Jodi Scaife

Jodi Scaife (162)

Thom Burgess and Joe Becci’s first foray into the creepy, dark world of Malevolents starts off like a classic horror tale: a group of teenagers break into an old house to spend the night, smoke, drink, and regale each other with scary stories to see which will cave under the pressure. As one member of the group shares a story about the alleged history of the residence, it gradually becomes clear that story and history often intersect, and, sometimes, there really are things that go bump, or click, in the night.

College sophomore Wendy Whitley thought life was hard enough with caring for her fifteen-year-old brother Ezra, trying to make enough money to cover all the bills, and staying on top of her college courses. Having diabetes, an allergy to tree nuts, and the ability to sense emotions through skin contact didn’t even make her top ten worries list. When Wendy learns about a food allergy research study through mysterious Pneumatikon, it sounds like a dream come true. She thinks that life energy manipulation is a crock, but at $500 payment per session, what does she have to lose? However, when Wendy wakes up from a session with the frightening ability to kill people with her touch, she must decide how to protect those she loves most and learn how to control a new talent. As she explores more about her new skills and her own history, it seems more and more clear that her acceptance into Pneumatikon’s research study was no accident, and the reasons behind Wendy’s death touch may be more sinister than she can imagine.

Dynamic duo Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone are back with another Windblade story to thrill fans of the first female Transformer. This new mini-series, Windblade - Combiner Wars, uses plot elements from both the original Windblade storyline and the Transformers Combiners saga, so I don’t know if I’d recommend it for complete newcomers, but if you’ve wanted more stories of the airplane city speaker, you’ll want to jump in with the first installment.

Want an all-ages comic that entertains and has educational value? West Texas artist Chris Ruggia’s Jack: Adventures in Texas’ Big Bend might fit the bill! Started as part of a writing class, Ruggia’s work gradually morphed into a web comic, and all three parts of the story are now available in print, as well. The story blends realistic animal encounters in Big Bend with funny and heartwarming, interspecies friendships that will charm readers of all ages!

When did Roman Dirge get into my head and start writing the type of twisted humor that crops up on a regular basis? Isn’t thought scanning only in speculative fiction? Dirge’s darkly humorous tale of the adventures of a little dead girl brought back to life through mysterious forces made me laugh out loud, groan, smack my forehead, raise my eyebrows (LOTS of eyebrow raising), and thoroughly enjoy myself. I don’t know what it says about me as a person that jokes involving lube, a pitchfork, splinters where the sun don’t shine, and a remote camera broadcasting the removal procedure nationwide nearly have me rolling on the floor, but if you are remotely intrigued, rush to pick up Titan Comics’ latest Lenore compilation, Lenore: Pink Bellies.

Not every magical child can be a Harry Potter, a Hermione Grainger, or even a Ron Weasley; for each extraordinary witch or wizard, there are multitudes of ordinary children who just happen to possess a degree of magical abilities.  Young Spooky Abigail is an ordinary young girl with a magical mother and non-magical father.  While she has a smattering of magical ability, Spooky’s mixed blood and lower-income status (She can only afford a rat for a familiar rather than the more traditional cat.) make her an outsider at the prestigious MacGiven’s Academy for Witches and Magical Folk; however, her willingness to try new things and her taste for adventure make the young lady fun to root for as she faces the world!

Love is in the air at Fanboy Comics! In this magical month of romance and enchantment, the FBC Staff and Contributors decided to take a moment to stop and smell the roses. In the week leading up to Valentine's Day, a few members of the Fanboy Comics crew will be sharing their very personal "Love Letters" with our readers, addressed to the ones that they adore the most.

My beloved Edge of Tomorrow,

Even though your creators later changed your name to Live. Die. Repeat., I will always think of you as the name you had when we first met.  You reassured me that American movie studios were still capable of producing science fiction films that had tight, concise stories that ended instead of continually providing sequel bait.  I realize you were based on a novel, which helps keep the plot under control, but you take the words from the page and make them live.

Fifteen-year-old Quin Kincaid has longed to take her Oath as a Seeker for as long as she can remember. The legends of ancient justice meting heroes inspire her to join their ranks no matter the cost. She’s sure that everything will become clear when she, her cousin, Shinobu, and beloved, John, receive the mysterious initiation, and the trio will go forth to help those in need; however, the reality of Quin’s father’s Seekers varies widely from her dreams, and John hides a dangerous secret. Everyone’s choices could tear Quin’s protected world apart, and it’s unclear whether or not she’ll be strong enough to pick up the pieces when the choices are revenge or redemption.

The second issue of the Australian series, The Crayfish, doesn’t exactly pick up where the previous volume left off. Time has clearly passed, and Norman continues to defend his home against outside forces. The second issue features a mystery about unauthorized mining at a local scheelite quarry. The local superhero wouldn’t normally get involved, but his younger brother’s school friend, Rowan Cooke, seems determined to get himself into serious trouble for a scoop. Norman promises to keep an eye on the plucky journalist and uncovers an unsettling secret at the excavation site. Laird also includes a local folktale from King Island called "The Lady in the Water" which dates back to the 1920s. It doesn’t seem to completely fit with the rest of the story in this issue, although he may be the driver who picks Norman and Rowan up at the end of the mine adventure.

If you have ever wished that HP Lovecraft wrote more stories about the elder gods, dark things beyond human understanding, and that particular brand of madness born from knowledge no one individual should know, the short story anthology, Madness on the Orient Express, was collected just for you! This set of sixteen tales of insanity centering around the fabled Orient Express both serves as a poignant love letter to Lovecraft and as an exceptional addition to modern horror. Some pieces utilize Lovecraft’s signature writing style while others are more modern, but each one presents a perfectly encapsulated piece of atmospheric creepiness in word form.

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