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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chronicles of Terror No.3. Kim Roberts (Editor). WP Comics (2016)

A generous, engaging and very enjoyable horror anthology that is going from strength to strength, the range and quality of the stories is very impressive. The wonderful cover by Haraldo does justice to the juicy horror that lies behind it.
The Tale of Baron Urberstein Troy Vevasis (Writer), Saul Haber (Art) is very short and to the point, Baron Urberstein meets the previous owner of his castle, it does not end well. A wonderful gothic fragment  Troy Vevasis uses compression to great effect. Saul Haber's black and white art is a pleasure, the story jumps into life and the action is close up and savage.
Nightclaw, Marta Tanrikulu (Writer), Ferran Sellars (Art), Juri H. Chinchilla (Colours), E.T. Dollman (Letters) is a sharp edged police procedural. A killer is attacking elderly women on the night when a full moon is out. A classic set up that leads to a very unexpected and smartly unexpected reveal. Marta Tanrikulu plays expertly with reader's expectations pulling something nasty out of the bag. Ferran Sellars' art uses panel sizes and locations and shifting perspectives to expertly guide the reader along the story, the muted colours by Juri H. Chinchilla are lovely and bring out the dark tones of the story. E.T. Doolman's lettering is nicely unobtrusive, the sound effects are blaring and lift the action right off the page.
Dracustein. Kim Roberts (Writer),  Marthino Abreyu (Art), Chris Allen (Colours & Letters) is a great mashup of two classic horror icons. Being immortal is lonely, Dracula's answer is to build himself a mate. The story succeeds because the simple emotional core rings true, wanting a companion does not make a companion want you. Marthino Abreyu is a treat, the elements from Dracula and Frankenstein are nicely used as well as a whole range of classic horror film elements. The bold choice regarding the look of the companion Dracula creates captures all the themes of the story in the flesh of the character. Chris Allen's colours are striking, they give the story a great atmosphere and depth.
Attack of the Zombie Penguins. Austin Allen Hamlin (Writer), Kurt Belcher (Art), Mindy Lodkin (Letters) is brilliant, a stunning idea and flawless execution. Rampaging penguins are devouring humanity and when a lone survivor has his back against the wall he takes action. Kurt Belcher's astounding art manages to capture the dark humour and the brutal savagery needed to make this story work. The panel of the penguins coming out of the water to attack the survivor balances cute and murderous perfectly, each element amplify the other. The in your face colouring pushes the volume of the story right up to where it should be. Mindy Lodkin's sound effects just the soundtrack this splatter fest should have.
Georgie Porgie , James Johnson (Writer and Art) is a creepy, sticky classic that constantly goes in unexpected directions until it comes to its disturbing conclusion. The horribly vivid realisation of some very dark psychology is masterfully accomplished.  Horror is a big tent, you do not need blood to create deep chills and shivers.
Almost Midnight. John Osbourn (Writer), Pietro Vaughan (Art), Nikki Sherman (Letters). Making a deal with the devil has a clear drawback, you get what you want, so does the Devil and when he comes to collect the price becomes horribly clear. In the final packed minutes before midnight and the time for payment a woman tries to evade the inevitable. John Osburn slices the time very carefully stretching the minutes and at the same time letting them rush by. Pietro Vaughan glorious black and white art is so heavy and physical that the situation develops the dreadful weight it should have. The art traps the reader along with the cast and the final demand is stunning.Nikki Sherman's lettering is quiet and natural, it fits in with story and subtly provides emphasis at key points.
Demons. JoJo King (Writer), M.C. Carper (Art), Nikki Sherman (Letters), a fever dream of a story, a desperate last minute justification for horrifying actions by a demented killer. JoJo King gives us the sweaty justifications of a killer about to take another victim even as he is aware that his time to act has run out. M.C. Carpers art and colours amplify the intense focus of the writing, amplifying the themes of the story with force and considerable subtlety as the internal and external struggles collide.Nikki Sherman's sound effects are loud and vivid, they sharpen the edge of the action very nicely.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts, to purchase a copy of Chronicles of Terror No.3, you should to sink your teeth into a hugely enjoyable selection of superb comics, you can get it here,

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