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

Papercuts: 03-22-2017

Papercuts: March 22, 2017

By Ryan “HB” Mount

This week, we take a look at the reintroduction of two fan-favorite characters, Vampirella and Marvel’s Man-Thing with new jumping on points and big departures from status quo of the characters long histories.

Vampirella #1 (Dynamite)

After reviewing the #0 issue, there was a ton of mystery of where this series was heading.  I never would have thought from #0 that we were getting Vampirella in dystopian future Los Angles.  Perhaps as comic readers, we should welcome drastic changes and see where the story leads before rushing to conclusion.

This should not come as a surprise, but it felt like Paul Cornell was writing another episode of Doctor Who and not Vampirella.  There was a huge world presented with a lot of mystery and not a lot of explanation.  There was also some future speak dialogue which was alright for an opening issue, but hopefully does not bog down the story for the long term.

The art in this issue was fantastic.  While I appreciate the mood that the zero issue had set up, this set up a much different landscape.  There are remnants of Kirby and Moebius in the design work and spoke to my sensibilities.

There is also something to be said about a book taking a lot of chances.  There appears to be another narrative happening outside the panels on the page and certainly not conventional, I again think that a book taking some risks, should be something given some praise.

While this book is anything but traditional Vampirella, there are so many interesting things happening that this new launch deserves several issues before making a full judgement.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

Man-Thing #1 (Marvel)

If you were a child of the 1990’s and you saw that teen horror writer, R.L. Stine was writing a comic book, you would naturally be excited.

While for a long time, Man-Thing has been a lumbering and haunting character with oddly defined powers of portal jumping and instilling total fear into people, Stine decided to take the character in a completely new and different direction and is bound to rub some longtime fans the wrong way.

After reading this issue, you are left wondering if Stine had recently watched the 2005 film, Man-Thing which wanted to tell a funny story of how that film came to be made.  There were certain references from character designs to statements from characters in the book that leads us to that conclusion.  I was unsure if Stine was going for a Howard the Duck type of story for this book, but there the writing was not clever enough to hook readers.  The departure was so far removed from the original character that many old-time fans will have nothing to grab onto and new readers won’t have enough either.

The art was fine and seeing Man-Thing on the page was a real treat, when it came to everything else, it seemed clunky and rushed.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

 

Quick Cuts:

Zombie Camp #1 – This is a book has its issues, but it is intended for kids. Enjoy the simplicity.  Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

The Darkness Visible #2 – Mike Carey continues to tell a compelling story of a society where demons and humans struggle to co-exist.  A couple more layers added on in this issue.  Ratings: 3 out of 5

Eclipse #5 – New Arc.  Go back and pick up the trade, then jump in. Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

Grim Tales of Terror (Vol. 3) #2 – Teen horror meets idle hands. Ratings: 2 out of 5

Grim Tales of Terror (Vol. 3) #3 – New art style for the book. Typical fare. Ratings: 2 out of 5

Richard Corben’s Shadows of the Grave #3 – The art alone is enough to add this to your monthly reading, but the creeps and scares keep it essential for any fans of the genre.   Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

Lady Killer 2 #4 – Dexter meets Mad Men. Beautiful art.  Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

Spook House #3 – Horror Anthology for kids! Ratings: 3.5 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 #papercuts.  If you want to read more, follow Ryan @hebruise and look his other comic columns and interviews over at Two-Headed Nerd.com.

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: 11/4/16

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Hellchild: The Unholy #1 (Zenescope)

This book was simply perplexing.

Zenescope has not been known for its stellar art, but when you first open this book, there was some truly great art.  It had me wondering, “who is this?”  The credits list Renzo Rodriguez as the artist, but the art and lettering is so wildly different from segment to segment that it feels like it had to be a collection of artists.  Assuming Renzo drew the first 4-5 pages, they were incredibly well done.  It went from a book that I felt like I had to read to a book I wanted to read.

However, the book then stops all momentum and gives you a full page of written backstory which is almost never a good story telling device; it usually spells doom for films that do not trust the story they have.

The art after that then appears to have been drawn by a completely different artist.  It is extremely jarring.  The easiest way to take me out of a book is poor lettering, and that’s exactly what happened here.  If that was not already challenging, the book seems to change art styles at least one more time.

The actual story that was told in the beginning of the book seemed to be setting up a great supernatural mystery and had me on board.  However, after the text page, we meet the “hero” of the book.  Hellchild is an uninteresting character and the writers feel like they have to justify how badass she is by turning the remainder of the book into one long, gory fight scene.

After all the fighting, the writers spend a couple pages trying to make Hellchild a brooding loner, but instead the writing is just amateur to put it as nice as possible.

The art in the beginning will force me to pay attention to this series, but if the inconsistencies continue, I will hold out my hopes for Renzo Rodriguez to see what he will do next.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

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Nailbiter #26 (Image)

26 Issues in and there has not been a single dull moment in this entire run.

If you need more Hannibal Lecter in your life, this book is a must read.

The payoff in this issue is huge if you have been reading the series from the beginning.  While you could jump in with this issue, the reveal in the book is much more satisfying after spending time with these characters.

I know it is only November 2nd, but after a month of Halloween inspired tales, this tale of murder during the Christmas season seemed refreshing.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

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Eclipse #3 (Image)

If you enjoyed the type of horror in John Carpenter’s The Thing, then you should be reading this wonderful series.

This series is the perfect dystopian future/murder mystery.

The art continues to amaze as it is so bright yet continues to be so bleak.

My only criticism is that the story telling felt very quick and would not have minded to have it breathe a little bit more.

Ratings: 4 out of 5