The Sandman Saves Christmas

A campy good time awaits in this rare Kirby Christmas story!

Unusual Heroes: Dell's Dracula

Dell's Monster turned Superhero gimmick is campy fun.

Horror-Mood: On A Pale Horse

How would you like to have the Grim Reaper's job? Zane finds out!

Mystifying Marvels: Krull #1-2 (1983)

A forgotten 80's Sci-fi movie and it's forgotten comic adaptation!

DC Diversions: EKKO

Dr. Hawks dons the Ekko suit as murderballs and mayhem await!

Spotlight: Gene Day's Black Zeppelin

A plethora of hidden gems await in Day's dream anthology.

Unusual Heroes: Captain Zilog! #1

Ride the rails of insanely outdated computing technology with Captain Zilog!

Rockin' Bones #1

Monsters, Aliens and Punk Rockers...oh my!

Goin' Underground: Monolith

A couple of Larry's turn out an underrated comix gem.

Cult Classic Comics: Freakwave!

Get your Fog-Mask on, it's time to ride the Freakwave!

The Phenom of Phase

Fanzines never had this much firepower!

The Skull Killer

Pulp Fiction + Underground Comix = Classic

Saga of the Victims

70's exploitation at it's best.

The L.I.F.E. Brigade

Cheesy characters flourish within an underground art style.

Light Comitragies

A strange relic from the psychedelic era.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Unusual Heroes: Kid Death & Fluffy Halloween Special #1 (1997, Event Comics)

The first thing that struck me as I opened this issue was that Kid Death & Fluffy are characters created by Joe Quesada of all people. Turns out Quesada and Jim Palmiotti formed Event Comics in 1994, and these characters were one of many the two created during the company's run.

At first, I thought Kid Death and Fluffy were siblings...but thanks to clarification by artist Rick Parker (thanks again Rick!) I've learned this is not the case. Kid Death, the little guy, gets off on killing people left and right...while Fluffy acts as the sexy bombshell sidekick who has super huge boobs but a brain the size of a walnut.

In Kid Death & Fluffy Halloween Special #1 we see the siblings head to a Halloween party. This isn't you're normal party though...Nuns are getting zapped in electric chairs, and there's an Embalmer (thanks yet again Rick!) going around killing party-goers...after all, he is the life of the party...

Kid Death gets mummified after volunteering for a demonstration, and Fluffy is escorted away by the Embalmer as Kid Death pleads against  it.

The rest of the story deals with Kid Death escaping and rescuing Fluffy, and putting an end to the Embalmer's vile and disgusting ways. 

 I was surprised with a lot of the content in this one, it reminds me a lot like the underground comix of years past, and is pretty graphic and vulgar. Surprisingly, there is no "Adults Only" or anything warning of such content, so I hope this one didn't fall into too many young hands. 

Yours truly shall be out of town through Halloween, so I hope everyone has a perfect Devil's Night and I will be back in about a week or so. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unusual Heroes: Zombie Love (ZuZupetal Press, 1992)

Zombie Love #1 features the work of Jeromy Cox, who created the characters and story about a guy named Nathaniel with a pumpkin for a head and his desire for a girl named Olivia. Only problem is...he's dead.

There isn't too much of a plot in this first issue, as we meet Nathaniel as he endures a nightmare about dying.

He wakes up and ponders his relationship with Olivia.

Olivia receives a gift of flowers from Nathaniel.

Nathaniel and Geoffrey discuss the dreams he's been having.

I had a bit of a hard time understanding the story of this first issue of Zombie Love, but apparently I am not alone...the respectable Jim Shooter writes a letter in the letters page at the end of the book praising Zombie Love for it's strangeness...but also wondering out loud why Nathaniel has a pumpkin for a head.

More Halloween goodness coming once I get over this flu!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Horror-Mood: Fear Book #1 (Eclipse Comics, 1986)

Fear Book #1 is a collection of stories that originally appeared in Scholastic's short lived Weird Worlds magazine that ran from 1978-1981. With artwork by the legendary Stephen R. Bissette (Swamp Thing), this one-shot features eight creepy stories written by Bissette as well as Jane and Bob Stine. Included here are "The Return of the Swamp Beast!", "Horror -- With Reservations", "A Dead Ringer", "Business As Usual!", "A Day To Remember", "Egyptian Graffiti", "A Horrible Spot!", and "Bogged Down".

These are beautifully colored horror stories of vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies and more. Bissette's artwork really shines in this genre, as the monsters truly come alive thanks to his unique style of drawing. Eclipse Comics was based in Guerneville, California which was a small river town that I lived in for about a year. The town was known to have some fierce floods due to the overflow of rainwater in the Russian River, and sadly the Eclipse stockroom became flooded in '86, causing most of their back issues to be destroyed.

Here are a few of the stories in their entirety, beginning with "Horror -- With Reservations". Enjoy!

 "Business As Usual!"

"Egyptian Graffiti"

"A Horrible Spot!"

The Weird Worlds magazine that originally published these awesome horror stories has become quite rare, so pick them up (as well as the Fear Book) if you can get your hands on them. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Horror-Mood: New England Gothic #1 (Visigoth Studio, 1986)

Visigoth Studio was a short lived studio based in Westbrook Maine, and their only claim to fame was this two-issue series titled New England Gothic. With the story written and elegantly penciled by Tom Brown, New England Gothic #1 begins the tale set in the fictional town of Seths Neck on the coast of Maine. Brown sets up the story nicely with a map of Seths Neck detailing the area, from the woods of the Black Bog in the North, to the Cemetery near Black's Cove in the South. Check out the map below:

The story focuses on Seths Neck, and how it had suffered an evil curse long ago that had killed the town's population and left Seths Neck to become a ghost town hidden among an evil mist. A priest named Reverend Davies attempts to exorcize the demons of the town, but is tempted and killed by the beautiful Succubus within.

A ghost by the name of Spears contacts the Reverend Davies son Mordred, and upon learning of his father's death, makes his way to Seths Neck and meets a girl on the bus named Morgan who joins him along the way. When they arrive, Mordred gives his father a proper burial and is faced with the beauty of the Succubus, but is saved by Spears' undead dog named Drury.

The group soon finds that Spears' son Donald has been possessed by a demon, and only the stagnant water of Blacks Pond can cure him. Mordred and Spears head to Black Bog, where they are met by the witch Magdalene and her two vampire guards. Mordred is able to kill the vampires thanks to a makeshift crossbow and a lucky gold-cross earring, and is able to escape with the water.

The pair return and are able to exorcize the demon from Donald, but the Succubus had been growing in power while they were gone. Morgan suggests trying to condition Mordred to resist the Succubus' power of temptation, and devises a plan to help him. Finally Mordred is ready, and heads to the cemetery alone, ready to face the Succubus.

The Succubus proves to be too powerful for Mordred to resist, and as he begins to fall into eternal slumber, the witch Magdalene appears and destroys the Succubus with a bolt of lightning, telling Mordred he is hers now. But since it's All Hallows Eve, she must let him go. Mordred returns home exhausted, and falls asleep in Morgan's arms to live another day.

The first issue of New England Gothic was a great read. The story was original and well done, and most of the artwork was fantastic and really set the tone for the story. I have yet to read the second issue, but it's going on my want list, as these kind of stories are the perfect kind to read in October.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Horror-Mood: Madhouse #96 (Red Circle Comics, 1974)

A month ago I talked about a comic called Red Circle Sorcery and how Archie Publications had created a new horror line under the Red Circle Comics logo. Another comic under that line was called Madhouse, and today's spotlight is on Madhouse #96.

The Madhouse series shares a lot in common with Red Circle Sorcery. There is even the same "Essays Into The Supernatural" feature that exists within the other title. This issue includes four stories, "Never Bother A Dead Man", "Demon Kiss", "The Devil's Matchmaker", and "The Gentlest Dog On The Block!".

The standout story in this issue is "Demon Kiss" by Bruce Jones, which is about a girl who will do anything to become a Hollywood movie star...even if that means making a deal with the devil. Here is the complete story:

Another favorite of mine is, "The Devil's Matchmaker" by John Jacobson and Sal Amendola:

And here is the "Essays of the Supernatural" page of the issue:

This issue of Madhouse has some great artwork and the stories are ok. It seems like this series contained all of the leftover stories from it's sister comic Red Circle Sorcery, although the stories are more demonic here.

More Horror and Halloween comic goodness to come in the days ahead! Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Unusual Heroes: Mort The Dead Teenager (Marvel, 1993)

Blink and you would have missed this (and believe me, most of us did) 1993 Marvel mini-series featuring a teenager named Mort who is killed while drag-racing and forced to see the world in a new light with the help of Death's son, "Teen Death".

Larry Hama (of G.I. Joe fame) wrote the story as a basis for a movie he envisioned. He also pitched the story to Marvel, who purchased it as a four issue mini-series. The comic failed miserably, and quickly disappeared into obscurity.

In 2003, director Quentin Tarantino is said to have been interested in producing the movie version of "Mort The Dead Teenager" starring Jessica Simpson, who I believe would have played Mort's love interest. The film was said to have been released in the summer of 2004 via Dimension Films, but it never surfaced. The script was likely shelved, and who knows if it will ever come to surface now.

Mort The Dead Teenager #1 tells the origin tale of Mort, a scrawny kid who takes his dad's Studebaker for a joyride one day. He gets challenged by the "cool kid" to race, and when they do so, Mort crashes into a train and dies, falling into limbo and meeting Teen Death, the Grim Reaper's son.

Mort wants to know if he is going to the "good place", but Teen Death informs him that it's "closed for repairs", and sends him back home....only this time he's dead, and watches as his dysfunctional family attends his "no-frills" funeral.

Teen Death begins to teach Mort how to "haunt" people, and when they arrive at his funeral Mort discovers that Kimberley, the hot girl at school, came to pay her respects. Thus begins Mort's quest to haunt the people that used to be in his life, while finding a way to win over Kimberley and searching for a way up to the "good place".

I found the first issue to be a good read. While the art could have been better, it does the story justice and sets everything up well. This series has become a cult classic of sorts and can still be found in the discount bins, as it is unlikely a trade paperback (or the movie) will ever see the light of day.