Eugenic is presented in three separate horror stories told across time, starting with the literal end of the human race as we know it. The book is chock-full of hot takes that range from Twilight Zone-esque to full-tilt campiness. It is scary. It is brutal. There are concepts and images in Eugenic that will make your hair stand straight up and excuse itself from your head. Most of the moments in the book feel earned, though some of them feel a bit scattered; however, this is the kind of comic book we need - one that has something to say.
If you enjoyed the unsettling deep dive into Allister Ward’s presumed psychosis that was Knight in the Snake Pit #1, the second installment is sure to please you. Allister remains trapped between the dark world of the asylum and the fantastic quest—complete with a king, a dragon, fellow knights, and an unnamed, yet harrowing, enemy-- that invades his reality, with no further clues to aid him in deciphering between reality and fantasy (Read: psychosis.) than he is left with at the end of volume one. The plot, nevertheless, progresses; the stakes are raised right off the bat when Allister is left to take the fall for several dead bodies, and all of the various sides that seem to be wrestling for both his body and his mind approach him with an added urgency. To make matters worse, it seems that the question of trust is muddied on all sides; Allister must learn who he can trust, but also prove that he is trustworthy, all with a limited grasp of his world and an inability to ground himself fully in either space.
Herman Melville’s 1851 classic and epic novel, Moby Dick, painstakingly details the whaling industry alongside the sea travels of an ill-fated crew. The white whale is a formidable source of intrigue and motivation whose sheer existence incites a dangerous journey into the deep. Even if you have not trucked your way through the massive novel, you know that Moby Dick is a destructive force whose massive size illustrates how small man is and how hard it is to combat an animal who rules the sea. Moby Dick: Back from the Deep’s creator and writer Matt Schorr uses Melville’s tale and its legacy as inspiration for another intense adventure, where the white whale rules the sea, and no one is safe.
Tommy Redolfi has found inspiration paralleling the children’s fable, Little Red Riding Hood, with one of the most famous, popular, and tragic Hollywood stories of all time: Norma Jeane Baker's (a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe) life. Without any flourishes, Norma’s story is a heartbreaking tale of a woman who gave her soul and more to be loved and who was abused by an industry willing to take advantage of beauty - to treat women like an object and to dehumanize for a few bucks. By approaching it like, what is essentially a David Lynchian meets David McKean-style horror story, Redolfi has given readers a transcendent, hypnotic, and emotionally devastating exploration of the terrifying side of Hollywood stardom and, in doing so, has crafted a very human story of abuse endured…with a smile. One of the most famous smiles of the silver screen.
In 2015 I reviewed the first two issues of Monster Matador, an independent comic about a bullfighter turned monster slayer in a post-apocalyptic world which introduced Ramon as the titular matador. Now, after a lengthy hiatus, the creator has produced a trade paperback and a sixth single issue is on the horizon to continue the story of a brave man with little other than a bullfighting sword, a cape, and immense faith in the divine to aid him in protecting humanity from the creatures that threaten it.
Two of media's biggest franchises collide in the IDW Publishing and Oni Press crossover featuring one of the most popular television shows currently on the air and the most popular tabletop game in history. With the success of other skewed, property-jumping interactions between the Rick and Morty universe, dropping into the world of Dungerons & Dragons seems like an odd, yet perfect, fit. After finding out that games such as D&D aren't only popular, but there's actually some intimate appeal to them, Morty finds himself attempting to delve into a game that has such a detailed and vibrant history, blindly forcing himself into a game to impress women and, of course, not having any idea what he's doing. Like any potentially dangerous situation, Morty goes to Rick to help him prepare for the game, much to the excitement of an old-school player like Rick.
The post-apocalypse has never looked so fabulous. Ales Kot, Tradd Moore, and Heather Moore present The New World, a romp-ish, buckwild love story set before the backdrop of post-second-Civil War America. You can think of it as a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet with about 500% more lasers and visors. The vibe of the story is very '90s hacker suspense thriller, and the art direction is very Dr. Seuss. It’s confusing, fun, and frantic with a lot of risky ideas.
Bone Parish #2: Shadows continues the story of the Winters family and their booming drug industry selling The Ash, a hot, new hallucinogenic made from the ashes of the dead. One of their drug dealers has died from an overdose, their family isn’t always in-sync about how to handle their future, and some drug cartels are eyeing their rising empire. And, a plot like this wouldn’t be complete without a couple of detectives investigating the drug-related deaths – even if those detectives may be on opposing sides of the law.
Welcome to the school of Blackwood, where possibly gifted, socially awkward 20-somethings come to find out if they have what it takes to fight against the dark arts. The fact that the students don’t know that’s what they’re there for at first is all part of the fun in this four-issue, Lovecraftian, Miskatonic-style, Harry Potter world. The dean of the school ends up dead, pulled into a well and pulsating with dark magic, and our four students are there to witness it. Everything falls into chaos as they try to solve the mystery and stop a curse, all while staying alive against a malevolent force.