Gather round, my pretties! We have something special for the month of October, a horror anthology from the early days of comic books. Spooky tales have been handpicked from the tail end of the Golden Age of comics (early to mid 1950s, to be exact) for our reading pleasure. There are about one hundred and fifty pages in this volume, containing comics that are never more than ten pages. But now, it’s time to dive into the pages of Haunted Horror to see if the stories crumble like a cheap headstone or endure like a pharaoh's tomb.
Hello darkness, my old friend.
There’s a new genre making itself known in the gaming sphere at the moment that is being termed as “immersive storytelling” by…people who name such things. This genre is defined by typically nonviolent, but highly engaging, single-person narratives that leave the player alone in spaces that have been uninhabited by other people. Games like Gone Home, Tacoma, and Firewatch are leading the forefront of this new space, and I bring them up because I see a lot of similarity between them and Simon Birks and Tom Eddy's Gone. With a protagonist whose presence is often dwarfed by the omnipresent heavy and mysterious atmosphere, the emptiness fights our little, robotic hero as ruthlessly as any antagonist, holding its secrets with a tenacity that engages the reader far more than you’d expect in such a simple presentation.
Given the popularity of 1920s and 1930s-era America, due mostly to F. Scott Fitzgerald and flappers fashion, it’s no surprise that the interest in pulp novels has remained steady, if not somewhat overlooked at times. That is what made Titan Comics' announcement of their “Hard Case Crime” imprint so enticing. While most noir-style crime books now simply lift the aesthetic into a more modern era, the Walter Hill-inspired book, Triggerman, looked to be 1930s gangland in its purest form, and it absolutely delivered, although not always to its credit.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. Such are the words printed on nearly every game book in the Warhammer 40,000 (or Warhammer 40k or even just 40k) series. Created by British company Games Workshop in 1987, this miniatures game set in a dystopian 41st millennium, where humanity must defend itself from alien threats and heresy within, has attracted players from all over and continues to go strong to this day. The deep, intricate background of the galaxy and its inhabitants, as well as the numerous customizable armies, give everyone something to latch onto. How does this translate into their first foray into comics? Well… I find it lacking, to say the least.
“Times Square, 1986: the home of New York’s red light district, where strip clubs, porno theatres, and petty crime prevail.
When a chance encounter for Peepbooth worker Roxy Bell leads to the brutal murder of a public access pornographer, the erotic performer and her punk rock ex-partner Nick Zero soon find themselves under fire from criminals, cops, and the city elite, as they begin to untangle a complex web of corruption leading right to City Hall.
Like the Naked City, there are eight million stories in the Deuce. This is one of them…”
If you ever believe that toxic black mold is dangerous or in the least presents some kind of potential health problems, then the new series premiere, Rivers of London by Titan Comics, introduces a completely new form of holy moldy.
You seem familiar to me…
Titan’s blurb promoting their new series, The Chimera Brigade, seemed to imply a new super-verse for readers that would be set in World War II. I thought that this was going to be something new, with the powered individuals receiving their gifts by way of chemical and radiological weapons from the trenches of The Great War. Upon meeting this new group, however, it seems that things are going to more closely clone the Big Two than I had reasonably expected. At first I was taken aback by it, especially with how far artist Gess went to make sure that we knew the inspiration behind each superhuman (which I’ll get into in a second). It seems, instead, that this book will be focused more on the daughter of Madame Curie who seems slated to be a witness to history rather than its author as her mother was.
Has anyone else been reading TMNT Universe? It’s really good, you guys! The gods of comic books—a.k.a. Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz—have created another hopefully ongoing series, and I’m curious to know if we’ll only see some characters in one series and the rest in the other. But only time will tell…