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Monday, January 30, 2017

Chronicles of Terror 5. Kim Roberts (Editor) WP Comics (2017)

Another engaging and very enjoyable horror anthology that showcases diverse and highly talented creators. The stories in the anthology have no particular unifying theme other than very high quality. Some of the stories hiding behind the wonderful cover by Bryan Buagh include the following selection from among the excellent collection.
Fate Worse than Death? Marta Tanrikulu (Writer), Pramit Santra (Art), Joshua Jensen (Colours), Micah Myers (Letters), is a clever short that neatly sets up a superb pay off. Marta Tanrikulu has managed the very difficult task of pacing the short story with great care and precision. Pramit Santra's art captures the story with grear skill and detail, the art brings the story forward and then sells the pay off with force and energy. Loshus Jensen's colours are a joy, they add weight and depth to the detail of the art and make the pay off crackle. Micah Myers' letters are natural and subtly unobtrusive, they wear their craft lightly.
How Will You Die Tonight?  Julio Pas Y Vadala' (Writer), Ruyma'n  & Aoyze Nieves (Art, Inks Colours, Letters) is a very clever story that plays with readers expectations with great skill. A seance goes very badly for those attending. Julio Pas Y Vadala' has created a clever set of horrible events that are set up and executed with nasty effectiveness. Ruyma'n  & Aoyze Nieves have a hard task, they have to deliver a lot of  brutal action in a short space and not overwhelm the reader, they do so with great confidence and strong delivery. The very smart idea gets the whole hearted execution it deserves.
I Survive. Nicky Zabierek (Writer), M.C. Carper (Art), Nikki Sherman (Letters), after solar flares create devastation, a new plague comes to feat on the survivors. A survivor helps some others in trouble and leads them to sanctuary, it does not go well. A sharp take on a horror genre classic, Nicky Zabierek's story packs a big punch and has a strong heart. M.C.Carpers art is stupendous, the drenched yellow of the art captures the scorched context left by the solar flares, the colour frames the action with a merciless light that amplifies the story. Nikki Sherman's letters are confident, they deliver a lot of information without ever intruding or slowing down the pace of the story.
Liveliness. Adam Swiecki (Writer & Art), is a joy, a strong story delivered with fantastic black and withe art. A young man determines to leave his family, they strongly oppose his plan and there is clearly something very strange going, happily there really is. The dominant art make the absolute most of the story, the panel layouts control the pacing and reveals with confidence and force. Wonderful.
Road to Ruin. Frank Martin (Writer), Chris Winter (Art), a man has a car breakdown on a lonely road, finds no signal on his phone and then a car approaches. This is a horror story, it is not going to be a good thing, the pleasure of just how bad it can get is captured with great care and wit by Frank Martin. This story has the best soundtrack I have heard in a comic in a very long time. Jet black humour heightens the  tension and lifts the story perfectly. Chris Winter's gorgeous black and white art has so many tones and shades that it is virtually in colour. The details are a joy, they give the story weight and force that it really needs to crackle the way it does.
Mandy the Witch, Victor Carungi (Writer), Keith Chan (Art), Chris Allen (Colours), Brant W. Fowler (Letters), is a cautionary tale in the style of EC comics and others with a introduction by a skeleton host who provides the voice over for the story. Mandy is a witch who is being bullied at school, when she comes into her powers trouble follows. Victor Carungi delivers a light hearted tone and up to date savage pay back. Keith Chan's art is a pleasure to read, the details of the context ground the action, the cast are very expressive, the body language is always eloquent. Chris Allen's colours are bright and vivid, matching and catching the various layers and tones in the story. Brant W. Fowler letters quiet, effective letters flow naturally with the art and story.
Diner Food. A Wulf and Batsy Story. Bryan Baugh (Writer & Art) is a very darkly comic story that uses humour skillfully to amplify the very bloody action. When the staff at a diner take a customer and plan to murder and chop her up they imagine it as a regular night's business, however when two new customers arrive, the trouble really starts. Bryan Baugh has a classic art style which works really well with the dark,bloody comedy of the story. The staff at the diner are a beauty and the beast pairing, the intended victim is happily focusing on all the wrong aspects of the situation, Batsy and Wulf are ravenous and thoughtful. A delicate mix to get right, Bryan Baugh has the confident skill and depth of talent needed to make it all work flawlessly.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts, to purchase a copy of Chronicles of Terror 5 and if having life enhancing experiences and relishing the pleasures of creativity are for you then you should purchase a copy, it is available from

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