Paper Cuts: 12/19/16


Tales from the Suicide Forrest #1 (Amigo)

You may have not read the original “Suicide Forest” published by IDW, but you may be familiar with the story, which was turned into the 2016 movie entitled, The Forest.  It is all based around Aokigahara – or The Suicide Forest – a real area in Japan, where people go to commit suicide often and is believed to be haunted.  Whether you are familiar with the property or not, you can jump in with this one-shot by Amigo Comics.

Tales features two stories told in beautiful black and white art that had some of the most compelling story-telling since Scott Snyder’s Severed.  Very rarely do horror stories weave such stories that leave the reader engrossed and genuinely terrified, but this issue should be read and admired by any fans of the genre.

The characters were so compelling that I forgot where the stories took place and left me genuinely surprised with each ending of the two narratives.

With a small publisher, make sure you get to your local comic shop and ask them to order this book.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5


Chimichanga: The Sorrow of the World’s Worst Face #3 (Dark Horse)

Part of the fun of picking up a book with Eric Powell is never knowing what you are going to get.  Eric Powell has two very different story telling styles: one is clearly intended for adults with mean, tough violence, while the other has a juvenile sense of humor.  Chimichanga is on the more fun side of things and intended for all ages.

The other part of picking up a book with Eric Powell is always knowing what you are going to get.  Incredible art.  Whether Powell is on art duties himself or brings someone in – Stephanie Buscema in this instance – there is always a certain style and feel that is familiar, yet absolutely stunning and jaw dropping.

Ratings: Ratings 4 out of 5


Richard Corben: Shadows on the Grave #1 (Dark Horse)

Shadows on the Grave is a new anthology series from Richard Corben, who most notably worked on Heavy Metal magazine and received several awards for his work on Hellboy.

The first two short tales in this book were absolutely terrifying and may have been even too creepy and disturbing for Tales of the Crypt.

Although Corben has been an artist for many years, the old school art feels fresh amongst many of the horror books currently populating the shelves.

While this book was truly beautiful and told some great tales, the final tale was a bit wordy and disjointed.

Ratings: Ratings 4 out of 5

Overall, this was a big week for horror comics.  Feel free to check out some of the other books that came out this week that did not make the cut.  Die, Kitty, Die #3 came out and still continues to be a fun poke at the comics industry.  If you need some adult Eric Powell books in your life, check out Hillbilly #4.  And if you need your weekly fix of cheesecake, Cinderella: Serial Killer Princess #1 came out from Zenescope.  And those were only some of this week’s horror books.

Paper Cuts: 12/5/16


Number one issues can be tricky.  The writer needs to set a world, give compelling characters and leave with something to come back around for the next installment.  All within the confines of 32 pages.

Bad Moon Rising has some elements that intrigue, but unfortunately get lost in the shuffle because there are too many plot points in this first issue.  The book opens with American soldiers trapped in Vietnam, only to be saved by one of them turning into a werewolf.  Truthfully, you could do a whole series on that alone and it would have been compelling and interesting.  After finishing Bad Moon Rising, I am not even sure that has anything to do with the plot moving forward because there were 3 more story lines crammed into this single issue.  There is a story of fringe science doctor who sees ghosts and is desperately trying to get law officials to believe him.  There is a story of a biker gang who have some sort of connection to wolves, although the connection itself is unclear.  And then there is a story of what sets up to be the main character of the series, a guy who ran away to the city, leaving his small town behind, and is back due to an animal attack on his father that killed him.  That is all in one issue.  These elements could work together, but the story execution felt flat and rushed and never let any of these characters develop and breathe, or give the reader a real reason to care about any of them.

One thing to really give credit to this issue is on the art layout.  Newer and smaller publishers really tend to stick to a simple grid format of storytelling and it was a pleasant surprise to see the creative team work with a much wider scope of formats that moved the story along and kept the reading engaging by changing the format depending on how the story needed to be told.  There is some real talent in that and something that is missing from a lot of the horror comics that are published on a monthly basis.

The art in the rest of the book is all over the map.  There are a lot of misplaced shadows and odd coloring choices.  The line work also seems to be really thick in some places and pencil thin in others.  I was a bit surprised to find that the artist, Ty Dazo, has had success working for the largest comic publishers. Looking back over the credits, there were three different colorists on this single issue. That could be the determining factor on the inconsistencies of art throughout the book.  In today’s comic market, that seems to be the norm, with monthly double shipped, big 2 comics.  But for an indie publisher, it is odd to have that many in one book.

Overall, this book is fine.  The couple elements that I liked – the Vietnam angle and the art layouts – warrant another chance on this series for issue #2.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5

Paper Cuts: 10/21/16

If there was an Eisner for Best Week of Comics, this one would have to be nominated.


Die Kitty Die #1 (Astro Comix / Chapter House)

The sign of good story tell can be when you are reading a first issue but you feel like you have known this character your whole life.

Die Kitty Die is the creation of two classic Archie creators who have an undeniable chemistry as a creative team.

The art in this book is simply incredible.  The book opens with a classic “throwback” style of art that resembles Archie comics of the 1960’s.  Here we are introduced to Kitty as a character.  The artwork in this section – paired with the editor’s note – really makes you think you are reading a re-print, and it is delightful.

From that intro, we fast-forward and find ourselves with modern day Kitty, complete with art reminiscent of the Life with Archie or Predator vs Archie series; no surprise considering both creators worked at Archie during that time.

Oh, and there is a beautiful two-page spread from J Bone in the middle of this issue and it is simply stunning.

The colors are bright and vibrant and it matches the story telling.  We meet Kitty, a semi-forgotten comic character who also happens to be a real life witch.  The story is accessible to anyone and is not shy about taking a couple jabs at the current state of comics.

This book was just so much fun and full of energy that I implore everyone to check out the creators’ Kickstarter happening right now.

Ratings: 5 out of 5


Lord of Gore #1 (Devil’s Due)

The worst part about this book is having to wait until 2017 when the next issue comes out.

The art here is pretty good.  Daniel Leister definitely has an affinity towards Howard Chaykin and it comes through in the best possible way.

This was a fantastic first issue and really set up the world.  After reading the Lord of Gore background story in it, I was not too sure that this was not a real life horror franchise.

This is a fantastic tale of real life Hollywood and life of stars on the horror convention circuit.  If there ever was a perfect book for Horror-Writers, it is this book.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5


Spell on Wheels #1 (Darkhorse)

There have been many books and movies that have been trying to capture the same type of fun and coolness of the movie, The CraftSpell on Wheels finally is a worthy successor and really captures some of the same magic.

Artist Megan Levens delivers some wonderful art.  Her character design is fantastic.  Her cartooning style mixed with real-life-figure-proportions really grounds the book; no small feat, considering it is about witches with fantastical powers.

Writer Kate Leth really crafts a compelling first issue that deals with some real life fears that many women face, but still manages to keep the story light and not bogged down.

The creative team here is worthy of high praise for delivering a story of believable women in a fun road trip that really has some heart.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5