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Ride the rails of insanely outdated computing technology with Captain Zilog!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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Horror-Mood: Victims (Eternity Comics, 1988)

Victims #1 is a serialized horror story that first appeared in Scream #6 in 1974. Reprinted by Eternity Comics in 1988, the Saga of the Victims chronicles the story of two young girls from the Scollard Manse School for Girls in Manhattan, where they are kidnapped by horrific creatures in the Manse and dragged deep down into the depths of the school...miles below civilization.

Written by Alan Hewetson and exquisitely drawn by Suso, the two girls were inspired by two popular actresses during this time period in the 1970's. Miss Josey Forster is a tough black woman that closely resembles Teresa Graves (Get Christie Love!), while Miss Anne Adams is a shoo-in for Britt Ekland, who was a popular Bond girl at the time.

The story starts off with a quick introduction before the action kicks in, as the girls are attacked by strange-looking mutants and taken down through the basement of the Manse and into an archaic pit that has the girls wondering if they are actually dreaming, while the soul-less eyes of the mutants gaze at them creepily...

A hooded figure ascends and charges the girls with "trespassing"...a sentence that involves torture and death and all kinds of scary stuff!

Locked inside a padded holding cell, the girls contemplate their impending doom. After Josey knocks some sense into the hysterical Anne, they begin to plan their escape...

They decide to attack the mutant that opens the door, and quickly head up the stairs in hopes of finding an exit. There, they run into the hooded figure who is actually an old lady...and overcome the witch by using her torch against her.

The girls finally find an exit and escape into the streets of Manhattan...only to find themselves surrounded by nothing but those damned mindless mutants!

They are then taken away in giant plastic bags and lifted up into a nearby building, where they find a mysterious doctor who offers medical help but will not answer many questions, only telling the girls to sit and wait for "He who is Horror"...

If you think the first issue sounds crazy enough...just wait until you see what else the series has in store for these girls: from robot vampires, nazi dwarves, zombie pirates and giant haven't seen nothin' yet! And although the window of opportunity for Teresa Graves and Britt Ekland has passed for a movie version of Victims, someone really needs to get this into the hands of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez, as the entire story would make one hell of a good Grindhouse feature!

Unfortunately, while Eternity Comics made a valiant effort in reprinting this series...they dropped the ball during the printing process. As you can tell from these scans, the pages appear overexposed and ink heavy with image deterioration. Because of this, I'd have to instead recommend Headpress' The Complete Saga of the Victims TPB, which reprints the story in it's entirety. Or if you can find them, seek out the original Scream issues this excellent Horror-Mood story is featured in. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unusual Heroes: L.I.F.E. Brigade (Blue Comet Comics, 1986)

Depending upon your level of intellectual open-mindedness...L.I.F.E. Brigade #1 just might be one of the most amazing obscure comics you'll ever find in the 80's era...or the most idiotic. Created by C.A. Stormon, the Brigade features a bevy of interesting (and slightly neurotic) characters:

Long John Lazer:  Leader of the Brigade. Can shoot a lazer-beam from his left eye, which has caused that side of his face to mutate John into one ugly mofo. The mullet doesn't help!
The Ray Gun Kid: Sports a weird-looking helmet and two generic guns. No one knows much about him.
Rochel Windraven: An Indian Shamaness with spiritual powers such as ESP and teleportation.
The Blue Comet: Silly looking hero that can fly around space and wields the power of a comet.
The Atomic Oracle: A powerful robot that was discovered and built by the Brigade. Looks like a ripoff of Acroyear of Micronauts fame.

The first issue kicks off like an old movie I saw recently but can't remember the name of. The L.I.F.E. Brigade are on a mission to find a new planet that can sustain life when they spy a group of armored aliens burying a large box.

 Blue Comet uses his powers to open the box, and the group finds parts to build a "Totally Radical!" robot.

The robot dons his armor and chooses to help the L.I.F.E. Brigade after some introductions....

....yep, this is how Blue Comet gets his powers.

And there you have it, the L.I.F.E. Brigade.

The next chapter focuses on helping the Atomic Oracle retrieve his "self" computer-chip, which is hidden deep within the caves of a small moon. Once they retrieve the chip they are attacked by those darned armored aliens again...and proceed to obliterate every alien in one panel!

And more origin stories are revealed!

Thanks to the Atomic Oracle's new chip, he is able to warp-speed the Brigade back to planet Earth, where they find evolution has reversed and taken a turn for the worse.

No sooner do they arrive when they are attacked by....well wouldn't ya know it, those damned armored aliens again!

The Brigade are able to shoot down all of the alien-fighter ships, but the Emperor's ship escapes...leaving one mad alien king begging for vengeance!

And there you have the bulk of the first issue of L.I.F.E. Brigade. The writing didn't win any awards and almost singlehandly ruined the comic, that is if the artwork hadn't been this spectacular in it's uniqueness. I really enjoy Stormon's art styles...he has an underground drawing style that really appeals to the eye.

Three issues of L.I.F.E. Brigade are floating around out there in the basements of the world. It might behoove you to seek these out, that is...if you are open to enjoying a bizarrely generic space opera from hell.

And here's a cool depiction of L.I.F.E. Brigade by some guy named Wong:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goin' Underground: Buzzard #1 (Cat-Head Comics, 1990)

Buzzard #1 arrived just in time for the coming of age for the Gen-X era of the early 90's thanks to Stephen Beaupre and Steve Lafler of Cat-Head Comics. The first issue, which features work by J.R. Williams, Mary Fleener, and Julie Doucet as well as the aforementioned Beaupre and Lafler, fits with that era so much so that reading through it two decades later feels like opening a time capsule that was launched from space in 1990 and has just returned to Earth.

The first story is a two-pager courtesy of Mary Fleener, whose "cubismo" art-style is in full effect for a story called "Loaded":

One story that really stood out in this issue is "Tonight: I'm Gonna Go See The Bottle Surgeons...and Kill Myself!", by Julie Doucet. This one really reminds me of the heyday of the Grunge/Punk Rock scene at the time:

And one of Steve Lafler's stories, "Duck & Cover III" perfectly conveys the sentiments of the 90's...especially concerning employment. In fact, not much has

And here are a few pages of some other good works to be found in this issue, such as boneHead and Crows and UFO's:

And that's not all...there is a ton of content left to be had in the first issue of Buzzard, including a Lafler Dog-Boy story, a "girlfriend-from-hell" story by J.R. Williams, a true tale from Southeast Portland titled, "Caught In A Trap" by Dave Gill, and "Apartheid House" by Lloyd Dangle.

Great first issue and just like Nirvana put the "alternative" into radio, Buzzard did so for the underground comic scene. The series lasted for 20 issues and most of them can still be had at Cat-Head Comics' online store.