Paper Cuts: April 26, 2017

Paper Cuts: April 26, 2017

By Ryan “HB” Mount

Redneck #1 (Skybound/Image)

Modern day Hatfield and McCoys is one of the families was full of vampires and the other led by a preacher.

While the story is not breaking any new ground, it was extremely well written and a perfect first issue.  We immediately get a sense of the Texas town, the Bowman vampire family and their rivals of the Landry Family.  Even the beginning where many creators get bogged down in info dumps, the set up here was done without feeling like I was reading a poorly constructed novel and the opening two page spread certainly helped.

The rules of the world seem simple.   Vampires drink cow blood and paint thinner to avoid human blood.  They are still vulnerable to sunlight but nearly immortal.  There also appears to have some telepathy, but not fully defined.

The art of Lisandro Esterren has a lot of sketchiness of Jason Latour with some facial work similar to Howard Chayakin.  As with any book written about vampires, creatures of the night, you would expect the book to have an overall dark appearance.  While the book certainly let the reader know if you were in the woods at night or in a dimly lit, you were not staring at pages soaked in black ink.  The coloring from Dee Cunniffe contained a lot of cool blues and soft reds and accented the book perfectly.

This book was a perfect first issue.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

 

Jughead: The Hunger #1 (Archie)

This is simply an elseworld style tale of Jughead was a werewolf and Betty was a monster hunter.  The story is not bad, but it is not compelling.  The tone of this book was closer to Riverdale than to Archie Horror.  There was some injected humor, but I believe fans read these books for the straight horror aspects.

The art of Michael Walsh feels like a cross of Jeff Lemire and Francesco Francavilla.  Now while to compare the art styles to two of the greatest working in the industry right now could seem like high praise, there was also some art that felt extremely rushed and not finished.  While the art did fit into the Archie horror universe well, it simply does not hold up against Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Tales of Sabrina.  This is the second book reviewed this week that features colors of Dee Cunniffe.  Her color palate is perfect for horror books and should be a name to look forward to seeing when it comes out.

One thing that always made the Archie Horror universe so special was that even though the books came out sparingly is that they were so well done, it was worth the wait.  In this case, it was such a step down in overall quality that this is a totally passable book.

Ratings: 3 out of 5

 

Quick Cuts:

Plastic #1 (Image) – What is Joaquin Phoenix from Her was in love with a plastic doll and a murdering psychopath?  Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

The Atoll #2 (Big Pictures) – Human vs Shark fighting ring drama.  Ratings: 4 out of 5

The Beauty #14 – This arc is Hannibal Season 1 type of drama and creepiness. Ratings: 4 out of 5

Grimm Tales of Terror: 2017 April Fools Edition – It certainly lives up to the title of April Fools, with each story providing a “twist” ending.  However, it still was incredibly unclever and not scary. Ratings: 0.5 out of 5

Grimm Tales of Terror (Vol. 3) #4 If you fear clowns, this will terrify. For the rest of us? Ratings: 1 out of 5

 

If you like what  you read make sure to like it and share it.  What are you reading right now?  What would you like to see us reviewing?  Make sure to reach us at @hebruise and @horror_writers

Paper Cuts: 2/6/17

Aliens: Defiance #9 (Dark Horse)

The last time I checked in with the Aliens series was during the initial launch of the Prometheus line back in 2014.  It is not that those comics were bad, but there were a bit wordy. If I remember correctly, it was just not compelling enough to keep reading after the first several issues.

I rarely will mention cover art in these reviews, but it was beautiful, dark, and creepy.  It was drawn by Stephanie Hans whom I have enjoyed since she first appeared in the interior of a Superior Spider-Man one shot.  Hans has a water color, painted style that is soothing and haunting.

Brian Wood continues to be one of the most workman, versatile writers in the entire comic industry.  Wood can write post-apocalyptic landscapes, Viking and Revolutionary warriors, and major two characters as well as anyone else.  All of these previous stints make Wood the perfect writer for a well thought-out Alien series.  This book had all the markings of what has made the series a lasting icon.  A small desperate cast, an emotionless android, government schemes, and the lurking notion that an xenomorph is lurking on a ship in cold black space.

The interior art is not only great on its own merits, but compliments the story well.  It was done by Wood’s long time DMZ collaborator Tony Brescini.  Each character wears their emotions, or lack of, on their face across the entire book and could tell a story even without any dialogue.  Brescini’s art in this book is simple and compelling.

Not only am I looking forward to issue number 10, but also looking forward and going back and catching up on the entire series.  If one main reason for licensed properties is to get readers to further engage in the universe, anyone who reads this book will be lining up at the doors of the theaters in May.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

Quick Cuts:

Zenescope launched the third volume of Grimm Tales of Terror.  It was standard affair for that series with serviceable art and Tales of Crypt one shot storytelling.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

Spell on Wheels from Dark Horse delivered a lackluster issue in what was one of my favorite miniseries of the years. I’m hoping the final issue delivers like the first three issues.

Ratings: 3 out of 5

 

She Wolf from Image launched a new arc with #5 and the art alone is worth a read, but this entire series is worth catching up on as well.  The best comparison would be a cross between Archie and Twin Peaks.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

Paper Cuts: 10/7/16

BIG WEEK OF COMICS!

But before we dive in, just a quick plug.  Last year after moving to the burbs, I was not ready with enough Halloween candy for all the kids in the neighborhood.  When I ran out in less than an hour, I did some quick thinking and grabbed a long box and started giving out some comics.  It was a hit of the neighborhood.  I will be doing the same this year.  If you would like to do the same and do not have any comics to give away, check out your local comic shop.  They are selling 25 mini comic packs for $5 each. Check them out here: http://www.halloweencomicfest.com/Catalog  Order a couple and give them out!

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Grimm Tales of Terror Vol 2. #13 (Zenescope)

Skip this comic and watch Tales from the Darkside: The Movie or Scarewaves.  Both tell nearly the same exact story of artist-meets-demon-must-feed-demon-for-great-art.

Ratings: 1 out of 5

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Zombie Tramp Halloween Special (2016) (Action Lab)

Straight cheesecake.  If you miss 90’s anatomical drawing and dialogue, this book is for you.  The most memorable moment comes from when Zombie Tramp tells a little girl that her butt is not big enough to be Vamp Blade.  Cringe.

Ratings: 1 out of 5

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Chronicles of Terror #1 (WP Comics)

A new online quarterly horror anthology series.  This issue is all over the place.  It has some highs and has some lows.  There are a more than a couple stories with too many text boxes and some very poor lettering.  However, you’re paying $5 for 142 pages and the artwork in a couple of these stories may make this worth your time. I personally enjoyed the art from Dann Franco in “Shots Between Fangs” and Luciano Fleitas in “Down to the Woods.”

Ratings: 2 out of 5

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Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (DC)

There is nothing earth-shattering about this book, but it really is different than every other book DC Comics is putting out.  Whether you are a fan of the old DC prestige comics or the vertigo heroes, this book hits all the right marks.

This is the story of Deadman and it is not your traditional hero story.  Instead of saving the earth from aliens in the sky, you get Deadman in a story of love, heartbreak, and ghostly mystery.

I enjoy my caped stories, but this was really wonderful.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

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Cannibal #1 (Image)

If you mix iZombie and Southern Bastards, you get Cannibal #1.  Art feels very Jason LaTour, but Bergara is not as polished.  It is well written and interesting enough.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

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B & V Friends Comics Double Digest #251 (Archie)

Another week.  Another Archie Halloween Special.  This one centers around the adventures of Betty and Veronica.

There are plenty of tales in this one, but the interesting thing to see in this one was the small art changes it made in each story.  Where the Archie stories from last week had very similar art throughout the entire book, this one had some changes while keeping that Archie feel.

The stories are filled with some all ages fun with jokes for kids and adults.

I really thought last week might have been a fluke or I was in the mood for something light hearted, but after this week, these Archie Halloween specials deserve to be any comic collection.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

Paper Cuts: 7/15/16

grimm tales of terror v2 10

Grimm Tales of Terror Vol. 2 #10 (Zenescope)

Zenescope is not known for highbrow, high-concept comic books.  They have their niche audience, which is what would make this single issue story a bit of a surprise.

We are immediately introduced to a TV news reporter, down on his luck and looking to break a real story instead of the fluff he is constantly delivering.  He goes to investigate an old home and something does not seem quite right.  It is a horror cliché to say the least, but that did not make it unenjoyable.  The dialogue was not fantastic; I found myself chuckling at some very poorly written moments.  The story was told in such a brisk manner is that it was really hard to get scared or even care about any of these characters within the issue.

The artwork, provided by Sami Kivela and colorist Marco Lesko, were serviceable.  That is by no means a dig on the work, but meant to be said with some praise.  It is very often with smaller publishers that the work can come across as unprofessional.  However, reading this issue in digital format the art came as polished, although not groundbreaking.

This was by no means a great comic, but I am a sucker for horror anthology style books and has me curious to read more.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (but only for those fans of horror anthologies)

puppet master 17

Puppet Master #17 (Action Labs / Danger Zone)

A colleague of mine read issue one and rated it a solid “Leave It.”  However, being such a fan of the movies, I decided to dive into this.  I give credit to any film-turned-comic-series that manages to get itself to issue #17.

The new Puppet Master – a young boy who lives with his family at the hotel they run – is having problems with the Puppets.  They are falling apart and he cannot get them to go back together.  Meanwhile, a group of Luchador wrestlers show up with their sleazy manager to spend the night.  We then get a very uninspiring story that even the most rabid Luchador fans will want to pass up.

The one strong thing I can say is that the art had some very gory and violent scenes, courtesy of the Puppets.  While I do not want this in all my comics – or even all my horror comics – I like the occasional gasps that rival some in The Walking Dead.

Rating: 1 out of 5

sabrina 6

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 (Archie)

Letterers are often the forgotten piece of comic artwork, but Jack Morelli’s work in this comic are STUNNING.  Typically when you look at a lot of yellow-text books, the text feels heavy and drawn out.  Not here. Not even close.  The subtlety that he uses for when the cobras are speaking just says talent.

With amazing lettering, it’s hard to imagine that the art would not blow anyone away. The art is simply flawless. While the other books I looked at were flat, the art and coloring in Sabrina was deep and rich.  The tone is dark, but not soaked in black ink.

Roberto Agguire-Sacasa weaves a true tale of sadness and horror.  We are introduced to a ton of complex characters, but this ensemble cast each has their moments, and Agguire-Sacasa writes a script made for the best television dramas.
One last thing to note: it is very easy for one shot story’s to use “Let Me Tell You a Tale.”  There is something special when you can take a cliché and push its expectations and deliver not one, but two complete tales in a limited page count.

Perhaps you are like me and LOVED Afterlife with Archie.  Perhaps you even loved issue #1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  But with their infrequent release schedule, perhaps you are also like me and do not catch it in issue form.

Well, whether you are current on either series or never have read an issue (or even know who Sabrina is), this is a book that you can pick up and enjoy immediately.

Ratings: 5 out of 5


When not writing about horror comics, Ryan enjoys long walks on shark-infested beaches (or at least watching them on the screen).  If you like what you read, tweet out the link to the column and use the #comicpapercuts.  If you want to read more, follow Ryan and look for his other comic columns and interviews over at Two-Headed Nerd.