Comic Review Quick Hits

      Welcome back readers to a special Halloween edition of Comic Quick Hits.  This week I thought I’d celebrate my favorite holiday by reviewing a few horror titles you might want to give a look at.  Pull up a chair turn all the lights on and then continue….

The Marquis: Danse Macabre

Take a look at this cover. What about the cover by Guy Davis doesn’t make you want to read this book now? I mean seriously take another look, there isn’t a single square inch that doesn’t ooze with cool.

This little slice of black and white awesomeness is about a man in 1800’s France who is given a mask that allows him to see demons in our world as well as weapons with which to send them back to Hell. And they are given to him by the forces of Heaven……….or are they?

The Marquis: Danse Macabre is one of those rare books that forces you to think about Heaven and Hell and the ramifications of working for either side and it does it while you are absorbing the awesome fight scenes. There is a second volume I will be devouring this weekend and from what I’ve read there will eventually be three more.

Go pick this up and give it a shot if you read the whole thing and don’t like it i’ll buy the copy from you*.

*Offer not valid for residents of North or South Carolina.

The Master of Rampling Gate

OK, so apparently Anne Rice managed to beat Stephanie Meyer to the sweet money honeypot that is stories about strangely feminine-like vampires and the women who love them by a few years. Honestly if someone told me that Ms. Meyer wrote this as a warm-up to Twilight I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

This cover promised me something cool and the last time I was lied to this big my parents were telling me about Santa. I’d like to provide you with a review but honestly all you need to know is a strangely almost-androgynous, tortured vampire falls in love with a mortal female, blah, blah blah….If you like Twilight I’d give this a shot, however if you have fully-functioning Government-issued man parts give this a BIG skip.

Pigeons From Hell

Everyone knows Robert E Howard for his Conan books.  But his writing also went WELL beyond the sword and sorcery genre he helped create and wrote a scary little slice of Southern Gothic Horror called Pigeons From Hell.  Don’t let the cutsey title fool you though, this is one scary comic. The set-up is familiar to anyone who’s watched more than one horror movie in their life.  Two New Englanders John Branner and his friend Griswell spend the night at an abandoned Southern plantation mansion. John awakens to find his friend gone but sees him coming down the stairs as an animated corpse with a hatchet in his hand and a gaping wound to his head.  John comes back the next day with the police and despite being the main suspect he begins to unravel the history of this one-proud house and the evil within that drove it into decay. 

Eclipse Comics put out this creepy as hell adaptation that took Scott Hampton over two years to complete and it shows.  Every page is crammed full of detail and I spot something new each time I look at it.  For example there is one panel where the main character is struggling to see what is at the top of the stairs and I caught myself staring into the darkness at the top of the stairs along with him hoping in vain to catch a glimpse of what horror awaited us.  Take a look at the bottom of this post to see what I mean if you dare.

 Copies seem to be hard to come by and while I got lucky the copies online seem to start at $15.00 and go from there.  I cannot recommend this title enough.  Do not, and I am repeating, DO NOT read this after the sun goes down. When Stephen King says “Pigeons From Hell (is) one of the finest horror stories of our century” take his word.


Comic Review Quick Hits

Pizzeria Kamikaze

One of the great questions of life is what happens when we die and unfortunately the only way to know is to die. Etger Keret takes a unique approach to the subject in this very odd slice of indy comic goodness called Pizzeria Kamikaze.

Mordy has killed himself only to find he now “lives” in a world populated only by suicide victims and he now works in a pizzeria and when he finds out that his girlfriend in the living world killed herself and is hanging around someone called The Messiah King he sets off to find her.

I like the artwork and how it’s black and white with highlights of silver everywhere; which give it an otherworldly feel. And I like the premise of where people go when they die being just another version of being alive.

The problem is that Etger spends all his time setting up the ground rules for his world that he doesn’t get a chance to fully explore the world. No sooner does he get his world building over with than the book is over.

Is this worth reading? I’d say the art and the story premise make this a must read even if the execution is less than steller. I do have one question I REALLY wanted answered though. When this one character decides to kill himself in the afterlife we are told that he went to a place even worse than that one. What was THAT place like?

The Supernaturalists

The now seemingly defunct Mad Yak Press put out this sexy little slice of vampire-y goodness by writer Patrick Neighly and it’s not too bad. Personally I feel like vampires are pretty well played out but every now and then someone finds a few new notes to an old tune and the result can be satisfying. 

Detective Edgar Drake is hunting a killer in 1920’s New York City.  It’s not just any killer though but one who kills his victims in the manner of a vampire.  The deeper his investigation goes the bigger the conspiracy grows until it threatens not only to destroy Edgar but the beautiful Esme who has decided to appoint herself his sidekick and lover.

The writer does a surprisingly good job of building a very believable vampire underworld society but he takes too much time to build the world and not enough on the characters themselves.  I think that if Neighly had gone on to write another couple of stories those faults would have been fixed.

Regardless of whatever faults the story might have the very idea of a 1920’s film-noir style detective story with vampires and a ton of twists is reason enough to go search this out.

Lost Girl

First off let me say this is NOT the porn comic by Alan Moore darn it.  If it was perhaps I would have enjoyed this more.  Let me say that this book was definitely worth the .25 I paid for it.  So this teenage girl keeps running into this “bad girl” while on a vacation, at least I think she does. Maybe the girl was just a figment of her growing sexuality. Maybe she was just crazy. The problem is the book is WAY too clever in the way it tries to be “literature” and I guess the author N Kanan thought it wasn’t worth his time to provide any answers. Maybe we are supposed to provide the answers ourselves.  Or maybe the ending is just unknowable.  With that said the other good thing is that this book only took 20 minutes to read because of the small number of pages so my time wasn’t completely wasted.

Comic Review Quick Hits

Is anyone else out there like me and had enough of the Big Two and their never-ending conga line of crossovers that never seem to end?  I think I made the decision to jump off the train somewhere around the Secret-Civil-Invasion that Marvel was pushing at the time and I decided to take a page from our webmaster Adam’s playbook and expand my reading by diving into the world of small press and independent comics to see what else is out there.  Does that mean I’ve given up capes and tights?  Absolutely not, I just want to get a taste of what is out there, even if that means reading a lot of “Chick Lit” books


Let me first say that I think that Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan is damn-near perfect in every way. And when you put out something that great you’ll get a lot of credit with me.

But Warren Ellis has used up all of his credit.

Mr Ellis has become, in my mind, the poster child for ADHD. He finds a great idea, puts out enough for a trade or two and then abandons it to go onto the next project leaving the reader frustrated with the lack of closure or answers to questions he sets up that will never be answered. If you don’t believe me try holding you breath for the next issue of Fell or Desolation Jones. Guess what? There will never be another one. Or better yet let me present to you Global Frequency, the first trade of which has the subtitle of Planet Ablaze.

Global Frequency has a great idea driving it. There is a group of 1001 interconnected people each with a specific skill set. They solve the problems of the world that no government can or will solve. Members fight, succeed, and sometimes die in the service to a greater ideal.

But you know what? No matter how good the scripts, or artwork are I just don’t care. If Mr Ellis can’t care enough to continue writing a series long enough to answer all the mysteries he’s set up or at least turning the series over to another writer to finish cleaning up his mess then I don’t care enough to give him another dime of my money unless I find it in the back issue bin like I did this one.


So there I am beginning to work my way through the massive amount of trades I recently bought and sitting on top is The Bunker by Bruce Mutard. I’m thinking “Cool, maybe it’s a story about atomic war or a zombie apocolypse.”  Ummm……I wasn’t even close.

A boy and girl grow up next to each door and are best friends. At night she sneaks over and sleeps on the top bunk because she “sees ghosts” and feel uncomfortable sleeping in her room. As time passes over the years she begins acting out and sleeping over less and eventually they don’t talk anymore and the boy is perplexed as to why she is acting so unlike herself until one day he has a flashback to a time he saw her being sexually molested.  That’s it, no resolution, no banding together to help her work through the problems, nothing.  If you’re smart you’ll just read this review instead of the book.

 The Complete Copybook Tales

And since I don’t want to go out on a down note here’s a book I loved.  Like the characters of the book I too grew up a comics-reading geek in the 80’s so the entire series was like a trip in a time machine for me. What I really like is that this series is split roughly down the middle; flashing back and forth between the older Jamie’s struggles to break into the comics business and the memories he has when he was younger growing up in the 80’s. I loved this book and how it firmly established a sense of time and place but I think that is also it’s greatest weakness.

Unless you grew up in that time how can a reader honestly understand the joy at finding your old Atari 2600 joystick or how Michael J Fox made geeks cool during “Family Ties”? If you are of a certain age (34-44) this book is right up your alley if you are outside that age range read at your own risk.  But for me it was like slipping on my worn-in pair of Adidas high tops

Announcement: Weekly Check-In

Hey guys, it Adam.  I wanted to check in and let you know we haven’t forgotten about you.  I’ve been super busy at work (stupid day jobs).  We’re coming to the end of the HeroesCon panel recordings.  I have 2 lined up for you and I think there are about 3 more after that.  Next will be Manga Influenced Comics moderated by none other than myself.  It’s a super fun cast.

A few things I’ve recently read on the webs that I’m sure you all already know about is the announcement that the very wonderful Katheryn Immomen will be taking over writing on Journey into Mystery (I love that book), SPX is getting cooler and closer every day (can’t wait), and the sad passing of Joe Kubert (really do yourself a favor and read Tor if you haven’t.  Its some of the best story telling I’ve ever seen).

If you are in the east of the Missippi south of the Mason Dixon area be sure to stop by Spartanburg and check out Ashley Holt’s gallery showing, Four Hankie Triumph.

Announcement: Show Posting Delayed

Hey, how do you like the new website?  With the new setup I feel more comfortable posting things like this.  I’m going to bed without finishing the edit on this weeks show.  I’ll have it up later tomorrow.  That’s pretty cool about Stan Lee at HeroesCon, huh?  You guys pick up any good stuff from Free Comic Book Day?  That’s what we’ll be talking about, Free Comic Book Day.  Sorry for the delay… not that any of you listen on post day anyway.  What day do you usually listen?  Here’s a mock-up that Kris did once: