Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Town Called Terror by Steve Niles & Szymon Kudranski

Written by Steve Niles

Illustrated by Szymon Kudranski

Published by Image Comics

Amazing way to start a comic book. I have to say that I immediately got into the mood for horror. The tone and atmosphere were perfectly crafted into existence with the first 3 pages. I write to you now, all my thoughts as I climb through this new horror story by one of the comic book world's best horror writers- Steve Niles. Have you written about necromancers here?! The first few pages portray a type of post-mortem surgery, an autopsy in reverse. A surgery putting a corpse back together. I am getting serious necromancer vibes and I love it!

Like many good horror comics, color on these panels are used minimally with the book consisting largely of haunting black and white . It is quite fitting for what is literally a town called Terror, population 1300, home to freaks and monsters. Our story centers around a man named Henry who grew up in Terror, driven away by in-laws and locals, unfortunately finds himself back there to deal with a family matter, against his will. 

This is the first time I've read a book illustrated by Szymon. If you're a Spawn fan however, you would have seen his work on a few modern issues as well as Nita Hawe's Nightmare Blog Vol 1. Szymon is going to be blow up. Or haven't you noticed that this happens to pretty much every artist who works with Niles? Maybe keep your eye trained on Szymon and their trained hand! Horror seems to come naturally to Szymon and there are several pages that are particularly compelling in this first issue. Several sequential panels that flow with second by second movement just like pictures on a film reel. It is on these pages that I found myself taking the first few steps into the emotions of these new characters. That's when I realize, I'm hooked. When the artist can suck me in that way, showing me exactly how a character feels, that's when I feel that connection. The story becomes real to me. Now I need more. 

If you haven't already ordered this story which I am certain will become a horror treasure, you should go call up your local comic book shop and get it added to your subscription box pronto! You do not want to miss this one! Use diamond code FEB220042. A Town Called Terror is available to buy tomorrow!  Grab a copy at your local shop!

As always thanks for reading and remember to read something good today.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Little Monsters by Jeff Lemire

Written by Jeff Lemire

Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

The team that brought us DESCENDER and the spin-off story ASCENDER, is at it again. This time they brought us a horror inspired story about the last children on planet Earth who also happen to be starving vampires. LITTLE MONSTERS. Oh if you're around my age, you're probably reminded of the Fred Savage movie from '89 staring Howie Mandel. Ya I barely remember the plot of this movie. It was not one of my favorites as a child (is there any wonder?). No, this title doesn't seem to have anything to do with that one. Thankfully.

What we have here is an introductory issue that quietly presents each of the last living children to the reader. Lemire and Nguyen have perfected the atmosphere of this post-apocalyptic world with these near expressionless characters. You feel every bit of their ruined environment through the black and white panels. I should say, nearly completely black and white. Like so many great books before (some Frank Miller comes to mind), Nguyen uses reds as an impact effect to draw the readers eye to important parts of a panel. Blood never looks so impactful in black and white of course but he also uses the red to underline the names of the children as we meet them, among other things. 

Through this debut issue, we get to see a little about of the humanity as well as the brutality that has been left behind in these eternal children. There's a beautiful moment revealed between 2 of the older children, Yui and Lucas. In this moment is revealed the nature of their day to day like as well as how they had to adjust to their new environment. Their eternal life in a dead world, it is obvious from this conversation that time is meaningless. It got me thinking what most people would do if time was meaningless to how our lives eb and flow. The day to day life of the monsters is completely unencumbered by responsibility or purpose. They don't even seem too hard-up on the survival front as they are depicted eating rats later in the book. I guess those are in no short supply. But the rest of humanity? They have not seen hide nor hair in what must be decades. The exact time frame since the death of the last human at this point is unknown. Yet if I know Lemire, he's likely got some amazing lore to share about this world. That is to say, if past stories like Descender can be any indicator. 

I am very excited to see where this story was headed. I was reminded of The Wrenchies by Farrel Dalrymple while I read this issue. Simply due to that quiet atmosphere created by the illustration and narration. Or perhaps its the fact that its a story centered on odd children. Hard to say! I tried to keep all spoilers out of this article and will endeavor to do so in the future. More reviews to come. I wish I could assign a numbered rating to comics but that just isn't me. I think if I had to, I would give this issue 3 out of 3 crowns for leaving me enough curiosity to read the next issue. A thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the series. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Mirka Andolfo's SWEET PAPRIKA is coming to Image Comics 2021


Image Comics recently announced that Mirka Andolfo's latest comic book series is coming to the North American audience in 2021! SWEET PAPRIKA can be expected sometime in July and I'm already salivating. These adorable images have been posted all over her instagram and teasing me for at least a year. 

With the announcement, Image also stated that Arancia Studio & Grey Ladder Productions are creating an animated project around the series with Emmy Award Winner Director Gabriele Pennacchioli, the directory responsible for Love, Death & Robots.

Image has described this new series as a "sexy rom-com" and a "Bridgey Jone's Diary meets Sex And The City with a twist of The Devil Wears Prada". This descriptions feels very true to some of the more adorable moments in Andolfo's earlier series UNNATURAL. 

The synopsis from the publisher:

Paprika, a young woman of Italian origins living in New York, is a workaholic: success has sucked up her life, making her forget the importance of time for herself and for her loved ones. To bring havoc in her life will be Dill, a naive and handsome boy with an “angelic” otherworldly attitude, who will push the young woman to question herself and help her regain confidence in herself and in men. Their totally opposite characters and lifestyles will give life to fun and irresistible stories, seasoned with a pinch of eroticism.

SWEET PAPRIKA isn't currently ready for pre-order so I regret to inform you that I do not have a diamond code to share but I couldn't be more excited that we'll be seeing this series next year, which is very much around the corner.

Monday, November 2, 2020

King of Nowhere #1-5

The time has come for me to get back into written comic commentary. I've had a little over a month away from all comic reviewing while I focused on twitch gaming but in all that time of course, I have continued to read comics. Recently I was able to finish reading KING OF NOWHERE. So let's talk about it shall we? 

Boom Studios released issue 1 of King of Nowhere in March of this year, at the beginning of the Canadian Covid epidemic. The series survived the first wave of lock downs and comic downsizing and completed it's 5 issue run in September. (Me being a wee bit behind on picking up my comics, I only got to recently read the conclusion.)

The series was written by Eisner Award Winner W. Maxwell Prince and illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators Tyler Jenkins whom you would most recently remember from his Eisner nominated series GRASS KINGS. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you are likely well acquainted with his work as I've covered most of his projects.

KING OF NOWHERE follows lost drunkard Denis who winds up in strange small town after a particularly enthusiastic bender. He has no memory of how he got there and begins to question his sanity and sense of reality as he is met with the locals. The town Nowhere is inhabited by fish people, bird people, talking trees and mutants of all shapes. As Denis deals with each one the reader is left to wonder if in fact he is on some terrible drug trip or if the reality of the store has shifted into another world. I could perhaps describe the story as a daydream with a little sprinkling of delirium on top for taste. 

For me, the artwork trumps the story as I am very partial to Jenkin's lovely water color. It feels like a fever dream all on its own. The finer points of the story itself rests in the subtleties. There's a self loathing and wanting need to be better-than in the main characters which gives NOWHERE its charm. There's a taste of the struggling addict in every issue which humanizes the characters, which is kind of hard since some of them look like fish. Yet its these intrinsic faults displayed to the reader which imparts more impact in the story than the overall plot which focuses largely on small town conspiracy and government crime. While those things offer some adventuring, it is the journey Denis experiences in questioning his own reality that really drives the whole story (for me).

I definitely recommend grabbing this one!  If you're unable to make it to your local comic shop, you can grab this series on Comixology of ask Santa to get you the trade for Xmas as it comes out Dec 9th!