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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tomb of Horror. Kim Roberts (Editor). Swapmline Comics (2017)

A very engaging and enjoyable horror anthology that that a has a wide and happy selection of stories that all sit comfortably with each other to create a very satisfying whole. Among the stories in this anthology are:
A Song for Mongrels, Bobby Harris (Writer and Artist), is sharp and smart, an apparently homeless woman screaming at a bus stop may be a nuisance, she may also be a lot more than that. Bobby Harris gathers a lot of story into a short space, clever set up and very satisfactory pay off. The art moves from naturally from open scenes to intense close ups, the cast are strongly expressive and bring the reader into the story.
Harold. John Ramos (Writer), Vince Underwood (Artist) neatly manages reader expectations to deliver a nasty and very satisfying story. Harold Francis Grauseman , husband, father, derelict is lost in his own circumstances until he is noticed by others, it does not go well. John Ramos manages the tone of the story with confident care, the reval is beautifully staged and very effective. Vince Underwood's art is beautiful, deeply expressive and detailed, it catches the nauances of the writing exactly and moves effortlessly from quiet to very , very loud without hesitation. Impressive use of panels to control the story adds greatly to the pleasure of reading.
The Man Who Has Everything. Jack Wallace (Writer), David Newbold (Pencils), Ivan Miranda (Inks), Geys & Letters (Chris Allen). George is the angry, frustrated not-quite fitting in member of staff who has a crush on a fellow staff member. With his boss about to leave the job there are opportunities in the air for George, they arrive on cue and the outcomes is as horrible as it should be. An extended set up is exactly the lead in that the huge pay off deserves. Jack Wallace has amplified a situation everyone who has worked in an office has probably encountered with great force and precision. David Newbold creates a great cast, they have the required physical presence and diversity for the context, George is almost a cliché, his vitality and vulnerability bring him to singular life. Ivan Miranda's inks bring the details into sharp focus allowing the final scene to explode exactly as it should. Chris Allen grey's are subtle and exact, they add depth to the art and catch the nuances of the story, the lettering quiet and easy to read, wearing its craft lightly.
The Supermarket. Marcello Bondi (Writer), Salvatore Coppola (Art), a very simple idea matched with flawless execution makes for a treat to read. A visit to a supermarket leads to a question and a devastating answer. Salvatore Coppola's luminous black and white art propels this story, carefully leading the reader with beautiful detail and movement down to the sharp revelation. Marcello Bondi has paced the story so that it lands with force, a gem.
Virus. Shawn Milazzo (Writer), Cem Iroz  (Art), Nikki Sherman (Letters), short and  to the very sharp point, an excellent black joke. Cem Iroz's art delivers the context with detail and care and nicely creepy detail when required. Niki Sherman's letters are easy to read and unobtrusive, creating the space for an excellent sound effect.
Al the stories in this collection are at the same very high standard as these, there is a glorious variety in the themes and treatments, talented creators working flat to deliver deeply pleasurable comics.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts. SWampline Comics are currently running a Kickstarter for Tomb of Horror, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1139490928/tomb-of-horror-comic-anthology, it is well worth your support to get the thrill that reading really, really good comics provides. . Tomb of Horror will be listed for sale on the Swampline website later in the year.


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