the way)?
Kurt: Ha! Dani didn’t actually create the doll. Alicia Smith from Quarter Kids here in New Orleans did. She’s made voodoo dolls for a lot of musicians over the years. It was my idea, because after Dani did the interview for Dead Souls, she made a doll of him and had me ship it over to Suffolk. When we started the Kickstarter campaign, we were thinking of other perks we could add for backers. Alicia wanted to make more Dani dolls, and he liked the idea. As for the blessing by the vampire tour guide? Lord Chaz is still out there (watching, and waiting…). You’ll have to watch the little short movie we released to see how that went. Check it out here: http://youtu.be/nCTMZp_kxiI.
BD: Dani, a number of musicians have made their foray into comics with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, Alan Robert from Life of Agony, Claudio from Coheed and Cambria, and Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. What do you think it is about hard rock and metal musicians that allows them to be able to create in both mediums?
Dani: I think there has always been a very deliberate fine line between metal and comics, as both are deeply rooted in the art of escapism; plus heavy music has always nurtured creative primordial instincts, mutating them into other aspects of expressionism; be it lyricism, poetry, dance, visual artistry or just plain and simple ol’ fashioned murder.
BD: Give us your best pitch for why people should get in on the ground floor for this project on KickStarter…
Kurt: I like to say under-the-ground floor! Seriously, though, the first printing of the comic will be whatever fans order through the Kickstarter. There may be a second printing, but it will have a different cover and it won’t be out for a while. The other items—the new t-shirt and the voodoo dolls—may not be available after the campaign. We will have to wait and see. But in a larger sense, this shows what fans actually want—as opposed to mere speculation or surveys of the market. Filth fans wanted a graphic novel and they want more from the band, and we’re giving them that. Anyone who would argue otherwise is just ignoring the numbers. And now, people can buy into this idea by pledging for the band’s first Kickstarter campaign. And, this is just the beginning….
And now for a lengthy preview…
The goddess of birth and rebirth returns from Image Comics with a special one-shot issue from Dawn creator, Joseph Michael Linsner. “Sin Boldly” include two new Dawn stories “Hell is Waiting” and “Burning Roses”, which should quench your thirst for the red-headed, tearful goddess (though now she looks happier and has blue hair).
Look for it in shops on December 4th, 2013.
Die-hard Dawn fans will enjoy SIN BOLDLY, a new one-shot with two fresh stories from Joseph Michael Linsner: “Hell is Waiting” and “Burning Roses.” Sinful Suzi and Obsidian Stone return to provide guilty pleasure for devoted readers of Linsner. In SIN BOLDLY, Sinful Suzi must learn there is a price to pay for the wages of sin and Obsidian Stone loses a friend, but meets a new demon.
SIN BOLDLY (ONE-SHOT) is both written and drawn by Linsner and is 32 pages, black and white. It arrives in stores on 12/4 and is available for $3.50.
Final orders are due from retailers on 11/11 and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code OCT130456.