EC Comics and MAD Magazine cartoonist/editor died on tuesday at age 88. Al Feldstein's covers and artwork for EC Comics great Sci-Fi/Horror books are legendary. Sadly, his singular, clunky, thick, goofy style was phased out after a few years of classic work at EC in favor of the more modern, detailed artists in the stable as he took on more editorial and writing duties. He went on to turn a post Kurtzman MAD Magazine into a phenomenon as its editor.
Afterlife with Archie is a gorgeous new horror comic featuring Archie, Jughead, Sabrina, and the gang in zombie-filled Riverdale.
Comic artist Chris Weston unilaterally declares it Kurt Russell week and produces a triptych of posters for Escape from New York, The Thing and Big Trouble in little China. These are just the roughs.
A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
Canadian cartoonist and animator Michael Deforge has been furiously productive over the past few years, producing a seemingly endless series of minicomics, four issues of his increasingly influential one-man anthology series Lose, short pieces for magazines, concert posters, and dozens of one-off illustrations, blog posts and anthology contributions. His comics are a queasy mix of body horror (reminiscent of his countryman David Cronenberg), creeping anxiety, and surprisingly sharp humor. [more inside]
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
It was the last few weeks before I left 2000AD and I was looking forward to starting work on my next creation: Misty. I took the title from the film, Play Misty For Me and my plan was to use my 2000AD approach on a girls’ comic: big visuals and longer, more sophisticated stories with the emphasis on the supernatural and horror. Pat Mills on the creation of Misty, a comic full of "pacts with the devil, schoolgirl sacrifice, the ghosts of hanged girls, sinister cults, evil scientists experimenting on the innocent and terrifying parallel worlds where the Nazis won the Second World War." The Guardian's Jacqueline Rayner recalls Jinty, Tammy, Misty and the golden age of girls' comics.
Comics artist Frazer Irving adapts Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in hauntingly beautiful black and white: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
False Positive is a a short story, webcomic anthology, which author and illustrator Mike Walton likes to call a stew, cooked from the gut, made with "a scoop of horror, a pinch of science-fiction, a dash of fantasy, and a bit of (To Be Determined)." Mike says the language could be rated PG-13, and the visuals feature a varying degrees of comic book violence and gore. There are 10 stand-alone "chapters" posted now, and new posts are made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mike also made a short trailer to further pique your interest. [more inside]
Everything you need to know about Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, the best writer artist team currently working in comics, and their particular brand of noirish crime and noirish supercrime. With their latest project, Fatal, they add a new ingredient to the mix and bring us noirish Lovecraftian crime.
The Ward (Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3) is a silly little Lovecraftian sitcom from the folks who bring us the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4) The guys Lackey and Fifer are also writing a graphic horror novel set in the Jazz Age, Deadbeats.
Murderbullets, 102 pages of power armour, guns, mega-scale rapidly mutating biological horror, cancer sticks, tanks and general comics mahem by James Stokoe.
"Greetings, I'm MAX, the computer. Maybe you've heard of me, I'm superintendant here!" - Welcome to The Thirteenth Floor!
"I've gotten a reputation for incorporating Lovecraft stuff into my work, but I've never sat down and done a straightforward tribute to him. That's what this Whittier story is." - After admirable efforts by Duncan Fedredo and Richard Corben, and spin-off work by Guy Davis, Mike Mignola returns to drawing Hellboy.
Manly Wade Wellman is probably best known for his eerie tales of Silver John, stories of a traveling balladeer and the weirdness he encountered in the southern Appalachians. Wellman was also an avid student of southern folklore and mountain music. His associations with Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Obray Ramsey served as inspirations for the Silver John character. In addition to his macabre tales of the American South, Wellman was an award-winning mystery author (beating William Faulkner for the prize) and ghost wrote Will Eisner's The Spirit while Eisner was in the army. [more inside]
Breaking the Fourth Panel: Neonomicon and the Comic Book Frame (1, 2) Alan Moore’s recent Lovecraftian comic dissected. (MLYT, Possibly NSFW language and SAN loss)
Stray, The Unfamiliar, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - Three stories of a group of dogs, and a cat, battling the supernatural courtesy of Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson and Dark Horse Comics, released for free as a teaser for the forthcoming Beasts of Burden. (via)
Tony Scott has confirmed that a prequel to Alien is in the works, with commercial director Carl Rinsch at the helm. Of course, his brother Ridley was no stranger to advertising. Meanwhile Dark Horse is celebrating 30 years of the franchise by releasing a new series of Aliens comics.
The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires combined the tail end of Hammer film's Dracula series with, the then, burgeoning martial arts craze to create "The First Kung Fu Horror Spectacular!" [more inside]
Artist Stephen R. Bissette dissects the making of Saga of the Swamp Thing #20, the first American comics appearance of writer Alan Moore (um...previously), in a series of blog posts that feature much original artwork (by Bissette and others), as well as a sampling of Moore's apparently absolutely ginormous script for the issue. (Warning: Parts of Bissette's site are NSFW.) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
The Sea of Perdition - Children of the Kingdom - Black Tulips - Three short films by South African-born film director Richard Stanley. Stanley's career took off with Hardware (an unacknowledged adaptation the 2000ad story Shok!) and the apocalyptic African western/Horror movie Dust Devil, then hit the rocks with the doomed 1996 version of the Island of Doctor Moreau, from which he was fired and replaced by John Frankenheimer. Stanley hasn't directed a feature film since... though he now has two films in preproduction, Vacation and Bones of the Earth. The original script for Moreau can be read on his unofficial site, as well as the script for a sequel to Hardware. Richard Stanley's MySpace Blog is also very strange.
Web of Horror #1 (December 1969): Re-presenting the short-lived and impossibly obscure horror comics magazine that featured early work from such luminaries as Ralph Reese, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson. Link via Journalista (may be NSFW). [more inside]
Today's date? Why, it's...July 11, 2052, and man has been cowering in terror, self-sealed in his own living-tombs since that day of horror in...1952. Remember? 100 years ago, the sky above America turned black...with the dread flight of millions of ferocious, gigantic ants! [more inside]
EC Comics great Jack Kamen (probably best known today as the father of inventor Dean Kamen) has died at 88. [more inside]
Curt Purcell of The Groovy Age of Horror (previously) on Vampirella and the art of José González, who modeled his version of the character after Sophia Loren (NSFW, mild boobies) (Previous Vampirella)
Free comics! BOOM! Studios' new web comics site, launching today, will be posting a page a day from six different titles including its Ninja, Zombie and Cthulhu Tales anthologies...
The pictures that horrified America - how comic books tipped 50s America into a moral panic. [more inside]
Virgil Finlay, Fritz Eichenberg, Bernie Wrightson, and much, much, more, at datajunkie. Warning: Non-Thumbnailed galleries and YouTube sidebar. May not be suitable for all CPUs.
In the 1960s, as a response to the Comics Code Authority's attempt to sanitize comic books, Warren Publishing^ created a series of Graphic Magazine style horror books (using the "see, they're MAGAZINES, not comics, so that's why it's okay" defense), picking up the gauntlet from EC's Tales of the Crypt & other 50's era horror comics. The magazines, Creepy (and later) Eerie & Vampirella were rife with sex & gore, and featured full color well illustrated front covers by fantasy artists like Frank ("Conan") Frazetta & H.R. ("Alien") Giger. The Warren Magazine Collection Site (warning: annoying non-skippable flash intro) has put the entire catalog of cover art from the full run of all three magazines online. Skip the flash intro, and go straight to the galleries: Creepy, Eerie & Vampirella.
Monster Magazine Covers! Quote: "Vintage pulp magazines will be offensive to many people today. They were issued before the current climate of political correctness overtook the country. Themes of many magazines (or at least the covers) are racially insensitive, show violence to women, unsafe and/or promiscuous sex, and negative stereotyping of gays, lesbians, Asians, and almost any group you can imagine."